Having moved far away from our families at the start of our marriage was a good thing. I recommend it for any newlyweds. It brought us so much closer together as a couple and I think it's wonderful to learn to stand alone as a couple and to lean on each other.
But it's not without it's drawbacks, especially once the children come along. As someone who spent almost as much time at her Grandma's as at home growing up, I feel the loss of that close connection for my children.
Fortunately, there's adoption.
The wonderful K couple lives not far from us. We originally got to know them a bit through church, but didn't have a lot of time to socialize. Then it happened. Sister K and I were assigned as Visiting Teaching companions. I quickly grew to love her and cherish our time together every month. When reassignments came we were delighted to find ourselves their Home Teachers and they our Home Teachers.
(Visiting Teaching is a church initiative where the women of the church visit each other once a month. We're assigned companions and people to teach so that everyone has a support system. Home teaching works the same, only companions visit with families once a month. They share a message from the church magazine and offer any help that's needed.)
We've been visiting each other back and forth a few years now and it's like having an extra set of grandparents. Our children love the K's and the feeling is mutual (or they're good actors!). The K's are from Austria and have delightful accents still. They're also snowbirds and head for exotic locales like Mexico or Panama every winter, right after they celebrate Christmas with us. They have wonderful stories to tell and great insights to share. Amusingly, Brother K and Hubby share the same first name (though spelled differently). Sister K is an incredible gardener and if I knew one tenth of what she does I'd be a genius with a basement full of beautiful foodstuffs for my family. As it is, she's very patient as I ask the same questions over and over and over again, and willing to share the bounty of her harvest with us.
I hope the local church leaders never get around to reassigning us. We may have to keep "teaching" each other even if they do.
Sister K also believes in feeding us every time we visit. I've noticed this is a delightful tradition amongst any of my European friends. This lazy Canadian rarely thinks of serving my guests until they're half-way out the door, but Sister K and others like her seem to greet you with a full smile, a full hug, and a full plate. The treat changes but the love behind it never does.
Lately the treat has been fried bread. It is so fun and delicious and I had never had it until Sister K started making it, so I decided I had to take a bunch of photos.
Here's the dough, ready to go:
Putting it in the hot oil (on the BBQ--awesome!):
Look how it bubbles up! Fun pockets!
So delicious! Sister K actually makes the dough up in huge batches and freezes it so there's always some ready for guests. She just pulls it out of the freezer when she knows someone is coming, and as soon as it's thawed she can fry it. We have it with sprinkled sugar and cinnamon or some of Sister K's homemade apple sauce (or both!). One of these days I want to sneak in a jar of Nutella. I have a feeling that it will make an already heavenly experience pure nirvana.
And what do the kids do while poor Sister K is slaving over a hot BBQ?
Laze about in the hammock of course!
Or play with Penny.
We love ALL of the K's!