About tonyagarrick

Southern wife to a great hubby, mom of 2 exceptionally awesome boys and 1 beautiful little girl... love reading, laughing, the beach, coffee and Coke, pretending to garden, newness, travel. Do not love seafood, lies, scary stuff. This blog is about our family and our adventures through life, wherever that may lead.

Korea, Year 3

Junior year, 8th and 2nd grade are all off to a good start. Some of my students stay with me for more than 1 year, but I also have several new students, so we’re all still getting acquainted. It can take a bit for middle schoolers to open up. I’m teaching some electives this year, too, and those have been fun. I love middle school students; they’re so fun to be around and funny!

Year 3 has started off better than 1 and 2 since everything is more familiar to us. We know where to shop, how to get around and how to use online delivery for dinner! Perks of living in a big city;)

We’re wrapping up summer (boooo!) and seeing signs of fall (yayy!). The weather has been nice, making our very frequent walks to our coffee shops (yes, we have to go to 2) very enjoyable.

Sean stays very busy in his new role, and teaching is pretty time consuming, too, but we love it. It’s easy to feel the stress of work, but we also have a lot to be thankful for.  I get a lot of joy out of seeing my students make progress. Our own kids are pretty fun, too.

These are a few pictures from around town:

 

 

 

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Surprisingly, he had to ask for more ketchup.

 

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The elusive teen boy…he’s my fave 11th grader.

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JuJu

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He’s moving on to 8th grade! Jacob is a pro at being a middle schooler. His favorite classes were Bible, Pre-Algebra and Social Studies. He liked chapel and his small group, too. If we can get him to stop carrying everything in his bookbag, I’ll be happy.

A few 7th-grade highlights 

Week Without Walls in Korea (ziplining, lots of outdoor activities, traditional Korean food, etc.)

Everland (amusement park)

Skiing over Christmas break

Turning 13 in Hong Kong

The New York City Subway System is the largest subway system in the world, with 468 train stations and 26 subway lines. That's one massive subway system!

 

 

 

First Grade Success!

Julianna has completed first grade! Her teacher was the sweetest and her TA was great, too. As her speech/language skills improved, naturally, other areas became easier for her, too. She has an amazing speech and language therapist, along with a support teacher that helps with reading and writing.

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This year, she took ballet, sports, and swimming during after school activities. She loved all 3! She enjoyed her Korean class, art, music, recess, and Math. Also, she memorized her Bible verse for their Spring program and quoted it perfectly.  First grade went by so fast!

 

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Another Day In The Life

For those who may wonder what our life looks like here…

Most days are hurried and loud and tiring and loud again.  Very fancy!

Our typical weekday includes going to school at 7:20. You would think I might be a morning person by now, but nope. Not happening. Coffee or not.

School, work, after school meetings, practice and activities…

We may or may not eat at home. There are so many restaurants around! I’m excited about the new dumpling shop near our house.


We can eat for around 15,000 won or $13ish. Yippee! 

Homework, bedtime…rinse and repeat.


On weekends we like to venture out and 4 of us like to try new foods. There are noodles or rice most places so I don’t starve-don’t worry;)

Occasionally, I paint with friends- quite therapeutic!

My “Congratulations” similar-to-Tiramisu birthday cake! Yum!

Birthday scarf❤️


Kid Pics


It’s freezing now so we don’t drive the scooter but drive our tiny car instead. Parking can be pretty scarce so we use public transportation, too. We’re used to a lot of things about the city but grocery shopping is still a process. Another reason why I’m thankful for our new dumpling shop! And endless coffee shops!


The biggest difference for us is city vs. suburbs. Otherwise, our lives in Seoul are strikingly similar to everywhere else we’ve lived. People are people everywhere and we all want the same things!

Thanksgiving to the New Year

Thanksgiving was spent in Hong Kong this year. Workshops, meetings and sightseeing. Jacob turned 13!

McD’s birthday breakfast (notice the green bottle in the corner…free shampoo with combo!)

Hong Kong at night

…Christmas concert, ballet and basketball



Christmas 

The flu visited us over Christmas break-ho, ho, ho! We had a low key break in Seoul and enjoyed the down time. Movies, staying up late, video games, and a quick ski trip kept us entertained.


2017!!! Happy Year of the Rooster


Back To School 

One week back and I’m exhausted. Julianna turns 7 on the 16th and Caleb will be 16 in February. Ahhh! We’re in the 2nd half of our 2nd year in Korea. Do I want time to slow down? I’m not sure. I love watching my kids grow up.

“Always in motion is the future.” -Yoda

Friday at the Han and other nonsense

There is a seasonal night market that happens on weekends along a section of the Han River. We went there tonight, along with thousands of other people. Food trucks, a few musical acts, street food…think fair atmosphere. 

A fun part of being in a big crowd outdoors is the people (of all ages) whizzing by on scooters (the little kid kind and the motorized kind), bikes and segues, and also seeing some extreme couple matching (of all ages). Couples, friends and families picnic along the river (it’s massive) and bring food, buy it or call and have chicken delivered right to their location. There were, at least, 200 people in line for shrimp skewers. The burger and nacho trucks were wildly popular, too.  And that’s why I ate empanadas along the Han.

  
So many chicken restaurant flyers!

  We had major issues attempting this selfie. The lighting was bad and this was snapped mid argument.   
  Julianna took a nap right before dinner. The options were chicken meatballs, skewers of chicken, fish cakes and right out of the frame was pupae, which smells as nasty as it sounds. I’ll never be able to tell you what it tastes like, but Caleb can.  
This is the ridiculousness that we bring with us daily. I proudly ordered my coffee in Korean and it only took twice as long as it should. The vendor was super nice and turns out, completely fluent in English. (Sadly, Julianna did not have a coffee to show.)

 But she did get this very special magic wand!   

A very diligent attempt at reading the menu. I’m not sure why Jacob’s hair is sticking out either.


Fun fact: There are a few “letters” that are interchangeable. P/B, T/D, L/R.  

Fall is arriving just in time for Chuseok! The weather was beautiful tonight. The kids are out of school for a full week and we are all ready for the break.

On that note, I’ll leave you with some reggae from the night market… 

Take care!❤️

 

full swing

Status

Setting up classrooms, smelling paint, meetings, seeing old friends, the exhaustion…..school must be starting. I believe I speak for many teachers when I say that I am excited/sad/tired/hopeful all at the same time.  I love school but I also love the beach. And sleeping later.  Lots to do, but I will love getting to know my new students and seeing my former kiddos.

Kids show up next week and another year begins.  Cheers to my teacher friends around the globe!

 

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Tonya….soon to only be known as Mrs. Garrick;)

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We had a whirlwind trip to the U.S., full of airports and long car rides, visiting family and friends and lots of shopping. I do not like shopping. At all. That being said, my tall kids and their parents needed clothes. We stocked up on stuff, threw in some Target, Amazon  and Wal Mart randomness and called it good. 

We had fun seeing cousins and friends in (HOT) MS and AL, fishing and kneeboarding, bowling and swimming, celebrating July 4th and my Dad’s birthday and eating too much. 

This is my last week before school starts. The 2nd year overseas should be a breeze! (please, please, please)  The kids have 2 weeks. Only 1 kid is excited. Guess who!

Quick summer breakdown in (a lot of!) photos…

 

  

    
    
    
    

  
   
    
    
 
AND…

   
because I screenshot everything, hoping I’ll actually remember good ideas! ❤️ I still love middle schoolers! 

Happy Summer, y’all! 

  

So Close!

Aside

Only 2 1/2 more school days! Jacob asked me what we would be eating during the summer. I guess he questions my abilities to provide meals. 

That means that next year we’ll have 1st, 7th and 10th graders. Mhmm. I’m not sure that’s going to work for me. 

I was chatting with my British neighbor (so, read with an accent) and her friends who are also teachers and they said that the first year overseas is terrible. The hardest. You can’t make decisions and feel out of control. Really? You don’t say… 

This school year is ending with saying goodbye to students and friends, some only for the summer but some for longer.  Bittersweet is an understatement. I’m not usually the “girlfriend” type but I’ve met friends that I didn’t know I needed.

Everyone is ready for the break. Time for relaxing (after the flight, of course!) and visiting our people. We’ll be in our Southern homes mid June, where there is brewed iced tea. Jacob wants fried rice when we get there and we all want Memphis Pizza. But, I’m sure we’ll miss our Gong Cha!

A few “day in the life” pictures:

   
    
   
Happy Spring and Summer!