We love hosting overnight guests - or sometimes just a sleeping young-one whose parents wanted to stay later than bedtime and hang out for a bit. We enjoy staying up late and chatting. It's fun to cook and share meals. It's a huge blessing to do life with others, even if it's for a short time.
The guest room is frequented by my parents, or just my mom up for a couple of days a month. They like to come up, see us, help out with a project or two, and/or just have fun with the kids.
Back in February Lyle and Alexandra came down from Alaska and stayed for several nights. We took advantage of every minute - fun times for the kids, way too late nights for chatty adults.
At the beginning of March we had the pleasure of hosting a missionary on furlough from Indonesia. Charity, or Miss Charity as the kids lovingly call her, is the principal of an elementary school in Bandung. I knew Charity from my days in Campus Crusade at NAU. We didn't necessarily hang out in the same crowd, but we knew all the same people.
It was such a blessing to have her live with us for three months. Tom, the kids, and I enjoyed getting to know her better and hearing all her many, many stories. We also got to see the behind the scenes life of a missionary. An amazing experience for all of us.
In the mornings while the kids and I "did school", she would work on her grad school classes. Jon-Jon made sure she didn't study for too long, having her set timers when she was going to be done so he could go and let her know it was time to come out and play. She made sure to give her time equally to the kids. She read them stories (introduced us to the Llama Llama books, Jon-Jon's new favorites), played many, many games, went on a couple of field trips, and even got to witness our chicks being born.
In the afternoons she and I would have some time to chat or enjoy hunting down a favorite food not available in Indonesia - the pretzel dog at Sonic for one. Because she used to be an elementary school teacher, she was the perfect person to teach me several new techniques that should really help me out next year as I teach the kids.
The evenings were full of good food, entertaining and/or discussion-inducing movies, and more conversations. We shared all of our favorite foods with her, which she seemed to also enjoy probably because she appreciates "the crunch-factor" just like I do. And she could never resist a slice of specialty cheese with Tom. She and Tom could really get into some deep theological discussions - I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them debate the finer points of the law being a tutor vs. guardian, for example.
She left the first of June to spend her last several of weeks in the US with some friends and family. It's so amazing to me how easily and naturally she became apart of our family. We all miss her very much.
Just two weeks after Charity left, Tom's parents came for their bi-annual visit. We had lots of fun flying kites, fishing, and bowling together. Most likely they'll be back in November or December. Dad helped get our garden tilled so that we could plant and a couple other little odd jobs here and there. Mom was a huge help with cleaning windows, blinds, etc - all those things you know need to be done but you just can't find or make the time to do. We really look forward to having them back!
So, for the first time since February, the guest room is empty with no plans of being occupied anytime soon. I don't even think my mom has any plans on coming up, though she'll have a kid at a time with them down in Phoenix for the kids' Oma Camp.
Now that it is truly summer with guests gone, little to no school to speak of, we're trying to find our new norm in the absence of our usual routine. Thankfully we have few commitments and/or activities. Each day is different, a women's Bible study at a park, summer movies, trips to the creek, and lots of time to play with neighbor kids until it's time to come in for dinner.
Anybody want to come to Flagstaff, get out of the heat, enjoy the mountain air? Our guest room is available.