When my family comes to town, it's like I get a blood transfusion. Fresh life and encouragement and fun flow into my heart. We laugh, we talk, we play. I get some rest time, some heart-to-heart sharing, some good laughter. I can't tell you how excited I was when mom and her dear friend, Pat, came to visit us!
They arrived to the kids jumping up and down and cheering at our gate. We ate dinner together and tucked them in bed. (Travel tip: when flying around the world, arrive near bedtime. You will adjust SO much faster if you push through to the brink of exhaustion and fall into bed!)
The next morning, the fun began. They had a set of cards for each kid with fun, relational connects. The kids got to pick a card each morning and have one-on-one time with Mimi or "Aunt" Pat. Their love tanks got so filled up! I had a daily list to choose from, too. And we also had family cards of an activity for us all to do together each day. If you know John, he's not really a "pick-a-card" dude, so they spoiled him other ways!
One of our first family activities was to do floating lanterns (like Tangled) together. The first one was amazing! The second one almost started a forest fire, but praise the Lord it somehow didn't catch the tree on fire.
I'm not going to make you read a 10-page blog post outlining each day. (I could, mind you...it was that amazing!) But here are some more fun glimpses...
Hannah had more tea parties with her Bitty Baby than you could imagine.
Books were read...so many books!
We adventured in our city...
Had a tea party to celebrate Catie's birthday...
We went on neighborhood walks, watched movies, laughed, played, wore new pjs...
The kids each got to be "chef of the day" and cook something special.
Check out this little chef...
And the very large cherry on top?? Mom and Dad had enough points to get me a free ticket to fly to Dubai with Mom and Pat on their way back. We had 3 glorious days together. I got to show them what my year of living there was like. We did the highlight real.
A very fancy tea party...
(Do you see a theme here?? We're tea party people!)
Also, sorry about the sideways picture...i can't figure it out!
We ate at Cheesecake Factory (I had a half of a hamburger...real beef...amazing!)
We went on a desert safari, rode camels.
Ah, I love this desert!
I have so many friends who live around the world. They post pictures with hashtags like #restfortherace. This truly was rest and encouragement that helped us keep moving forward.
So so thankful. Or as my kids would say, "We are eternally grateful." (Toy Story 3 quote)