Today was spent mostly at home. Larry & Samuel went to a cub scout event this morning. We'd planned for all of us to go, but after a (great!) week of doing things together daily, it was clear that the laundry wasn't going to fold itself, so I kept the girls here & folded laundry while they did the scout thing. It was clear sometime Thursday night or Friday that we'd done real well on finding lots of close-to-home little 'treasures' to visit & spend time at, but we had not done too well at scheduling some quiet, relaxing time to just sit at home & rest or get things taken care of around the house. Oops.
Tonight was a special night for us. In the late Fall of 2004, we left our church home of 7 years when Larry went into ministry full time. Bethel Bible Church holds such a special place in our hearts, and thankfully, we still have a good relationship with all of the fabulous people there. We run into them now & then at Walmart. We get the emails for prayer requests. But nothing quite compares to spending time with them, fellowshipping and enjoying their friendship. We were at Bethel from late 1997 til 2004. The congregation there saw us through Samuel & Sarah's pregnancies & births, Larry's years in college while he finished his bachelor's degree as well as 4 years of seminary. They were our cheerleaders, our confidants, our closest friends. What a treasure those years hold for us.
Every year, the "G" family holds a fabulous Christmas 'Party with a Purpose' where they not only celebrate the season, but they collect money or supplies for a special cause. We feel especially connected to their family because they were in our Sunday School class all those years. Their oldest son & our youngest daughter are 2 weeks apart in age. She was at the women's retreat with me each year I went. They were part of our small group for the last 2 or 3 years we went to church there. Lots of sweet memories! And like I told Mrs. G tonight, I am SO GLAD that she has the gift of hospitality! She & her husband put on a mean party at Christmas & often, at some other point in the year, too! It's always fun to go to their home because everyone is calm & relaxed & they make you feel very much at home under their roof. (I most definately do not posess this talent. Larry & I are total homebodies & never in our 14 years of marriage have put on a party like the ones they throw!)
Tonight they had a party! They come up with the best ideas for parties. Honestly, I think they're just looking for a reason to have a party -- and I'm so glad they found one! Tonight's theme was summer birthdays. Mrs. G has a June birthday & said that, as a kid, she always felt jipped out of a cool party because she had a summer birthday & couldn't invite all her school friends. Since it is summertime, they threw a party for all their friends who have summer birthdays! They even had a cake made with ALL the names of their friends with summer birthdays! What a treat! Since Savannah has a summer birthday, here she is with the cake. And look! Her name is on the next to the last line! She thought it was really cool that they'd include her!
After we all pigged out on tacos & chips/dip, they had a pinata in the yard for all the kids to take a whack at. They had quite a crowd! Look at all the kids! And remember, each of these kids came with 2 parents---it was a full house!
On the way home, the kids wanted to use their Sonic gift cards to stop for icecream (because none of them ate cake at the party). We got them a little treat & then headed home for baths & bedtime. Sarah was waiting for her turn to get in the shower, so she posed & wanted me to take some pictures. ha ha! And then she turned the camera & took a couple pictures of me! Silly girl!
As our week of staycationing draws to a close, it begins to feel like life is going back to "normal". We've really enjoyed our quiet week of family time. Tomorrow we have one last thing to go do with the kids. I think they'll enjoy it, but I'm not sure if I will be allowed to take pictures. Til then.....have a good night's rest.