We had people for dinner Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and a big playgroup on Friday morning. Our house was full, fun, and surprisingly tidy, considering the traffic flow!
Jeff invited Chris and Lindsey over for Monday night dinner, when they met at church on Sunday. I didn't get to meet them until they showed up, but it never really seems to make a difference. They live in Woodscross, UT, and are back here visiting Chris' old mission areas all over Thailand. We caught them the day before they finished their two week tour, so it was fun to hear about all the places they'd visited and the people they'd seen. I was especially impressed by how adventurous Lindsey was. She tasted everything, traveled every way possible, and just took it all in. It's rare to find someone who can really appreciate it all when only being here for such a short time. Jeff and I feel lucky that our own visitors have all been this way too.
So, guess what we figured out shortly after they arrived? Lindsey is a nurse for the doctor in SLC who I was with for my entire pregnancy with Jane. Sounds like I just missed her by a matter of months. I'm hoping she'll still be there when we return to Utah. She was a LOT of fun. We had a great time visiting with them both, and thought it was funny how similar Chris was to our brother-in-law, Luke. And it was more than just the good teeth!
Tuesday, we had the George family over for dinner. We had scheduled them to come at 6pm, but when they hadn't arrived, I called to make sure they remembered how to get here. They were just leaving, and although their place isn't that far away, traveling by taxi that time of night in the city takes forever. So, they arrived at 7:30 and we had a nice spaghetti dinner. It's a little hard to know what to cook for people from completely different countries. I opted for something I felt was safe, and luckily they ate it. When we eat at their place, we never quite know what everything is, most food we like, but some we eat to be polite. I think it was the same case with them. They didn't think Diran would eat the pasta, but he surprised us all and dug right in. Yay!
George, Mary, and Diran will leave in 2 weeks for Holland. We're sad to lose them, but they are thrilled that they can finally move on with their lives! They've been here for 1 1/2 years under refugee status, which means living off very little and not being allowed to work. George is anxious to finally be able to work each day and provide for his family once again. Mary is excited to have her baby in September and get Diran started in school. They both plan to study Dutch as soon as they can. I'm so excited for all that lays ahead for them!
We did remember to take a lot of pictures this evening, so we can leave them with some before they leave! She just found out since they were over that they are having another boy! She was hoping for a girl (which is considered the perfect family over here), but I think two boys in a row will be fantastic! And now that we know... let the shopping begin!
George specifically wanted a picture of him and Jeff. I think he really looks up to Jeff. When Jeff was bearded, George showed up one week having let his grow out as well. He pointed it out that he looked like Brother Jeff. Mary laughed and said they both looked like Jesus. Two weeks later, they were both clean-shaven once again.
I know I'm depressing when I talk about goodbyes. I just can't get over that we've met so many people here that we will never see again. I honestly hope George and Mary don't fit in that category, but you just never know.
This week, I've been thinking about how when we leave here, we will have been here about the same amount of time we were in our West Jordan home. I wondered if I would have done things differently if I would have known our time there would be so short. Would I have invited people over more often? Would I have gotten to know each neighbor better? Would I have organized playgroups, babysat for the neighbors, or visited more openly with random mothers at the park? Would we have finally gone to see the Kennecott Copper mine, gone for long drives in the canyon, camped throughout the summer, or taken a day to go skiing in the "greatest snow on earth"? Since we've known our time here was limited, we've tried to make every day count. I don't know if I did that as much there. I should have, and I like to think when we finally return, we will. I don't feel like we wasted our time there; we made fantastic friends, spent lots of time with family and were very involved, but being here has made me see things in a different light. People aren't always going to be there. They move in and move out. I am learning I just can't procrastinate some things like I may have in the past.
I love catching my kids doing this. It's pretty normal for Jack to spend time reading to himself each day, but Jane's just starting to really enjoy it as well.
After spending more than 8 hours straight at the church today, I'm beat. It was a very successful day, but my goodness, who knew preparing a sharing time, organizing last minute nursery leaders, preparing a musical number that the bishopric forgot about, baking cinnamon rolls, preparing fruit and veggie platters, and conducting a "Great to be EIGHT!" program could be so tiring? Also, today was our last day in our church building, so after all this, we had to pack up all our cupboards to move to the new church. We are SO excited to temporarily have a little more space, particularly for the nursery kids, even if the building is a lot further away (30 min. vs 10 min.). It will be worth it!
I've put together a video of our Utah trip. It's all done, except for the hard part. The music. I'm running out of ideas and songs that actually work. SO, I need suggestions. Really. I know everyone has different tastes, and that's exactly what I would like. But, think... family friendly, upbeat, and fun. Either leave a comment, or email me your favorites. The only songs I have in my head lately are the terrible arrangements of Wham! and Michael Jackson songs, performed on the marimba, that they play at the grocery store. Ouch!