I woke this morning to find bodies strewn everywhere. In the front room there were two, in the family room there were six more. Silent and unresponsive,... but for the occasional snore. Kate had a slumber party last night. Turns out, Erin had a friend stay over as well- why not? I counted an extra girl in her room when I checked a moment ago. Kate has joined a group of girls, some from our church, some not, for a Bible study every Wednesday night at a local Starbucks. It's such a blessing for her to fellowship with these girls her age since most of her friends have gone away for college.
So last night she hosted a Fondue Feast and sleepover for them all. We looked up a chocolate and a cheese recipe and she prepared the fondues, assigning dippers to each girl who was coming. I'm pretty sure these recipes are keepers, but I couldn't get close enough for a taste!
Actually, I did, and they were both rather yummy.
The arrival of her friends overlapped with the ending of a dinner we had here with some friends who have become very dear to us in the years we've lived here. We first met Fred and Heidi through Scouts, as their son is Isaac's age. We soon learned that they lived right around the corner, but Heidi and I share the same maiden name and have decided that we are cousins! Before long our girls became regular babysitters and Kate has formed a bond with their daughter after spending several days reading her favorite book to her in the wake of a tonsillectomy. Lives being full to the brim with kids' activities and husbands' busy travel schedules, we have been unable to find a time for a quiet meal together until yesterday.
By quiet I mean that we were all sitting together in the same house without a deadline or 50 Scouts running around or projects to finish or trails to navigate. We weren't actually very quiet at all. Our time was marked by talking and laughter and sharing and memories. what a treat to be able to finish a whole conversation! Those who have traveled anywhere outside of the country will understand what I mean when I say it is a joy to be able to share memories of Paris, Rome, and London with others who have also been there instead of being apologetic or self-conscious about mentioning it.
Heidi also totes her camera everywhere to capture memories and special moments, so we share that as well. When among a group of Scouts, their leaders and parents, who rarely slow down for anything, gathering for a group shot can be almost painful. Heidi can be counted on to make that particular endeavor fun, and I'll quietly shoot away once she has everyone in place! (Don't look at me- it's her idea!)
Though we had the space to relax, the evening was, of course, too short. We waved goodbye to them as Kate's friends started arriving and the dish-washing roulette began as we prepared for the next wave of food preparation and consumption. Kate had planned things out rather well for that transfer and there was little for me to do but grab my camera and shoot away.
Now the sun has risen on what looks to be a somewhat normal day. We should probably contemplate taking down the tree soon and putting away the decorations. But not just yet.