I finished chronicling our trip to Rome but didn't really finish telling about the rest of my mom and dad's visit from the States! They were here for a total of 3 weeks, and it was such a blessed time. The week after we returned from Rome, Ted had leave time he was able to use (the previous week was a busy work week for him, preparing briefings for the higher-ups and so on), so he took Dad downtown to the archaeological museum, one of the famous cathedrals, Herculaneum, and other places requiring a lot of walking that didn't really interest Mom.
Grandma was most interested in getting to love on her grandkids! She and Kenna made play dough one day, and she spent much time on the couch or in the rocking chair reading with the little guys.
I enjoyed being able to just "do life" here with all of us together. We did a very little bit of school the week Ted had to work, but the rest of the time we just enjoyed time as a family. Lots of reading and game time, sewing projects for Charis and Mom, naps on the couch, movies, etc. And we got to go to a couple of Tobin and Arden's soccer games, too.
We celebrated Charis and Arden's birthday as a family, promising the kids they could have a special day with friends over after Grandma and Grandpa went home.
Every morning Lucan would come down the stairs and say brightly, "I'm so glad Grandma and Grandpa are here!" (The first day after they had left to return to the States, when I thought for sure he would be down in the dumps about them being gone, he marched down and said happily, "I'm so glad Grandma and Grandpa got to be here!")
Zaden easily wormed his way into his grandparents' hearts by running to them and cuddling them often, sucking his thumb and laying his head on their shoulders. Since he was much too young last time we saw them to really remember them from our time together in-person, it was fun to see them all get to know each other again. (I'm sure Skyping helped! Though we don't really get to do it all that often, at least, not often enough!)
One evening shortly before Mom and Dad had to leave we went on a double date to a nice restaurant Ted and I had discovered some months back. A sweet couple from our church family came over to babysit, so we felt comfortable leaving Seanin and some pumped milk and a bottle. We enjoyed visiting over delicious courses that just kept coming and coming! It was nice to have some really GOOD Italian food, since our meals in Rome were so disappointing.
We also hosted an olive oil tasting event for some friends from Sicily. Emilio and Mariska brought their wonderful cooking and massage oils, soaps, and tomato-based products for us to sample along with about 35-40 guests. They cooked and provided some wonderful food for us, and we enjoyed having friends over to visit and eat. The weather was absolutely perfect, and our efforts to keep mosquitoes at bay worked for the most part--although we still got eaten if we went into the yard away from the porch area. Still, it was a very fun evening, and I think my parents enjoyed getting to visit with some of our friends!
Seems like the best part of their visit was just spending time together as a family!