I didn't plan a big Sunday dinner this week. I didn't even cook anything ahead. I hadn't invited company ahead of time either. But we ended up having a house full all Sunday afternoon and into the evening for a very relaxed, but also very stimulating day.
The Tsamala girls and Angela came over for lunch. These beautiful young women are so honest and so free and so sweet and so funny and so needy. I love them and I don't pour into their lives nearly enough. Whenever I see them, though, we hug and in their African way, they call me "Mahmee." They have grown so much in the past two years and all of us at church are amazed and humbled by their growing grace and maturity. We are thankful and encouraged. In addition to the girls, one of the boys' friends, Shawn, who is over often (we call him an HP - Honorary Pinckney), and Jacob, home for a while from Southeast Asia but minus Karen and the kids today, shared our meal and contributed to the conversation around the table. It was a cobbled together lunch...we made turkey sandwiches, heated up left-over spaghetti, pulled out left-over sweet potato salad, made tossed salad and a really yummy grape salad with cream cheese and sour cream, opened the big bin of pretzels and sliced sourdough bread. There was plenty to eat!
As always, we went around, youngest to oldest, sharing one thing we remembered from the sermon. The ones who helped in the nursery during church talked about their Sunday School lesson. Whenever we do this, various ones will jump up and search for their sermon notes and thus armed, contribute their reflections. It is always interesting to see what strikes each one of us and what we take away from the morning's preaching.
After lunch, the soccer crowd headed off to the park. A smaller than usual group gathered on the muddy field. But it was an international group - China, Vietnam, Congo, the Philippines and the USA were all represented on the field. I love it...soccer, the international sport.
Those of us who stayed home mostly napped! Two of the girls opened out the futon and one of the them snuggled on the porch swing under a warm blanket. I curled up on the loveseat and slept away. MMMMMM!
Meanwhile, Jonathan (who got home for spring break on Thursday) spent about three hours teaching Jacob the Arabic alphabet. Every once in a while, in my dozey state, I would hear Jacob imitating the sounds Jonathan made and trying to figure out the Arabic words Jonathan had written. Jacob, the linguist, has an amazing facility for and love of languages. I enjoyed listening to my son, the Arabic student, teaching him. They both had a great time and I hope they'll take time for more Arabic "lessons" while Jonathan is home.
After naps and soccer, Rita, home from the field braved the pool...for a very short time. In fact, she jumped in and was out almost immediately. Her scream alerted those of us inside that she had actually taken the plunge!
This evening after brownies, Andrew took the girls home and the rest of us sat around the table for a long time, savoring conversation with Jacob that ranged from linguistic theory to movies to cross-cultural life.
I love Sundays like this. Easy going, no big production but enough good food to satisfy, visitors who make themselves right at home, help in the kitchen and happily nap in my family room, lots of laughter and rich conversation. And now, after a full day and last night's late night, I am VERY ready for bed!