We were super-blessed this past weekend to be visited by our friends, Joseph and Cathy Dean all the way from AUSTRALIA!! Craig and Cathy served together on their missions in Paraguay in the 80's and have remained good friends ever since. She has visited Craig a couple times over the years, but this was my first time meeting her. I must admit, I was a little nervous to hostess people I'd never met before, but now that they are gone, I miss them and feel like they are as dear as family to me!!
They came Friday, the 18th and stayed through till this afternoon. We had SO MUCH fun with them!! On Friday, we just relaxed and got to know each other--they were very tired from their long plane ride and the time difference. They brought us BEAUTIFUL opals--me, earrings, Craig, a paper weight, and the girls each a pin-- a kangaroo, a koala, and the shape of Australia. We loved them! The next day, after breakfast, we drove around San Marino and Pasadena and then went into Eagle Rock where we spontaneously decided to have lunch at Ernie, Jr.'s. Then, we went to Hollywood to the Chinese Theater to see all the hand and footprints of the stars followed by a drive down Rodeo Drive.
We then went to the temple because it was our stake temple night!! There was even child care provided for my kids! It was soooooo nice to be at the Temple with the Deans and then to also see many friends from our ward and stake.
After our session, we took them to get the best Sundaes in LA-- from Twohey's in Alhambra. This was when the COOLEST moment of their visit occurred!! We were discussing our favorite (or not-so-favorite) Australian bands such as: INXS, The Church, Midnight Oil, (don't like them) AC/DC, (mixed feelings) the BeeGee's, the Little River Band, and John Farnham when suddenly, the song Down Under came on! It was seriously sooooooooooooo serendipitous!!!! We were totally laughing and blown away. We hadn't even thought of Men at Work yet and the song is actually about Australia! (They are also probably my favorite of all these bands!!) I now will never hear that song again without thinking of my sweet Cathy and Joseph.
The next day, we all went to church together and I got to brag about my friends all the way from Australia. Then we came home and hung around the house together. We then went to the Muhlesteins for dinner! Cathy met Ladell at the temple and it turned out they had a mutual Kiwi friend who is now in the Dean's ward! (Small mormon world!)
If you can believe it, today Cathy and Joseph did school with the girls! They had come prepared with maps of Australia and they mapped out all the differents regions of the country together. Then, we learned about Aboriginal painting and learned how to do it!! It was a challenge for the girls, but they did a great job. Cathy and Joseph are amazing teachers. It was SOOOOO MUCH fun! I will post more pictures later, when I find my camera that I discovered to be missing during this lesson! They also brought us boomerangs to paint that we did not get to, but hopefully will soon.
I think the best thing about Joseph and Cathy is that they fit right in with us. They didn't come just to stay at our house, they came to be with us, to get to know us. They loved our girls and treated them very kindly. Cathy did the girls hair every day. Joseph would help buckle them in their seats and help put their shoes on. It was really, really, sweet. Their children are 13-21 now so I guess they kinda miss the little stage. They were just the kind of guests you'd like to have. They even brought us CHOCOLATE!! What more could you ask? After they left, I felt really mopey. I hope we'll stay in good touch!