Normal people plan a family vacation weeks or months ahead of time. I decide to do a beach vacation for the 7 of us with three days to plan. 7 = me + husband + 3 kids + 2 exchange students. Go-with-the-flow kind of people who enjoy imporomptu fun times is how I would best sum up our lifestyle.
My husband jokes that I can’t commit to things in my calendar unless they are deadlines, or I’m traveling for work. I argue that I like to be flexible so I can maximize fun opportunities. I’m someone who loves the chaos of the every day life-work juggle. I also love a good adventure, especially if it involves fresh air, water, and sunshine.
I’m pretty sure my kids thrive in this type of lifestyle too; at least, they haven’t complained. But when I mentioned a beach vacation, they jumped in excitement. This little guy made enless roads, tunnels, and castles with in the “giant sandbox.”
This summer, we’ve taken on two exchange students from Spain. Laura is here for two summer months (although she’ll return for a full year next school year), and Jaime is here for his Senior year of high school.
Laura is a bit shy, reserved, and the perfect amount of girly that complements Sofia’s personality. This summer, they’ve stayed up watching Disney movies on Netflix, doodling, and fallen asleep together in the bottom bunk in the room they share.
Their big-little-sister relationship is magical, and one that they will continue to grow when Laura returns next year.
Alex and Jaime are very much alike. They are social introverts; they like video games, and from time to time they need time to themselves and retreat. They are buddies. Like they’ve had each other around for years. In spite of their age gap, they get each other, possibly, because they are both middle children (although Jaime is one of 4 his mother assures me he is “the middle child”).
Within a couple of days, my kids have taken on to their new “big siblings.” And just like that, the Spanish kids have also incorporated themselves into our family. Regardless who pairs up with whom, they look like they’ve been siblings their whole life.
This year is going to be filled with new adventures, shared experiences, and many memories. I can’t wait to share them with you.