Friday, October 19, 2018

Five on Friday: Perks of Being a Host Family

Tonight our British exchange student will be arriving and we are all really excited about meeting her! We did this same exchange program two years ago and had such a good time . . . I'm not sure how I dropped the ball on signing up last year, but we're back this year, baby!

You might be wondering why we are willingly taking another child into this house where the grown-ups are already so outnumbered--so I should mention that this is just a ten-day visit. And you know how people always say that after having two kids, adding a third isn't really that big of a deal? I can attest to that and add to that by saying after having five kids, any number of additional children aren't that big of a deal either.

One of the great things about it being a short visit is that we don't have time to put anything off. Everything that we want to share with her we must do right away, so we've scheduled it and will get it all done.

Of course the best things about being a host family are getting to make a new friend, having fun laughing at little cultural differences together, having UK vs. US candy showdowns (ever try British Skittles? Not nearly as sweet as ours and a bit more flavorful.) Not to mention getting to listen to my youngest imitate a British accent . . . but having done this before, I've realized there are other perks that I hadn't counted on, like:

1. Being provided the opportunity to take advantage of lots of local places, restaurants and things to do: it's like a mini-staycation with a new foreign friend who has never seen any of it before.

2. Likewise, we also get the chance to take advantage of places that are local-ish but we don't manage to get around to enough. Frequently realtors use "close to both New York City and Philadelphia!" as a selling point to living in this area, but how often do we get into either city? We will be in the next ten days!

3. We also get to go to places that we don't normally go to, like the ginormous Mall about half an hour away. Our children have been there so infrequently that it is just as much a magical display of dazzling American excess to them as it is to our guests.

We took this picture last time we visited the big Mall with exchange students. I'm telling you, we are like tourists there ourselves.

4.  While we like to think we prioritize family fun and togetherness, sometimes the hectic life of a family of seven means we end up doing things like frantically carving pumpkins on October 30th. Not this year! We have all sorts of family fun on the itinerary, including carving pumpkins weeks before Halloween!

5. The food, oh the food.  I love hosting and cooking and making special foods so I have plans to do a lot of that in the next ten days. By the time she goes home we'll all be 5 pounds   0.35 stones heavier!

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