It’s a bit like Groundhog Day, but how could we resist? The clouds have closed overhead, dripping rain on us. But we’ve been called back to a house — not just any house, but the house of delights. The only potential downside is that we’ll be on our own.

Parked outside the Langs' in Dargaville, June 2011
Once again, we're parked outside our friends' house in Dargaville.

Yes, we’ve ended back where we were last week after receiving a lovely invitation. However, we didn’t actually receive the message until we were already back at the Langs’ house for a quick, fly-by visit:

“It’s meant to be wet this weekend so if you guys want to ride out the weather at our place, you are more than welcome. We will be away so you can have the place to yourselves.”

Hello? A house-sitting opportunity while the weather is wet? We are blessed beyond measure to receive this generous invitation — electricity, warmth, hot water, indoor space and toys!

Even better, we’ve had a day to overlap with our friends, and the girls have been playing like they haven’t been separated. We even returned to Dargaville Playcentre this morning.

Delaney playing with play-dough, June 2011
Delaney was back at the play-dough table, this time not eating the dough.

Brioni painting, June 2011
Brioni was back at the craft table — this time rolling a marble in paint to create colourful tracks on her piece of paper.

Aisha and Faith, June 2011
Aisha and Faith opened up shop in the corner.

Brioni washing her hands, June 2011
The child-friendly trough in the bathroom makes it easy for pre-schoolers to wash their hands. Delaney loves using it too!

Calista on the phone, June 2011
While I was standing by, Calista received a call from the Lighthouse. The occupant was inviting her to come and visit.

Calista and Brioni on the computers, June 2011
Brioni had a turn at the computer station while Calista watched her navigate the screen.

Shanay, June 2011
Shanay decided to do some fingerpainting, which is always so much fun!

Aisha on the computer, June 2011
I wasn't surprised when Aisha took the opportunity to play on the computer — this is what she sees me do in my leisure time, so of course she'll want to learn how to use the computer!

Playing outside at Dargaville Playcentre, June 2011
The weather was nice enough that we got to play outside at on the playground equipment.

Later in the afternoon, the Lang girls demonstrated their Wii for us. This is the first time our girls have been exposed to video games.

Playing the Wii, June 2011
First Faith demonstrated the techniques of using the Wii controls. Our girls were happy to just sit back and watch.

Playing the Wii, June 2011
Then Aisha decided she wanted a turn at ten-pin bowling. It didn't take long for her to master the technique (and pick up the jargon — "Strike!").

Playing the Wii, June 2011
Soon Brioni was going head-to-head with Aisha in a bowling match. She did very well and won the round although she wasn't playing competitively.

David and I are astounded and pleased at the variety of experiences our children are being given. One day they’re riding motorbikes on a dairy farm, and the next day they’re sampling the latest high-tech toys in a friend’s house! With a childhood such as this, their school-free education will surely be well-rounded and rich — who could ask for anything more?