I would apologize for being silent for two weeks except my family was hosting two Japanese students for those two weeks. Because the students only have two weeks to experience the Willamette Valley in Oregon it's go go go from the start. We even made it out to the coast for the Dune Buggy ride and go cart racing.
We've hosted Japanese students for the two weeks at least four times and even host two students for a school year (not at the same time). I've also had the chance to go to Japan twice and am currently saving up for another ticket to go over for a part time job in the English department at the school.
Unfortunately on the day before the students left to go back to Japan my brother's trailer caught fire and while the building still stands they lost quite a few things. Thankfully nobody was home except for a dog and cat. They didn't make it, but my two nieces and my sister in law happened to be in town at the time and my brother was at work. They were able to save things and the community has come together with friends, family, and even strangers donating items for a benefit sale this weekend. Until they can get a new house they're staying at my parents house. It's a little cramped with seven of us at the house, but it's worth it.