Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I promised a few good stories from the VBS (Vacation Bible School) we participated in last week.

In case you don't have a five-year old boy in your house, or it's been a while since yours was my son's age... I might need to offer some sort of warning about the subject matter of this post.

In case you have a five-year old boy in your house, or the memories stay fresh even years later... you probably won't even blink an eye.

We were driving home midweek from another fun day of games, crafts, activities and Bible stories, and I asked Drew how his class went.

"Great!" he said. "Although, I think I did have a lot of gas today in my tummy."

"Um. Why."

"Because I certainly was farting a lot."

"Oh, Drew.... that is not good at all. It's a very rude thing to do!!!"

"Oh, I'm sorry."

"Mommy... what does RUDE mean?"

"It means to not be polite. When you're polite, it makes the people around you happy."

"Oh, well then, Mommy, I was being polite because it made LOTS of people happy!!!"

"I was not referring to the other five-year old boys, son."


Needless to say, I dropped my son off the next day with a more humble demeanor and a quiet "thank you" for what the teachers of the Kindergarten class go through for three hours each day.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Yeehaw! I'm back.

From where?

Oh, somewhere out on the range...

...corraling a bunch of ten year olds through the perimeters of Saddle Ridge Ranch.

For those of you who may think I might actually be on some exciting vacation to the western frontier, I must tell you that my life isn't near that adventurous.

But I DID just finish guiding a group of 5th graders through a week of VBS (Vacation Bible School) at my church, where the theme ("Saddle Ridge Ranch") was along the cowboy, lasso, covered wagon genre.

I'm exhausted from all this western week, but in that really good exhausted way.

I have so many stories to share, but if you have ever participated in a VBS before, you know that it takes about all your energy to stay upright in your spare time. So, the stories will come next week.

But for now, I just want you to know that the angels are having a big old heavenly hoedown right now because I got to know a boy this week who asked Jesus to be in charge of his life today!


I'll leave you with that for now...

Happy Trails 'til next week!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Just When You Think You Have It All Together

I'm a good planner. I'm not a tidy or organized person, but I have good plans and great intentions.

So, when I embarked for the airport yesterday, I had a great plan in place for flying solo with two small children.

By foregoing checked baggage and carrying on all our luggage, I saved quite a bit on airfare. By choosing seats in the back of the plane, I saved even more money on our tickets. By arriving late to the airport, we were able to practically walk right onto the plane without having to wait and answer the "When are we going?" question 50 times from my five-year-old. And by charging up his DVD player and packing 17 movies, I ensured a quiet, fun-filled flight for at least one of my children.

One logistical maneuver was conspicuously missing from my amazing plan, however. That is, I never determind how I was going to get my two small children and four pieces of carry-on luggage to the very back of the plane at the end of boarding when everyone else was already seated in a sold-out flight and the aisles were no wider than the hips my baby girl was perched on. Hmmm....

We boarded the plane and greeted the first flight attendant before I realized my oversight. Staring out at a sea of sleepy, grumpy passengers crammed into the aircraft, I took a deep breath and slung my suitcase around to my back, hoisted Miss M and the diaper bag high up onto my left hip, and grabbed Drew's rolling suitcase in my right hand and held it out directly in front of me. I plastered a smile on my face, and began simultaneously giving out instructions and apologies:

OK, Drew, all the way to the back of the plane!
Keep going, Buddy! To Aisle 27!
So sorry, Sir.
Pardon me, Ma'am.
Did that bag just hit you.
Watch your hands.
I'm fine, thanks!
Keep going, Drew. We aren't even close.
Oops... I'm sorry.
Thank you, yes, just be careful.
Coming through.
Pardon me, excuse me.
So sorry.
Nope, buddy, that's aisle 10. Keep walking straight back.
Are you ok?
If I hit anyone else, I apologize ahead of time!
Yeah, if I could just squeeze by... yes, she's just 7 months. Thank you!
Yes, Drew, that's Aisle 20, we're almost there.
Excuse me, Sir. Did I get you with my diaper bag? So sorry!
Oops, I'm so sorry!
Almost there....
Ok, Aisle 27! That's us. Sit down, buddy. I'll be back. Just need to find somewhere to put our overhead bags.
Excuse me, Ms. Flight Attendant, could you assist me in... oh you CAN? Great!
I'd love help with the bags.... oh, the baby. Sure, you can hold her. I'll just go find some space for these bags.
No I'm not traveling alone. I have another child as well. He's in his seat already.
Oh, you meant another adult. Nope.
I'm FINE, though! Just going to hoist this bag here...
Oh gosh... I'm so sorry! Are you ok?
If I could just squeeze through and put, arrrrgh, this, there!
Her name's Megan. Um, could you help me find space for this bag?
I know... yes, she's had that much hair since she was born. Thank you.
Ok, I think that does it.
I'll take her now. Thank you for all your help.
Hi, Buddy. You doing ok? I know, I'm sorry it took so long.
I'm sorry I'm sweaty.
Would you like to watch a DVD?
Oh... you don't like the headphones.

You know what they say, though.
The best laid plans of mice and men...
are useless when you fly!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please Direct Your Attention to the Center Ring...


He floats through the air with the greatest of ease...


This daring young man in the warm summer breeze.

His actions are graceful. All girls he does please...


And my heart he has stolen away!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Master

We have known for a while that our Drew has a knack for negotiating.
A penchant for persuading.
He's a master manipulator, I mean mediator.

A stunning amount of my time is spent reminding him just who is in charge around this house.
One time, our "Mom's in charge" conversation went something like this:

"Andrew! Who is in charge?"
(sigh) "You are..."
"And Who put me in charge?"
"God did."
"Right. Did you know that the Bible says..."
".. I know, I know... Chapter 23"
"Go to your room."

And although my reminders are constant, I sometimes wonder who really is in charge around here.

The other night, we had the best time chatting with our family in Alabama via a video webcam. Our family crowded around the screen of our computer, while modern technology beamed aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and at least one dog within what seemed to be physical reach.

Drew loved seeing everyone (and had a pretty good time seeing himself on the computer screen as well). But towards the end of our conversation, a very real sadness/lonliness just descended upon his little countenance. Everyone on the other side of the screen saw what I was seeing on my lap. His little shoulders hunched over, he turned his face from the camera and he buried his head in my hair. I felt tiny hot tears hit my skin, and we all began to ask him, "What's wrong!?!"

Apparently, it was just too much of a good thing... too far away, and he had to leave the room to compose himself. I ended the video call, and found my son still crying in his room when I walked in.

He sobbed, "I miss them so much!"
"I know, buddy... we'll go see them soon!"
"I don't know. I need to look at my calendar, and grandpa's work calendar. We'll find a time."
"Let's look at the calendar now. I want to go see my grandparents. I want to see my cousins."
"OK, we'll look at the calendar in the morning. We'll go as soon as possible, I promise."
"You will? We can?"
A hopeful smile replaced the crying, and he wiped away the tears.
"So, mom..."
"Yes, honey?"
And without missing a beat, the quiver still lingering in his pitiful voice, he said, "But I sure don't want to drive 10 hours to see them... I really think we should fly!"

I wish I could tell you that I laughed off the suggestion.
But alas, I found an amazing sale on airfare and we are boarding a plane one week from tomorrow.
For six days of summer fun with family.
He asked if we could make it ten days, but honestly, who does he think is in charge around here?