Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Night Stuff

It's finally here! The week my children wait for all summer long! The week the church custodian fears above all others. The week that makes creative juices flow in ways we mommies only dream of all the rest of the year.


Yes, Vacation Bible School is upon us again, and although we have known about it since May, we are swamped in a last-minute panic.

"How can we make a burning bush by tomorrow morning?"

"There aren't any red stickers anywhere in town for Pharoah's boils!"

"Can we stuff a whole team of kids under one table and pretend it's an Israelite house?"

Oh, it's always a great test of ingenuity and making-do. The early pioneers and settlers have nothing on me when it comes to creating stuff for VBS. Two years ago I made a "tribes of Israel" tent out of two stacks of chairs, a big brown tarp and some huge utility clips. A few saddle blankets on the floor and Presto! Just call me Rebekah. Last year it was "God's Big Backyard" and we had it all: tent, picnic table with checkered cloth and a blanket on the ground.

This year I'm at the Bible stories station. Hence the burning bush, boils (and other plagues) and Israelite house. Out of the five days I think Pharoah Day will be the most entertaining; the kids get to throw pretend dead fish and frogs at him, turn his drinking water to "blood" with kool-aid powder, and clip clothespin locusts to his clothes. Plus stick red boils all over him.

Anybody have any good VBS stories out there?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's Confession Time

Dear Lord,

Remember two years ago, when we had our last visit from "the family"? How I said that I would try harder next time to be patient and kind, gracious and loving and understanding? How I promised to see them as beloved children of yours, and not be cranky, and not lose my temper, and not second-guess the parenting skills of the grown-ups or the behavior, attitude, or questionable amounts of respect shown by the children? How I swore not to compare the way their children acted to the way mine do? How I told myself I would NOT encourage my sweet children to offer their cousins a poke in the chops if they didn't keep their blessed hands to themselves? How I promised, in general, to be a better aunt, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, and relative?

Well, I must have been lying. Bring on the lightning and put me out of my misery already...


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009


Today, we went for hay. It is a necessity but as so many "must-do's" are, is not so fun. For the hay to be ready (for after all it is just dried grass tied in bundles) it must be hot outside. Freakin' hot. Lay in the shade and pant like a dog hot. If we could just do it in winter I wouldn't mind doing it, but, there you go. Since it's an outdoor activity in the sun, you must wear lots of sunscreen. And then the little itchy bits of hay stick to you, and get in your bra, or your tank top, or whatever.

And forget the romantic ranch hand fantasy, ladies. There are no hunky young studs in cowboy hats and sun-bronzed bare torsos buckin' those hay bales. Just old fellas with farmer tans, butt cracks full of hayseeds and greasy John Deere caps rolling hay and yelling "Git your foot off the clutch before you burn it up, Lurlene!"

The kids love it. They ride the hay baler with the farmer, catch snakes and jump bales. S.P. thinks it's a good workout for his surf rescue work. And for me? Today I hoisted and stacked, and kept thinking to myself, "am I really going to this much trouble for that big so-and-so who dumped me on my can two days ago?"

Ah, sweet irony...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I wanted to have a fun fabulous post today, or maybe a great picture in honor of Wordless Wednesday. And if you've been here a time or two you know my favorite photo subjects are the kids. But I couldn't do it today. Especially not a kid picture.

See, right now in our little corner of Washington the big story is a missing child. Missing since Friday night from a small town, not much bigger than where we live. A ten-year-old girl who was just walking six blocks home from a friend's house. Probably done it lots of times before. Everyone is searching everywhere for her. Someone knows where she is.

Pony Girl went to her grandparents' house on Monday. They live down in town, small-town. Grandma called her to set the table and she didn't come. Grandma looked all through the house, outside, down the driveway. The girl was gone. Grandpa happened to look out the big window and there she was, riding her bike down the side road. When I sat her down to explain why she must never go outside without someone knowing where she was, and she needed to have someone with her whenever she was riding her bike, she didn't understand why. So we pulled up the story online and I watched her read it. Now, she understands. She's my age, Pony Girl said. What do you think will happen to her?

I didn't want to think about it. Thinking about it would be admitting that it could so easily have been my child, pulled off her bike while no one knew she had slipped out for a ride.

But as hard as it is to think about, we still have to talk about it, and keep talking about it, and try to keep her and Jones safe without being overprotective. That balance gets harder to maintain every time something bad happens "out there". I can protect their heads with helmets, their bodies with seatbelts and their health with vitamins and handwashing. How do I protect them against evil people?