VBS, a Beach and 2 Birds

A week of firsts for this family…and some shocking revelations because of them.

The kids attended their first Vacation Bible School. It was plain ole awesome with songs like “Nothing But the Blood” and a series of skits that presented the Gospel. The week of VBS made me realize a few things. There is no way I am capable of sending the kids to public school right now. Literally, I can’t do it. We were supposed to be in the van ready to leave almost 2 hours from the time I let them out of their rooms. Yes, they are caged animals. However, there was no time for memory work at breakfast or snuggling up to read between lunch and naps. We barely had time for the essentials: eating, getting dressed, brushing teeth, and cleaning up to my specifications, which includes sweeping all non-carpeted areas after breakfast. I have a problem, I know. I would seek help, but this is me with help from more than one professional.

Another thing I didn’t have time for was just seeing the kids. Crazy, I know. But I missed them. Not a lot. Gosh, no! But, yes, missed them. I mean, they spend 98% of their waking time with me. And, somehow being rushed through the morning meant we were rushed through the evening. Instead of having the entire morning to vie for my attention, they were left with those few moments from nap to dinner and dinner to bedtime.

VBS for them was supposed to mean glorious free time for me. Oh, and the learning about Jesus part. Yes, let’s not forget about that. But, I was looking forward to two and a half hours a day of nearly guilt-free freedom for 4 days. Keith called it my half-days off. Someone, slap him. Please. However, real life full of its responsibilities stomped all over my plans, and I spent that coveted free time getting groceries, taking the van to get fixed, and getting a rental.

I want to spend time with my kids, but I desperately need the occasional stretch of time for just me. Free time that does not entail grocery getting, meal planning, cooking, cleaning, laundrying, etc. Is that so selfish? Yes? Well, I still want it.

It comes down to the fact that the stage I’m in is just a season. A very short one. I have to keep telling myself that. I’m going to be dreaming about these days gone for much longer than the actual struggles of them are lasting. I count myself as one of the lucky gals who gets to stay home with her animals…um, I mean children.

Another first for the kids was a boat ride with two of their favorite men: Daddy and Mr. Chris. During this lake trip, two things occurred to me. 1) Our kids are going to miss our friends as much as we are. I’ll say no more on that sadness because I’m sure Megan is crying at the mere mention of it. 2) It doesn’t take anything fancy to entertain kids. A boat with maximum capacity of 2-3 adults on a lake that is technically a pond with a somewhat grassy beach not more than a hundred feet wide. But…it was awesome! And, I finally got some of that free time I’d been longing for.

A first for me, but not something I’m looking forward to making a habit of was deboning 2 whole chickens. Thanks to my farming, homeschooling, amazing friend Keri for that inspiration. Not just removing the meat either. I separated those dead birds into 3 piles: the edible meat (although not all of it looked edible…yuck), the bones, and the rest of the carcass, which included skin, fat, white pieces that were hard enough to be bones but not quite the right bone color plus a disgusting bag of who knows what that basically slid out of each bird’s crotch as I yanked on its flimsy leg. If you are about to vomit over this revolting image, you are not alone.

Who am I kidding? I have to admit that I did it all through thick rubber gloves…my saving grace on most days. Still, what has become of me? I use tongs to transfer the already processed “boneless, skinless chicken breast” from the bag to the pot for crying out loud! Oh, but, I finished the nasty deed by tossing those dry bones back into the pot and cooking them far beyond death to get that yummy, stinky, healthy, greasy, versatile stock. At first I thought it was a flop as it turned out gelatinous instead of liquid, but after using it all week it has been a space saver in the frig and is easy enough to dilute as I use it. And, meals have been easy breezy. Finally, something that’s easy. Totally worth it.

I think I’m ready to take on a chicken in Ethiopia. No? Make that a dead chicken. Okay, not quite yet. But I’m getting there.

Here's a handful of pictures to tide you over since I'm not getting on here too often.

Keith and I went to Hilton Head for a long weekend thanks to some of our best friends who invited us to their house there and other best friends who kept all 3 kids for us.
The kids couldn't understand why I wasn't excited about my birthday. It's just going to get more depressing. But, Keith ordered a cookie cake with what else but an angel.
When Keith gave piggy back rides one evening, they all jumped on at once.
Can you see everyone?
If Daddy can do it, Garrison thinks he can do it. Avery and Ivan slid right off when he stood up. Great effort though. And, very cute.
The boys awkwardly pose with our friend Jane. I missed their horse ride or you'd see those pictures here.
Avery rode the horse last with Mr. Tim, who said "she is a natural on a horse." When I asked her about it later, she wanted to make it very clear that she didn't like horses, just riding them.

The next post is supposed to be Part 2 of "The Story." Do you like how I said "supposed to be"?

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