Friday, July 29, 2011

Amazing Interns

Our church's Children's Ministry hires interns to help out with the plethora of activities that go on throughout every summer. It's a help to the staff, but it is also great fun for the kids. My kids, for the last two years, have LOVED the interns that have been a part of Mayfair's summers. This year was especially fun because most of the interns have been around for at least one previous summer so the kids already knew them.
About 2 weeks before Lawson and Jordan were supposed to leave to spend a couple weeks in Oklahoma, I overheard them inviting each of the interns to an event at our house. I had not ever heard about this event--they made it up and took it upon themselves to plan all the details and invite the guests--the interns.
They caught each intern as they walked through the auditorium, and each time they explained the event it grew even bigger! So here's the rundown:
It was going to be a party
and they were going to watch
of the Land Before Time movies
and have dinner together.
And it wasn't going to be
just a party...
but rather a sleepover.
The boys could sleep on Lawson's bunk beds
and the girls could sleep in Jordan's room.
And if we needed more room
they could sleep on the couch and the ottoman.
THEN, in the morning,
they would get to eat breakfast
in the Living Room.
My kids were for real about this, and came home asking about when they could have it and we needed to make invitations and cards and draw maps so they could find our house. It was going to be a big to-do!
Too bad they were already scheduled to go to OK, so I had to tell them we wouldn't have time to have this party and they would have to tell the interns goodbye b/c they might not still be here when they got home... It was pretty sad. :(
Allllllll that to say that one day while they were gone, Jon and I went up to the church building to get some stuff done and a couple of the interns came up to me and asked if the kids could come up to the church one day for lunch after they came home--the interns wanted to throw them a surprise party since my kids didn't get to have the party they had planned!! Pretty sweet, huh!?
I ended up bringing them this past Wednesday to a party from the interns! They knew they were having a surprise but they had NO IDEA what it was. We showed up to a "Welcome to the PARTY!!" sign hanging in the doorway and a red and white checkered tablecloth spread in the floor. On said tablecloth, they had set out a full Chick-fil-A lunch. From there, I left my kids who were already involved in full conversation with six college kids! When I came back to retrieve my kids, they were playing video games, watching each other sing-a-long and raiding the prize bucket.
They had a great time and felt so special that the interns had planned a special party just for them. I'm sure it's a day that won't be forgotten in the forseeable future. As a Mommy, it made my heart so happy to see these cool college kids go to such lengths to make my kiddos feel special. I'm so thankful for the relationship that the interns form with all of the kids at church, but I'm also grateful to be able to witness they way they have connected with Lawson and Jordan!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I’ve had a weird few days. A few weeks ago Jon’s mom called and asked if my big kids could come over to Oklahoma for a couple weeks. They’ve never been away from us for that long. In fact, I’ve never really been home for more than a couple days without them here because the other times they’ve gone to OK without us was when Jon and I were on Honduras trips. At first I didn’t think I could handle them being gone two weeks, but the more I thought about it I realized that it would probably be very good for them and for me.

During the end of my pregnancy and since Tobin was born, I’ve really struggled with my inability to do as much with the big kids. They’ve done GREAT, actually, by playing together. They’ve spent a lot of time playing outside, jumping on the trampoline, swinging and riding bikes. They’ve played inside in each other’s rooms with their toys, drawing pictures and doing crafts. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to be damaged because I’ve had a lot going on, but I have been struggling with some guilt about how much they’ve had to play ‘on their own’. I figured spending time with Papa, Nana and their cousins would be different and fun for them. It has been—when I talk to them they tell me about how much fun they’ve been having and I’m glad for them.

Here in Huntsville, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much quieter my days are with just a baby around the house. He’s still on a 3-hour schedule, so I’m definitely not just sitting round doing nothing, but it’s just been so much calmer. A newborn is just so flexible. They’re easy to tote around, pretty much anywhere.
Since the kids have been gone, Jon and I have had so much fun together. Even with Tobin around, it still seems like it’s “the old ‘us’”, the college kids who got married almost 10 years ago. In my mind, we’re still that young, but one look at reality screams that things have changed. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s hard to stop and remember how much fun those college kids had. Between work schedules, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, and everything else that goes into keeping a family running, sometimes it’s hard to find time to just be together and have fun.

We’ve seen a couple movies at the dollar theater and gone out to eat. We’ve gone shopping, rented a movie and ordered carry-out. We test drove a car that we’re probably going to buy. We’ve talked about the plans for the not-so-far-away future. We’ve cleaned out our closets and we’ve packed lots of boxes. Our friends even kept the baby one night and we went out ALL alone! And I have enjoyed every second of it!

I always hear older, wiser people say that one danger of raising kids is to become so wrapped up in the kids that you grow apart as a couple. Then one day, when the kids are gone, two strangers are left behind. I don’t feel like that’s happening, but it’s always something that sticks in the back of my mind as we sometimes trudge along day-to-day. That’s why this past week has been so great for me. It’s refreshing to be assured of how much I not only love my sweet husband, but I really, really like him and I love hanging out with him. He’s so much fun and we laugh so much together.

Times like this, when we get to just be together, are fun because it’s like the old days for us. Except it’s better because we’ve come this far…together. Our history makes us stronger. And I can’t wait for our future!