Sundays are always FULL days for us! But yesterday was a little bit extra special for a couple of reasons.
Our church hosted a great friends and family day. We called it Connections Celebration and enjoyed an absolutely perfect sabbath together. Lots of guests looking for a church to call home. Lots of fun for the kiddos with a huge bounce house. Lots of excellent hamburgers and hotdogs with all the sides. Lots of sunshine and cool breezes.
People lingered almost two hours after the service. Talking, laughing.......connecting! It made all the planning, meeting, phone calls, prayers, and extra effort well worth the investment.
One couple that came as guests were from England. They don't attend church, typically. Their time in the United States is almost over. But they heard a clear presentation of the Gospel and were greeted warmly by many people who were interested in their story.
Even if they never come back to GGC again, we know they will return to England having had a great experience with a healthy group of Christ followers.
We had several guests who came just for the meal after service. That was fine too. So many are searching for the Truth - it's our job to provide multiple entryways for discovering that Truth!
After everything was cleaned up; put away; vacuumed; properly dispersed, we headed home for a rest. A text altered our evening plans beautifully.
"Mom, would you and Dad be interested in watching the kids so John and I could go on a date?"
This request rarely comes our way, believe it or not. We answer YES as often as possible!
(Cue the music for the Lone Ranger aka 1812 Overture!)
We had already planned to meet friends for a quick bite to eat. But
they're the kind of friends who also think grandchildren are perfect.
"Of course!" I responded quickly. "Put them in their car seats and we'll bring our car to you."
On the way to get Abby and Spencer, Meagan called. "What are you and Mom doing tonight?"
"We're headed to Zaxby's to get some chicken. Do you and Nathan want to join us?"
We called our friends - for the third time - to say that our plans were changing yet again.
"No problem," they answered. We'll get a bigger table!"
Now, this all sounds idyllic. But when you're not used to being the one solely responsible for toddlers, that responsibility can get overwhelming pretty quickly! Our first few minutes went a little something like this.
"Poppa, you get Spencer out of his car seat and go on in to let them know we're here."
"How do you unhook this thing?!"
"I'm not sure. I'm having enough trouble with Abby's!"
"I'na eat, Noni!"
"Yes, baby. As soon as I figure out the car seat, we'll get something to eat."
"Spencer! Hold Poppa's hand in the parking lot."
"I'na eat, Noni!"
"I know, Abby. I'm trying."
"Where's your shoe? Did it fall off here in the backseat?"
"I'na eat, Noni!" (Starting to make little crying noises.)
"I know sweetheart! Noni's trying her hardest!!"
And that was just trying to get out of the car!
Needless to say, it felt like the cavalry had arrived when Aunt Meme and Uncle Nathan arrived. We ended up handing Noah off to the friends. (He was quite content.) Meagan took charge of Spencer while Nathan and I tag-teamed with Abby. Whew!
I can confidently report that we managed to get all hungry children fed. We did not lose any of them. (Well, as long as you don't count the few minutes Spencer spent hiding under the table.) We recovered one sparkly pink shoe that went missing. Kissed multiple booboos. We deciphered nearly all the unintelligible words that made perfect sense to the toddlers. And successfully managed to get them buckled back into the car seats for the ride home!
A few of my favorite lines from the evening:
"WOOK, Poppa! WOOK!' (Look in this direction; quickly!)
"I'na salwed!" (I want to eat some of your salad, Noni.)
Blech! (Sound a toddler makes as they spit the tomato they don't like back into your salad.)
"Sit wif' me." (I'm unaware that it takes great effort for you to get down on the floor, Poppa. I'm just inviting you in to my world.)
"I'na weed." (I want to sit snuggled on your lap while you read this book.)
One milli-second later you'll hear.......
"All dond!" (Finished! I didn't want to read the entire book!)
"I yove lou, Noni!" (Meaning: Noni will now surrender to you all her worldly goods!)
Ah, the wonders and joys that accompany a Sunday of Surprise!
(I'd love to hear about you favorite "toddler phrases" from children and grand children!)