Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Filling the Days

Pastormac and 2nd daughter, Rummy, are gone this week (They left Sunday right after church and will be back late Thursday evening.) Our denomination has a yearly pastors' conference each summer, every other year pastor's wives are invited as well. This was one of those years. But we decided that we wouldn't both try to go this year. When you have five kids, people don't exactly line up to volunteer to watch them while you go away for a few days. In light of that, we thought we would save calling in that kind of favor for when we really needed - like when we have to travel to Ethiopia for a week to pick up our new family additions.

All that to say, Pastormac and Rummy(much to her sister's chagrin) are off in Missouri, living it up at a lake resort. That leaves me at home with the other four: my oldest daughter Sweetanlo, and my three guys, #1 Son, Joe Cool and Shorty.

It's never been easy for me when Pastormac is away. My days are usually marked by when leaves and when he returns. When the return part doesn't happen, it makes for some very LLLlllllooooonnnnnnngggg days.

So today (Monday) we decided to get out of the house. Shorty has been asking and asking to go see the butterflies at the Butterfly Pavilion, located at the Aquarium and Botanical Gardens. He calls it the Butterfly Aquarium. Joe Cool calls it the Butterfly Museum. Whatever you decide to call it, it sounded like a good way to fill up an afternoon; so we packed everyone in the Red Roaster (our old van - the one without A/C) and headed over there. We got some lunch on the way (so I didn't have the sell one of the kids in order to be able to afford lunch while there) and were surrounded by butterflies by 1 o'clock. It was a fantastic afternoon from the first audible gasp from Shorty as he spotted his first butterfly on a flower at eye level.

We made two or three more circuits around the Butterfly Pavilion and then we went on to do all the normal stuff we do while visiting. We went to the Child's Area for a run through giant vegetables and a dig in the sand. Then we made our way over to the Aquarium where we admired all the ocean life, discovering along the way that Shorty DEFINITELY DOES NOT like lobsters. We wandered through the gardens and the greenhouses & watched as two beautiful swans swam over to us, inquiring about a snack. (Sadly our answer was no.) I knew that I needed to drop Sweetanlo off at a meeting later that evening and wouldn't be going home first, so we had the whole afternoon to enjoy ourselves. We didn't rush and the afternoon was surprisingly bicker-free. I even let the kids do some things that we almost never do. I let them walk around and look in every gift shop (unheard of!) and at the last one I even bought each of them something. (No!) When we needed a rest, we relaxed at a table in the courtyard and I bought Dippin’ Dots for us all to share. (Rare!) Wish you could have seen Shorty's face as he tried the Dippin' Dots - a mixture of pain & distaste (too cold, I suppose) all the while saying how yummy it was. The kids were all anxious to call Rummy and Pastormac and tell them what a big softy momma had been.

We stayed until 15 minutes shy of closing time and on the way home we got a nice surprise. We were invited to have dinner with my brother and my aunt at PF Changs! (Yay! I didn’t have to cook it or pay for it; and it was delicious.) We had a great dinner. The kids were well behaved; Joe Cool chatted with everyone including the waitress and #1 Son impressed his great-aunt with his chop sticks skills. (Impressed me too.)

And now the day is through and I only have three more days until Pastormac comes home to warm my heart and share the load. I think I’ll make it.

1 comment:

Pastormac said...

thanks for the update. It was good to read. I heard it on the phone from them of course, but it was good to read it in your own words.
I hadn't been able to yet with the internet issues. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun.

Missing you