Yesterday I enjoyed a gift of a day with my three youngest children. Caleb was given a free pass to Six Flags for reading at school and I thought it would be nice to take him, Seth, and Sarah while their older brothers and sister were away at camp.
As I sit here on my couch, cross legged, in my pajamas, I’m filled with gratitude for this lovely life, through Christ alone, that I am experiencing. Each day is a gift.
Yes, there are tough days, yes there are lots of things I could complain about, yes I do complain and resort to survival sarcasm (sarcasm makes me laugh)…..for example….
The other night the boys had football practice and both of them needed help at the same time with their cleats, I was down on the floor in front of Seth, working on a stiff knot, while Caleb was saying Mom…Mom…Mom….I need some help here….Mom….
He could totally SEE what I was doing! The frustration welled within me and I cried, “I’ll help you when I’m done with your brother! Do you boys think I have four arms??”
Then I laughed all the way out the door because Caleb said in all seriousness. “Mom. You already said that. Years ago.”
I laughed because I didn’t remember saying it, and I laughed because he remembered everything. He said I wanted four arms: “One to hold Sarah, one to hold Seth, one to hold your cup of coffee, and one to hold your book.”
On the way to Six Flags Caleb wanted to listen to music. We like 93.1 (mix) but if it’s a song Caleb doesn’t approve of he switches it to 106.9 (K-LOVE, christian radio). In all that switching, his favorite song came on, “Best day of my Life” by American Authors. We sang loud.
On the way to Six Flags we passed Planned Parenthood and in the joy of taking a day off with my children, I imagined the souls of babies going up to heaven, my heart wept, I honked the horn encouragingly at the peaceful protestors who are typically there- this time it was two old ladies–simply standing on the sidewalk outside the office. I said my own words to Jesus–I don’t want to say judgmental things, I don’t want to get upset or angry. I’m sad, sad that our beloved women come to place where they believe abortion is the answer to a hard situation. And when they are at their lowest, saddest times, their babies are being “harvested”. It’s just incredibly wrong, a sadness deep down in my heart that will not go away that drives me to Jesus. And I believe He is listening and answering.
On the way to Six Flags we stopped to say a quick hello to Aunt Amanda, who was looking sharp at work, who hugged her niece and nephews and talked with them. As we left, I told the children, “Your Aunt Amanda is so sweet to you, she loves you so much and is always happy to see you.” I want them to know, she is always there for them.
On the way to Six Flags (can you tell we were running a little early?) we stopped at Barnes and Nobles ONLY because *I wanted an iced Caramel Macchiato* and figured they could look at books as I ordered. It was fun. My kids are being raised on coffee that I drink, and books for all.
THEN we were on our way to the gates. 25 dollars to park! 161 for tickets!
At these prices we going to stay all day long to get our money’s worth.
First up was the Merry-Go-Round and Sarah with her pigtails.
She was wearing one earring backwards because for some reason one of the holes is constantly shutting…I couldn’t get the earring in but from the back. I switched it around later (when she was getting dressed and her shirt pulled her earring out of her ear). If I could go back in time, I would never have gotten her ears pierced until she was much older, like I did with Grace.
By the way, selfie sticks are not allowed at Six Flags. I don’t have one, but thought the rule was interesting. So you can see my arm holding out the phone in my sunglasses. 😉
Caleb went on the bigger rides with Seth, who was mainly too small to go on them unless he was with an adult. It was a little hard to let them go off, just the two of them, these are my youngest children and in my mind not old enough. But they are. And they did great.
This is my favorite picture of the day. The two of them returning from an exciting ride.
We did some swimming, too. They swim almost every day so we didn’t stay long. They wanted to ride on the rides!
Seth was exploding with crazy-JOY. He expends twice as much energy as we do, I swear. One time he was dancing and did a happy twirl as we walked along and fell down right on the pavement. He showed me later his small scrape on his knee. “It wasn’t funny, Mom.”
The rides were shut down twice for weather issues. There were dark clouds in the sky. This ride opened and rain fell for about 10 minutes. It was nice, actually, to have the park cleared out of some of the people who gave up and went home…..we stayed…getting our money’s worth, don’t you know.
She was taking me to Frances. (FRANCE!LOL) “Mom, is Frances another planet?”
“No, but it is another country.”
“I’m going to take you to Frances!”
I was lucky to take the picture in the split second that Seth looked normal!
I bought them each a necklace that had their name on it.
Adorable kids who have to check all day long to see if they are big enough.
Caleb is my #5 child and feels more comfortable as a younger sibling. But I have to say, and brag a little, that this boy of mine was a huge help to me all day long. He led the way for us, knew the layout of the park quite naturally, and kept an eye on Seth and Sarah. He took Seth along on the rides that Sarah could not go on….and did it all with a great attitude.
Caleb was even brave enough to go on several rides alone. Like the Thunderbolt! He truly did miss his old siblings, though, and saved some of the scariest rides to go on with them someday.
Toward the evening, Sarah began getting blisters and carrying her sandals, which is why they are on her arms in this “muscle” picture of my little superheroes. 🙂
By the way, Seth lost his shorts when he changed into his swimming trunks, they got left behind someplace. He wore his trunks the rest of the time.
I had to buy myself flip flops because my sneakers were soaked on the water-raft ride.
What’s kind of sad is he has no clue who these creatures are.
“A Bunny and a Skunk” is what he said when I asked him.
Sarah went on a few challenging, faster rides and I had to bribe her once. I hated to do it, but she was crying and saying “I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM” just as we were at the front of the line. And by that time I knew it was her coping mechanism and not true. She had already survived the ride once and wanted to go on it again, but just at the last second she panicked. I wasn’t going to let her. So I told her I would get her “a big lollipop” when it was over. She cried and had to go to the bathroom again at the Scrambler but we didn’t bribe her. We just said she would be fine and she was. She would cry until the ride started and then laugh the entire time. Silly Brave Sarah. She’s living life her way.
The boys rode the Pandemonium. “This is where I lost my hat last year” ~Caleb
My gentle-souled son.
Seth was leaping through this photo-attempt but we got it!
We left the park at 8:45 and headed home. My little kids have proved to me that they are strong— and capable of having an entire day of nonstop fun without melt downs from exhaustion! This is a milestone for my family.
I had to stop and get gas on the way home. It was 9:30 by the time we pulled in the driveway and as soon as I got out of the car I ran to the chicken coop using the flashlight on my phone. Thankfully, the chickens were all safe inside with no raccoons eating them, so I shut the windows and doors tightly and walked back to the house with two eggs in my pocket…..we had peanut butter sandwiches before bed, with promises of nice warm baths…tomorrow.
This morning I had a text message from my husband, telling me that our son David was saved at camp yesterday. “my heart gives grateful praise”
Today should be a quieter day. We’re going to have those baths, and watch a couple of movies.
Caleb is snuggling with the dog and I’m petting a rabbit. Seth is still asleep! And it’s after 8! Now I know what to do to make his sleep extra–take him to Six flags for the day!
Happy Wednesday, friends!