Friday, May 05, 2006

26 Photos

Now we're talking! This is what I was waiting for. Jon Hall posted a BUNCH of photos of the Canyon Hills Road Trip to South Africa. Click here if you want to see 26 Photos. There are some really great pictures of Pangani where they are staying. It looks lovely there.

Last night was a banner night for the five of us. I had decided that I was too stressed, feeling like 5:00 to 8:00 in the evening was always crunch time. Therefore, I made us all these little checklists before I got home. The first thing on my list was "couch time with kids." It's amazing what 7 minutes just sitting there with my four kids did. Taken from "The Story of Us," a movie I've never seen, we played the game "high/low" which is just going around saying what the best part (high) and worst part (low) of our days were. I affirmed all my kids and just loved them. Then I passed out checklists to the kids. Max and Wes had things like "Make Your Lunch" and "Practice Guitar" or "Practice Piano" and I even included "Give Dad A Really Big Hug" on there. There were little boxes where they could check them off. Zoey had one too. I put vacuum the floor on hers because she loves to do it. She stocked the bathrooms with rolls of toliet paper and kepting saying, "Can I help some more?" It was really cute and and they all loved it. The boys even asked if we could have checklists tomorrow. Bottom line, we all worked in harmony and had a really nice dinner of barbequed chicken from the Crock-Pot, rice, and green beans. Kasey ate so many green beans! Post-dinner was really smooth, checking homework, showers, and reading books. We sang happy brithday to Chrisy minus the cake and watched her reading a book to the kids on video. The boys even had time to watch a few minutes of "Yellow Submarine" on DVD. When I heard the boys singing "All Together Now" I new I was a good parent: they like the Beatles! It felt really good to have three hours like that.

Tonight will be a challenge. I get off my after school tutoring program at 4:15. From there, I have to pick-up the boys from our neighbors and go get the girls from our friend Mo's house and then make it to the boys piano and guitar lessons by 5:15. Hanging out on the lawn at the conservatory for 30 minutes with Zoey and Kasey will be the highlight of this day. Good thing for that time too. From music, I have to take the girls to another couple's house for sitting tonight, probably get there around 6:00. I'll take the boys back to my house so a friend can watch them and I shoot over to the Hub (our church office) to work with Epicenter (our junior highers) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, pick-up the girls and then get everyone in their own beds by 10:00 pm. I hope. I notice that dinner's not mentioned in there anywhere. How do single parents do it? Hey, at least I won a Starbucks Card at work today though. Great timing! Now, if I just had the 5 minutes to stop at one.

Despite the hectic nature of it all, I am filled with much joy right now. Looking at Jon Hall's photos from South Africa just made me feel so good inside. Last night from about 8:30-11:00 I had three guys come over my house just to talk about spiritual issues and check-in with each other. It was the first real long, sit-down, adult interaction I've had since Chrisy left 8 days ago. Thinking about my wife, looking at my friends in Jon's photos with the smiling children in those photos, thinking about my children, the third-graders I taught today, the junior highers I'll hang with tonight, the leaders who serve beside me, the men who came over last night, my friend at work who gave me the idea of the "high/low" & the checklists, as well as all the people who are loving my children while Chrisy is gone makes me realize more than ever that people and investments in people are the only things that really matter here on earth. It makes me think about two of the verses we'll be discussing in Epicenter tonight, John 13:34-35: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." I really want to do that better. I want to get that down pat.

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