Saturday, July 30, 2016

Five Blankets

We have not seen my parents in a while so we planned a trip to see them on Friday, spend the night, and then return on Saturday to attend my nephews birthday party with the rest of the family.  We were so excited to return to Sidney, where my parents live, and where God is closest to Earth.  No Bette Midler, God is not watching us "from a distance,"  he dwells among us and he lives in Sidney.  It is so peaceful and serene there.  They live on a farm with fields and woods.  Mostly because we can get away from the busyness of life and be taken care of by my parents.  They love to love on us and our children when we are there.  My mom "home-makes" everything, cooks from scratch, and sugar flows like waterfalls with all the deserts and cookies available at all times.  You want cake at 7 am, sure why not? Grandma says its ok!  For example, for breakfast this morning I had toast with peanut butter, 2 cinnamon rolls and fruits loops cereal because unbeknownst to me, I was carbo-loading like I was about to run 3 marathons today.  No protein, no fruits and vegetables, no judgement.  Grandma's house is awesome!

As soon as we got there, Lindsey and I were very excited to sit down and catch up with my parents.  It is amazing how when you take away wifi and cable TV, how children now look to you for their entertainment.  I remember growing up and playing by myself for hours at a time and never bothering my parents.  My kids were at Grandma's house for 30 seconds before they turned to me and said "OK, what now?"  PLAY BY YOURSELF!  Doing something not involving me!  There are new toys here.  Go play in the woods.  Try to catch a squirrel.  Eat some bark.  Bail some hay.   Cut down a tree and build a log house.  I don't care, just go do something.

We finally got some time to catch up with my parents and then played a family game of Telestrations with the boys.  We discovered that Grandpa is terrible at drawing and guessing drawings as evidenced by the picture below.  He was trying to draw "puppies" but it turned into an alligator rat hybrid nursing their mutant offspring.

Zachary holding Grandpa's Alligator Rat drawing.
We also were able to 4 wheeler rides through the fields and woods on my parents land.  I took Nate, the 6 year old, on the first ride and he asked if we could go see the 3 crosses.  My parents have a campsite set up on their land with a shelter house and camp fire where we have family gatherings.  They also put up 3 large wooden crosses near the shelter house to symbolize the family's faith.  After seeing the 3 crosses for the first time, Nate was convinced and claimed that Jesus was crucified in Sidney because he has seen his cross.  Anyway, Nate asked to go see the crosses, so we drove the 4 wheeler down to the campsite and as we passed the 3 crosses, Nate put 2 fingers up in the peace sign and yelled "Word up, Jesus!!" It's always nice to give Jesus a shout out every once in a while.

We had a great time in Sidney and then went to the birthday party.  The whole Allen clan was there.  All 11 boys ages 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6, and 3.  It was pure craziness and you can probably understand.  There were so many cause and effect moments: balloons then popping balloons; toys then broken toys; a slack line then a cousin pulling another off the slack line knocking the wind out of him; cake and ice cream then sugar rushes; birthday candles then balloons thrown on top of birthday candles causing them to pop; water balloons then soaked shirts without a change of clothes.  Also the biggest thing at this party was Clash of Clans.  Some of the cousins play an iPad game as well as some of the uncles.  I showed my nephews my Clash of Clans base and from then on, they could not stop touching me and hanging on me to see my phone.  They kept asking question after question and kept getting closer and closer, until at one point I had 4-5 of them crawling on my back, both arms and practically over my head.  But this was toward the end of the evening where they had just spent 3 hours wrestling and running around in the mid-summer heat.  I finally dug myself out of the mess of bodies and found sweet freedom and fresh air stating to the family, "I feel like I was just covered in 5 sweaty blankets soaked in B.O."

All 11 cousins!  If only you could smell them!
Off to take a shower,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

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