My best moment(s): (cause I have two!)
1. Playing hide-and-seek with the kids outside after school! Clay was "it" first, and I hid Ethan under the deck table's umbrella. It was down, so I stood him up on the table, and put him under the big flaps of fabric! (can I just say that it was a great hiding spot?) I hid in the pool's big toy box, and Mary Claire wouldn't get in there with me. I'm sure she was afraid of bugs or something (which did occur to me after I laid there in the dark for a few minutes!). Ethan ran over and got in with me, then Clay found us. When I ran around and around the house, I could NOT find Clay and Ethan. Finally, I was ready to give up..and I walked by the garage and found their bobbing heads inside the van! When it was Clay's turn again, I hid with the other two up under our Leyland Cypress trees-there was a huge section up under the branches between trees! But we had to sit in our rubber mulch, and we got it in our shoes, and there were little tree pieces all over us and our hair!
2. Packing Snack Bags! This evening while Clay was at boy scouts earning his Webelos badge/patch (*YaY, Clay!!*), I took Mary Claire and Ethan to Rogers to the Samaritan Community Center (SCC) to pack snack bags. They provide kids in Northwest Arkansas with a small bag of food to eat over the weekend. We have a pretty high rate of free and reduced-lunch in our area, so they eat two meals a day during the week, but sometimes don't have much to eat on their days home. They get them on Fridays (they take their backpacks to the office and get a discreet bag put in there) to take home. I knew about the service, but I'd never helped.
One of the groups I'm a fan of on FB is the SCC, and they emailed that they needed help tonight (they were actually 15-20 people short!). We went and started by opening boxes of Sunbelt fruit bars, and pouring them into huge tubs. Other people were opening other cases of fruit snacks, juice cases, Ramen noodles, etc. When we had two rows of tables with tubs full of snacks, half of the people grabbed Wal-Mart bags and started filling and the other half continued to fill tubs with snacks. We were in the Filling Snacks group. It was a fast-paced business! Mary Claire and Ethan really did work hard opening boxes, and I was almost running to fill all the tubs. As soon as you'd get the fruit snack tubs filled, you were filling noodles, then juices, then animal crackers, the time just flew!
I could see that it'd be really fun if you knew lots of people, but it still went extremely well. I felt like I knew everyone by the time we left anyway! I knew which guys to ask to refill pudding tubs since I couldn't even lift those huge, heavy things! There were three kids up in the "pantry" on the shelves getting the boxes of food (Mary Claire ended up there!), and they'd open them, then shove them to the edges for those of us running. I was so impressed with all those kids working-their work ethic was amazing! They were right on task, and when you'd come through the door telling them what you needed, they'd cut and shove it! : ) We had a great night.
I told them to never mention the bags of food to the kids at school. I want them to serve others, but I never want it to be an issue with those kids. : ) We are no better than them, and we are all needy in different areas of our lives. God blesses us all unequally and for good reason. We'd never learn compassion if we never gave...or learned to receive. : )
My friend and I had a similar conversation yesterday-she said she thought in Heaven we'd all look the same. I kinda thought God made us different on Earth on purpose so we'd learn tolerance and compassion. If we all looked the same, we'd miss out on some valuable lessons. (although maybe then we'd discriminate based on hair or eye color..oh, wait..we've already done that. : P)
I'm so glad we got our "hands dirty" as Tiffany said today. She wished she could get her hands dirty in service with us, but..she has a new baby. (and three other kids too!) I think I felt the same way when my kids were younger. It's great to be able to pick up and go, and even have the kids help. I was glad to see the up-side of having older kids. Sometimes it goes right over my head.
Can I say just say thank you to these companies for giving food? : )
Kellogg's Zoo Animal Crackers and Fruit Snacks
Little Debbie Marshmallow Treats
Maruchan Ramen Noodles
Austin Cheese Crackers
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:13-14