Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ministry Weekend

When I was a kid, nearly all of our family vacations coincided with a ministry event for my mom. Either that or a fishing trip for my dad. This weekend Curtis had plans to speak at an event for college students on Galveston Island and I seized the opportunity to get out of town with the kids. We've done this before (usually at camps) with less than ideal results, but Jackson and Annabeth are at great ages right now and this was only going to be for 24 hours. So we packed our bags and made our way out of town as soon as Jackson got home from school.

The conference was at the Hilton on the Sea Wall. We checked into our room and then the kids and I said goodbye to Curtis and headed off to dinner. I didn't tell the kids where we were going in case there was a line snaking out the door. We walked less than a block away to the Rainforest Cafe. When they looked up and saw the huge volcano-looking building with a robotic crocodile in front, they got so excited. I can't tell you how fun it was to see their amazement at this very over-the-top restaurant. We sat close to the elephants and Annabeth couldn't take her eyes off of them. During one of the simulated thunder storms she hid underneath the table. I told the kids that I had been in such a thunderstorm when I was on a boat in the Amazon river and it was super scary. I really wanted to cry but sweet Patricia kept talking to me so I would stay calm. Bless her. This is what it looked like before the storm was right on top of us.

photo by Keely Scott

Compassion Bloggers visit Ecuador


We had lava pudding for dessert, which was chocolate pudding with Oreo crumbs that looked like dirt. There were gummy worms on top of it, of course. That also reminded me of the Amazon. Annabeth did great until a person wearing a tree frog costume came to visit us. She dove back under the table until he was gone.

On the way back from dinner, Jackson and I shared an incredibly special moment when he said, "Guess what, Mommy? I'm not afraid of brains anymore!"

*Crickets chirping*

After dinner we got ready for bed and rented "The Secret World of Arriety," which is about tiny people who live in the walls of houses. Jackson was scared of being in his own bed (I'm not sure why this fear is hitting him all of a sudden) so all three of us snuggled in a double bed during the movie. Annabeth played beauty shop with my hair, which nearly put me to sleep. It took Jackson 30 seconds to pass out once the lights were off, but somehow my daughter was revived. She snuck out of bed and made mischief all around the room until about 10:30. And when she did fall asleep...she snored. Like, loud. And then, at 2 AM, I was awakened by a panicked little voice saying, "Mommy! I tee-teed the bed!"

Have you ever slept in a double bed that has been christened by a pee-soaked three-year-old? I really hope you have not. Why? WHY didn't I sleep with Jackson instead? I put some towels under her, changed her clothes, threw off the comforter, and got another blanket out of the closet. Eventually we fell back asleep but it was a rough night with more snoring.

The Jones family really needed a good breakfast to redeem the sorry night's sleep, so we walked over to IHOP, which had a 25 minute wait. Um, no. A kind woman (who I'd kind of definitely raced to the hostess stand) saw us leaving and suggested we go to the Sunflower Cafe. I felt so ashamed! She heaped burning coals on my head. The Sunflower was excellent. I know everyone in the restaurant was especially blessed when Annabeth started yelling, "I'm not a human being!" at the top of her lungs. This, of course, was after Curtis told her to chill out and act like a human being.

Before long we were carrying our chairs, sand toys, and boogie board over the Sea Wall. We found hundreds of tiny bean clams all over the shore. The kids loved watching them dig into the sand. I'm an accomplished hermit crab hunter but I had zero success today. The waves, however, were looking mighty fine and Jackson and I took turns riding them to shore on the boogie board. There were about 10 people trying to surf in that area today, which is kind of weird for Galveston. Anyway, there was no bad smell, no seaweed, no jellyfish, and the water was the perfect temperature. It was a great day to be there.

Soon Curtis had another session to teach, so we went back to the hotel to play in the pool. Bless his heart, Jackson wanted to sit at the bar and order a smoothie. He and Annabeth got to play with some other kids who were also on a mini ministry vacay. Their preferred activity was to sit in the hot tub, which made all of them miraculously calm and still. It was truly amazing and preferable to Annabeth doing her weird donkey kick move (that she thinks is ballet) around the pool deck.

And now I've used up all my words. So here are some pictures.







27 comments:

bethany said...

Storey says that she's not a "people," she's a kid. So I guess AB is not the only one who is slightly confused. I love your writing, Amanda. Seriously. It makes me laugh every time.

Mark & Melissa said...

Hilariousness.

Antique Love said...

ROTFL! That was so funny! :)

Mica said...

I love when you post! You are hillarious! Those are two precious children and they are full of life! Thanks for sharing with us your family memories. Good times!

glorygirl said...

Thanks for sharing the highlights of your trip with us! I love that picture of Jackson in the sand! And, as always, I love that you are just so real about the pleasures and blessings (and frustrations) of being a mom. Your words make me laugh, smile, wince and feel grateful for the privilege of being a mom. Thanks for writing like you do :)

denimdevotion said...

"Weird donkey kick move."

LOL!

This Is The Day said...

I love how candid you are about your Mommy adventures. It's so easy to relate to your stories! We always go "vacationing" when my husband has business trips so I know exactly what you are talking about.

Your kiddos are too adorable! Love the missing teeth on Jackson and Annabeth is too cute!!!

Blessing of Adoption welcomes you said...

Totally laughing :) Thank you for sharing! Totally random question- Where did you get AB Swim suit? It is so cute!
Steph

Amanda said...

Steph, we got that at Target. I love their suits!

Blessing of Adoption welcomes you said...

Thank you :)

Kelli said...

So fun! My 16 month old (Anabelle) has the same swimming suit as Annabeth. Soak up every moment- even the sleepless nights! (and yes, I've sadly had the privilege of sharing a bed with a pee soaked 3 year old!:)

Melissa F. said...

U had me at " wild donkey kick"....hilarious! My I suggest you consider writing more than on this blog? You have a gift...impersonally am left in stitches or tears afterwards...good tears :)
Take care!
~ Melissa

laughingatthedaystocome said...

I love it! My dad was a pastor so we would go with him and my mom almost every year for our denomination's pastors conference. It was a week of fun times running loose in a swanky hotel. Such good memories! And made me a little obsessed with staying at hotels! I try to get my husband to take me and the kids out of town as often as possible for little weekend getaways. Your kids will have such wonderful memories even though it is torture for you sometimes. We still haven't perfected the getting the kids to fall asleep at a reasonable hour when we're all crammed into a hotel room, but there is hope!

Traci said...

So funny!!

I don't know if AB snores every night, but when my little girl started snoring, my mother-in-law insisted I take her to the doctor to see if her tonsils were the problem. I blew her off for almost a year and when I finally took her the doctor said, "Oh my, your child's tonsils are almost touching...they need to come out!!" Chalk that up to another "bad mom" experience :-)

DeniseClaire said...

I think I might have choked on my food from laughing if I'd been in the restaurant "when Annabeth started yelling, "I'm not a human being!" at the top of her lungs." I miss the days when my boys would say those funny things.

I wish I could be in Galveston right now. I have fond memories of going there when I was growing up and always try to make it there when I'm in Houston.

Missy at Its Almost Naptime said...

I took all four kids to Galveston this summer by myself and stayed in a hotel.

I don't even want to talk about it.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

True story: I used to take the Starlite college girls on retreats and we would eat at the Rainforest Cafe. Every time I ate there, no matter what I ordered, I got very, very sick. Like, for 24 hours. But year after year, I kept trying to eat there with Starlite girls, friends, family, whoever, until I had to finally accept that there must be something in the air there or on the plates (?) that I'm allergic to even though I LOVE the restaurant.

malbsure said...

Nice writing. Life with young kids is certainly never dull. What exactly did you mean about the woman heaping hot coals on your head. I am not familiar with that reference.

Thank you.

From the Bumpy Road said...

Hi Amanda! I attended the panel you were on at dotMom this past weekend. I can't stop thinking about how you responded to one of the moms in attendance by stopping the conversation and having us all pray for her. Thank you for doing that. As moms, I feel like we sometimes sit around in groups and wring our hands over difficult problems, offering solutions we've heard about or read about. I know I'm guilty of this. It was so refreshing to see you turn to prayer first. I was really impacted by that and I just wanted to let you know. Thanks!

Chris said...

I so enjoy reading your blog. Your kids are so precious and I love to read about your family's adventures. I am glad you had a great trip. I love Annabeth's haircut.

Melissa said...

I love the I'm not afraid of brains anymore comment!!! Too cute.

xoxo,
Melissa

Kena Clark said...

Thanks you for sharing with us. Yes, I have been in that same bed! Made me feel normal when you shared that. My daughter USED to snore so loud that she would wake me up and I was down the hall from her. Took her to the ENT specialists and he said this child has the biggest tonsils I have ever seen! Got them taken out and she is so silent now.

katiegfromtennessee said...

Fun times Amanda:) Your stories make me smile, love your heart about the nightime tinkles in the bed, I'm feeling for you.

morgan said...

what a beautiful blog! new here, glad to be following along. looking forward to future posts!

Holly said...

Just thinking about you today...praying for you, Mama. The Lord has kept you before me the past couple of days. So I have been praying. Much Love, Holly

Stacey Emmott said...

Oh how this makes my me laugh and brings tears to my eyes. I love your writing Amanda. I am 49 and my 2 girls are 18 and 19. This story takes me back to my mothering years. Sounds like you are doing a great job of enjoying the "now" days. It's exhausting work but continue to cherish them the days are over so fast. I spent many a night in a "tee teed" bed. Made me laugh so hard.

Stephanie said...

are you not blogging anymore?