We now have 9:00 church – which means Saturday becomes the only lazy morning of the week; but I am enjoying all of the post-church hours to fit in more of the Sunday types of things I like to do.
A highlight of our week seems to be after-church snacks (and it’s loss is felt during the once-monthly forsaking of that ritual on the Sunday when we fast). In anticipation of this, I try to grab something a little extra fun when picking up groceries on Saturday. Chips and dip, crackers and cheese, caramel and apples. There’s no official afternoon lunch, but everyone loves being in the kitchen together – eating whatever fun snacks I may have purchased, or rummaging about for whatever is closest to “fun” in the cupboards. Yesterday the only “fun” thing were some Capri Suns I’d forgotten we had in our pantry – along with a few leftover potato chips. But a few of us made hot chocolate, and Abe made himself ramen noodles, and I mixed up a little batch of edible cookie dough (after jokingly berating everyone who had already eaten a good portion of the chocolate chips – all at Mike’s lead).
After that, I took Abe for a drive . . . with him driving. Other than a time or two in a parking lot, etc. this was only his second time really in control of the wheel (I let him drive part of the way home after we picked up pizza earlier in the week). It’s a bit more nerve-wracking than I would have guessed. (Especially since the poor boy has to learn in such large vehicles! We have nothing compact at all right now). But the two of us drove seven or eight miles – a loop I sometimes run, followed by a drive past two of his friends’ houses and the elementary school (which meant he drove home through the round-about).
When we got back, Goldie had been teaching the younger kids how to make “ralphs” out of tinkertoys and they were eager to show me how they could balance them on their fingertips. I put Mette for a nap and then played Canadian Dice with the older four. Much like my own dad, Mike doesn’t adore playing games, but having kids old enough to play games that I actually enjoy has been bringing some of my old favorites to mind. Canadian Dice is one I haven’t played since college, but which I remembered having great fun with when my brother John first taught it to us. The kids have been playing it fairly regularly since I showed them how last week. And Mike resting or reading on the couch nearby – just like my dad would have been – makes it feel strangely like I am recreating a bit of my own past and memories to eventually become . . . their past and memories
When Canadian Dice was finished, I fell asleep on the couch – with instructions to Daisy to wake me in 15 minutes so I could carry on with my plans.
Then Jesse and I went to his room to spend 30 minutes of time alone. I’ve been trying to find a smidgen of one-on-one time here and there with each of my kids. It was cute to see the things Jesse gathered for our little half hour. Spot-It. A Matching Game. (He was looking for, but failed to find, Uno.) He also brought the blue box of gospel art pictures in case we should feel we ought to do something a little more Sabathy.
When Jesse and I were done, I convinced the girls (after some resistance from Daisy – protesting over the cold) to walk down the street with me to take some pictures. I hadn’t used my new camera outside at all yet and while it wasn’t quite late enough for the most dreamy evening light, I wanted to give it a try. So the girls threw boots and coats on, and Daisy grabbed a flower wreathe she’d forgotten she’d made until finding it in a cupboard Saturday, and we walked half a block down the street to the empty field across from our stake president’s home. Daisy and Penny ran ahead. Goldie held my hand -- leading me along -- as I perused an email from a friend on my phone, and we joked that she was the mother – keeping me out of traffic, etc.
It was cold and my hands were numb within minutes, but we laughed and had fun.
Afterwards, they even willingly walked another block down the street with me for me to try to get a silhouette with just my cell phone (which has a wide enough view to make a five-foot hill look like a small mountain). It was too early for silhouettes, but I got a few fun – though far-too-low-quality-to-blow-up – shots.
I usually make a roast for Sunday dinner, but I hadn’t been to the store (thus the leftover bits of chips and capri suns scrounged up earlier in the day), so Mike made pancakes, bacon and eggs while I happily relaxed and looked through all our pictures. Afterwards, he even cleaned everything up while I got the little kids bathed and ready for bed. We finished with watching a family show and eating popcorn. It was an exceptionally happy Sunday for me.
Before it was all said and done, I commented to everyone, “This was such a great Sunday! All my plans worked. My first plan was to go driving with Abe. And that happened. My second plan was to play a game with you guys. And that happened. My third plan was time with Jesse. And my fourth plan was taking pictures. And they all happened!”
Mike couldn’t help but teasingly slip in: “If your first plan was driving with Abe, you shouldn’t have made any other plans.” Haha. Abe did very well. And it isn’t often that I’m able to fit in quite so many of the “good” things I want to in a day.