Too Much Fun

The last couple of weeks have been an absolute whirlwind for me. After a week being away on the funnest mission trip ever, I arrived home to birthday parties and school starting and a pile of housework. I'm still trying to dig out of all of it, which is difficult since I'm so distracted by all this pregnancy back fat that I'm afraid will never leave. I know, I have issues.

I don't even know where to begin in describing the blessing of my mission trip to the beautiful state of Vermont. I wish I'd had a computer with me to capture it all as it happened, because now my feeble brain has forgotten so many details. Maybe that's best, though, since all of you may not have found the details as exciting as I did. One of the biggest blessings I experienced was just the perfect chemistry of our mission team. I think I mentioned previously that we ended up with a small team of just five women. I was a little bummed about that for a while, but, wouldn't you know, God knew what He was doing. Imagine that. We had a member in her 20's (my sister-in-law Emily), one in her 30's (that would be yours truly),

one in her 40's (the fabulous and energetic Mrs. Jackie), one in her 50's (my great mama),

and then we skipped a generation and had one in her 70's (the surprisingly spunky Ms. Pat).

We had all kinds of personalities and stages of life, but, in Christ, we bonded and worked together perfectly.

It turned out that the jobs we were sent to do were perfectly accomplished with five women...or four women and one good-for-very-little pregnant woman. Our main task was to cook dinner each night before Vacation Bible School for the kids, their parents, and the workers.

We also helped some during craft time, assisted with set-up and clean-up, volunteered a few hours in a local food bank, and gave the church we were there with a big cleaning and organizing. It was "woman's work," as they say. Really, though, it hardly seems like work when you're laughing your head off the whole time.

Our trip up to Vermont went very smoothly, which Emily pointed out many times. Naturally, that totally meant that our trip home would be more eventful. We all tried out raw sugar snap peas, which I discovered weren't so horrible that I couldn't eat them if I were stranded on an island where the only edible substance was sugar snap peas. Emily sat by some interesting and talkative people on the plane, but, fortunately, I got to sit by my mom. Once I said goodbye to the kids and Chris, I handled the whole missing them thing pretty well the rest of the week. I didn't even get too worried about dying in a plane crash. I was, however, disappointed to find that you don't even get a microscopic bag of honey roasted peanuts or the world's dryest pretzels on the plane anymore. In fact, on our first flight we didn't even have ice for our drinks. Other than that, we arrived in Barre, Vermont about midnight that night with no major problems or issues.

My first (and one of the few) disappointment came when we arrived at the Hollow Inn and Motel, which boasted "super-size rooms" on its sign because that was pretty much the only thing it could truthfully boast about. I would have to recommend that they remove the part of their sign which advertises an "extensive continental breakfast," unless they're comparing it to the breakfast buffet that would be served in a starving, remote part of Africa. For those of you who know me well, you know that I have serious issues with staying in hotels. Even when we stay at brand spanking new places which are part of reputable national chains, I do not enjoy staying away from home. I will have to say that, in all the traveling I've done, my mom and I could only recall two places I've stayed that were worse than this place, and both of those instances were decades ago. Let's just say the peeling paint on the door, the overwhelming smell of must that greeted us in our room, and dim, crooked light fixtures were not good signs. Some positives, though, were the good decorating tips Emily got for her new house (such as the iron and ironing board wall-hanging above the couch, which proved to be both functional and decorative) and the fact that our room did not smell of cigarette smoke and insecticide as did Jackie and Pat's. Our room connected to theirs by way of a very filthy porch complete with a broken railing. In the pleasantly cool evenings, you could sit out there and enjoy a nice view of the shirtless, beer-drinking men sitting below, enjoying their cigarettes. By God's grace (seriously), I did not find out until our last day about the roach that Ms. Pat had killed in her room on our first night there, whose dead carcass remained to greet them every morning, despite the fact that our rooms were supposedly cleaned everyday. And one tip for your next hotel stay: when you request a room with a kitchenette, you might want to specify that you want a stove that actually has knobs on it. Don't ever try to say I haven't suffered for the name of Christ.

I have lots more to share, but if I sit here for too long, my swollen feet and legs will likely explode. So, I'll take a break, let all the excitement of this post settle in with everyone, and return later for the second installment. I hope you can contain your excitement until then.


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