*Yesterday was the last day of school and the first day of summer vacation.

*Today is the last day of summer and school starts tomorrow.

Did you notice anything about those two statements?

That’s right. There’s a span of time that’s missing between the two that is forever lost. Nothing there. Nothing between when school let out and when it starts again.

That’s what my summer feels like. It feels like summer just started yesterday and BAM! now it’s over. Just yesterday I was cleaning smelly socks and old food from the kids backpacks, and now I’m shopping for school supplies. Yuck.

Anyway, before I start sounding like Debbie Downer, I wanted to catch you up on what’s been going on, down Rohr Road.

This summer, as with every summer for the last ten years, my kids have been involved in summer missions projects. Caleb went to an inner city missions project in Kansas City and Cassady spent a week in Honduras. But, before they could go on their trips, they had raise their own money…all if it. I am proud to say that after multiple fundraisers, hours and hours of hard work, and some donations from dear friends and family members, both trips were paid in full at their time of departure.

Caleb’s trip to Kansas City lasted a week. When we went to pick him up, this is how I was greeted. wpid-IMG_20130812_114456.jpg

Cassady’s trip to Honduras was her first time being out of the country, and for this momma, it was a little unnerving knowing she was not within driving distance. After eight days of separation, we all gathered at the airport anxiously waiting for her arrival. Devin and I, my mom, Caleb, Kelsey and Michael. Who is Michael? Well…

This is Michael.wpid-IMG_20130812_114900.jpg

Did you notice the difference between Caleb’s welcome home picture and Cassady’s? It’s ok, he’s a pretty good guy 😉

After both missions trips had come to their successful conclusions, it was now time for momma’s missions trip. Our annual trek to Sweet Home Alabama!

The day before we left for the Deep South, Colton, our oldest son, his wife Megan, and Jaxon, who is still in her tummy, came for a visit before they start their new job in Marysville, Kansas. They just accepted the position as youth pastors. We are so very excited for them and their bright future!

While Colton and Megan were in town something special happened. Something that doesn’t happen very much any more. We were all together at one time, with no agenda or hoops to jump through. Just a lazy summer day with all of my kids under one roof. This momma was in hog heaven.

For entertainment, we had a little chicken time. Here’s Colton holding Big Sam and feeding him by hand. He’s such a good boy, So is Colton 😉wpid-IMG_20130812_123932.jpg

Here’s a snippet from, How To Hold A Chicken 101.

First you gently pet the chicken so she knows you won’t eat her for supper.wpid-IMG_20130812_124247.jpg

Then you carefully pass the chicken to the rookie chicken holder (in this case, it’s Michael) hoping the rookie doesn’t squeeze too hard.wpid-IMG_20130812_124045.jpg

Ahh, sweet success. At least it’s was for Michael, but from the look in that chickens eye, she may disagree.wpid-IMG_20130812_124141.jpg

Later that evening while I sat on the front porch swing cutting okra for dinner, I watched the kids as they threw the football in the front yard. wpid-IMG_20130812_111009.jpgwpid-IMG_20130812_111054.jpg

As I sat there, cross-legged on my front porch swing, looking out over a beautiful place, with all four of my kids, and a few more that have been grafted in, my heart began to swell with such joy and gratitude. Never in a million years could I have ever dreamed of such blessings, yet there I sat surrounded by more than my heart could contain. I took my time cutting okra that day making sure not to miss one second of this special time. This is what being a momma is all about. Later that night we all sat around the dinner table enjoying each others company and the fruits of our garden. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

5:00 the next morning came way too early. After I drug myself from bed and woke up the kids I noticed that I didn’t feel too good. My stomach was churning and upset feeling. I quickly shook it off because I didn’t really have time to bother with such trivial things. ..I had some southern states calling my name! After we packed the rest of our bags, hugged necks and said our good buys, we were finally Mississippi and Alabama bound!

About two hours down the road we made our usual Mc Donald’s stop for a quick potty break and some breakfast. As I walked in the restaurant I realized my stomach was not any better. As a matter of fact it was worse, much worse, and the thought or smell of food made me want to barf. This is no time to have “the trots”, I thought, I don’t have time to be sick!

As I approached the town of Dumas, Ar. I felt myself getting worse by the minute. After weighing my options, I said, “kids, I can’t drive any further, I am so tired. I’m gonna pull over in this church parking lot and rest for just a few minutes.” Caleb immediately went into protector mode. “Momma, are you sure you’re ok?” “Yes, I just need to rest for a few minutes”, I said. With concern in his voice he said, “do you want me to do anything?” “Yes”, I replied, “just keep watch and make sure no one comes up to the car.”

With the car off and the windows down, I took a much needed nap. I have no idea how long I was there but when I opened my eyes, Caleb was outside my window looking in, “are you ok momma?” He said. I knew they were probably worried, hot and tired of sitting in a strange parking lot. I forced myself awake and drove till we found a place for another Potty break. I realized then that I hadn’t eaten all day and was probably dehydrated. I made myself eat and drink something then took more medicine.

After I ate, I began to feel somewhat better and tried to enjoy this trip that I love so much. I rolled the windows down and turned the radio up while he kids hung their feet out of the windows and sang along.

At about hour 10, everybody was getting a little cranky and tired of being in the car and I was beginning to feel bad again. Since there had been many bathroom stops along the way, and a roadside nap, we were off schedule about an hour. To make time go by faster, Caleb suggested the game “would you rather”. For the record, I hate that game!

Wanna know why? Because the answer is ALWAYS the same. NEITHER ONE!

Here’s a sample of how it went…

Caleb: would you rather jump out of a plane or off of a tall building?
Me: Neither one.

Caleb: would you rather lick a cow’s butt or a eat cockroach?
Me: Neither one.

Caleb: if there was a Zombie apocalypse, Would you rather be by yourself in a house with a fort built up around it, or would you rather be in a public place with everyone else?
Me: Neither one.

Caleb: would you rather eat a bucket of poop or a bucket of cockroaches?
Me: Ok, if you ask me one more cockroach question, you’re gonna walk the rest of the way. The answer, neither one!

Caleb: would you rather be eaten by a shark or by millions of cockroaches?
Me: this game is over.

(For the record, I find it difficult to even write the word cockroaches in this post, why would I want to eat one?)

After 13 1/2 hours of driving, we finally reached our destination for the next few days, Ikey’s house. I was tired, dehydrated and still very sick when I pulled into his drive. Ikey is the brother I never had, a “paw paw” to my kids and a barrel of fun. Spending time with Ikey is what the kids had been looking forward to for months, me too, but all I wanted to do at this point was go to bed and feel better. I knew I was in a safe place, a good place to be sick if there’s any such thing, a place filled with love and comfort. I crawled into bed hoping to feel better in the morning.

As I layed there, I took a deep breath and relaxed, It felt good to be home. To be continued…