Have you ever had a great weekend? Not just great but GRRRREAT? We did this past weekend. I decided late Thursday night that we would have to get out and about and really have a wonderful weekend for a couple of different reasons: 1. Since I had been sick and cooped up inside all week I felt the need to “get the stink blown off of me” and get out! 2. I really needed some quality family time since I had pretty much slept for three out of five days and the other two I spent feverishly working at my job or at home trying to play catch up from being sick. So, the decision had been made. I was going to come up with a great weekend! My plans were altered a tad from what I had envisioned in my mind but it ended up even better!
I was literally running for my SUV at 4:30 last Friday because I could not wait to get to my two little boys. Those two sweet babies had been so patient with me and helped take good care of their momma while I didn’t feel well and I could not wait to surprise them with what I had up my sleeve. As soon as they were both in the car I told them that John and I had a surprise for them. Of course that got them super excited! I had a couple of errands to run and John wasn’t due home for a couple of hours so we took off to stock up on candy. Not just any candy either. The “movie” candy at Wal-Mart. The kids love having candy in the boxes like you get at the movies. I let them pick three boxes each and I grabbed some for myself and John. I had a couple of other things to grab and then we were out the door. Of course the boys were trying to guess what we had planned but they had no idea. They thought we were having a special Rainey Family Cinema Night when they saw that we were buying candy (I normally buy the candy without them being there so I can surprise them). I told them that it was something none of us had ever done before. Then they were stumped! We finished our errands and went home to get ready to leave for our adventure. The boys saw me packing a cooler. This really puzzled them. Are we going on a boat? Nope. It’s something we’ve never done before. Then I had them each grab their small blankets and a throw pillow off of their beds and two large blankets and put them in the back of the car. OH! They had it now they said. We were going Camping! Nope. It is something we have never done before! At that moment John pulled into the driveway and we loaded up in the car and headed out. The boys were so excited. It was so sweet. We turned in to King Drive In. They still had no idea what we were doing. Once we explained what you do at a drive in movie they were really excited. Even more excitement came when they found out we were there to watch Cars 2 and The Green Lantern. Two movies? Kobe couldn’t believe we were getting to stay for two movies. I set up the back with blankets and pillows and the boys headed to get popcorn. We had a fun time together. We didn’t really do anything special. Just sat together and laughed and watched a movie together. Those are the best kind of times though. As soon as Cars 2 went off of the big screen John immediately began looking around for a “better spot” to watch The Green Lantern. He ran off with one of our chairs and found the perfect spot and “saved” it with a chair! We drove up very close to the screen and set everything back up. The boys really thought it was cool that they got to ride in the very back just sitting back there…not in a seat…or a seat belt! We fixed the boys inside with blankets and pillows and John and I sat outside (it was so nice and cool with a breeze) in our chairs. Before the movie even started the boys were out like a light. So, we kind of got a little “date” too! John was SUPER excited about this movie. I on the other hand, well, I didn’t “get it”. I ended up falling asleep as well but we were all together so that is all that matters! When the movie was over I helped pack the car up, well, not really I was super tired and John saw me trying to put my chair in the back and he told me just to get in the car that he would get it all put back inside. Sweet man! We chatted on the drive home and talked about how we need to make that something we do often. The boys were so tired that they slept through us buckling them in and getting them out and putting them in their beds. It was truly a great night. The best part about it was that no alarm clock was set!
The next morning, as usual, I was the first one up. I started the laundry and began cleaning a little bit. One by one my guys began waking up and then I stopped with the cleaning and came to the living room. John HATES breakfast food so he always has a frozen pizza on Saturday mornings. He says it is his little treat for the week. He really looks forward to that frozen pizza. I decided to have some pizza for breakfast as well. Kobe and Samuel wanted to play some games so John and I did something we enjoy. Netflix. We found a documentary we had been wanting to see and watched it while we ate our pizza. My original plan for the day was for us to get up and head to the pool. Due to some complications in scheduling we ended up needing to drive to Tennessee for the day to pick Haley up from her grandmother’s house. We decided to make a day of it. We, once again, packed up the cooler with a picnic lunch, plenty of snacks, and plenty of drinks and headed out. We took John’s car. The kids LOVE his car. It is small and sporty and….(drum roll please) it has a sunroof! We had no particular plans at all except to go get Haley and then see what we could get into. The first thing we decided to do was go see John’s grandmother, Effie. We call her Maw Rainey. She is in a nursing home and so we try to take the kids and stop by as often as we can to help her have a better day and honestly…to try and help her remember John and them as well. As a side note, it is very heart wrenching to say goodbye to someone who isn’t for sure on who you are when you walk in and you think they MAY know who you are when you leave…but you know this is a battle you will face the next time too. My heart goes out to John each and every time he has to do this. I cry each time. I can’t help it. The boys LOVE going to the nursing home to visit. I wish I could say it is because they like to cheer up the residents but that isn’t why. It is because of the food service staff. They have been known to load them up with ice cream, cookies, apples, drinks, and pretty much anything they want. Once Sam climbed up in this huge chair and sat by a resident and put his little hand on his shoulder and just watched TV. It literally melted my heart. Kobe sat on the other side. They all three ate their cookies and looked at the TV. I wondered who that man thought they were or if he even realized they were there. OK, enough of the sad/sweet stuff and back to the weekend. Everyone always feels a little “down” when we leave and John always feels nostalgic. So, we drove around and John showed us different landmarks of his youth. I love that I know these stories. I know that when he was little his mom would give him a nickel and he would go to the little store near the airport and get a sucker. Not just any sucker either. One of those suckers that were made like a sweet tart. They were round and had different colored layers on them. They would last forever. I loved those things when I was little too. Every time we pass by that airport market I will think of him being little and riding his bike and getting a sucker. Once we were through going down memory lane we decided to head to Shiloh. First things first, we headed straight to the river and had our lunch. We watched boats and even got a barge to honk at us while we watched them travel the river. We looked around and walked up to an old house and looked around it and at the trees and then we just drove around looking at everything. It was beginning to get a little late (we had a LATE lunch at about 3:00) and we had a big day the next day too. So, we started off towards home but quickly came upon the Sunrise Café. We couldn’t pass it by because it had a sign on the front of the building that said, “SLUGBURGERS ARE HERE!”. If you know my husband, you know this made him stomp on the brakes real quickly! He LOVES slug burgers. So we waited in the car and he ran in to buy one… well four. He was so thrilled. Kobe ate one up right away and Sam ate a few bites too. I even tried it and it was DELICIOUS! So we were all pretty happy on the drive home. Next time though, I am getting a catfish plate… I mean how can I go to the catfish capital (that’s what the sign said!) and NOT get a catfish plate??? So we finally made our way into Florence and stopped at Miami Ice for a nice COLD surprise. I got “Jonas Brothers” (mango and cream), John got “Silver Fox” (vanilla), Haley got watermelon, Kobe got “Roll Ride” (cherry and cream), and Samuel got “Superman” (Blue marshmallow and Cherry). On the way home we decided to stop at the splash pad and let the kids run and play for a little while to get some energy out since we had been in the car for a while. Once we got home we showered and got all clean and refreshed and lounged in the air conditioning and watched movies. Perfect ending to a perfect day.
Sunday was a BIG day. We had church in the park. Last year and this year we have had a “Service in the Park”. We LOVE service in the park because it is very intimate and we get to just fellowship with our friends and family. We packed our cooler with our portion of the picnic lunch (we got our use out of our cooler this weekend!) and headed out to Veteran’s Park in Florence. We even got there on time! That in itself is amazing. We worshipped the Lord through song and heard a great message from Pastor Bill. Even Samuel put his little hands up in the air and the kids all just listened and focused on the message that was being delivered. Several people came to Christ that morning. It was awesome. Each family brings a picnic lunch for themselves plus a little extra. We had chicken tenders, chips, potato wedges, and rice krispie treats for dessert. It was so much fun. Then the kids headed off to play and I headed off to chat with friends. John chatted a little with his friends and then they all decided to play a game of football with the kids. It began to look like it was about to rain so most people began to leave and so John and the boys helped get all the sound equipment and chairs put away and Haley and I put stuff in the car. About the time we were ready to leave the bottom fell out! I mean, it POURED. We got DRENCHED running to the car but it was fun. It was a nice cool down type of rain. Once home we dried off and got ready for my favorite part of the week… Sunday afternoon naps! Once nap time was over we threw it into high gear and got ready because we were headed out to see the group Acappella perform at a local church. The performance was great. I mean it was fabulous. It kept all of our attention and all of us really enjoyed it and clapped and sang and participated. It was a really great way to end such a wonderful weekend. I am really looking forward to more PACKED weekends like this one.
Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless. ~Bill Watterson
There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~Walt Streightiff