Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sorority Sitter Surprise

My wife Connie works at the university, so we usually have a lot of college girls available for babysitting our kids. We're always more comfortable using these older, more experienced girls, knowing they are better equipped to handle any unexpected challenges that might occur while we are out. So, when we needed a sitter so we could see our niece perform in the musical production of "A Chorus Line" at the University, Connie called Sarah, a great girl from a Sorority on campus. Sarah had never sat for us before, but she was available, and agreed to watch our 10-year old daughter Kelsey. When we got home, we walked through the door and were greeted with the aroma of fresh baked cookies. Kelsey was excited to tell us about all the fun things they did together, including baking the cookies. We each grabbed a cookie, and started enjoying them as Kelsey explained how they had a slight problem when they were mixing up the dough. You see, we had celebrated Easter recently, and apparently the only eggs we had in the refrigerator were hard boiled eggs. Kelsey asked Sarah what they should do. Sarah thought about it, and figured eggs were eggs, so they just mashed up two of the hard boiled eggs and added them to the dough, popped them in the oven, and baked them.

At this point, we stopped chewing.

I turned my cookie upside down, and sure enough, saw little chunks of white egg pieces baked into the cookie. It didn't seem to bother Kelsey or Sarah. They thought nothing of it, and continued eating their cookies.

After getting past the fact of what I had just actually consumed, I realized I had just learned one of life's important lessons -- and from all people, that lesson came from a sorority girl and a 10-year old:

"When life hands you hard boiled eggs, go ahead, and just bake some cookies!"

Monday, April 9, 2007

The easiest way to keep our 2-year old daughter quiet through church service was to break out the buffet from the diaper bag. We kept it fully stocked with Cheerios, gummies, juice and crackers. Honestly, our pew often looked like a toddler-friendly salad bar! We'll never forget the quiet, candle-light Christmas Eve service when our little angel, Kelsey, decided she was hungry, and wanted some crackers. Her demands were simple and clear. She needed Cheez-Its, and she needed them bad. However, when a 2-year old yells "I NEED CHEEZ-ITS," it sounds exactly like, "I NEED JESUS!" She began screaming that phrase over and over and over. As we were tearing through the diaper bag, desperately searching for even one little toasted yellow-orange square, we noticed the approving nods and smiles from those around us. Then, we overheard the couple behind us say, "Now isn't that sweet -- that baby needs Jesus -- she knows the true meaning of Christmas!" We smiled back at them, stuffed some crackers into Kelsey's mouth, and joined the congregation in a very special rendition of "Silent Night."


Those six words pierced my state of unconsciousness at 4 a.m., and jolted me awake in an instant. Those were the words that my wife used to awake me during our Minneapolis Spring Break getaway. We were in a big city hotel, and Connie had awoken abruptly when she heard the door in our room open and shut. We both jumped out of bed to discover that our eight year old son, Austin was not in his bed.

We feared the worst -- Austin had walked out of the room in his sleep and was wandering through the hotel. Connie rushed to the door, undid the chain lock & deadbolt, and rushed into the hall -- there was no sight of Austin. She took off down the hall frantically searching for him and yelling his name. As she approached the elevators, her heart sunk. Could he have gotten on the elevator? What floor did he get off on? Where could he be?

I was back in the room trying to figure out what to do next. Seconds later, Austin walked out of the bathroom from our hotel room. The door Connie heard open and shut was not our room door that led to the hall -- it was the bathroom door! The little guy just had to go! As we got back into bed, I asked Connie, “When you were unlocking the chain and deadbolt on our door, did it not occur to you that there was no way that Austin could have made it out into the hall, and then re-locked the door from inside our room?” She thought about it for a second, and replied, "Oh, I guess that would have been difficult to do!"

We then laughed ourselves to sleep!