Translation of a few: a whole bunch! Probably 10 or so by the time the day was done. To see just a few of the friends who frequent here all the time you can see these pictures (from top to bottom pictured are: Dustin and his best friend Stephen, friends Laura, Jasmine, Veronica, and Bobby.)
They started arriving as early as 10:30 this morning. In between showering, taking care of the dog, logging on and getting some work related items done, I started cooking and cleaning. Let's see...half the kids ate hamburger helper (one of Dustin's favorites, and also something relatively "soft" he can eat) and the other half had my homemade chicken and dumplings, and then Jasmine came over and made a delicious chocolate layer cake. (One of Dustin's all time favorites.) Note that Saturday night I made a chocolate layer cake as well. By last night (within 24 hours time) the entire thing had been devoured and now this evening I think there is one piece of Jasmine's cake left out there. I'll probably make another one tonight because he just told me, his friends are coming again tomorrow too.
Right now there are still four of them still here plus Dustin in his room all playing cards on the bed. Some people might think, "do you just let your kids friends come over anytime?" Pretty much, yes. My reasoning is, I want them HERE where I know what they are doing. There are a few other homes I let them go to and stay but very few, and all church families. They have some friends whose parents are likeminded, and it's a good environment and I totally trust it and let them stay there however long they want. But in the case of most all their friends from school...I ask them to come here. And whether it's 1 friend or 50 friends, I will do whatever to make them feel at home, including lighting the candles as I normally do around my house to give it a homey feel, adding extra places at the table at the spur of the moment, cooking special desserts, even setting up for an impromptu tea. I've been known to do that many times. Dustin has just as many friends who are girls who comment quite a bit that they just "love coming to Mrs. Shrodes house for tea..."! It's funny now that I think about it...all the boys call me Momma Shrodes, and all the girls call me Mrs. Shrodes. (Dustin and Jordan call me Momma so I guess their guy friends just follow their lead, and the girls are a little more formal and proper? I dunno, in any case I have never told them what to call me, they just...do.) How long will I be involved? As long as the kids live with me. I don't believe parenting ends at 18, or your responsibilities - but as long as your kids are under your roof, you have authority in what goes on and as a parent you should know what's going on. Also, many of these kids have come to know the Lord through Dustin's steady witness. We welcome them into our home and love them like our own.
So among the friends who have been coming over to the house very regularly...Veronica, Laura, Jasmine (told you he had a lot of friends who are girls), Bobby, Stephen, Tim, among many others. Yesterday a girl came named Stephanie from school...I had never met her before. They brought Dustin yogurt. He has gotten so many "gifts" of ice cream and yogurt, it's actually been quite helpful to our grocery bill. (Especially with all these kids coming over, ha ha!) Gotta take a break for a sec... kids are hungry... be back in a few...
[30 minutes later..] Okay, I'm back. Whew. I have done so much cooking and dish washing today. Everyone was hungry. Dustin wanted macaroni so I made it for all of them...(I stocked up on like 10 boxes of Kraft) and made some for the kids who are left here, and I just ran out of bowls, that's how many dishes I've just used and have in the dishwasher. Both complete sets of my "casual" dishes...currently being washed. So,we just went to paper bowls that I had in the cabinet. Right now I'm thinking, "WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?" That's what we are doing tomorrow...paper plates and bowls. Stroke of genius!
Larry's getting ready to go to the store and finish getting school supplies tonight since the "tax free" day ends today. I got Savanna a few items on Sunday but we still have to finish up the rest of it for them. Just re-scheduled Dustin's registration for Thursday, and meanwhile Larry took Jordan for registration today as it was the day for juniors at the high school. (Can you believe he's a junior?) All these appointments... I'll be glad when it's all done...school shopping, school registrations, doctor's appointments (still quite a few of those left for Dustin to follow up), Geena's annual appt that had to be rescheduled, yada yada yada. Sometimes I just feel like I'm swimming in this stuff. Thank God for a "boogie board of grace." That's what I feel like I'm on most times.
In other good news today, I got two new end tables for my family room. From...da da da da...the trash at the curb! Yee ha! No kidding. I've been wanting two dark brown tables and we have even been shopping for them but just haven't found anything. Larry was leaving for the church office this morning and found two at the curb that somebody had left out. He brought them home and we "Pledged' them up. They really look good, IMHO. At the very least they will do for now and are better than anything I've found yet in a store. You would never know these things came from a curb, trust me! I would show a picture on here but my camera batteries are dead right now. Speaking of that...Larry just left to go to the store, so I'll get off of here and call him and tell him to add batteries to the list...I will put a photo of my two little tables up later.
Anyway...one last thing...the tables will go well with my antique family room coffee table that I bought at an auction for $1. No kidding! We had it refinished and covered it with a glass top and it looks like a million bucks. We get compliments on it all the time. Sometimes we even gather around it and eat. Someone in the church who knows antiques looked at it and said it's worth quite a bit. But I'll never get rid of it. It's precious to me. Knock on wood... (pun not intended) I guess I better be careful of saying I'll never get rid of it since it seems everything "special" to me but my family has been broken, trashed, totaled and taken away from me in the past several months. I literally prayed, "oh God, just spare the house from burning down!" Maybe that's a little drastic but the thing is, it seems like everytime I've turned around something is being trashed and ruined that means something special to me. I'm sentimental and I hate that. But I am reminded - as long as we have God and our family...we have it all, really.
Soon it will be time to go to sleep, get up and ride my boogie board of God's grace once again through my full day tomorrow. I have about 30 initiatives to accomplish this week in addition to taking care of Dustin. Good thing I'm not doing it alone. The power of the Holy Spirit is an awesome thing.
p.s. Jordan and I just noticed today when doing some weeding on the side beds that the first tangerine has come out on our tree! I love small things like that...they give me so much joy.