Friday, September 3, 2010

In A Weekend

In a weekend you can travel to South Dakota and back. In a car. With four kids. A pile of books and other entertainment. And more snacks than you can think of. Nine hours, one way. And have no plans.


Last weekend was the big shin-dig in Rosebud, the Rosebud Fair. There are 6 host families from our church and we all made the trek to see the kids' families and get a feel for what life is like on the Rez.

Once we got past the great plains of central Iowa, the landscape changed to much more scenic vistas. Especially the closer we got to Rosebud, SD.

Before we got there, though, we were able to stop and see V's mom, grandma, auntie and auntie's daughter in Wagner. 

And the cat, whom V hugged, loved, mauled. Cat hair flew everywhere and soon Luke was a mess of itchy, watery eyes and runny nose.

We dropped V off at her dad's later that evening and found our accommodations in White River. It was a nice, clean motel room which fit all 5 of us with beds for all. Hung out with the ladies who were there to help re-model someone's home and then hit the hay.

The next day was warm and windy. We made it to the tail end of the parade and met up with Bill's Aunt Janet, who lives near Crookston, NE. The other festivities hadn't started yet but the kids were melting fast so we hopped backed in the vehicles and made our way to Janet's for lunch and some r&r. Uncle Norman was there, needing lunch and all, so Janet and I whipped up some BLT's. Obviously she doesn't read this blog, because when I asked for fried eggs for our sandwiches she looked at me funny but obliged. (you must try it sometime)
The hills were beckoning to Bill so he took them out for hopeful climb. However, in them there parts is sand burrs. 

And one must be prepared against the evils of sand burrs diggin' into ones trendy Keens, so Aunt Janet loaned Audrey and Luke some socks. Then off they set, only to make it to the windmill which pumps the water into the water takes for the cows to drink.

The kids, never having seen a windmill up close, nor a working one, thought it fascinating. The cows, having never seen kids up close on a daily basis, thought it annoying. (If Pioneer Woman can post cow pictures-then darn tootin', I'm gonna post my cow picture!)

Also there were kittens who were enjoying leftovers of melted ice cream and apple pie crumbs. She does not look like she wants to share.

The kids got some birthday/Christmas/thanks for visiting us for the first time ever! gifts and here Aunt Janet and Luke are discussing the finer points of a 6 row combine head.

Once we left their place, we popped back up into SD and stopped by the fair to see V. She was at the carnival. She had been at the carnival all day. I'm not sure how much she slept the night before because she was at the carnival then, too. Her most favorite ride in the whole wide world, the one she talked and talked about and said she would take us on is... The Zipper!

A contraption where they bolt you into a metal cage, which is allowed to flip around to your heart's content while the whole thing spins around. And it goes on for a while- way longer than Adventureland rides. The line for this was always the longest. In all, V rode it 13 times in less than 48 hours. The rest of us? Zero. 

We managed to get her to ride the Tilt-a-Whirl with the kids before she took off. She was probably bored. I mean, no one is going to hurl on the Tilt-a-Whirl (unless you're Bill and then it would be call Bill-a-Hurl! )

Then it was Bumper Car time. Oh yeah! Ka-chow!

When we ran out of tickets we visited a house where the roof had been blown off by a storm and some other people from church were helping repair. I wrote in a little prayer email to friends that this team of 1 guy and 3 girls probably put Extreme Home Make-Over to shame. I know as far as true servant attitude they did. EHMO has sponsors backing them, meals probably delivered like clock-work, materials available at hand and reinforcements to take over when they get tired. Our crew? A bit of money to purchase some materials but I'm sure Bella Homes donated much. Lunch was at 2, decided probably at 1:30 and supper was leftover pizza from lunch. Other needed materials didn't happen because the Fair was going on and the lumber yard was closed. Back up crew came in the form of a few extra host family men and three little munchkins who mostly stayed out of the way but still wanted to be a part of it. 
I didn't take pictures of them because I didn't think about it. The view out the back door though, was spectacular!! 

This is this lady's literal view!! And she has a tire swing hung on the tree. The kids mustered enough guts to try it out. A tire swing is not scary. A tire swing that flies out over the edge of the hill is much scarier, but really, really cool!

On Sunday we hosted a meal at the community center for the students, their families and the host families. It was pancakes, fresh fruit, and ham. According to Rog, the turnout was much better than he hoped. But what I saw was just humbling. Families that might have no hope and sending their child to live with one of us to give them a different perspective on life; one man seemingly moved by the words of God, who just got out of prison; another father having a hard time letting his daughter go and she having a hard time going; a boy, who if he had stayed behind the week before would have been a part of a murder; hearing someone prayer aloud for possibly the very first time in their life and not knowing what or how to say but say thank you.

Then we left. We extracted V from the carnival (Zipper #13) We were wiped out. We wanted to get home. But we had to stop at this lookout over the river. Gorgeous. 

We stopped and V got to see her mom again. 
We got to stop and see a field of sunflowers. Happiness. 

And we stopped for gas. And for supper. And then to pull over for Audrey and V to switch spots in the car so Audrey could hang her head out the window for a while so she didn't get sick (she didn't). 

In a weekend you can do a lot and we did do a lot. But what I learned is that the work that is put before me right now, I can't get done. I have to lose control. I have to let Him do it. 
So if time is of no matter to God, will all that He plans to do be accomplished in a weekend? 


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