Yesterday, they went to a botanical garden place about an hour from Little Rock. It's always beautiful there, no matter what time of year you go. At Christmas, they have TONS of light displays and it's so fun! They got to look at all of the pretty flowers, and walked on the paths. It had been raining before they got there, so they took it slow. A lot of the FRIENDS don't have the best balance in the world.
And, like last week, when they went to a different botanical garden place...this was just a stop before lunch.
The TR group had planned on going to lunch at Purple Cow, and they could not have been more excited! Even better was that they were in the town where my in-laws live, and my mother-in-law always tries to go meet Joshua and the FRIENDS for lunch if she can. Joshua was supposed to call her when they left "the gardens," so that she could arrive at the restaurant about the same time as his group. He called her, and his grandfather answered the phone. He told Joshua that Mammaw Jack was already at the restaurant, waiting.
Of course she was.
All of the FRIENDS were so excited to see Mammaw Jack, and there were hugs all around! Joshua told me where everyone sat and what everyone ordered and all of that. THEN he said that Mammaw Jack offered to buy everyone dessert, and you have to know right now that the only thing the FRIENDS like better than eating out for lunch...is DESSERT.
Anywhere, any time.
And, you also need to know that ordering dessert is frowned upon by the staff at TR...because they are trying to keep the FRIENDS active and healthy.
And, you also need to know that ordering dessert is frowned upon by some of the parents, who are trying to encourage a healthy lifestyle for their families...and, apparently, a healthy lifestyle does not include eating a big piece of chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream on top.
Or a purple milkshake.
And, also, some of the FRIENDS are dairy intolerant. Some are gluten intolerant. And, at least one of them is diabetic.
And they all know it, but it's hard to pass up cake, ya know?
Oh, I know.
I've tried to tell Jim's mom this on multiple occasions. She just doesn't think anyone is happy unless they are eating...a LOT. Joshua said, "Mammaw tried to sway me to eat dessert, and I said, 'MAMMAW? I am FULL FROM LUNCH...I don't need any dessert.' She kept on pressuring me, but I didn't order anything."
She means well, Mammaw Jack does. Like most people do.
Holly said she could pick up Joshua for me, so I got to come home and just be HOME.ALL.DAY. By myself. I loved it. I did laundry and cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom. I did some writing, ate some lunch, worked on the "family wall" of pictures I am putting up in my dining room. And by "I," I mean, mainly Holly. She is helping me a LOT, but I've put up a few things by myself.
I thought about making cookies and bringing them to choir. I do that sometimes...but I had JUST cleaned my entire kitchen, and I didn't want to mess it up again. PLUS,
I decided that I would make a run to Target and pick up a new hand-mixer...which, I did. But, by then, I didn't have time to make cookies for choir.
I got home, and loaded a Tupperware container with the BBQ chicken and mashed potatoes I had made for dinner last night...and Jim took it to Holly when he went to get Joshua. I thought she could take it in her lunch at nursing school. Jim and Joshua usually hang out on Wednesday nights while I'm at choir. They go to the gym and eat out...stuff like that. And Clark goes to youth. I usually go pick up Joshua at Holly's house, but Jim offered to get him last night, because they were going straight to dinner.
After I got ready, I went over to get Holly on my way to church. I LOVE choir practice, but, for some reason, I had a hard time concentrating last night. Also, at one point, one of the men hollered down at me from the top row, "hey, Marty...did you bring any cookies?"
Which just goes to prove my friend, Carolyn's, mantra is true:
"IMpression without EXpression leads to DEpression."
Now, I wasn't actually depressed, but I should've gone ahead and made the cookies when I thought about it.
Because I thought about it.
Holly didn't tell me she was on Praise Team for this Sunday...so I stayed after choir practice, and listened to her group go through all the songs. I didn't hate it.
I love choir practice...have I mentioned that?
When they finished, Holly was ready to leave, but this group of guys was getting ready to practice the song they're gonna sing during the offertory on Sunday...so I begged her to stay 5 more minutes.
And then I may or may not have sat in the choir loft and bawled my eyes out like a baby. Have you heard this song? We have 4 men singing it, instead of 3, and it.is.awesome.
He Is Here, first verse and chorus:
"I sense an awesome moving of the Holy Spirit,
and I see His countenance resting on your face.
I know that there are angels hovering all around us,
for the presence of the Lord is in this place.
He is here, Hallelujah!
He is here, Amen!
Here is here, Holy, Holy.
I will bless His name again.
Here is here, listen closely.
Hear Him calling out your name.
He is here, you can touch Him.
You will never be the same."
When the men were done, they turned around and saw me...I said, "look away...I'm a mess." And one of the men said, "well, I'd say that means it sounded okay."
Yeah...it was okay.
"The LORD your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with song." Zephaniah 3:17