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     It was Parent’s Weekend at Cedarville University, where our third born, Hayley, attends.  Kylie (my youngest, the only child left at home) and I drove up to visit. 

     I haven’t seen Jim since he left me at the airport last Sunday (see last post), and he arrived home late Friday night after we were long gone, so he didn’t get to participate in Parent’s Weekend.

      Hayley is a busy college girl and is involved in many things, one of which was the Heartsong concert on campus over the weekend.  This involved some time spent in practice and sound checks, so Kylie and I amused ourselves with shopping and eating.

     The rest of the time the three of us enjoyed together was very special.  It takes me back to the days when we homeschooled.  There is just a special bond there and memories that will always be treasured. 

     All of our kids have a great sense of humor, which I like to think Jim and I passed down to them.  Laughter is kind of our family dynamic.  We like to do it.  It just makes life more fun, you know?

     The girls and I have shared so many giggles through the years, and this weekend was no exception.  I’ve got to tell you about the game Hayley made up. 

     She and Kylie visited the lobby of the hotel where we were staying in order to purchase a couple bottles of water.  Upon returning, Hayley spread out a bunch of brochures she had picked up in the lobby and said, “OK, we’re going to play a game.  Pick a brochure and cross out a bunch of words and make up new words to make a story.”

     Now I never understand anything the first time.  I have to ask questions, or at least have the instructions repeated before I get it.  Only I didn’t ask any questions this time.  I just went with it.  Translation in my mind, “Cross out letters of words to make new words within the words.  Create a story from that.  (AKA “tweet” becomes “wee”.) 

     Hayley and Kylie finished creating their stories way before me.  I wondered how they did it so quickly, but I plodded along until I got something halfway useable. 

      The girls went first.  Hayley read from a brochure called “Ohio Caverns”. “Thanksgiving guests are friendly and available.  Ohio is most rich to capture your memories.  Provided for your comfort, a 35-acre gift shop is located within a spirit of amiability and integrity.”

     A 35 acre gift shop???  Friendly and available Thanksgiving guests?  She had crossed out some major parts of that informative pamphlet.

     Kylie took over.  Her story was about the Piatt Castles.  “Mac-A-Cheek, where the Piatt family came from, changed times.  Your own family history for five generations lived in an American castle.”

     Uhhhhhhh….ok.  Nobody’s stories were making any sense.  However, they were stories.  Sort of.

     My turn was next.  I held up a brochure called “Wayne County Ohio 2014 Visitor’s Guide Calendar of Events”.

     “WAY CO OH!!!”  I proclaimed.  (Wayne County Ohio).

     Hayley looked at me like she’d just swallowed a bull frog.  And then her eyes started watering.

     Kylie began to cackle, and Hayley cracked.

     I giggled and said it again, this time adding the rest, “WAY CO OH! It de lend of vents!” (Visitors Guide Calendar of Events).  Obviously I took liberties with the “words” I’d formed, seeing as how they really didn’t become real words after all, not to mention the fact that I’d totally misunderstood the whole game.

     I belly laughed.  My eyes were watering, Hayley was in front of me rolling, and I looked over at Kylie, who had been sitting on the other bed.  She was stretched across the bed, face down, her whole body shaking.

     “Oh mom”  exclaimed Hayley in between breaths, “you totally made up your own game, but I like yours better!” And then we dissolved into more fits of laughter. 

     It feels so good to laugh and laugh hard.  We repeated that phrase often the rest of the weekend, “WAY CO OH!”.

     Saturday we attended the concert.  It was all about praising our God, and the victory we possess in Him.  My heart swelled as I watched Hayley take her turn at the mike.  Our girl is growing and ministering and loving and serving.  To set a child free and see her blossom in her own environment is a joy to the parent. 

     We are home now, the weekend is over, and I am reunited once again with my dear husband.  It has been a couple of weeks since we’ve been home together.  And guess what – the basement renovation is still happening.  But it’s almost done! Wa-hoo!!!

     It’s so weird still to come home without Hayley. As I drove home I caught myself turning melancholy once again about the years gone by.  But I know she is where God wants her, and He is working in her life to touch others. 

     I see God working in all of my children’s lives.  I see them growing and learning and seeking the Lord in their decisions.  They are each a work in progress, as am I.  But, it’s progress in the right direction, and for this, I am thankful.  After all, it’s what I’ve prayed for since they were little.  So, I leave them in His hands, the One who created them and has a plan for each of them.  I will rest.

      And, I will chuckle, “WAY CO OH!” for many days to come.

     “But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.  My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.  I will go in the strength of the Lord God;  I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.”  ~Psalm 71:14-16

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