+++Our trip back home was very uneventful. That's the best way to have an 18-hour drive, I guess. The most excitement we had, I'd say, is when Jack yelled out that he had just pulled his tooth. We have yet to find it! Mark and I took our 2-hour shifts, with bathroom breaks for everyone when we switched drivers. We agreed that 2 hours goes by a lot faster in the passenger seat than in the driver's. I must admit that I shirked my responsibility on my last turn (from 1 am -3am) and Mark did the last 4 hours. I was way too tired, there was ice, and Mark was game, so that's how that went down. In 18 hours we went from 50 degrees to about 14. BRRRRR.
+++Today at church, we experienced such a special thing. During a time of sharing before Mark's teaching time, a lady told about how she had had a difficult Christmas this year. She does not have good relationships with her kids and they did not want to spend time with her over the holidays. She was saying how lonely she had been, but how much our church means to her, that it's her family. She got choked up, as you can imagine. When she was finished, there was an uncomfortable silence in the room. But then, G, a big man who is probably 6'4" got up from his seat, crossed the aisle and said, "On behalf of everyone in this room, I want to give you a big hug." It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I don't think I was the only one who thought that!
+++Sam had a basketball tournament this weekend. They had two games yesterday and two games today. He played (a very little) in each of the first 3 games, but then for this afternoon's game, he (and two others) never got off the bench. His coach, who we have difficulty respecting, called those three who did not play the whole fourth game to him for a little talk. He said, "I know you didn't get to play, and I'm sorry about that. I want you to know that it's not because I don't believe in you. It's because you don't believe in yourselves." Whatever his reasons for not playing them, that's fine, and he owes them no explanation, but to tell them it's because they don't believe in themselves?? GRRRR, it's hard not to go give him a little piece of my mind. They won the whole tournament, but what the coach said at the end kind of took the joy out of that for us!
+++Joel has been fascinated with the Statue of Liberty for quite some time. He's wanted one of those little statues since we visited NYC this past summer. While we were at a rest stop in New York on Friday, I went into a little gift shop and bought this one. He loved it more than I was able to imagine. At one point during the trip, I looked back in the rear view mirror to see him with his little head lamp on that his Uncle Dan and Aunt Gwen gave him for Christmas and was cradling the statue in his hands, just looking at it in the darkness. Last night he put it up on his window sill before getting in bed. I was straightening his blankets and knocked Lady Liberty right off onto the heat register below. When we recovered it, Joel noticed that one of the little points on her "crown" had broken off. His devastation was hard for me to handle. Now I've got to figure out how to fix it, only I haven't been able to find the point (even with the headlamp, I can't).