Ten Days in China…Ten days with Grandma

Maddie 12, Cubby 5, Will 10, and Lucas 7

Train a child the way he should go, and when he is old he will he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

Two months ago, this talk started about China. Mikos and Jenny had been invited to visit Tsingtao Beer Brewery in Qingdao, China. This was a trip of a lifetime with all expenses paid, staying at five-star hotels, so how could I say no to watching Maddie and Will? In the meantime, another storm was brewing with Sonja and Russ planning a trip to Minnesota to celebrate Russ’s grandfather’s 90th birthday. These trips collided to form the perfect storm of babysitting. My grandchildren not only come with real luggage but they bring their dogs as well.

Our grandchildren are involved in way too many things. Maddie has play practice, Will has soccer practice, Maddie has soccer practice, Will has basketball practice, Lucas has soccer practice, Cubby has soccer practice, and all at different times, and thank God, different days.

Day One: I was looking for the brush to apply my eyeliner when Cubby came running into the bathroom, saying, “Father Leonard fell down! Father Leonard  fell down!” No sooner does Lucas come running in to contest all that Cubby said. Cubby was jumping up and down, his already big eyes getting bigger as he screamed again, “Father Leonard fell!” Lucas was yelling at the same time, wanting me to listen to what he had to say. In frustration to calm Cubby down, Lucas slapped him across the face and called him a liar. I wanted to laugh but I was confused. Father Leonard is a priest and dear friend of mine; what were these kids talking about? I told them both to calm down and one at a time, to tell me what happened. Again the screaming over each other started. I got up and said “Show me!” They ran ahead of me and opened the French doors to the back yard; there on the ground was our fountain, the statue of St. Francis of Assisi not Father Leonard, with all of the guilty kids pointing fingers at each other. There were no sibling alliances; it was every man for himself.  Just like the authors of the four Gospels, the kids all had their own version as to what happened. Only God knows the truth, and on judgement day the truth will be revealed, with God determining the guilty party. I thanked God no one was injured.

The resilient St. Francis

St. Francis suffered a blow to the head, leaving parts of his cerebellum in the shrubs.

This fountain weighs about 300 pounds, and Maddie and I had to put it together before Papa got home. This was difficult job because we had to connect the tubes for the water.  Lucas helped with the tubes while Will and Cubby nervously watched. With a lot of heave-hos, we did it! Once St. Francis was up and running, we noticed more damage, so I made those rug rats look for the parts that were missing.

Maddie price checking
Purchasing the school supplies

Hours passed and we had a project to complete. St. Norbert Parish’s, filling  backpacks was under way. I picked up two backpacks for us to fill. Maddie spearheaded the project by checking and comparing prices for school supplies, and found that Target had the best prices. We loaded up the SUV while Maddie separated the items to be purchased into two groups. Will and Lucas were team one and Maddie and Jacob team two. It did not take long before Will and Lucas started acting up and running around like wild boars. After a few threats, they sorta of calmed down. A woman and her daughter looked at us like we had the plague, Maddie overheard them say, “Here they come, let’s go another direction.” I so much wanted to explain that these kids were not my children, but they disappeared from my view.

We got home and completed the loving project. Lucas came to me later and asked, “Grandma, who’s going to pay us back for all the stuff we bought?” I reminded Lucas that we did this for Jesus and that He always pays us back in different ways. I told Lucas that a sweet lady, Doris from our  ministry blessed me with a generous amount of birthday money, and we used that blessing to fill the backpacks.

We waited several days to tell Papa about the fountain, as the kids  were terrified to face Mike. I can’t blame them, because  Mike gets upset about half-full bottles of water all over the house and is always yelling, “Is anyone watching those kids?” It is never a good time to break bad news but I had to tell Mike. He was his usual self, at first a little angry, then he thanked me for telling him.

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Proverbs 20:11

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