Today was the first Saturday we have had since the kids' last day of school. So it seemed appropriate to be sure we packed into it as much as possible. Karen and I started the day off right with early morning (6 am for me, 5:30 for her) coffee and lazing around followed by a good breakfast of pancakes, eggs, toast, and a little more coffee.
Sooner than we wanted to have to, it was time to get ready for the family picture Karen had scheduled for us at Portrait Innovations. It's been three years since our last one, so we were due for another one, but I was remembering how much pain the last one was, so it was with a bit of trepidation that I helped Karen bathe the children, comb hair, and monitor playtime so that the clothes for the picture weren't stained and unwearable. It turned out to be much less painful than I feared. We were in and out in less than 20 minutes, the kids were beautifully behaved (a sheer miracle!), and the photos turned out to cost significantly less $ than the previous, extended beating version of family pictures. I was shocked to hear that we could pick up all the prints we bought along with a CD of all the shots we took within 20 minutes. So off we went for hot pretzels until the time came. Judge for yourselves what you think of the results, but based on having me in the picture, I think this one came out pretty well.
Since it was shaping up to be a good day after all, I decided to press our luck and actually take all the kids to the Peoria Zoo without naps. Normally, I would not contemplate such wild and crazy things, but again, I needn't have worried. The kids were great, and since we are zoo members, we got in to see the preview of the new Africa! exhibits that probably doubles the size of the zoo. This was well worth the time, and a ton of fun, despite the huge crowd. I can hardly believe all they've done, although I'm sure it means zoo membership fees are going to increase the next time we need to renew ours.
After we left the zoo, everybody decided to skip naps and play outside. At least, everyone except Daddy, who sacked out on the office couch for an hour while Karen played referee for sprinkler fun and bike riding. Dinner was pan fried deer steak, hash browns, and fresh watermelon.
It's now after 11:00 and I have to preach tomorrow, so it's time to wrap this up. But I never cease to be amazed at the joy a person can find in the common grace of our loving God. I hope to find more of it tomorrow...