Splash Country! It was the boys birthday (the little guy in my class has a twin) and they asked us to spend the day with them to celebrate! What she didn't realize is that by buying us a day pass to the park, we were only $2.50 away from season passes (because of the Dollywood pass we have)!!!! So she wasn't only treating us today, she was treating us for the next six weeks of the season! She bought our passes, insisted on buying my lunch, and bought Jacob a $10 squirt gun as well. And you could tell she was genuinely loving every minute of it. She is a very giving person, and this isn't the first time we've been blessed by her generosity. This whole thing was just a completely unnecessary and unexpected blessing from the Lord. And I know He's enjoying every minute of it too just because He delights in loving on us. It's nice to get a metaphorical hug from God in the middle of a hard few months.
The kids loved every second of the day. We were there from opening to closing. Jacob did some brave things on the water slides, went under water a few times willingly, and challenged himself a bit out of his comfort zone. That's big for him!
Mattie, of course, had fun. My little water bug was right in her element! She did every water slide Jacob did (by herself!), spent more time under water, and is getting really used to being completely under and stabilizing herself to get back up. That little half-pint never ceases to amaze me!
And apparently the Lord is going to take away my photography hobby for awhile. I was taking a picture of the kids on one of the slides, saw Mattie needing some help and stepped in to what I thought was six inch deep water. Ha! More like twenty-six inch deep water! So I went in completely horizontally (yes, a bunch of people noticed!) and my back-up camera went in as well. Thankfully I have the extended-do-anything-stupid-to-it-that-you'd-like warranty on this one too. My pictures already on the card were fine, but I'm too tired to do anything with them tonight and you've seen plenty of my kids having water fun lately. I only took a few anyway because I was too busy helping with Mattie.
I had a challenge of my own today as well... I told my friend that those really steep freefall slides were my favorites at water parks... "were" being the operative word she apparently missed. Well, I was probably 15 the last time I was at a water park, so I had no sense then. My friend was insistent that she watch my kids so I could go on my favorite slide! Ummmmm, this one seems much taller now! I got about 2/3 of the way of the un-enclosed elevator shaft like staircase and did not want to go any further! I wasn't even worried about the slide. The stairs were doing me in. So I told my riding partner that I think I'd like to turn back. To which he said, "You can do it! You know right when it's starts it's almost over!" Well, I couldn't turn him down, so I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, implored the Lord to help me be brave just like I've trained Jacob to do, and moved on. (On a side note, it was very good to be back in this position. I often encourage Jacob to do things he's unsure of and he always ends up having a great time. But it was good to remember how hard it is to be afraid.) I made it to the top, keeping my eyes very focused ahead of me. I had a hard time pushing myself out of the starting block, so to speak, but I did eventually. I did have too much pride to step up out of the water and walk down all those stairs past all those people.
Here's a picture, just so you can feel my pain. It's 70 feet tall. It was sort of fun, though I have no desire to do it again. My riding partner was very proud of me for sticking it out! He jumped up at the end as I was picking my wedg- ummm, righting my swimsuit bottom and said, You did a great job! Wasn't that so fun after all?" We made a memory at least.
Oh, I didn't tell you, my riding partner? He was turning 7 today.
Boy, do I feel old.