Vacation, Day 2

A few observations:

The C&W-Lovin’ Sister-in-Law Jodie arrived yesterday, with the 3-Sport Nephew & Partner-in-Crime Niece in tow, so the gang’s all here now. Did you know that a 5-year-old girl can go from car to beach-ready in about three minutes?

The same five-year old can ask a question guaranteed to get a yes: “Uncle Brent, will you take me to the beach now?” She’d had enough of grownups unpacking. We found a few shells, I debunked ocean myths the older brother created about the evening being “feeding time,” we formed different views of the waves (to her they were huge & scary. I was on my knees).

30 minutes later the fam arrives & hangs out. It’s even more fun when the tide is bringing in some more serious waves & a bit of undertow and the 14-year-old 3-Sport Nephew brings a football. Long passes diving into the waves isn’t a bad way to spend a late afternoon. Same for wrestling in the pool. I figure I can do this for another year, maybe two, before he’s big enough to whip me.

The C&W-Lovin’ Sister-in-Law can ask a question guaranteed to get a yes: “Uncle Brent, would you watch her while we head to the store to pick up some things we forgot?” Two hours of a combination of ocean, pool & hot tub will create prune hands like nobody’s business. We passed the time ranking Disney princesses. She rolled with Sleeping Beauty. I went with Mulan. She disliked my choice. We found mutual ground the greatness of Hannah Montana as well as SpongeBob.

Sometimes, a 16-year-old Kid1 isn’t as adept at sunscreen application as you’d given her credit for being. A few stripes…

It can be fun “watching” a baseball game on ESPN’s GameCast feature. If you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty cool. Even the smokin’ hot shutterbug trophy wife got in on it. It’s even more fun when your team wins in the bottom of the 9th when you’d already been incredibly frustrated by them blowing the lead in the top.

Teenage boys bring an Xbox 360 to vacation. Guitar Hero is at the ready in case of rain.

Reading has picked back up. I’m reading a book I’m considering for use for training interns and there’s a lot in it that congregations should know. It’s written to young pastors and has a lot of advice from folks who’ve been doing it a while. Maybe I should have the church membership read it, too. Some samples:

“Some people think we have little or nothing to do but stand in the pulpit, and pour out a flood of words two or three times a week; but they ought to know that if we did not spend much time in diligent study, they would get poverty-stricken sermons…If any man will preach as he should preach, his work will take more out of him than any other labour under heaven.”–C.H. Spurgeon

“What is done on public on a Sunday is like the tip of an iceberg. Behind all true preaching by shepherds & teachers there are hours of study and preparation linked with deep involvement in people’s lives–an involvement in which there are no regular ‘working hours.’ Pastoral care is at one and the same time the most demanding and rewarding task there can be.”–Derek Prime

If a 5-year-old locks the door with mom on the other side of it, there’s not a lot mom can do about it except try to cajole said outlaw 5-year-old into opening it back up. When Uncle Brent fired off the phrase, “Open up, kid. It’s the cops!” she just fired back, “No, I don’t think I will.” Well, let’s just say that’s funnier to Uncle Brent than to her mom.

A USA Today on a breezy porch with the waves crashing, a cup of coffee & an incredible view is really a nice start to any day.