Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The big 10!!

Ten years ago yesterday a younger James and a lighter Susan vowed before God and our families to love, cherish, honor and respect. We decided back then that since we didn't do a huge honeymoon that for our 10th we were going to go all out and celebrate in Rome.. somewhere along the line we even had a special savings account for our big trip on our 10th anniversary. Well the reality of life is that no amount of $$ could entice someone to babysit our kids for 4 days - haha :) so after much thought we decided to celebrate with a trip to <dramatic pause> the Moscow ZOO! We loaded up the kids and off we went. I'm sure touring the ancient ruins does not compare to the joy of sitting in rush hour Moscow traffic singing 'Polly-wolly dooddle all the day' at the top of your lungs with four happy children. (gotta love Burl Ives!) One block from the Zoo the transmission completely went out on our minivan - please note: we just had the tranmission rebuilt.. it took them 6 weeks and we had the van back exactly 8 days before this happened.. grrrrr. (thankfully it's under warranty!) So James dropped us off at the Zoo while he began a 6 hour adventure of driving the van to the repair shop in first gear. The kids had a fantastic time petting a zebra, holding a boa constrictor, watching a dolphin show and spending hours with their faces pressed up against plexiglass. James finally returned and we headed for the metro - this was to become an epic adventure. Traveling with four children and a huge stroller on the circle brown line at the height of rush hour traffic can not be explained in words.. 1.8 million people ride the metro every day.. *crowded* is an understatement. We survived and made it to the train station. We got on the train and found seats - James, Rachel, David & Caleb on one side of the isle; Johanna and I on the other side. I was sitting directly across from an elderly gentlemen with thick glasses. Here is our conversation:
-are all these childen yours???!
-'no we thought it would be fun to rent them for the day' (actually I just said this in my mind, I smiled and just said 'yes')
-you are the mother of all four children??
-is that the Father?? (pointing at James)
-you and that man have four children???
-'yes we think it's pretty wonderful too'

I was sitting beside two other men who at this point leaned way over - both quite intoxicated - ARE THESE ALL YOUR CHILDEN???! Repeat of the above conversation. I do not consider four children a large family, but apparently in Russia we are right up there with the Duggers. Anyway, the elderly gentlemen was so sweet; he kept asking all sorts of questions and playing with Johanna who was in rare form - giving him sweet eyes, laughing, playing peek-a-boo, waving to him. He actually got out a piece of paper and pen and wrote me a letter (!!!) telling me how beautiful our children were and how wonderful it was to see a big family.. I was so touched. He finally got off waving to Johanna the entire time while she blew him kisses. Two ladies then sat down in his seat. By this time we had been on the train an hour and the natives were getting restless. David had his beloved pet rubber snake with him.. I looked over just in time to see him turned around in his seat engrossed in his make believe world... he had the snake about one inch away from the grandmother's neck behind him. Just then he lunged the snake forward scaring the poor lady half to death. (he didn't hit her at least!) She turned around to give him a half amused/half are you crazy look. I looked over at the two ladies across from me, they saw the whole thing and were laughing so hard one actually had tears running down her cheeks. In my distraction I then turned around to find Johanna razzing the Grandmother seated behind her and throwing grapes at the man two rows over - it was chaos. We finally made it home, threw the kids in the tub, fed them and got them to bed. I came downstairs to find James collapsed on the couch.. I collapsed on the other couch.
-Happy Anniversary Honey, I love you!
-Happy Anniversary, I love you too!
<loud snoring noise>
And that dear friends is how we celebrated our big 10th. As I lay in the quiet I thought back to my favorite part of our wedding; when we knelt and had our Fathers lay hands on and pray over us. I realized that everything they had asked for that day God in his faithfulness has answered. We have been blessed with children, spiritual children, financial provision, physical protection from accidents & injury. We have seen miracles and experienced God at work in our lives - we have seen him give peace, grace, mercy, wisdom and blessing. I write all this to say, Thank you God for 10 incredible years! I may not know what the future holds, but I do know that between James and four energetic children I will never be bored and quite often sleep deprived. And I know that our Faithful God will be with us for the next decade.. and 'til death us do part.'


Phyllis said...


Do you all ever do anything without having it turn into an adventure?

Phyllis said...

Oh, and see what you miss out on by not traveling by elektrichka more often? :-)

Anonymous said...

Susan - I am reading your blog with tears! What a testimony your family is to these dear people! What a testimony of God's and grace your marriage is, as well! May you have many more "Big" days! In His Love, Julie H.

Anonymous said...

Happy 10th Anniversary!!!
Man, that's too bad you guys couldn't go to Rome... I wish we could have been there to babysit!
Love you guys! Praying for you!

Marlene Boothe said...

James and Susan,

Happy anniversary! I met y'all once at Betty's in Kerrville, Honey was my uncle so I guess that makes her the aunt we have in common...

Also, I work for the International Mission Board, teaching MK's while their parents are in either orientation or debriefing, depending on whether they are going out or coming back to/from the field. I love MK's so I would have been honored to keep your kids!

Well, I just wanted you to know that even people who don't know you very well keep up with your goings on and pray for you. May God bless you with many more great years of family adventures!

Marlene Boothe

Renita said...

I had lunch with Wendy Tucker, who was in Jack's Sunday School class many years ago, and Russia came up. Doesn't happen much, now that we have been back here 7 yrs. Then she asked if I had heard about you all. So when I ran across your blog a minute ago, I decided to look further. I am glad you are doing well, and Susan, I am glad you were able to take your 4 children to the Moscow Zoo by yourself for your 10th anniversary. I love that zoo, and think of it often. Sounds like they have made some improvements since we were there. I took Micah and Malachi to the OKC zoo Monday, and one of them asked if there were any rabbits in the zoo. I thought, "I don't think so, but I know a zoo where there are some."

Well, really I was looking for the e-mail address of some current Moscowvites to tell them that 3 new Build-a-Bear Workshops are opening in Moscow in Oct.! Who would have ever thought! Can't imagine how much that will cost there. Maybe you can take the kids there for your 15th anniversary.


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