Tuesday, September 22, 2009

For a Rainy Day

We love playing games in the evenings together. Brian has fond memories of playing games with his family throughout his time at home, and now he has passed that tradition on to us. Even now when we visit his grandparents who are in their 80-90's, our visit is not complete without a game of something - usually Domino's - Mexican Train Game, to be exact.

This summer there was one game that had not been played in our home that drove our son into a single minded man on a mission to learn to play. RISK. We bought the game B.C. - Before Children - when we had time on our hands and played with other young couples until the wee hours of the morning. Usually the girls would end up asleep on the sofas while the guys battled it out for world domination.

So we got the game out and blew off the dust.

I realized quickly how this game was educational! It gave a great reminder of continents, oceans, and the different countries around the world.

Then the strategy skills involved proved to be the most educational of all. On top of that, life lessons were talked about in how we problem solve. The little guy just thought it was going to be a fun game, but he ended up learning things of importance.

Now the girls enjoyed the color, the cute figurines (armies), and the confiscation of countries from the guys. We did enjoy the game, but when it took over THREE of our evenings, we began to loose interest.

This game is not for the faint at heart! Did I mention it takes FOREVER to play?!! But this one general was a happy camper!

This is a great way to keep someone occupied on a wet rainy day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


My Dad's best friend died today. He lived across the street from us all the years I lived with my parents. He only had boys, so I was his surrogate daughter of sorts. Since I am the only girl in my family, I hit the jackpot twice.

I am flooded with memories today. Bill and my Dad taught me how to swim in his swimming pool; Bill taught me how to ski on Lake Tuscaloosa; Bill offered his advice on my boyfriends. Many nights, he would stand in the doorway to my Dad's workshop and talk with my Dad until bedtime. Bill often came over to check on me--I was a latch key kid, and he made sure I got home from school okay. He teased me relentlessly, and I loved it. He came over during the high school years to offer his input in the activities I chose to be involved with. He encouraged me to seek God's best for my life and to make wise decisions.

He loved Archie Bunker and John Wayne. He loved Alabama football.

When I left for college, I cried when I told Bill goodbye. I think he shed a few tears, too.

I couldn't wait to go home and have Bill meet my future husband. I couldn't wait to go home and show Bill my firstborn.

Bill was there for me when my Daddy died suddenly in 2000. He was heartbroken, as was I.

As an adult, we became friends who shared our hurts and fears with each other. He died today with some secrets from my past. I will keep his close to my heart.

So I ponder today who are the "Bills" in my children's lives. In a culture where children are segregated from adults, I intentionally try to put my children around others I respect and want their influence on my two. No Bill is perfect. In Bill's imperfections, I learned of God's grace and unconditional love. I pray today for God to show me how to be a Bill in others' lives.

God burdened my heart to see Bill this past summer. I met him at the end of July in his room at the local nursing home. Bill was there due to Alzheimer's. I told him all you have just read. He didn't talk, but he kept his hand on my cheek and smiled his big grin with his eyes sparkling in acknowledgement. I am so glad I went.

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