“Look Mom. I’m a Wuh-mun!”
you have friends who invite you over to see their newborn baby goats.
I don’t know much about goats, but I’m guessing they don’t usually smell very good. These babies were less than a day old and smelled divine.
I don’t know what the deal is with our new ward. In all other wards I’ve belonged to, if you got to church at least 10 minutes early, you had a great shot at getting the “good seats”. (i.e. fabric covered padded benches on carpet.) Sure, if you were a mere 8 minutes early you might have been stuck trying to squash your family of 6 into the very back side bench made for no more than 4. But you were still assured the “good seats”.
This place is different. Not one Sunday has gone by that we’ve arrived early enough to get good seats. One Sunday Ralf even got worked up after a morning of rushing around, getting kids dressed, packing church bags, gathering shoes and socks and piling into the car only to find, again, that we missed out on the “good seats”. In his frustration he blurted out “If we weren’t always LATE to church, this wouldn’t happen!” To which I patiently pointed out that we were actually 10 minutes early…
In our quest for the “good seats” one Sunday we made it 20 minutes early. Yep, you guessed it, still no “good seats” for us. I think it’s a conspiracy against all the new people, but I have yet to prove my theory. I guess we could try and be 30 minutes early next time just to see if that would make a diference. But, to be honest, it wouldn’t be worth it to me. An extra half hour of keeping my kids quiet, engaged, and reverent on top of the hour of sacrament meeting, just to get “good seats”? No thanks.
So, I have resigned myself to the fact that we will be permanent fixtures in the “bad seats”. For those of you who either always get the “good seats” or haven’t had the opportunity to experience a sacrament meeting at a mormon church, let me explain what the “bad seats” are.
When the chapel full of “good seat” fills up, the accordion-style door to the cultural hall (i.e. basketball gym/stage area) opens up lined with cold, folding metal chairs with an aisle down the middle. The floors are usually hardwood polished to a smooth sheen.
I’ve actually come to peace with this reality. Certainly there are worse things that I could be complaining about. But my point to this post is not to complain. It’s actually to offer some tips and advice to those of you who have also found yourselves week after week in the “bad seats” in sacrament meeting. I know I’m not alone. So just for you, I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips so you can make the most of your time in the “bad seats”.
Items to add to your church bag:
- Magnetic numbers and letters. You know, the kind that you can find on almost every first time parent’s refrigerator. They stick wonderfully to every part of the metal chair.
- Cloth books. We have never been big fans of these. Luckily, my kids are all too old for them but for those of you with littler ones, these are the kinds of books that have shoelaces to tie, or zippers to zip, or buttons to button. They are made not of paper but of nice soft fabric. Why these particular books? Because when they’re dropped they land silently or, heaven forbid, when they’re chucked at the snoozing elderly couple a few rows in front of you, they don’t leave a mark.
- A few extra pairs of socks. Why? Just slip them on over the kids’ shoes making them stealthily silent, and if you’re lucky, when the unruly kids run away from you, you avoid having the entire congregation look back and wonder whose kid that is. If you’re not lucky they may discover that the socks make awesome skates.
- A baby blanket. No baby? No problem. A good baby blanket can be folded in half and half again to make a great pillow for your tush on high council Sundays.
Items to remove from your church bag:
- Cheerios, pretzels, crackers, Kix. No need to make a scene when the baggie full of them gets turned upside down and scatters in all directions across the floor. Instead pack some mini marshmallows, gummy bears, and raisins. Silent, bouncy, and tidy.
- Felt scripture figures. No need. Nothing to stick them to without the velcro-like fabric of the “good seats”.
- Anything metal. Metal on metal and the gym acoustics? Really bad combination.
That’s all I’ve got. If you can add to my list, leave me a comment. I think all of us who have resigned ourselves to the “bad seats” could benefit from any and all advice.
do as the Idahoans.” And that would mean ‘floating the river’. I don’t really think it matters what river. We’ve got lots of choices around here but since we’re only 2 miles from the Boise River, that was our river of choice on Saturday. Since we don’t own a single piece of floating equipment yet, we called on some good friends who used to own a river rafting company. They generously loaned us:
- A raft
- Some paddles
- A trailer to tow the raft
- A few life vests
- A dry bag with Band-Aids (which came in handy)
- One of their children with rafting experience
- And some valuable advice, some of which we took and some of which we foolishly left behind. (see below)
After dropping off a second vehicle at the ‘take out’ spot, we motored around until we found the right ‘put in’ spot and successfully unloaded the raft and the kids. We trudged through the brush, put in the raft, towels, camera in the dry bag with the Band-Aids, paddles, and the kids and pushed off into the wild waters.
Note the thrill of the adventure and the enthusiasm of being out in the beauty of nature…
Until a wrong move resulted in a gash on the right knee of said passenger. Thus the need for the Band-Aids.
Note more thrill and enthusiasm. So much so that this one even hopped out into the river on his own.
Maddy with our resident river expert.
I also exuded thrill and enthusiasm…except when I was
Trying to keep Little Will IN the raft.
Despite the looks on some faces (due more to an aversion to pictures than to rafting) all in all, a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Note to self (or more specifically to Ralf). Next time:
- Don’t dismiss the advice to bring the pump with us in the raft. We (he) didn’t fully appreciate the science of hot air inside a raft on a hot summer day hitting the cold water of the Boise water. You know, hot air expands and cold air contracts. A nice and tight raft at the beginning vs. a limp and soggy vessel at the end.
- Clean, dry towels should be left at the ‘take out’ area instead of coming in the raft with us and becoming water logged, heavy baggage in a gravity challenged raft.
- Don’t forget the Band-Aids. With 5 kids, always a good rule no matter where you go.
- Three adults are needed after the trip. Two to pick up the second vehicle and trailer, and one to stay with the kids. Unless you want to leave all kids alone with the raft and 3 whiskey loving strangers looking to shoot beavers passing by in the river.
I’ve been harping on my sister Jennifer to start blogging for like a thousand years and guess what… She’s finally come around and has written her first post. I know she’ll be great at this because:
- She’s a great writer because she reads millions of books. She’s my friend on Goodreads and while my list has about 36 books, hers is close to 300! Show off.
- She’s got 4 great kids with big personalities. There’s always something kooky going on at her house. If she can remember to snap a pic at the right moment she’ll have loads of blogging material.
- Her husband is Mister Big Wig of the publishing world of web developers. I don’t even know what that entails but I know he’s great with computers and has really good grammar skills.
- She got all the good genes in our family. She’s tall, thin, and beautiful so she shouldn’t have any anxiety about posting pics of herself. If she does, I’ll have to strangle her.
So, go visit her blog, leave a comment and welcome her to the addicting world of Mommy Blogging.