We got the chance to settle into Lauren's life as she lives it here in Sparta, Missouri. In the morning we got the two kids ready to go visit Mommy at work. I had forgotten just how much effort it takes to keep an eye on a two-year-old while trying to feed and change a 6 month-old baby. As Lauren told me "Welcome to my world!"
On the way to the office we could hear the two kids in the back seat just laughing and giggling together. It was so precious to hear and watch Christian wrinkle up his nose and make faces at Faith. Her reaction was the reward he wanted as she squealed and squeaked back at him. 5 minutes later all was quiet and we looked back to see that Christian was sound asleep!
We went to the Bass Pro Shop and if you have never been, it is quite an experience. They have live exhibits of swimming turtles, snakes and huge aquariums full of the largest big mouth bass I have ever seen. Chrisitan loved showing us all his favorite displays. Later that night we went to Lambert's Cafe (Home of the throwed rolls)for dinner. As you sit at your booth an attendant strolls along and throws hot rolls at you! All of a sudden Jeremiah reached up and caught a spinning roll just before it bounced off Lauren's face! Thank goodness for Jeremiah's quick reaction time! It was an all-you-can- eat dinner and people line up outside for hours just to dine here.
The next day we had a family gathering at Jeremiah's parents home for dinner. Back here it is called dinner at lunch and supper at dinner. Everything was delicious and we got to meet Grandma and Grandpa May. You can certainly see the family resemblance in the four generations of the May family. When I mentioned this to Grandpa May he said "Yeah, I marked 'em good, didn't I?" He was quite the character and a lot of fun to meet. He had to leave right after dinner as he still had some planting to do before dark!
We got to meet Lauren's co-workers from the O'Reilly Auto Parts corporate office. They plan monthly outings and every other month is family night but this night was for the adults only. We went to downtown Springfield where they have several blocks of clubs you can attend. Some are dance clubs some are just listening to music clubs. We went to Ernie Bigg's where they have dueling pianos. It was fun to meet Lauren's friends and co-workers and to experience the fun you can have on a Saturday night in Missouri.
On Mother's Day we all went to church in the morning where the kids had prepared a cute play for the occasion and also presented each mother a fresh carnation and a homemade candle. Lauren and Jeremiah were busy keeping their young family quiet during the services. Christian was a hit with all the kids because he was still working on the stash of candy that Pop brought for him and he was generously handing it out piece by piece to all the outstretched hands.
After services every Sunday the tradition is to gather at Granny Hodges for dinner. The whole family arrives and if you don't show...expect a phone call! As I went through the buffet line I had my choice of fried chicken, ham, baked beans, scalloped potatoes, salad, green beans and a multitude of many other side dishes. Granny met me at the end of the line and filled me in on the rulles of the house. Women go into the living room and sit with their plate balanced on their lap. The men sit around the table in the kitchen! Jeremiah is still too young to sit at the men's table in the kitchen so he went to the back room with the "younger" male cousins. Those guys range in age from 10 to 40! Doug said that after the men were done with their plates they were offered homemade ice cream. (I never saw the ice cream!) We laughed later that it was a good thing I didn't try to reach for ice cream on the men's table because I might have taken a fork to the wrist! Granny kept a watchful eye over the men to make sure they ate their fill and wanted for nothing. (Doug thought this was a FINE tradition!)
After dinner we all returned to Lauren and Jeremiah's where we could take naps and sleep off the delicious Mother's Day dinner!