Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Secret to Success

Before we talk Florida, I must let you in on a little secret. We conned these guys into going with us! Hali and Cameron have been a part of our family for over three years now. They began babysitting for us when Chase was a baby and they had just begun their time at Purdue. Since then, we've watched them go from dating, to engaged, to married last summer. And our relationship with them has sweetened from just babysitters... to friends. When they got married, I thought for sure they'd be ready to get on with their hard earned "adult" life. For some crazy reason, though, they keep sticking around. And it's definitely a package deal (it's neat to see certain kids bond in a special way with one or the other). They love our kids, each other, and God. And proof of how much our kids love them? We've offered to take a boy or two with us to small group (as a special treat) before when they've babysat, and we get turned down every time. No one wants to miss out on the fun at home! So they ventured to Florida with us, and probably learned more than they ever wanted to know about our family. :) We lived in swimsuits and bathed much too irregularly. We hardly picked up after ourselves. We slept in pretty close quarters. We shared lotions and a bathroom.

But it worked beautifully. We had four extra hands at the pool to help monitor the older swimmers, and help hang with the little ones. Tyler and I had date nights a few evenings while Hali and Cameron stayed back at the condo with the kids. These guys changed diapers, rubbed on sunscreen, and cleaned up dishes more times than I can count (come to think of it, I never loaded the dishwasher once the whole week!), all without us ever mentioning a word. And they were a joy to be with - such fun, and such servants.

We would put the kids to bed at night, and if Tyler and I weren't on a date, we would gather in Hali and Cameron's side of the suite for snacks and cards. We've already played one round of Hand and Foot since we've been home, until wee hours of the morning. I definitely see this trend continuing. Lots of laughs, sarcasm, healthy competition, and great conversation going on.

Yep, definitely friends.

Thanks, Stouts, for the many ways you have - and continue - to bless our family!

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