The Big Church Party

About three entire weeks ago, we were sitting on the cusp of school starting up again.  Moms were arguing in stores everywhere over school clothes choices and shaking their heads at the cost of a five-subject, spiral-bound notebook, right before they asked, “And you need SIX of these for classes?”  Everyone was pinning easy weeknight dinners, in some hopes that we would all get out of our grilled hamburgers and wine… again… for dinner routine and start making casseroles that our children would never eat.  We were all praising central air conditioning, as we bellowed in outrage about THE HEAT!  GOOD HEAVENS, THIS HEAT!!  It was so monstrously hot outside that most nights, by 4 PM, some of us knew that we’d just throw our daily outfits in the garbage, because no amount of Tide would ever get the horror of the sweat out.

On those nights, we simply had Popsicles and wine for dinner.

That’s exactly the time when our church planned our End of the Summer Celebration.  We had a gigantic, inflatable water slide lined up, which would be flanked by numerous kiddie pools, squirt guns and hoses.  Bring on the refreshing water in the midst of all that heat!  We were encouraging the children at church to come on out and soak your parents!  Shoot your parents with a gigantic squirt gun!  Hubs and several other guys bought big bags of charcoal briquettes, in anticipation of cooking enough hot dogs to feed every ticket-holder at an NFL game.

Obviously, the Baptists know how to do the end of summer up right.

And then, that morning, we switched from 100-degree weather to a cloudy day of 58 degrees, thank you very much.

The only issue is that fifty-eight degrees isn’t always conducive to HEY!  WE HAVE A WATER SLIDE AND KIDDIE POOLS!  No matter.  Baptist kids are tough, as they come from a long line of solid potluck dinner buffets that have strengthened them and fortified them.  Several of them took the plunge and got into the water.

Thing 2 arrived in a sweatshirt.

Yes.  A sweatshirt… IN AUGUST… IN SMALL TOWN.  I don’t think anyone in Small Town had ever worn a sweatshirt in August before this event.  I told him that he was more than likely going to FREEZE PLUM DADGUM TO HIS DEATH, if he got into the water, but Thing 2 has been challenging me since the day he was born.

img_2034 img_2036He was the second kid in the water, and that was only because his little friend Leah was at the party first and beat him.


img_2044He climbed the giant ladder on the slide…

img_2046 img_2048 img_2049… and this next snapshot shows you exactly how it felt when he stuck the landing.

img_2052 img_2039I didn’t take pictures, but crusts of ice were forming on the little pools and the penguins were arriving in their tuxedos, carrying suitcases.

img_2053 img_2055 img_2062We had some other brave little Baptist children who stepped forward and said, “We will try the slide in the midst of this Arctic breeze!”

img_2070 img_2077 img_2079 img_2082 img_2081 img_2086And then we had some kids who are smarter than the others and said, “We’re not swimming OR sliding in this weather!”


img_2054 img_2061 img_2057 img_2059 img_2060 img_2083 img_2113 img_2115 img_2114 img_2105

img_2116 img_2117With chattering teeth, Thing 2 took to the squirt guns.  He became a ninja with moves, and he sprayed everyone who came within thirty-eight feet of him.  He may have even screamed ninja warrior screams that frightened the elderly.

img_2063 img_2095 img_2098 img_2099 img_2100 img_2102And then… as the breeze came up even more… our preschooler burst into tears and bawled his head off because…



Which is why he ended up back in his sweatshirt, under strict orders to STAY THE HECK OUT OF THAT WATER, BECAUSE THIS IS THE ONLY SET OF DRY CLOTHES  YOU HAVE WITH YOU.

img_2142Our church’s youth pastor organized some relay races for families.

Teams were put together, smack talk was thrown down, and it was like we were going to beat the Methodists to the potluck tables!  Baptists are a competitive lot.

img_2118 img_2122 img_2130 img_2134Folks sat around in the chilly air to watch the games unfold, as they cheered for different friends.


img_2154 img_2155 img_2156 img_2157 img_2165 img_2167 img_2168 img_2171One of the relays involved spraying teammates with water, as someone else threw baking flour all over them.

Youth pastors have been ruining clothes in the name of fun for years.

img_2178And THAT was the precise second that the battery in my camera died.


Clearly, I haven’t learned the crucial bit of the photographer’s Bible which states, “Have your battery charged at all times, or have a backup battery in your bag.”

Backup, schmackup.

I learned my lesson.  The most hilarious parts of the relays went undocumented.

I’d blame it on the heat, but I was actually freezing that night.

Have a happy weekend, y’all.

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