Nothing Stinks About It


Where do I begin to share those amazing times we had as a family with our sweet young children? Yes, the pictures show a glimpse but some of the more memorable moments weren’t captured with photography. We love to reminisce and laugh together. I will be the first to tell you we are not the perfect family but in the famous saying of our oldest, Samuel, those were, “Ahhh….good times.”DCP_1334

…..We took the kids on their first backpacking trip to Big Bend, Texas, with some dear friends.  Leah, our youngest, had just turned 4 and she insisted that she wanted to carry her little backpack and water, etc. the whole 2 miles into the back-country and she walked all the way on her own. The first few nights we roughed it all the way. The third night we stayed in a campground. As she and I walked towards the bathroom, she piped up,”Mommy, do you have the shovel?”

Another camping trip… we were sitting outside at the picnic
table in the evening and Ross very calmly and slowly stated,  “Ruth, whatever you do, don’t move….there’s a skunk right beside you.”

I screamed and jumped about 4 feet!!! The skunk jumped about that much, too, and ran off. Thankfully, no spray….I think I scared him even more than he scared me.

Later that night, about 2:00 in the morning, Samuel, age 10, came to our tent and whispered. “Dad, Mom, I hate to wake you up….but there’s a skunk in our tent and what stinks about it, is that Isaac is using it like a pillow and he’s fast asleep.” It had taken Samuel over 20 minutes to slowly and quietly get out of the tent to come to ours, without disturbing the skunk. Ross dragged himself out of the sleeping bag and carefully walked over to the boys’ tent.Big Bend 2003 059

Meanwhile I was desperately praying that the skunk wouldn’t get scared and spray them. All I could imagine was the awful stench and how much tomato juice it would take to make things better.

Ever so carefully, they opened the tent flap to observe the skunk and Isaac, age 6, soundly sleeping.Shining the flashlight and studying closer, the “skunk” turned out to be the stripe of yellow on the hood of Isaac’s blue mummy sleeping bag…

Mom’s Idol

Our first year of marriage, Ross got me an antique white bowl and pitcher with pinkish red flowers. As the kids were growing up, we found an old wood washstand that fit it and the antique piece stood in an area in the house that was somewhat in the walkway.

With four young children, I was often anxious that the bowl and pitcher might get broken. As the kids grew, the bowl and pitcher became affectionately known as “Mom’s idol.”

I always wanted the children to know that they were truly more precious to me than any material possession. So one day, I thought through very clearly what I wanted to say to make sure that they knew how much I loved them.

Somberly, I stated, “In all seriousness, I want you kids to know that I value the bowl and pitcher more than all four of you put together.”

My words were all jumbled but I didn’t realize it.

Their shocked faces caught me off-guard so in order to emphasize the point, I repeated what I said. “I’m being totally serious. I want you kids to know that I value the bowl and pitcher more than all of four of you put together.”

When they burst out laughing and told me EXACTLY what I said, I couldn’t believe it. So, it became the running joke…”We knew it all along, Mom. The bowl and pitcher is more valuable than all of us, except for Dad.”