Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Branson Here We Come

For about the past ten years, my "adopted" grandfather's church in Branson hosts a Pastor's Conference. It's basically like a revival where we have church in the morning and at night and lots of shopping (for the girls) and golf (for the guys) in between services. It's a two and a half day conference, so you can imagine shopping, church, eating, kids, shopping, church, you get the point, it can get crazy. I don't know if we were thinking clearly, but we decided that we would take both of the kids with us. Along with our little crew, my parents, our friends Austin and Allie, and another lady from our church went. We had a great time. The kids actually did REALLY good in the car on the way up there. It's about a 5 & 1/2 hour trip. This was the first time for Owen to be in the car for such a long period of time, but he did great. He pretty much slept the whole time. Olivia was also really good. We took her last year, but I wasn't sure how she would react since she's older now, but she did great.

We had a wonderful time while we were there, like always. I really enjoyed church Monday night and it was really nice because my mom and Mary Lou were tired from the trip so they stayed home and kept the kids. (It was pure bliss!!) I don't know about you, but sometimes church and kids don't mix. It's exhausting at times. I hate this because I want to go and enjoy the service, but I can't because it's the kids bedtimes or nap times or they're just plain fussy..I could go on.  Unfortunately, a nursery isn't offered during these special services, so it really was a blessing that they wanted to stay at the house with them. I know it's just the season of life that we're in, but it was nice getting to enjoy the services without any disruptions.
The next morning the guys went to the morning service which was a forum of "seasoned pastors & preachers" where they did a Q&A session. The guys said it was really good. I hate that we missed it, but us girls and the kiddos went on an all-day shopping trip. We had a great time. After church the guys went and played a round of golf and then it was back to church that night. Like I said, this trip is fun, but it can be exhausting.
The next morning, Wednesday, they usually have a morning service and then provide an amazing lunch. This year they did things a little differently. Instead of having a morning service, we had free time and then they had lunch & another forum. We spent the morning doing what we do =) Then we went to the church for lunch. As always, it was DELICIOUS!! They always go above and beyond. Not only with the food, but with the decorations, hospitality, etc. Instead of going to the second forum we did a little more shopping and then headed home. Since we all couldn't fit in one vehicle, Mom, Dad, Mary Lou and the kids left after lunch to head home, so it was nice getting to spend time with our friends and Ben on the ride home. Usually it takes us about 5 & 1/2 hours to get to get home, but we made it back in 4 hours and 45 minutes!! Yes, Ben drove like a mad man on a mission. I was actually glad because we all had to work the next day. LOL! (That's probably the only time I'll congratulate Ben for driving like a maniac. LOL!!) 

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