So I Married a Soda Jerk

Last weekend was the Delightful Daughter Ball at the girls’ school.  It was pretty momentous for us because it heralded the end of an era – Caroline’s final daddy-daughter gala.  It was also the only one she has ever attended with Martha Claire.  The theme was the 50’s…but, you might could have guessed that:

Although I pushed for the Tucker crew to go with the ‘Mad Men’ look, alas, it was out of reach – Caroline was not touching those fancy dresses with a ten foot pole.  I think the alternative ended up a thousand times better, especially since Soda Jerk is actually reusing his thrift-store pants from last year’s dance.

I stayed home and had a date of my own with the little man, so I didn’t get to witness all the fun and excitement of the dance, but I caught these two reliving some of the fun the next day in the kitchen –

Whoever thought a soda jerk would be so much cooler than The Fonz or Don Draper?!? I am one lucky girl.

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Uniquely Made

Women’s roles are so diversified and unique to each of us.  In my organizational mind, I try to categorize us into our different specialties and seasons.  If only it was that simple.  There are so many categories, and then within each category there are sub-categories.  For example, there are women who cook.  Some who cook professionally, some who cook as a hobby, some who cook only as required to feed their families.  There are women who use social networking.  Some as a fun way to keep up with family and friends, some as a therapeutic outlet, some as a career.  There are women who are moms.  Some are working moms, some are stay-at-home moms, some who are empty-nesters.  And on and on and on.

The cool thing is that God does not require us to fit into a certain category in order to use us.  He is not God in a Box.  He is infinitely bigger than any box we could put Him in.  The fact is, we can and should glorify Him wherever we are, in whatever station or season we are in at the moment.

I am looking forward to an upcoming conference here in Denver called Uniquely Made. It is a program designed for women of all ages and stages to come together and learn how to be intentional in using the different gifts and opportunities God has given us to best honor and glorify Him.  I am privileged to be one of the seminar speakers…specifically on the opportunities we are given through motherhood.  Mom or not, married or not, working/student/retired or not – if you are a woman, you qualify.  I hope all you ladies in the Denver area will be able to make it, April 20th and 21st.  Here is the link to find out more – Uniquely Made Conference.

If you happen to be in South Dakota…

This past fall we took the kids and headed north to the Black Hills in order to experience the colossal thing that is Mount Rushmore.  It was a great trip, and well worth a blog chronicle (several months late or not).  I highly recommend this journey… if you ever happen to be within 300  miles of South Dakota.  Just remember to pack a lunch.

Apparently, there is no fast food between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Rapid City, South Dakota.  Folks, that’s a long way.  Luckily, my husband had ‘forced’ me to make a picnic lunch so that we could save some moolah.  I am so glad he was right.  (even though I didn’t think so at the time – I confess, I complained about making lunches against my will at 6 am the morning we left)

The roadside picnic lunch was made more enjoyable with the wide-open Wyoming scenery.

Too bad, if we had waited a little longer we might could have had ourselves a buffalo burger in Custer State Park.

Yum.  On the other hand, this guy did not look too keen on the idea.

The monument itself is actually visible from miles away.  Here is our first shot of it:

I hope you can see it right smack in the middle of the picture.  This is still a good 10 to 15 miles away from the entrance to the monument park.

We decided to approach the mountain from the very scenic tunnel route.  There are three tunnels you drive through, and each one has a fantastic view of the carving right through it.  Here is the furthest tunnel:

And, here is the closest:

Are you thrilled to the bone yet?!?

Well, we really were.  Perhaps you have to see it to experience it.  Like this.

And this.

And, after hiking closer we got this fantastic view of Washington up through the crack of a cave.

And, finally our hike rounded off with the ‘family view’.

I will say that one of my favorite parts of the trip was walking through the American history with Caroline, who is old enough to begin appreciating the sacrifice and courage of the men and women who helped form our nation.  Personally, I often take our freedom for granted, and so it was a good thing to revisit the words of our founding fathers such as:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation….

We just don’t write like that anymore.

The kids were totally thrilled with staring at the 60-foot faces of our presidents carved into a mountain, and they would have insisted we stay even longer if we hadn’t made plans to try out South Dakota’s largest indoor water park….

It was a distant second to the monument in the ‘thrill’ category, at least for the grown-ups, but a worthwhile diversion nonetheless.

Waterslides aside, this trip was quite an experience – to drive through the western plains of Colorado and Wyoming, then the beautiful black hills of South Dakota, and finally to end up at this huge monument in the middle of nowhere.  It was just so…American.  It stirred up the place in my heart that belongs to a pioneer, and that I believe is part of the legacy of our founding fathers.  If you do ever happen to be in South Dakota, it is definitely worth a glimpse.

Prayer List Perspective

There is nothing like a good dose of perspective.  Especially here in middle class America.  I have a tendency to make thunderstorms out of spring showers.  But, I am always humbled when I take a look at my prayer list that includes my friend who is going through radiation over the next five weeks to treat a tumor on her brain stem.  Or another friend who lost her job last week.  Or a woman grieving the death of her 17 year old son.

Or my friend Mary Jane who lives in Uganda, a country in which the people face challenges like getting attacked by crocodiles while fetching water and dangerous political unrest and oppression.  There are lots of bugs in Uganda, but no Super Targets.  She shares her heart and her daily reality in a very poignant and honest way at Dennisons in Uganda.  It is amazing stuff.

Last week I heard a story on the radio about a North Korean girl who finally found someone in the ‘black market’ who could give her a Bible.  She had been searching for a Bible for eleven years.  She also faces a severe prison sentence if she is caught in possession of that precious book.  How often do I have to wait even eleven months for something I want or need much less risk imprisonment for it?

Not to say my troubles are completely insignificant or can’t end up being used for a good purpose.  But, it sure does my soul some good to get perspective.  It leads me to begin my prayers with so much genuine thanksgiving for the blessings and gifts that God has showered on me.  I know that real storms will come, as they do for us all.  They are powerful tools God uses to test our faith and develop our perseverance.   In the mostly sunny meantime, though, I have to choose not to let the occasional drizzle bring me down.