“The Little Condo on the Prairie” (9-16-14)

The inhabitants of “The Little Condo” recently took a family trip to the drive-through for dinner — you can ride along if you’d like:

Cheryl had to work really hard this particular Monday, so I decided we’d give her a break and go get some fast food for dinner. But as I was getting ready to leave, Paul mentioned how he was really craving one of those old-fashioned, store-bought, really-bad-for-you cookie cakes. I made an executive decision: “EVERYBODY load up! This is going to be a family outing!” Almost surprisingly, no one objected, so Cheryl, Paul, Michael & I all piled into the Camry. It was a good decision:

As we were getting into the car to leave, a college-aged young lady was walking by. I nodded at her in a friendly way, but she remained absolutely stoic, and did not acknowledge me whatsoever. Then she noticed Paul getting into the car, and her facial expression changed as she smiled at him. I mentioned what happened to everyone, and said, “Yeah, she totally changed when she saw Paul.”
And then I laughed: “Or was it Michael?” Paul was fairly certain I was right the first time!

We were listening to the local Christian radio station as we headed out in the car, and I began talking about lyrics from certain songs that I did not approve of, as they were not theologically sound. The boys were giving me a hard time about my pickiness, and soon the song “10,000 Reasons” came on, with its opening words right out of Psalm 103:1. Paul looked over at me and said, “Anything wrong with ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul’, Dad?”

After that, Michael asked if I had any “Third Day” songs on my iPhone (which I didn’t). Cheryl asked for an example of a “Third Day” song, and Michael suggested “Resurrection.” Paul cleared his throat, and Michael thought Paul was asking who “Third Day” was, and started telling him about the group.
“I know who they are” Paul said. “I was listening to ‘Third Day’ before you were born!”

While we were driving, Paul did his best imitation of one of my less lucid moments.
Our family has another Fantasy Football league this year, and before the season started, in order to prepare for “family bragging rights” I decided to do a “mock draft” with other players on the computer one night. The software for the league was a little different this year, and I had trouble keeping up with the proceedings, and unfortunately I expressed my confusion out loud, exclaiming: “What? What happened to Matt Ryan? I had him in my queue! He’s gone?” And then: “Wait, I had 3 guys lined up; where are they? They are all gone?! They couldn’t have taken all of them.” Predictably, our son Paul made fun of the hysterics I evidenced when I was so confused.
A couple of days later, I was looking up some examples of stone fireplaces for Paul, who is remodeling his new condo. But all of the sudden, I lost the picture I was looking at, and again began to express my confusion. Paul took it from there, immediately launching into a great imitation of my previous cluelessness: “Hey, what happened to these fireplaces? I had them all lined up here! Where are they? Where’s the one with the stone? They’re all gone! They can’t all be missing!”
Paul kept us entertained on our drive to get fast food with another “rendition” of my “episode.” We all know that no one ever lets anything go around our house. Nothing is forgotten. It sure wasn’t that night!

We took Paul by Wal-Mart, where he finally found his cookie cake. I drove the car to the end of a parking row and watched for Paul to come out of the store. While we sat there, a well-muscled man with a crew cut got out of his pickup and started towards the store.
Michael quipped: “Why do guys with crew cuts look so tough?”
“Guys like that ARE tough” I said. “He’s in the Army.”
Just then Cheryl saw the man bend over. “Oh, I think his flip flop just broke”, she said.
Sure enough, it had broken. He messed with it for a few moments, then gave up. He started walking to the store, but he had to hike his leg up with a funny motion with every step to keep his sandal from falling off. We all burst out laughing at how comical he now looked, and how quickly his “macho” image faded with the advent of his broken flip flop!

Because of the various stops and the traffic that was backed up due to construction, it was right at an hour by the time we arrived home with the food. Michael got out of the car and said, “I think I’m gonna take my food in and go listen to my theologically insignificant music!”

But we had a good time on the “outing” — glad you could come along with us!

In other news …

A couple of weeks ago I took Cheryl to get some new glasses and decided to have a problem in one of my eyes checked out at the same time. Thankfully it was nothing serious: in fact my vision is still nearly perfect from my Lasik in Lake Charles with Dr. Yokubaitis, and in what the optometrist called an “anomaly” I can also read very well without reading glasses. The doctor was astounded (and I am blessed!) He did tell me, however, that I have a “vitrious blob” that is floating around in my right eye; not harmful, and not much to do about it; it may dissolve later. But it sounds to me like it would make a great “B” movie title: “I Have A Vitrious Blob!” 🙂

We started Michael back to home school recently, and one morning he came dragging out of his room to start Algebra II with Cheryl. She asked him if he wanted some breakfast, and he groggily declined. A couple of minutes later, Cheryl walked back into the kitchen, where Michael was eating some chocolate cake she had made the night before.
Cheryl: “I thought you weren’t hungry?”
Michael: “I forgot we had cake!”

(By the way, after I grabbed this picture, Michael protested, “Really, Dad?” Cheryl added: “This is why we like it on days Dad has to go to work!”)

My sister asked Cheryl, Paul & I to try to come up with creative names for a certain ministry project for a friend of hers. After we had called out several, including some Greek names I had looked up in the lexicon which I thought might fit the project, Paul exclaimed: “Bacon”!
My sister questioned: “Bacon? Bacon and what?”
“Nothing else. Just ‘Bacon’!” He said confidently. He went on to explain why he thought this was a great idea for millennials and other young adult types.
The rest of us looked at each other skeptically. “Don’t worry” I told my sister. “This comes from the guy who as a preschooler, when we asked him what he wanted to name his little sister when she was born, exuberantly suggested: ‘Tomato Juice’!”

Last Friday, I was getting dressed and had to go to the laundry room to get a white tee shirt from the dryer.
Seeing where I was headed — in obvious need of a shirt — Cheryl said: “I don’t know why they put the dryer so far away from our bedroom, when we always store all our white clothes in it.”
“Yeah I don’t know; just a design flaw, I guess.” 😉

Cheryl & I were driving home from the mall one day last week, and she said, “I try to get in the right lane as soon as possible, but you don’t.”
“No,” I replied. “The right lane is pretty full, and I play this game where I get a point for every car I pass, and subtract a point for every car that passes me, on the way home. I usually end up with somewhere between 10-12 positive points by the time I get home. See, I just passed 4 cars! Oh, and it doesn’t count if either you or they are in the turn lane.”
Cheryl started laughing: “You have problems! People think I have problems, but it is YOU! You have problems!”

Like many people, we are excited that college football season is finally underway. One evening we were watching OU’s archenemy, Texas, losing to BYU 34-0 in the 3rd quarter, and at one point in the mauling, Cheryl exclaimed, “You know, I kind of feel sorry for Texas.”
Paul responded in a mock stern voice: “Don’t ever let me hear those words from you again!”

Speaking of college football, these cuties are all dressed and ready to cheer for the Sooners:



Michael, returning home after getting to tear out some of a wall in Paul’s bathroom as we were helping to remodel his new condo:
“I got to use the sledge hammer on Paul’s bathroom. It was the most fun ever!”

Michael: “Soon we’ll get to see Josh & Libby’s new baby, ‘John Calvin Breland’ — or whatever girl name it will be.”
Me: “‘Irresistible Grace’ might be good, but it sounds like the name of a heroine from a cheap penny novel.”
Michael: “What about ‘Perseverance of the Saints?'”
Me: “Perseverance might actually be a good name.”
The conversation broke up when Michael then suggested: “What about Total Depravity?”

Thankful to have had your ear today! 😉


About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
This entry was posted in Home & Family Life, This Week In Paradise (pastors family blog). Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “The Little Condo on the Prairie” (9-16-14)

  1. Elizabeth Tomato Juice Breland has a nice ring to it. 😉 I love these stories!

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