Monday, December 15, 2008

Wonder Upon Wonder

Before the ice is in the pools,
Before the skaters go,
Or any cheek at nightfall
Is tarnished by the snow,
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me!

~ Emily Dickinson

So, I got up at 4:30 this morning and made a vat of oatmeal for the troops (The latest Omaha Contingent: two of our boys and six of their school mates) before they left. The plan was that they would meet the other van of children and Sister at the Denver Mint, go through the tour, and, as far as we knew, head on back to Omaha immediately following. But,

At about 10:30 this morning, I got a call from Jon:

Hey, Mom, Kevin says to call and see if we can come over for lunch.
Me: For lunch?
Jon: Yeah, if that's OK.
Me: How many of you?
Jon: All of us.
Me: And how many is that?
Jon: Oh, I don't know ~ twenty-five or so.
Me (After I picked up the phone and my jaw from the floor): OK, Jon. (pause) Bring 'em on over. How long 'til you get here?
Jon: About forty minutes.

I didn't have time to chat any more after that.

OK. Lunch for 25 kids (plus my own) in forty minutes.

Sure. I can do that.

(Ack. Ack.)

A tall order. But, any time I might be tempted to forget how good God is, and how He knows all things, how He never fails to take care of His teaching Sisters, and how there are no accidents in the universe, I have an episode like today's.

Here is what conspired to allow us to pull this off without a hitch, as unlikely as it may seem:

1) Dominic and Michelle were forced to stay home this morning from the field trip due to the fact that we didn't think the vans would be able to swing back around and drop them off back at home after the tour. So I had good grown-up-kid help.

2)With all my excellent help, I had the luxury of going on a cleaning jag this morning after the boys left. We decided we couldn't crack a book until we'd gotten the house back in order. Right before Jon called, I'd just finished sweeping and mopping all the floors, and the kids had cleaned the kitchen and unloaded the dishwasher. So, the house was clean and the dishes all washed unusually early.

3)I "accidentally" made way too much chicken gumbo for dinner last night and we had about a two gallon pot left.

4) My husband is the stock-up king of the universe (and has a remarkably well organized food storage system down in our cellar, I might add). He has several 6 lbs 12oz cans of chili (good chili, too!) stored down there, and had just gotten a humongous bag of shredded cheddar and a big bag of Marie Callendar corn bread mix. We even had some honey butter still left from Thanksgiving, hiding in the back of the fridge. So, we had a quick-fix meal ready in no time! In addition to the chicken gumbo, we had a canning pot full (2 of those 6 lbs cans!) of chili, the shredded cheese, a salad from ingredients on hand, and two 13" jelly roll pans of corn bread with honey butter.

Every bit of it was eaten.

Here are a bunch of the children at lunch:

Here are most of them (except two, I think, and Sister) before they left for the trip back to school:

Here is how they paid me for the lunch.

They sang for their supper!


Bia said...

Brava, Lisa! I am impressed that you whipped up a meal so quickly for so many people.

It looked like so much fun.

Sheila said...

Wow! It is amazing how God acts so often in our lives. Almost as often we fail to notice. But just as Mary did, you said yes. Good for you! They certainly have beautiful voices!

Memarie Lane said...

Did they help wash up? ;)

I made a big pot of chili from scratch yesterday putting together a few different recipes, and it turned out amazing. Also had cornbread with it, though I usually serve it with Fritos.

Anne P said...

Lisa, what a blessing! It's great how He works things out like that! Who are the Sister's that are there with the kids? I could not quite tell.

GrandmaK said...

God is GOOD, all the TIME. He was in magnificent form wasn't he? The glory you must have experienced with hime visible in your midst. All those angelic voices! Thank you and Thanks be to God!! Cathy

SuzyQ said...

That is amazing!
And what a treat to hear those beautiful voices too.
What a happy, happy home you have. So welcoming and full of life :00
Blessings ~

Lisa said...

Bia ~ It's amazing what you can do with 6 lbs cans of chili on hand! LOL! It was fun! Actually, having so little time didn't give me any space to stress about it ~ and when the kids all got here ~ well, they just bring all their own fun!

Sheila ~ It is amazing how He works! And it's always so much better when we remember that it's all about Him and not us ~ that's when He really does work it all out for us, because He's free of our interference! &:o)

Marie ~ Now that is a good question! LOL! They cleared everything, wiped and tidied ~ and then I sent them on their way, because they had an 8 hour drive back to Omaha and I didn't want them out til midnight. &:o) The rest of the kids helped with all the dishes though.

Anne~ That was Sr. Gertrude! Brother X and the Bishop went on ahead, so it was the 25 kids led by Sister, plus her two teenage helpers, Lisa G. and Kevvy. &:o)

Cathy ~ He was here "in the midst of us" ~ most definitely! Nothing ever really works if He isn't, does it?

Suzy ~ Thank-you! I do hope it is. &:o) It's the funniest thing that the less we expect, the more we really get.

Aubrey said...

That's impressive! You will have good memories of this forever!

Laura said...

I had an email exchange with one of my Mormon readers (okay as far as I know there's only one) and I asked her why she talked about food storage so much in her blog.
It just struck me as curious that food storage would be such a big deal.
This is why.
Your post.
We should never turn away guests because there isn't enough food.
We should always be prepared to serve, to host, and to feed.
Isnt' that interesting?
I would love to have extra on hand but alas...condo life sort of holds me back.
I do have tons of soda(my husband drinks it not me) and I could make a pot of chili pretty quickly too.
I love that you were able to make lunch for all those young people.
My mother would have absolutey done the same and we would have eaten grilled cheese and tomato soup.