Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

Here is how our day of travel played out...

Monday morning started out an hour earlier than intended. Ben decided to throw a fit at 3am and that left me sitting up with him for an hour. At 4am I had to put him in front of the electronic babysitter so that I could start getting ready. He soon realized what I was doing and quickly changed his attitude. He became a pleasant and helpful little guy.

I got him dressed and settled into his carseat with his water cup and a breakfast bar. I then went to get Carlee. As soon as I got downstairs with her she popped awake and asked if we were going to the airport. So I got her dressed too and she happily settled into her carseat with water and breakfast. I brought Sam down next and it was the same thing, he knew what we were doing and he was happy and willing to get into the carseat with his water and breakfast.

My plan was to be on the road by 5am, we were close to that as we drove out of our yard at 5:08! So far so good. The kids chatted excitedly for awhile and were quite fascinated with various things in the dark - they are not often out when it is that dark so it was new to them. Soon though they were all asleep and woke up close to the airport.

In the airport parking lot we had to get them out of their carseats so that the carseats could go into the carseat bags (which by the way are one of the best things I ever purchased for travel!). These bags held not only the carseats but I was able to also pack their clothes, a blanket, two stuffed sleeping buddies, wipes packages and pullups - and I could have easily packed more into them! Anyway, it took some time to get all three carseats and the extra stuff all packed into the bags. We ended up with two airport luggage carts piled with the three carseat bags, my big suitcase and our carry-on bags. It was alot of stuff!

Of course I had to take the customary photo of all three kids. This is so that if someone gets lost I will not have to remember what they were wearing, all I have to do is show the photo!
We finally got into the airport and found the check in desk, which was very busy and took a long time for us to get through there. By then it was time for us to go through security which meant we had to say bye-bye to Daddy. Our kids have never been tearful with goodbyes and so when we said it was time to say bye-bye to Daddy, they casually said "Bye-bye Daddy" and were going to continue on. Of course we had to stop them for a longer good-bye and a quick prayer time. But they we so excited to get to the airplane! We had actually laughed about this a few days earlier when we saw a couple having a tearful goodbye because we knew that this would not be how our goodbyes are.

Then came the challenge of getting through security. One of the requirements is to remove all shoes. What an incredible pain in the butt that is! Then I have to walk through the metal detector by myself and then each of the kids one at a time. Yeah right! It seemed to take us forever to get through the whole process! Then we had to walk quite a long ways to get to our gate - all the way to the very end of the concourse! Of course by myself this would not have seemed far at all, but with a rolling suitcase and three kids in tow it was far enough!

At the gate we only had to wait about 10 minutes before we were able to board. It was a long 10 minutes with hyper excited kids, and I was thankful that it wasn't any longer. We boarded the plane and made our way to the very back - yep we were in Row 42, the very last row! I knew that when we got to our seats we would have a problem. The plane had three seats on the left and three seats on the right, so we had three and one. Someone was going to have to sit beside a stranger because I would need to sit in where I could reach everyone easily. I was a bit worried about who would be the one to sit in the fourth seat across the aisle from me.

Then we met an angel! The person that was in the next seat truly was an answer to prayers! In fact, some of the people from our church had told us they were going to pray that we would be seated next to a kindergarten teacher! Well, Mr. Jonathan may not have been a teacher but he does have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. He took care of Sam just as if he was one of his own grandchildren. They quickly became great buddies and my worries were easily eliminated, especially when we realized that we have the same Christian parenting values! Like I said, Jonathan was truly an answer to prayer.

One of my concerns was what their reaction would be to the noise of the plane and taking off. We had long discussions that there was no crying allowed on airplanes and that if someone was scared then they were to hold hands with the person next to them. When the plane started to move and the noise increased Sam immediately reached across the aisle to hold my hand, but he was soon fine. Ben was in the window seat and he was literally bouncing in his seat because he was so excited by seeing all the other planes and airport vehicles. Carlee was beside me and when we taxied down the runway she was giggling her little head off gleefully saying weeeeee-weeeeee.

The flight was not exactly a breeze, it was not long before Ben had figured out how to unbuckle his seatbelt. At one point I was talking with Sam and when I turned around Ben was sitting on the tray table! That child sure knows how to find his own trouble!

After we landed we were taken care of again by Jonathan and his brother when they made sure that we knew what gate our connecting flight was. Even though I now have their email address I don't think I will ever be able to let them know just how much of a blessing they were to us that day!

We had to get through 4 concourses in less than 20 minutes for the boarding of our next flight! There was no way we would have time to stop for lunch so I was grateful that I had packed lots of snacks. I was starting to wonder if we would even be able to make it - afterall we were walking about as fast as turtles. I was so grateful to find a shuttle stop that took us to our gate! We got to the gate and I decided we had enough time for a quick restroom break. When we got back to the gate they were already boarding - we did not have any time to spare!!!

This plane had two seats on either side of the aisle so we took up a whole row. We got settled into our seats. Well, I got them into seatbelts but by this time they were on a sugar rush from all the candies, cookies and straight juice they had had on the previous flight. I was grateful that they could be bribed to stay in the seatbelts if I gave them a snack of cereal and granola bars. Whew! It was a crazy few minutes and I was worried that it would be a very very long 2 hours.

I was wrong, within minutes of taking off I noticed that Carlee and Ben were getting sleepy. I took out their jackets to use as pillows and tried to make them comfortable. When I was finished I turned around to see that Sam had also fallen asleep! He only slept for about 15-20 minutes, but it was enough for him to be refreshed. We had a nice time just the two of us.

Meanwhile Ben & Carlee continued to sleep and were still sleeping when we landed! It was a delightfully peaceful flight - the best of all possible scenarios.

We were the last ones off the plane and we stopped at the restroom before getting into the line for Customs. While we were in the line we had to make a trip back to the bathroom, but being last in line we did not lose our place when we returned! We made it through customs with no problems and then I had to collect all of our bags. At this point there was only a Customs officer in the baggage claim area and she was kind enough to offer to help us out of the secured area and through the doors to finally meet up with Mimi and Papa. We also had the nice surprise of seeing my aunt and uncle too!

When I think of how many things could have went wrong or badly I am that much more aware of the answered prayers that day. I am so incredibly grateful to all those who covered our travels in prayer! This day could have been an absolute nightmare but it wasn't because we had the grace and love of God to guide us through it.