And not just calm, peaceful rain showers where you can go outside with the kids, splash in the puddles, and enjoy watching God water His thirsty creation.
Florida rain showers are different. Much different.
It seems that whenever God decides to water His creation in Florida, His omnipotence is revealed for all to see.
Clouds as dark as the night sky.
Enormous gusts of wind.
Blinding flashes of lightning.
Thunder so loud you can feel it reverberating in your body.
Wild, thick, pounding sheets of rain that pour from the sky like a fire hose. (and don't even think about driving in it!)
Reptiles and amphibians so numerous it could rival Old Testament plagues decide to venture out of their hiding places and fill your yard, your pool, and even your house, if you are not careful to secure the premises. And even then, some still manage to make their way in (i.e: let me refer you to our interesting experience a few weeks ago in A Bump in the Night).
No. When there is a storm a-brewin' in Florida, one thing is certain: get comfortable because chances are, you won't be going out for awhile.
Although, strangely enough, usually about 10 minutes in, it will end just as fast as it began (sun out, birds chirping, plague over, critters hiding, etc).
Unfortunately for us, however, just as we get shoes on the kids and get them out the door to play in the backyard (before they give us a nervous breakdown), another storm usually blows in, just as ominous and foreboding, and the kids are forced to come running, screaming and dripping wet back into the house (to complete their task at giving us that nervous breakdown).
Despite our uncontrollable atmospheric conditions, and despite the fact that the kids were trapped in the house for days on end, we still managed to use our stormy lemons to make lemonade...
We decided to let the kids get out the finger paints. This was a big deal for me, since I do not like the mess it always makes. I mean, I really don't like it.
Nevertheless, I decided that I preferred for their little minds to be occupied in order for me to prevent my mind from completely shutting down. A little mess was worth keeping my mind intact. Besides, Sweet Baby H had never seen finger paints, so it would be nice to watch her experience something new.
So, I finally said "yes" to their cute little begging faces (which happens quite a lot by the way). I also utilized a wonderful new tool that made the whole experience a whole lot better! I used Glad Press N' Seal wrap and was able to completely seal the table with it! There was no mess! (well, let me rephrase that. there was no mess on the table. the kids were another story).
I have included some pics to show you what I mean...
See... it starts out innocent enough.
Everyone seems to be having a good time.
Is it just me, or does she look extremely malnourished in this pic? She does eat, I promise!
Even Sweet Baby H loved squishing the paints in her fingers.
she started eating the finger paints.
She didn't really like that too much.
Eventually (as you can see) she'd had quite enough of the finger paints.
Have I mentioned she does not like to be dirty?
So Daddy and B decided they would try to look like her so she wouldn't feel so bad.
It didn't work.
So we cleaned her all up...
And then she was my sweet, happy Baby H once again!
All that finger painting excitement proved too much for Daddy, B, and H, who decided to take a very long nap. And while I absolutely love a good lazy nap on a rainy day, we still had another child who, unlike the rest of us, likens a nap to eating her broccoli. So, instead of giving in to temptation, I chose to do some much-needed big girl bonding time with my beautiful 7 year old daughter.
But, with everyone sleeping peacefully, requiring us to be very quiet, me and R were left wondering what to do next.
We finally decided on... Bingo... a favorite pastime among Floridians (well, the older crowd, anyway). I am not such a big fan of the game, myself. But I recently purchased a different version of the game to assist when I am homeschooling the kids. It is Telling Time Bingo. I draw a card that has a clock face on it with a time and we have to figure out if we have that time on our bingo card, etc. The kids absolutely love this game! They ask to play it all the time. I haven't told them yet that it is actually school, for fear that they will stop wanting to play (and learn to tell time).
Anyway, I had a wonderfully quiet, peaceful few hours of big girl bonding time with R. We talked about life, laughed about nonsensical things, played tickle wars, snuggled on the couch with a book, and genuinely enjoyed each others company.
For a blessed few hours, we hadn't a care in the world. In those few precious moments, there was no scary storm brewing outside. There was no laundry to be folded, no beds to be made, no dinner to be cooked, or dishes to wash. There were no thoughts of Daddy not having a job, or of us not having our own house to live in, or worries about where we would get some money to buy groceries next week.
The only thing that existed in those cherished and coveted moments - the only thing that mattered - was a brilliant, beautiful, sweet, innocent little girl... and the mommy who loves her more than her own life, who wouldn't dream of being anywhere else.