Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 17 - The Very Best Day

Today has been an AMAZING day. It didn't necessarily begin that way . . . I had a bunch of late sleepers who decided that if they slept in they wouldn't have to do chores before we left on our adventure. However, I quickly informed them they were going nowhere if the house was not in decent order. I probably wasn't as nice as I could have been, but when time is short Mama's patience is short. Fortunately that did not stop us from fun the rest of the day.

We met my mom and dad, Honey and Papa, at the Georgia Aquarium just after lunch. It had been several years since I had been and my parents had never been. None of us were disappointed. The place is AMAZING and it's not too far from home - we were there in under an hour. We got there just in time for the aquarium staff to tell us we were too late to get tickets to the dolphin show. Boo! But, as we began to stick our fingers into the first touch pool (the one with the sting rays that don't sting and sharks that don't bite . . . How much more fun would it be if . . . ) one of the staff people came over to explain to Denys he was doing it wrong. He looked at her like she was nuts and we tried to explain he didn't really understand English and that we were having a difficult enough time keeping his body out of the pool. She asked if we were going to see the dolphin show and we said, "Nope." She told us to get in line anyway. So we did.

We nominated Papa as our spokesperson and stood in line to see what fate would have in store. When we got to the front the guy wasn't going to let us in and Papa asked, "What if we have a Ukrainian orphan?" The gate keeper was then interested in our story and, well, we got to see the show, Dolphin Tales! Not only were the dolphins AMAZING, but we actually played the "Ukrainian Orphan" card. Seriously, how many chances in life to you get to do that?!?!

 Did I mention how much we all enjoyed today? AR didn't even have a chance to get fussy without a nap. I think everyone had their favorites: J liked the penguins and rivers, MG enjoyed the slides, AR hit it off with the piranha (weird kid), and as I mentioned early Denys LOVED the touch pools. My favorite moment was this one -

Blue Silhouette

I had been looking forward to this moment all day, because if you're doing 1000 Gifts then you know one of today's gifts was "Blue." I knew I wanted to sit in the under sea observation room and be blue and see what I could see. What I found was three littles absolutely absorbed in their smallness and the sea's enormity. This was a moment of celebrating God in his Bigness. I will treasure this moment for a long time.

Purple Jellies
All Smiles after the Dolphin Show.
We scurried and scoured every other corner of the aquarium and soon I will write a post on jellyfish - my "new" gift of the day. What an AMAZING God we serve!

After the aquarium it was off to The Varsity - "What'll Ya Have?" I remember I was petrified the first time I went as I child. I couldn't understand why all those people were yelling at me. Now, I love it! It makes me smile to see a place where folks truly seem to enjoy their jobs . . maybe because they CAN yell at customers?!?

We introduced the kids to Varsity Orange drinks as well as Frosted Oranges - an AMAZING mix of orange sherbert and Dreamsicle. Yum! We couldn't leave until everyone got Varsity hats. (I think I forgot to send myself those pictures from Mom's phone.) And we couldn't leave Atlanta until we stopped by Krispy Kreme. Besides, we were less than 2 miles away!

Fascinated with the donut process.
I believe Denys was enamored with the entire donut process. He stared at the conveyor belt for a long time. We weren't there too long and, surprise of surprises, in walk some of our missionary friends. The Dye family are church planters in the Metro area. They are originally from Kentucky, but felt God calling them South. So they packed up their bags and moved to . . . Atlanta. We had a great time visiting with them, meeting their ministry partners, and introducing everyone to each other. It was also fun to be out with other families who have international flair - 3 Ethiopians between them. (Though ours is short-term theirs is of the more permanent variety!)

We decided once J & Denys began slapping one another and AR was acting as a dry floor mop and MG was whining to beat the band that it was time to head for The 'Poosa. We passed hugs around several times, pottied, changed diapers, hugged some more, and finally headed for home. Denys' English improved enough to tell J to "STOP!" (pestering him) a couple of times and before we were out of town good most of the peeps were sound asleep.

Home. Teeth. Bed. Blog. It was a long day for our crew, but it was worth every moment of effort and anxiety getting there. Thanks Mom & Dad for an AMAZING day. We all had a wonderful time - and I think our little Ukrainian made some memories he'll never forget.


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