On October 14th Jackson turned 13. We celebrated on the Friday prior to his birthday by inviting his 7th grade football team over to our house after school. What's 16 more boys running around the yard?!?
They were all very well behaved, and pretty much stayed outside as long as there was food available. We had spent the morning baking cookies, cakes and brownies. Grandma Shirley even brought a batch of chocolate chip cookies out for us, just in case we ran out. I made made-rites and had chips and juice for them, as well. After 8 gallons of juice, I had to cut them off and serve them water.
They held a football tournament before dinner, and continued to the championship after we ate. Once it turned dark, they moved on to Ghosts in the Graveyard. There were a few tense moments around 9:00pm. Shannon had been outside playing with the kids, when a group of them ran up to him and told him there were a couple big things out in the field behind the house, and they were coming toward them. All of the guys ran to the garage and grabbed weapons such as tiki torches, skateboards, fishing poles, and even 2X4's. Shannon started heading out to the field to check it out, with his fearless (fearful?) companions anxiously hanging onto his arms. In the meantime, a couple other guys and Jackson headed back to the house to get me. I had been inside with the little ones watching TV. Jack told me he had been calling for Shannon and he wouldn't answer. The other boys wanted me to get the gun. Knowing that last fall there had been cougar tracks spotted less than a mile from our home, all I could think of was, "What am I going to tell their parents?!?". Jack and I headed out into the field (without any weapons) to check out what was going on while the other two boys decided they would stay inside to watch the little kids. Sure enough, off in the distance there were two large black objects with a light shining behind them. If one looked hard enough, it did look like they were moving closer. All of a sudden we heard screaming. Jack and I took off running toward the noise, and soon came upon the band of boys with Shannon. It ended up that the two big black things were silos in the distance, with a combine light shining and moving behind them, making them appear as if they were moving closer. Of course, at that point, all of the boys admitted that they were never even scared, just trying to scare Shannon.
After all of that excitement, we headed inside for cake and ice cream and a rousing game of Bingo. We took all of the boys home around 11:00pm, thankful that none of them had been mangled by wild animals. We'll be sure to remind them of this night in about 5 years.
"Do not be afraid if sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught." Proverbs 3:25, 26