Our travels this month took us on an African Safari in Kenya! Half of the evening was going to take place at home, so I decided enlist the help of my 2 and 3 year old boys in preparing for the evening.
Now, it may be helpful to understand that my husband, Jeff, works from home. Being able to see him throughout the day is a real privilege however, keeping a date night theme a secret requires a little more creativity. So, with the help of some rope, sheets and clothes pins, I was able to “enclose” the screen porch and remain unseen while the kids and I began to transform our space into an African jungle. Throughout the day we cleared out toys, set up a table and chairs and hung pictures from a giant Safari coloring book I found at the dollar store. What was special about all of this was the fact that it was so much fun for my boys. They loved dashing in and out of what they called the giant “tent”, coloring pictures and telling Dad that we have a “special room” on the porch! I did have to keep my communication with them to a minimum since I have an extremely verbal 3 year old who loves to tell Dad………everything!
The time came to reveal our “destination”. I handed Jeff his passport, and we began our Safari. The evening began with the whole family eating dinner together in the “Jungle”.
We enjoyed some homemade bread and “African Peanut Soup”. The soup recipe came from my friend Mary who spent time in Africa as a missionary and is an excellent cook.
During dinner our laptop computer was on the table playing an African Safari Travel video. Our county Library has a “Virtual Branch” that enables you to download videos, music and audio books. This is a GREAT resource and one that I’ll probably use again and again throughout the year. The boys really enjoyed watching the animals!
After dinner, our amazing, wonderful, thoughtful, generous servant, friend and babysitter arrived (what a blessing to have such a person in our life!) and cared for the kids as they began their bedtime routine. Meanwhile, Jeff and I headed out for the next part of our African Safari Adventure.
Living in a metropolitan city like Orlando has its cultural advantages. Not far from our home a local organization offers an African Drum Class. So, that’s where I took Jeff. For an hour we learned how to bang on a Djembes with 10 other students. We were certainly the newbie’s in the group but we had a lot of fun. I absolutely must commend my adventuresome husband because, as he would admit, rhythm is not one of his strong suits. Nonetheless, he fully participated and had a great time. We left the class laughing at ourselves and somewhat mentally exhausted but the trip to Coldstone Creamery helped to revive us. Okay….so ice cream may not necessarily be “African” but to us it’s UNIVERSAL!!!
The day went so fast considering all of the things that needed to take place. Running after 3 kids, decorating the back porch, cooking dinner, bathing the children……Oh and getting MYSELF ready amid all of that! But, I really sensed God’s help and loving kindness throughout the day. I can’t say things didn’t get crazy at times or that I didn’t doubt that I could pull this off. But at the end of the day everything came together, and I had a wonderful time with my husband.
Reading the “Freedom to Fail” post on the Romantic Vineyard really helped too. It spoke about expectations and motivations when planning dates for your spouse. This was a timely post that helped to refocus my gaze throughout the day. Even if plans didn’t come together as I hoped (and there are always things that I would have done differently) the objective should remain……to honor and serve my husband and enjoy him as the amazing gift that he is. In this we Honor God.
Talk to you next month!!
Posted by Vicki (wife of Jeff Taulbee)
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