(Or:  My Most Blog-worthy moment of Summer 2012)
My family is different.  We are what I like to call “above average”.  With five kids, you live life a little differently than most.  We eat at home a lot, we shop at thrift stores most of the time, and we vacation differently than most people.   Our family vacation of choice is a small cabin in Northeastern Iowa and 26 hours in the van in the course of 10 days.  This story is what happens on the return leg of that trip…

We had been driving for 5 hours and were trying to make a 10pm deadline at a campground in Missouri.  The first two hours of the trip included our camp counselor Jani who we gave a ride to an exit off of the interstate so she could go home for the weekend.  We had all been on our best behavior with a guest in the car.  (Jennifer, you will understand this I’m sure…)  Des Moines was our destination for a stop at Sam’s Club for our dinner.  (Again Jennifer…)  We got our pizza, hot dogs and a salad along with 32 ounce sodas for everyone.  After eating, Rod leaves with the teenagers to walk around Sam’s for a minute before getting back into the van.   I had Luke duty and Luke decides he needs the bathroom for the second time during our Sam’s stop.  (For those of you without a three year old boy, this means one thing – #2 in a public bathroom.)  I tell him to start walking to the bathroom and notice that he’s holding both the front and the back – take a moment to gather that visual…  This bathroom is 100 yards from the snack bar.  Rod sees this scene playing out from 50 feet away and starts towards the front of the store.  Luke makes it (literally) without incident and we head to the van.   Rod scoops him up on his back and we walk out.  I’m carrying cups and the older kids are 20 yards ahead of us in the parking lot.  Rod gets a crazy-eyed look on his face and says to me:  “Where’s Luke?!”  I look over at him (with a 40lb. kid on his back, arms wrapped around his neck, and Luke’s feet dangling at his knees) and laughingly say: “Seriously?!”   This is when Rod goes out of his mind and starts yelling at the oldest across the parking lot:  “GRANT – WHERE”S LUKE?!!!!”  My oldest four kids look back and don’t know whether their dad is kidding or if he has truly lost his mind.  I’m doubling over in laughter, and it’s at that point that he realizes Luke is on his back…  We are all punch-drunk from lack of sleep, being road weary and knowing that we still have about 8 hours of driving before making it home.  We laughed for about three miles, and “Where’s Luke” has become a punch line in our family.  We were ten minutes late for our campground deadline and got the last hotel room in Kansas City on the weekend of the Little League World Series, but that’s another blog post entirely.

Have a great Thursday friends.