“Mom?! I can’t find my boots! Do you know where they are?” sixteen year old Mandie called out rather too loudly.
“Mom! Mandie won’t fix my hair!” another voice called.
“Anna, I will do it once I catch all the horses! Now, do you know where my boots are?”
“ Mandie, I’ll help you catch the horses, if you just help me with my hair!”
In the kitchen, Kelly Penning laughed quietly to herself. Who would have thought that those two girls are just about a noisy as the boys! Oh well. Boys will be boys and girls will be girls! She walked over to the two girls.
“Here Anna, I’ll fix your hair. Mandie, I believe I last saw your boots on the front porch.”
Mandie couldn’t help but smile on how Moms seem to fix all problems like it was their hobby or talent. Moms knew how to set things right!
Grabbing her cowgirl hat she called over her shoulder before heading out, “Be back in a little while Mom!” She added “and thanks!”
“You’re welcome!” Kelly shook her head, smiling, as she watched her two girls’ race off toward the field where the horses were.
The phone began ringing, in its sweet song of Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Kelly calmly walked over and answered.
“Hello this is Kelly.”
“Hello sweet heart!” the voice on the other end was cheery.
“James! Oh it’s so good to hear your voice! Even though you have only been gone a few days, I miss you so much already!”
“Hmm… I miss you too! How have you and the girls been?”
“Great! Right now they are catching the horses to put in the stalls for the night! It’s quite funny to watch!” Kelly’s eyes were bright with laughter as she watched the girls. She then turned to the apples she was cutting for apple crisp.
“Oh that’s good! Boy, I miss them and you!”
“How have you and the boys been?”
“Umm… Pretty good for the most part!”
Kelly’s brows furrowed. “And what’s that supposed to mean?”
James hesitated slightly. He didn’t want to worry his wife by telling her all that had happened. Yet he was no liar.
“Well you know just getting adjusted here that’s all!” It wasn’t exactly a lie.
“Oh… okay! What did you do today?” Kelly again glanced out the window to see the girls coming back towards the house and then back to the apples.
“Well we started working on….”
Outside the girls talked together about their brothers. Mandie was feeding the horses their allotted amount of hay and Anna carefully watered the horses.
Anna sighed. “I miss the boys so much!”
“Why? Because they did the watering?” Mandie almost a mocking tone as she glanced at Anna.
“Oh Mandie, I’m not complaining. I just miss seeing Mitchell’s smiling face, Phil’s quiet ways, Josiah’s energy, Alec’s adventures and Ben’s silliness. Oh don’t you miss them Mandie?”
Mandie hung her head. “Yes Anna I miss them a lot.” Mandie eyes looked upward suddenly. “It makes me more grateful for having them as brothers when they are gone like this, but I know God is working in their lives just as much as ours! Come on, let’s go take showers before we eat!” With that ending statement both girls headed toward the house arm and arm.
Anna was seated at the long kitchen table immersed in a very interesting book. Gee, I bet Bart was the one who told the…
“Anna, where is your sister?”
“Um…hmm… oh! Um, she is taking a shower, I think,” and she drifted off.
“Books” Kelly shook her head. Suddenly, there were peals of screams coming from upstairs. Both ladies dropped what they were doing and hurried to aid the poor girl. They found Mandie with her clothes barely on and her hair wrapped in a towel.
“Mandie! What’s wrong!” Kelly glanced about nervously.
“Oh Mom! It’s.. eek.. it’s right there!!!”
With that Kelly looked toward the floor where Mandie was pointing. The said creature was creepily crawling to the door. Kelly swallowed hard. She disliked cockroaches just as much as Mandie did. Anna was the only one who had some sense however.
“If we just use this vacuum and stretch out the hose, I could suck it up from here,” Anna smiled sneakily.
“I like the idea, but then it will be alive in the vaccum!” Kelly wrinkled her eyebrows in disgust.
“It’s better than it crawling on the floor!”
“Fine! Just get it out of here!” Mandie was very eager to see the insect gone.
Anna couldn’t help laughing at her mother and sister’s faces. She carefully stretched out the vacuum hose to reach the cockroach. Her mother turned on the vacuum.
“Almost got it.. just a little…” Startling the daylights out of the three women, the cockroach decided to fly to the wall. Anna shook herself and again concentrated on getting the cockroach sucked up. This time it decided that its best place for safety would be Mandie’s head. Mandie screamed, immediately brushed the cockroach off and shut herself in the bathroom. After being brushed off, Anna was finally able to suck it up.
Kelly frowned, disgusted. “Well, at least it’s out of the room. But how am I going to bring myself to use the vacuum?”
“Aww, Mom it’s gone! I think Mandie whacked it pretty hard!” Anna triumphantly marched away with the vacuum.
With the cockroach gone and the girls all cleaned up they settled down to a hearty dinner.
“So I was thinking, since all the guys are gone, we could do some fun girly thing every day. It doesn't have to be big, but you are welcome to make some suggestions,” Kelly smiled warmly and the two bright faces beside her.
“We could go shopping tomorrow and maybe make that craft I printed the next day?” Mandie suggested.
“Okay! How about you Anna?”
“Well, we could go to the Library, visit Grandma, and pick flowers! All of those are inexpensive,” Anna was for sure the most thrifty one of the family.
“Those are great ideas! I also found a really good movie, so we could do a camp-out in the living room!”
“That sounds even better!”
“All right! How about we camp-out tonight and go shopping tomorrow. Then we can pick flowers for Grandma, go to the Library and whatever else we can think of later in the week. Sound good?”
“Yes!” both girls replied.
Mandie and Anna just finished doing dishes, when their mother rushed in.
“Anna, I just saw a cockroach come out of the vacuum closet!” Kelly’s frown made it very clear that she was upset.
Anna screwed up her face. “Oops!”
Mandie laughed. “Here we go again!”