I've had the busiest weekend I could imagine. Tess is off in the Philippines with ICM and I'm coming to the end of a four day long weekend with Sebastian and the triplets, which started Friday night with Union Church Youth Group. One of our church members put on an Oktoberfest feast that included an opportunity for some of the youth to arrive early and help cook. The result was an amazing buffet of delicious German food that was the best of its kind I had ever eaten. Thank you, Stefanie, from Union.
Following Youth Group myself and a group of the Youth stopped off at McDonald's: a Friday post-Youth Group tradition. On arriving home the triplets were all asleep. Sebastian and I spent time planning out our Simulated Business Class after which I trolled You Tube for possible take-off and landing videos. I spent too much time on that project ending up in bed too late.
Saturday morning Sebastian and I headed out for the weekly shop that included stocking up for our Simulated Business Class. I dropped off Sebastian then headed out for a 2.5 hour ICM meeting with a consultant. Somewhere in there I noticed on Facebook that Planetshakers were playing at The Vine Church that night. Post ICM meeting I was down coaching rugby for two hours until just shy of 6 pm. I'd left the flat with a question for the kids: do you want to go to Planetshakers? Carys spent the next hour listening to their music on YouTube only to realise we already had, and listened to, many of their songs. At 5:30 PM at rugby a text message came in from Sebastian: "Yes, we want to go!"
Just as rugby was ending I dashed home, ate dinner with the kids, then off we went to The Vine. Driving to the The Vine we discussed the various meanings of "spontaneous." Planetshakers was an amazing event. We unexpectedly met lots of people including some kids and adults near and dear to our hearts: a truly special evening. But of course, the kids heavily lobbied at 9:30 PM as we drove home, "no Youthy event like that is complete without the obligatory trip to McDonalds, DAD!" I lost that battle resulting in the kids rolling into bed at 11 PM. I worked more on the take-off and landing videos.
Sunday morning we were up and out the door to church where I taught Youth Group Sunday School at 9:30 AM. This was followed by the usual service at 11 AM. Noon the kids had junior choir practise during which I hurried off to unsuccessfully find some Simulated Business Class supplies. Back at 12:45 PM I picked up the kids, searching for more supplies on the way home with some luck. Then things really got complicated.
There was one project between 1:45 PM when we arrived home and the Simulated Business Class 4:45 PM departure: moving the boys' bunk beds. At 2 PM I had (1) Gary arriving to dis-mantle, help move and re-assemble the bunk beds and (2) a man with a van to handle transportation. I also had the fourth triplet in tow (Danielle) who'd requested Stand-By for the Simulated Business Class. Stomachs were empty. At 1:55 PM a text message from the man with a van informed me he wasn't coming AT ALL! Argh, it had all been arranged days earlier. I was displeased but quickly moved to Plan B: using my own vehicle.
I phoned fourth triplets' mom who agreed to take the four of them for 2.5 hours at which time I confirmed a place for fourth triplet in Simulated Business Class. Sela and the girls made lunch for the five kids. Gary and I took apart the bed. Jasper and Sebastian carried small pieces of the bed downstairs where it had started raining. Shortly fourth triplets' mom arrives to pick-up the four triplets. Seb stays to help with the bed and set-up the flight. Gary and I carry big pieces downstairs and load up the Honda. We drive five minutes away to the bunk beds' new home and unload. I drive back and re-load the remaining pieces, quickly turning around to drop off the second load.
On the way home I stop in at the grocery store to ensure we have enough food to accommodate the fourth passenger. By now I know how the airlines feel when they say, "I'm happy to inform you Mr. Caldwell that you've been upgraded to Business Class but we're unable to guarantee you will receive the meal of your first choice."
Arriving back home Sebastian has everything ready so we test the videos: take-off is working but not landing. "What will we do," Seb asks, "How will we land?"
"We'll figure that out after we take-off," I reply. By this point time is running out. It's 4:30 PM and the Boarding Passes instruct the passengers not to be at the boarding gate any later than 4:45 PM. "You've got to go get them," Seb blurts out and so I do. Down to Sandy Bay I drive to pick-up the four passengers who'd been watching a rugby tournament. They pile into the car with great drama yelling, "Oh no, we're going to miss our flight. We've been praying and praying that you'd get here quickly!" We drive back up to our flat while I remind them that Business Class is typically a calm and quiet experience. The four triplets bail out of the car and run up to our flat screaming, laughing, pushing, shoving and generally displaying airport behaviour that would have them arrested.
"You're late," Sebastian exclaims pointing to the clock. I look down at my watch showing 4:43 PM and think to myself the battery is running out. "We're the pilots, we're going by MY watch," I retort.
Seb says matter of factly, "Oh okay, let's go then."
Simulated Business Class pulls back from the gate on time. We land 17.5 hours later and that's a whole other blog.
Ground crew (me) cleans up the mess and clutter and prepares for my afternoon meeting. 1:15 PM I go into ICM for more ICM meetings and 6:30 PM I finish. Rush home and have an amazing roast chicken dinner with Sebastian and the girls. Jasper, at a friends house for a sleepover, calls during the evening suffering from cat allergies, mild asthma and probably jet lag from the night before. I speak with him to get him sorted out. JJ has his puffer so I know he'll be okay. Soon after we are all in bed.
Tomorrow morning we have to do the final clear out for the new bunk beds (both girls and boys) that arrive between 1 - 3 PM. Then begins the process of putting their rooms back together. Currently I'm on a mattress next to Seb, on the floor of his bedroom. He was asleep long ago but I'm still circling the airport. If I could find the landing video I'd be able to get some shut-eye. I need it.
Below, the Planetshakers deliver a message in both English and Cantonese at The Vine Church.