I posted this on my other blog, but I know you don't have that one on your Yahoo account, Pat, so I am posting it on here, too. I hope you get a laugh out of it. We weren't laughing at the time, but we are now. : )
Three times in the past two weeks, someone has left a light on or the door open in our van, draining the battery.
The first time was two Sundays ago. I had a 7:30 am church meeting. Rich always handles getting the children ready on his own better than I do, so when 9:10 rolled around and they still weren't at church, I began to worry. I sneaked away during the Sacrament hymn, leaving behind the huge portion of empty bench I had covered with scriptures, tote bags, and hymn books, to ask our home teacher to call Rich and find out what was up. He discovered that our van battery was dead because someone had left the inside light on Friday night. That meant it had been on Friday night and all day Saturday. That meant the battery wasn't just dead, it was completely drained. After our battery charger didn't work, Rich was able to borrow a more powerful one from the neighbor. They all filed in just as the Sacrament was coming to an end but, thankfully, before anyone else could claim our empty bench! Did I mention Jacob was assigned to bring the Sacrament bread? (I had wondered why Teachers had been coming up the aisle, one at a time, with piles of individual slices of what I now realize was newly-defrosted bread from a loaf in kitchen freezer.)
The second time someone left a light on was last Sunday. It was Daylight Savings, so we had been struggling more than usual to get everyone up and going. It wasn't until we sprinted out to the van and all climbed in that we realized the van was, once again, dead. Another light had been left on the night before. Lovely. Rich popped the hood and headed to get the charger when Jacob reminded us that he had been assigned the Sacrament bread again, in an effort to redeem himself from the previous Sunday. Oh no! By this time, it was 10 minutes 'til. I jumped in Rich's car with Jacob, leaving him with a completely dead battery, an inadequate battery charger, and no jumper cables for the second Sunday in a row while I attempted to get up to the church with the precious bread. Let's just say Rich was not happy about this situation. (I have to insert here that maybe somebody ought to figure out that you better not give the Pettingill family the responsibility of the Sacrament bread unless you are going to pick Jacob up and bring him yourself or unless you don't mind defrosting bread at 5 minutes 'til.) I drove like a mad woman in an unsuccessful attempt to get the bread to the church on time, telling my permitted driver the whole way that he was never allowed to drive like this no matter how late he was. Then I took a spot on the very back row of the chapel, on the metal chairs no less, and waited for my family to show up. This time, at 9:25, I knew Rich was in for it once again. Why don't I bring my cell phone to church?! I sneaked out, this time after the Sacrament, knowing that no one would take my ten saved chairs (nobody wants to sit on the back row), and called Rich's cell on the foyer phone. Dead battery story, take 2. Except this time, it is Daylight Savings Sunday, so the kind neighbors with the extra-powerful battery charger are apparently still asleep. The family finally dragged in to the chapel at 9:50. The teachers once again razzed Jacob for being late and assigned him the bread again! (What, don't we get any credit for a dead battery, for heaven's sake?!) To be sure that we redeem ourselves this time, I think we'll sneak in during the Stake dance this Saturday night and put the loaf of bread on the Sacrament table before we take the kids home. I also think I am going to send an email to the Teacher's Quorum and ban Jacob from ever being assigned the bread again.
Today, Rich informed me that somebody left the van doors open last night. This afternoon I drive the middle school carpool, but at least this doesn't involve the most sacred ordinance of the church. And at least we know way ahead of time. And at least it's not early in the morning, so we can just go over and knock on the neighbor's door with our heads held high, and a promise that we really are going to get this fixed, to borrow the charger.
Do you ever think that your family would run so much smoother if it didn't have all the children in it? (Just kidding.)