We had moved to Michigan with our boys (Kyle was 2 years old & Zach was 10 months old) We met Paul soon after. He had recently gotten out of the Navy & was going to college on the GI Bill and started attending our Church & soon became John's Bass Player. As a starving College student he ate many meals at our house. He even offered to watch our boys so we could go out from time to time if we'd just feed him. :) He was good practice for someday (like now) when we'd have College age boys of our own to feed! And our boys were good practice for him for someday (like now) when he'd have kids of his own! :) But, I'm skipping ahead.
Paul met Jill at a Christian student even at school & soon she was all he could talk about. I'll never forget the night we knew he was going to ask her to marry him, we we're all a little nervous! (I'm sure no one more than Paul!) :) I remember pulling up to our house & me saying to John "Well, if Paul is sitting on our front stoop, we know Jill said no." Thankfully, He wasn't sitting of our front stoop! :) John sang at their wedding. Paul likes to remind John of how on the night before his wedding, John hadn't learned the song yet! (Thankfully Jill was not aware of that fact, and as always John pulled it off without a hitch!) Paul became an Engineer for GM. Jill got her Masters Degree I believe in Art History. They are so smart, I don't know why they hang out with us! :)
We then had twin girls & for some reason Paul never volunteered to babysit again! (He's no dummy!) We moved away from Michigan when the girls were 2. John, My Dad & Paul along with Kyle & Zach drove all our belongings across the country. My Mom & Jill flew with me & my 2 year old twins to help us move. Now that's Friendship! But I have to interrupt this story to share a life lesson I learned on that trip . . .
We flew out of Detroit, were to change planes in Memphis & then on to our final destination. Now as a mom of 4 children, trust me, I know how to travel with kids, I packed snacks and activities, I was ready for our 4 hour trip. But due to bad weather after we boarded our Plane, we sat on the tarmac for over 4 hours! I exhausted all our snacks, books, toys, etc. I called John to say don't go to meet us at the airport, we haven't even left Detroit yet! They were heading out right then to go pick us up. Thankfully my girls slept most of that flight! (Even on this road trip at the age of 13, they pretty much slept or read in the car! Some things never change!) :) We landed in Memphis long after our connecting flight was long gone, it was late, and pretty much everything was shut down. A couple things to keep in mind here: 2 year old Twins, no snacks, no food to be found in the airport.
I love my Mom dearly, but she is the type of person that if you have a problem, or need to return something or send back a meal, you want her to do it! She seems to thrive on that kind of conflict! (while I hide under the table) :) So here she is, yelling at the airport attendant something along the lines of "Do you see these two Babies? They have not eaten, there is nothing open here! We've missed our flight. And we can not stay the night in the airport to wait for the first flight out in the morning! You do something! And do it now!" The girls were crying, (I'm sure I was on the verge!) We were frustrated, the Airline Attendant was frustrated. Everyone was standing their ground & getting nowhere! Then Jill steps up. Now Jill is so much fun, but I must tell you, I'm pretty sure that everyone who has ever met her would tell you their first impression of her would be quiet, shy, sweet! Well sweet little Jill pushes forward into the heart of the conflict & says in her soft voice, something along the lines of "Excuse me, I'm sure you can see the predicament we are in with two small children & our flight being delayed, isn't there anyway you could get us a flight out of here tonight? We'll even fly to another town two hours away from where we're supposed to be going & have our husbands drive there to pick us up." To our surprise the clerk said "let me see what I can do" and the next thing we knew we were on a flight, not to the town two hours away, but to our original destination! Wow! I learned then & there that old saying: You catch more flies with honey than you do with Vinegar (or however that goes) is true & really works! I made a mental note of that fact & never forgot that! Thank you Jill (& Mom) for that life lesson!
Over the next several years they had a baby boy, followed by Twins (they are really trying to be like us, aren't they?! Though their twins are Boy/Girl) & then a baby girl! Paul took a (literal) Leap of Faith & left his job to go into full time Ministry! They moved across the country & are now Music & Youth Pastors. John & Paul have remained Great friends throughout the years. (Do men call each other BFF's?) We've visited each other in different places over the years. And ALWAYS have a great time together! We were so happy to get to see them on this trip.
My girls braided Natalie's hair. Daddy's & Daughters made Brownies together! Yes, Jill & I were both smart enough to marry men who love to cook! :) Hey, there's another life lesson for you! ;)
Paul & Jill's kids are about the cutest ever! The last time I had visited them, a few years ago, Jill & I took her kids to a park & her son, Ben asked her: "Is it alright if we eat our lunch on top of the play structure?" I never let her live that one down! I told her only HER kids would call a Jungle Gym or a Swing Set a "Play Structure!" :) Yes, even their kids are smart! The apple doesn't fall far from the tree I guess! But little Elisabeth, who didn't remember me from when she was a baby, soon became a girl after my own heart, we found her fast asleep in her bed, with a book! And she didn't even wake up when we took her picture! We had to show her the next day!
Then all the kids! Ben, Elisabeth, Erica, Lexi, Natalie, Noah!
But things got out of control! And in Church! Oops!
We had such a great time getting to see them. Noah thought about hiding in a suitcase & going with us, but being a home body (like Zach) he decided against it! (But, watch out, look where Zach is now!) :) Ben even offered me a dollar a day if we would stay there! I was very tempted to take him up on his offer! Like I said, Old Friends are the Best Friends! (not that any of us are old!) Even when they live far away!