Grandkids Week!

Posted on June 13, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

This has been a busy spring of travel and diverse activities.  Bobbye had the privilege of participating in a mission trip to Moldova to speak at conferences for pastors’ wives in March, and Jerry led an 8-week study on mission strategy at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison through April. We embarked on a 12-day road trip that took us to eight states in early May.  The itinerary included a seminar on Spiritual Warfare in Kentucky, training new missionaries at orientation in Richmond and attending the board meeting at Columbia International University in South Carolina where Jerry later spoke at graduation.

We have spoken at two state convention-sponsored senior adult retreats–in Columbus and Hattiesburg (I don’t know why we are getting invitations to these kinds of events), and spoke at mission conferences in Cullman, AL, Biloxi and Gulfport, MS.  We are currently at the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix (look for a report in Rankin Connecting on Thursday) and will leave from here for three weeks of travel in Southeast Asia.

However, the highlight of our recent schedule was launching the summer with Grandkids Week with Papa and Bubob.  For those who don’t know, “Bu” is the Indonesian slang for mother; linked with the shortened form of Bobbye’s name, hence Bubob has always been her affectionate identity among the grandchildren.  We have developed a pattern of our stateside grandchildren coming for a visit each summer, but this is the first time our missionary grandkids have been home and old enough to join the fun.

Actually, Zachary, who is now 15 just came for the weekend and opted out due to work and Youth Camp.  With T-shirts ordered, the remaining five, ranging in ages from 5 to 12 descended on our house for eight days of fun with indulgent grandparents.  We tried to channel the energy into planned activities but found the spontaneity of children playing out-manipulated our best intentions.  We found the energy level multiplied exponentially when cousins get together, away from the stern restraints of their parents!

We stayed on the go from the Children’s Museum, inflatable play park and Chuck E Cheese’s to picnics on the Ross Barnett Reservoir, and a trip to the Vicksburg Military Park and to see the flooded Mississippi River.  However, the ice cream, watermelon, movies at home and swimming each afternoon in a neighbor’s pool was the preferred daily agenda.

We succumbed to exhaustion when they were finally retrieved by parents who appreciated a quiet, empty-nest week, but it is a week we will always cherish. It was a precious opportunity to strengthen the love and bonding, appreciate their incredible maturing and nurture grandchildren in the values of our family.

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