21 March 2014

Five Minute Friday ~ Of Joy and Sleigh Bells

It happened on a cold, windy Michigan Sunday winter afternoon ~

We'd spent all morning and early afternoon with one of our partnering churches ~ an hour + drive on snowy roads with lots of drifting snow, Sunday School, the service, a yummy potluck followed by an immediate afternoon service. Our big girls were excited about being home in time for the evening service at our home church, except ~

Earlier the preceding week, the pastor had called my hubby and said he wanted to arrange a little afternoon surprise for our family... and detailed the for Tim. Tim grinned really big, readily agreed and then decided that he wanted to really keep this as a surprise for the girls and so other than telling them to take some warm clothes to change in to, we told them nothing about what to expect... just that there would be a surprise.

And it had something to do with horses.

Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing
Ring ting tingle-ing too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you

Outside the snow is falling
And friends are calling "Yoo Hoo"
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a sleigh ride together with you

Giddy-yap giddy-yap giddy-yap
let's go
Let's look at the snow
We're riding in a wonderland of snow

Our very own, personal right through a winter wonderland sleigh ride.

With a sled attached to the back of the sleigh where the kids took turns riding.

Jonathan and Elsie were taking their second turn riding in the back - Jonathan was riding in the back when the sleigh dragging the sled went around a corner and up and over a rise at the same time...

...and Jonathan rolled right off the back of the sled.

Those of us on the sleigh quietly talked, asking questions about the horses, finding out about those amazingly beautiful and HUGE work animals that are a part of our host's livelihood. We enjoyed the sound of nothing but the runners over the snow and bells jingling through the silence of the woods... when all of a sudden, Elsie Mae began to laugh. A smile provoking soon deteriorating into giggles, belling busting cackle that rang out loud and clear joy that shattering the silence of a snowy silva. Turning around, we saw Jonathan running to recapture his spot on the sled, stumbling through knee deep snow and laughing almost as hard as his sister.

You know that both yawns and laughter are contagious, don't you? Laughter is a lot more fun, however... Have you seen this video? Needless to say, pretty soon we all had caught the bug and everyone had cracked up: chuckling, tittering, snorting, howling, guffawing... it all ensued. Even Tucker the dog was standing at the back of the sleigh amusedly watching Jon try to run and catch up and barking encouragement.

Jon did eventually catch up and all of the laughter did eventually settle down. Thankfully he's a great sport most of the time and he found the whole situation hilarious, too. Gotta love that about little boys! He did insist that Elsie Mae hang on to the back for the rest of the ride, however.

Everyone settled except for Elsie Mae, that is. All evening long, at odd moments, her joy in the memory bubbled out and spilled over into more contagious giggles and laughter... even in her sleep that night.

(Yeah... In case you were wondering, this was about a 7 minute Friday... 
I just had to finish the story!)

Head on over to Lisa-Jo's and join us, if you feel like spilling some joy out on pen and paper... or computer screen. Hope to see you there.


  1. Joining you via Five Minute Friday.

    What a sweet story. You have a beautiful family. And laughter IS contagious, we should all laugh more often.

    1. thankfully our gang - particularly their daddy - is goofy enough that there is a lot of laughter!

  2. I love that you keep it real by stating at the end that it was more like a "7 minute Friday". HA. What a wonderful surprise for your family! That's the way to enjoy the snow!

    1. well... i didn't want anyone to think i was that quick of a typist, eh? it was a delightful and chilly surprise... followed up by hot chocolate and cookies by a wood burning stove at the end!


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