Saturday, February 09, 2008

Have a laugh on Us



My oldest daughter wrote this very sad, but true, account of our family. I wish I could deny it all. I can not. I wish my children were a bit more respectful of our family secrets, but, they are not!
I wish... well, read for yourself!



Talent Shows- Jungle Style
Missionary familes have a lot of talent. If you've ever been at a missions conference before you know what I'm talking about. Mr. Missionary stands up and introduces his large family. They are imaculatly dressed and perfectly behaved. Mr. Missionary calls Mrs. Missionary and all the Little Missionaries up to the platform where they sing a song. Oh, but they dont just sing a song because every single one of their children (all eleven of them) can play a different instrument, and play it well. They sing with harmony, and then, after the song, because it wasn't cute enough, the Youngest Missionary (about six months old or so) recites Psalm 23.

Most missionary families are like that, great voices, and amazing music abilities. Then there was the Vernoy family. We all have decent voices....sometimes. Depends on what mood we're in I guess. As for playing instruments? Dream on. We were too busy reading books to learn an instrument, plus we lived in the Amazon and there's a shortage of piano teachers out there. Not to mention pianos. So, in many missions conferences we sat and watched yet another amazingly talented Super Missionary family sing lovely songs in multiple languages. Then it was our turn to do something.

But what? It's not that we didn't have talent! Oh, we have talent. We even held talent shows in the jungle...the Indians loved them! They were usually held on weekends, when our house was especially full. They would start crowding in, thumbing through our old National Geographic magazines, and then some brave soul would ask my sister, Jewel, if she could do a one handed cartwheel. Always eager to please, Jewel begin to tumble about the living room which would bring on a chorus of "ooh's" and "aahs." Not to be outdone, Jayde would impersonate Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, or do the split on the cement floor. The split was always a great big hit. Indians are strong, and muscular, but not flexible AT ALL. Flexibilty is something everyone in my family is blessed with, and the Indians were always impressed. I would sit with my legs crossed "indian style" and then walk on my knees, or lay flat on the floor, face down, with my legs behind my head. This made quite an impression.

The talent show was only getting started! When my mom's turn came she would raise one eyebrow, or while standing with one foot pointed forward, twist the other foot completly back. I share that talent as well, but would let her preform it since I already had so many others. :-)
Joshua always added a colorful piece to the show with his accurate impersonation of the village witch doctor, which always brought lots of laughs. My Dad was the biggest hit when he would stand in a doorway, his back towards the barefoot audience, and hug himself with his arms. They thought that was hilarious! We would continue with our antics, my hog calls, Jewel shimming up the center pole of the house, Jayde throwing her legs over her arms and walking on her hands (it's really hard to explain,you have to see it)

Yes, our talent shows were very cool. The coolest thing going on in that village anyway. As "cool" as we thought we were, we just didn't think churches would appreciate our kind of talent during their conferences. I can picture it now. The pastor gets behind the pulpit, "Why, thank you Super Missionary Family for that lovely rendition of Amazing Grace in five languages,with twelve different instruments. Truly a blessing. And now, our next family, the Vernoys, will be doing their hog calls, and their youngest will finish off by swinging from the rafters while singing 'Crazy' in her Patsy Cline voice."

Hmm...doesn't seem very likely. What usually happened was my dad would stand up, introduce and say, "We just dont' sing...but we have some stories we could tell you!" Or, as one missionary friend put it, "I would sing a special for you, but it would probably be more special if I didn't!"

18 comments:

redneck preacher said...

Your daughter forgot to mention the 11 kids are dressed in a national costume the mom sewed herself in her spare time while she was building a hospital out of grass.

Normal folks, I like that. At our house when a kid disappeared they were hiding behind something reading.

Their talents included excellent safe shooting and reading my 1st edition "Lost World" Doyle book (I got at a garage sale for a dime), to death. But I'm not bitter.

HTOITA

Amanda said...

So funny! I love it.

Gayle said...

She's skilled at writing, Rita. I'm sure you're proud of her.

That "turning one foot backwards" thing I can do too, so we share a talent. LOL! I can do a full backbend but I can not do the splits. My legs will not work that way.

Jungle Mom said...

gayle, yes, I taught her everything she knows!!! even the one foot backward thing!!!

Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

That is a very funny letter.

MK said...

Few have the grace to make fun of themselves or have a laugh at themselves.. Good on you Rita...

Abouna said...

Jungle mom, Thanks for the laugh. I really needed it. That's the kind of entertainment I could go for. I'm afraid that my talents are a bit more mundane.

jennifer said...

Too Funny...as I recall the antics over chocolate with your kids(video)I am sure that your humor has been the delight for all:)

Brenda said...

Our family is right there with you! About the only talent we have is at telling really funny (but not always accurate) stories.

The Merry Widow said...

Super missionary families are a dime a dozen! True talent lies in being yourself...I think your family learned that lesson early on. A good thing too, those super missionary families have a way of making you feel inadequate(I know a home schooling family like that)shudder...

tmw

Dawn said...

I love it!!

~*~Luis' Vieja~*~ said...

awesome. funny. I loved it.

Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

"My oldest daughter wrote this very sad, but true, account of our family."

What is so sad about that letter? LOL. I think that it is great what you folks do down there. I don't care whether you all sing to them or walk on your hands to them, I just love reading your stories and hearing about your work.

P.S. I apologize for giving credit to the wrong person at my blog. It has been corrected.

Cheesecakeluvrs4life said...

That is so funny...I think our church would appreciate it.=) They know how crazy your family is!! We love ya'll for it! We always look forward to the "Vernoy" family coming to our church!!! Ya'll are so much fun to hang out with! James even enjoyed golfing with your hubby!

groovyoldlady said...

I didn't realize that missionary families were so much like the magazine homeschooling families. Minus the birkenstocks and jumpers...

pilot-pooja said...

Really nice to see your family pics..
Very sweet!

Rebecca said...

lol rofl.

~K~ said...

At our first miss. meeting way back in 1997, a dear pastors wife said..."it would be nice if your family would sing, people really like that."

We like to sing, in the congregation, in the car, in the shower. Maybe in the choir.

But usually not as part of our presentation.

Maybe it would have worked though. "Oh we need to support those poor missionaries, they'll have a hard time since they can't sing!"

(We would recite a Bible verse together instead.)