… as in “here’s what’s happening” or “this is what’s going on.” The Urban Dictionary used it in this example:

Bob:  Yo
Joe:  Yo, what’s poppin’ fresh?
Bob:  Not much kid, what’s crackalackin’ 

But as usual, I digress.

A ton has happened since my one sentence post from a week ago. Kids’ Camp was, as usual, phenomenal. Over 1200 kids were registered and we averaged 950 kids each day. And we didn’t lose any!! Tremendous amounts of fun were had by all.

Friday after Kids’ Camp we threw stuff in the car, said goodbye to Sookie and asked her to please stop shedding all over everything, and drove down to DC to spend the weekend with Taylor. The ride was a typical I-95 corridor drive. If you don’t know what that means, here’s the Facebook status I wrote while stuck in traffic:

“I love I-95,” said no one ever.

We finally made it to DC and instead of driving straight to the hotel as originally planned, we met Taylor at his metro stop, drove him by his lodgings so he could pick up a few things and then headed to the Embassy Suites.

To say I was giddy with joy would be an understatement. I had all my peeps in the same room.

Saturday we went to the International Spy Museum.

Veddddy intarestink. Before you can begin in the museum you have to choose an alias. When you finish the museum you have to debrief and, depending on how well you answer the questions, you can either “leave the country” or you will be detained and disavowed. Very Mission Impossible. I was the only one who was allowed to leave.

So now you know. I’m actually an international spy. But I can’t really tell you anything more than that without the risk of blowing my cover.

After that we had a late lunch at Hard Rock Cafe (why is it always the Hard Rock Cafe?)

Next to the Hard Rock is Ford’s Theatre. THE Ford’s Theatre where President Lincoln was shot. Right across the street is the house where he died.

The rest of the day held cupcakes and Starbucks and an awesome jazz band in front of the Verizon Center.

Sunday was a walk around the Mall and a visit to the National History Museum to see dinosaurs and butterflies and diamonds and the like.

Then we walked to Busboys and Poets, a Bohemianesque restaurant that Taylor suggested. It was very yum! By then it was time to head out.

Taylor had decided to follow us home in his truck so he could get the shell he bought on Craigslist and that Todd and I picked up for him a few weeks ago.

It fits and looks much better on Taylor’s truck.

Katie rode with Taylor. It was a quiet ride home from DC…

We noticed that Taylor wouldn’t go even 5 miles over the speed limit, no doubt because of the harsh speeding ticket he got back in January. At one point, however, he started going a little faster. Todd and I decided it was because Katie was still talking and he just wanted to get home as fast as he could. Then we watched as he took a wrong exit. I thought maybe his GPS steered him wrong, but Todd thought he might have offed Katie and wanted to get rid of the evidence before he came home. Turns out I was right.

It was nice to have him for an extra day. He and Todd got the shell on his truck on Monday and I made the most incredible sandwiches for dinner. Sunday night I had been flipping channels and came across a show called “The United States of Bacon”.


Anyway, this dude on the show made grilled cheddar cheese, bacon and apricot preserves sandwiches. YES.HE.DID. And so did I. The preserves are sweet but not overly so. The cheddar cheese was tangy. And the bacon. Oh, the bacon. Do I really need to elaborate? The whole combination was sweet and salty and tangy and I can hardly wait to do it again. Is there a rule about the appropriate amount of time between bacon consumption?

Oh yeah. My kid. I got sidetracked by all that talk of bacon. He left between 6:30 and 7:00 and didn’t hit any traffic. Lucky.

So let’s fast forward to today. Todd left yesterday for Akron and he comes home tomorrow. Katie and I went to Phamous Phil’s Barbeque for an early dinner tonight and it was fabulous phabulous. I think my favorite part is the tea. They don’t have sweet tea – a staple at any good Southern barbeque joint. But what they DO have is simple sugar syrup. So when you order tea they bring it and the sugar syrup so you sweeten it to your liking. Like I said. Phabulous. Then again, my favorite part could be the phried fried pickles. Best I ever ate, and I lived in the South for 18 years, y’all!!

Now we’re about to watch a movie, trying to stay up late because she has to be at the church at 1:45 AM.

“Of course she does,” you may be thinking. But then probably not.

She and 25 or 30 other people, mostly teenagers, will be getting on a charter bus that will take them to an airport where they will fly to Guatemala to build houses and properly set up safe stoves. They are all very excited and I can hardly wait to hear all about their trip, mostly because it will mean she’s home safe.

And that, my friends, is what’s been crackalackin’.


1:00 in the morning came really fast. So fast that we never did finish the movie. It is now nearly 3:00 in the morning and I’m a little bit wired. That and I had to come back and fix the errors in this post. At 1:00 I hit “Publish” instead of “Preview”. I blame my tiredness. Which is a pretty solid excuse.

But enough about me. The Guatemala team was boarding the bus at 2:15 when I left the church.

I’m all happy and sad and excited and a little bit worried (but not a lot) and am really looking forward to hearing all about it. If you would like to pray I would ask for the following:

  • Safe travels there and back
  • Good health for the entire team
  • A productive trip
  • Peaceful hearts for the moms and dads
  • Changed lives, both in the Guatemala community they’re serving and in the team

I am now officially tired. It is not looking as though I’ll be to work by 8:30 tomorrow morning today. So that’s all the crackalackin’ I’ve got.


  1. nwhannas on July 26, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Thank you for the newsy post. Feel like I got to go right along for the ride…um…in your car. No offense, Taylor. 😉 That sammich sounds divine, & I’ll say a prayer for KT’s group. Xxxooo

    • Jenster on July 26, 2012 at 3:26 am

      Todd and I DO have the cool car.
      If you come to my house I’ll make a sammich for you.
      Thank you muchly for the prayers!

  2. Your Son on July 26, 2012 at 9:30 am

    A) you were NOT the only one allowed to leave the museum
    B) It was NOT the wrong exit, we were going to 2 different places dummy head

    • Jenster on July 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

      A) Due to the entire mission being compromised by the other two spies and their subsequent disavowel, I determined it to be in the best interest of all if I claimed to be the only one to leave the country. That and I didn’t remember that another spy made it out. We did have to separate, you know.
      B) It was totally the wrong exit. Unless you were going to either Hope’s Cookies or Handels, in which case you should have brought me back something.

      With all the love in my heart,
      Your Mom

      • Jenster on July 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

        Dummy head back.

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