We are in St. Louis staying with Traci's sister and her 4 kids. (for those of you doing the math at home, that means we're here with 8 kids) This afternoon we knew that we needed to get the troop out of the house and wear them out a bit so they'd fall asleep sometime before church tomorrow. So we chose to take 'em on a long hike in the woods - hoping to return with most of them. It actually went wonderfully, but as you can imagine, corralling 8 kids in the woods and getting them to all move in a similar direction for 3 miles or so can be a little taxing. Plus it was kinda hot outside.
During one of our many rest breaks (as if the adults had any control over when those happened) we ate some snacks and drank water. Ethan had been predictably kinda driving us crazy by not staying with the group and just doing what he usually does . . . (meaning whatever he wants.) During our stop he grabbed a package of crackers, sat down for a couple miliseconds, and then took off to climb a rock, contemplate dirt or kick a tree or something - having decided that he wasn't down with eating the crackers. Traci, of course was all over this - she made Ethan return to the scene of the crime where he dumped the perfectly good crackers down on the ground conveniently hidden behind a log. Now you should know that he habitually eats the middle part of the crackers (the cheese) and then discards the actual crackers. He got a strong, justified, rebuke that we all watched from a safe distance. Traci had had enough. But the moment that we'll never forget was at the height of her rage - she looked down at Ethan, and with all the anger and conviction she could muster said:
"Ethan, YOU ARE A WASTER OF CRACKERS."
Whoa - there's just no good comeback for that. He knew he'd been beat. Traci tried to maintain the scolding eye contact, but by this point Krista (Traci's sister) and I were laughing so hard that the squirrels were coming down to see what all the commotion was about.