I had a really good reason to fly to Arizona for the better part of the week. My joyful assignment was to keep tabs on four Anderson kids while Quinn accompanied Dusty to Colorado for a long-awaited court case. Nearly five years ago an employer refused to pay what was owed Dusty for a big sale, which is kinda sorta illegal. It isn’t as though they weren’t counting on that money to pay for the adoption costs so carefully considered in their budget. A quick trip to civil court would make it all better—because that’s how it works, right?
A court date would be set, the attorney and Dusty would make plans, the opponents would ask for a postponement…repeat…repeat… for five years. I make it sound simple but it was anything but. And then—and then!—a court date was set for this week, and all systems were go.
First, though, Dusty had a deposition to read. Five years is a long time to remember details, but knowing he’d told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from the start gave him confidence that a little brush-up would suffice. Not that he took it lightly! No, the whole debacle seemed to him like a John Grisham novel—Big Corporation v Little Guy. Without the attorney’s strong confidence in the case, which led him to work pro bono, there would actually be no case.
I traveled a day early to enjoy some life with the family.
Marissa curled Cassidy’s hair, and here mama polishes her nails for the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance.
(a comparison pic that begged to be shared)
Off they go!
I love visiting on a Sunday so I can attend a worship service with these guys at their wonderful church—Redemption Gateway. Here’s the podcast of the timely message we heard. (If you can’t watch right now, please, oh please, return when you can. It’s rich!)
That evening the parents were off to their adventure in Denver. A mock trial on Monday, jury selection on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, at the homestead it’s business as usual. Quinn leaves “mOm notes” to keep me on track with their well-oiled household. The kids know how it all works, so my role is simply the overseer. I provide food, transportation for the three non-drivers, cheer, and only the smallest amount of direction.
I stand back with my camera and watch with wonder.
I can see why moms go a little crazy directing the extra-curricular activities of their kids.
It made more sense to do homework in the Coffee Shop than to run home between Cassidy’s pick-up from choir and Marissa’s drop-off at track practice.
Same song, different verse.
Verse three! You get the idea.
We had to miss Bailey’s game, but he pitched every inning and apparently did a bit of sliding to help his team win the game.
On Day One of the trial I drove the hour from Gilbert to Goodyear for a few happy hours with these two. They’re back from Iraq on leave and had been digging into the many house-related appointments they’d lined up in advance: interior paint, new appliances (the house came with not a single one), carpet, security system. And between appointments they managed to stay faithful to their Crossfit workouts (I promised to explain why they look like this.)
I took this picture for Mauri, who is always and foremost interested in whether or not someone’s kitchen has a “manly stove.” I believe this qualifies.
I got in on the carpet installation.
What once looked like this…
…now looks like this. Much more useable space!
Anticipation was rising as Beth’s parents and her sister/husband/kids would arrive from Virginia in two days to preview the place the Carlsons will call home after the wedding and their Iraq work contracts are complete.
Back at the Anderson ranch, I kept one eye on my phone for text updates from Quinn. She reported Dusty did great on the witness stand, recalling everything accurately for his own attorney and answering to the opponent’s attorney, who was trying unsuccessfully to trip him up. After hours on the stand, they called it a day after their attorney hit her last dead end. Recess.
Day Two was rough, with untruths abounding from the other side. Almost five years later would the simple black-and-white issue be clear? Prematurely, my faith in the justice system wavered and I felt unsafe. How would I explain a loss to the kids? One of my regularly used expressions is “I’m not prone to worry.” And I’m not! Apparently the five-year build-up to this day had done a number on me.
“The jury is deliberating” came next. This text coincided with school pick-ups, my cellphone safely set aside. Then only 22 minutes later, with all but one Anderson kid nearby, came these beautiful words: “Verdict in our favor. God brought the W! Truth prevailed.” Cheers erupted; these kids have walked the financial, emotional, time, attention, and prayer journey right along with their parents. They have good cause to celebrate!
“V” is for victory. Thank God for the big W! “And we know…all things….” If you listen to the podcast linked above, you’ll understand.