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VOLUME 3 • ISSUE 1   |   Release date: September 15th, 2007

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Mom Achieves 100% VBS Coverage

Three boys attended church programs every week of the summer

MONTGOMERY, AL – Mothers around the nation rejoiced earlier this month as children grudgingly made their way back to school. But for Sandy Eaton, this year’s celebration was oh so much sweeter.

“I finally did it,” Eaton said, tipping her head back and shaking it at the sky with tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry. It’s just, you have no idea how many long years this has taken.”

Eaton is celebrating because, for the first time, she managed to find VBS programs for her three school-age boys every week of the summer.

“You don’t know how wonderful it is,” she said. “They finished school on a Friday, and on Monday it was off to Montgomery Church of the Nazarene for Amazon Expedition. It was like the school year never ended at all.”

Eaton, a stay at home mom whose husband, Rick, owns his own plumbing business, has been trying to map out a summer of full VBS coverage for her sons Rick, Jr., 10, Taylor, 8, and Hunter, 7, for years.

“I’ve come really close in the past,” Eaton said. “I always look in the local paper and surf all of the local church Web sites as soon as school is winding down, but there was always that empty week or two. I’ll never forget the summer of 2004. No one was doing an Independence Day week VBS that year. I was sure I’d never come that close again.”

But Eaton’s dream was realized this year.

“I’ll never forget the moment I realized that I had finally done it,” she said, the tears coming again. “I had all of the registration forms laid out on the desk, and I just couldn’t believe it. I jumped right out of my chair and yelled out to my husband that there was no need to schedule a family vacation this year!”

Despite her seemingly unbridled joy at her accomplishment, Eaton, a lifelong Free Methodist, admits that her victory did not come without compromise.

“There was definitely some re-indoctrination necessary,” she said. “After the Southern Baptist week, the boys wouldn’t listen to me for a while, you know, ‘cause I’m a woman, and then they gave me some crap about wearing my hair short and wearing pants. Then, after the Catholic week, I did have to confiscate some idols, but don’t get me wrong, it was worth it.”

Theological issues weren’t the only problems. Eaton also had to deal with daily drives of up to 30 miles one way and an endless stream of oddly-themed arts and crafts cluttering up her fridge. But perhaps the most formidable challenge of the summer came when Eaton’s boys banded together and refused to attend the Montgomery United Church of Christ’s Cactus Canyon.

“We were pretty darn sick of Outrigger Islands and Jungle Jaunts by the beginning of August,” Rick, Jr. said. “We had convinced dad to put a stop to the whole thing one Sunday night, but then mom started crying and threatening to spend our college funds on botox again. Dad caved like a Spiritual Spelunker, and we were right back at it the next day.”

Despite the struggles associated with her quest, Eaton’s feat has made her the envy of her friends.

“She’s my hero,” said Erica Cranford, who lives on Eaton’s street. “I have two kids, and I can only hope I’ll come close to accomplishing what she has some day. That is one dedicated mother.”

Now that she’s finally accomplished her goal, Eaton plans to share her joy with others.

“I’m planning to start a Web site that will give other moms tips to help them find their own summer of freedom,” she said. “I know I can be a help and an inspiration to other moms who have just come to accept the fact that summer means they have to see their kids more. I want them to know that it really doesn’t have to be that way. I’m living proof.”

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