The Sunbeams

April 21, 2008

Jared and I have been assigned a new job at church--a new "calling" as the Mormons like to label it. In a moment of inspiration, our Branch President decided it would be a wise idea to ask the Lawsons to teach ten four-year-old children about Jesus for two hours every single Sunday. Now don't get me wrong here--children, and lessons about Jesus, and the Lawsons are all wonderful things, but when you put them all together--how can I put this lightly?--it's guaranteed to be worse than an egg fart in a stalled elevator.

When we walked into church on Sunday morning, I had a feeling that something major was going down, and sure enough my intuition was right. After the meeting, we were called into the Branch President's office, where we were ruthlessly dealt our fate--the Sunbeams class.

I've been a Sunbeams teacher in the past, and I won't mince words--those children pushed me half an inch from converting to Hinduism. And apparently--this is good--we were asked to teach the Sunbeams together because forty percent of the class has undiagnosed behavioral issues. I will teach, and my husband will work the floor as the bouncer. Awesome.

Before we had even walked out of the Branch President's office, I turned to Jared, raised my hands in a WHAT THE HECK?! position and announced, "Jared, I wish he had said, 'See that large pile of poop over there? We would like you to take this garden shovel and move it to the other side of the parking lot.' That would have been better."

When we got to the hallway, Jared was like, "Dude, you just said 'poop' in his office. What are you doing? Trying to get us fired?"

And I replied, "Yup."

And he was all, "I love you Amy."

Then I stepped outside for a breath of fresh air, bonked my head against the brick facade, launched James's backpack into a ditch, wedged myself under the wheels of someones minivan, and clearly instructed Jared to start the vehicle and reverse it over my midsection. The fool refused to do it, but my mother-in-law was like, "Oh my gosh?! The Sunbeams? I'll go find Sister Hawkins and I'll ask her for the keys."

This is the same woman who introduced me to the congregation by saying, "This is my son's wife. They have a three-year-old boy and they've been married for a week. He finally decided to make an honest woman out of her." She claims that she wanted to mix things up a bit. Welp, mission accomplished, Meredith...mission accomplished.

I managed to pull myself together during the last hour of church, and Jared and I worked together to develop a plan of attack. I will teach the lesson, and I will bribe the kids with non-church-approved movies and artificial treats. Jared on the other hand, will bounce the bad apples straight to their dads and operate the puppet. We're not exactly sure what role the puppet will play in the class--only that he's a golden retriever wearing a Santa hat, and speaks with the voice of an incontinent, disgruntled New Yorker (the only accent my husband can do).

My father-in-law says we need to repent, move forward, and be the best Sunbeams teachers we can possibly be. My mother-in-law says that we'll be fired after the first two weeks.
I'm not a betting woman, but if I were, my money would be on the Mrs.
I'll keep you posted.


chattypatra said...


My first calling, a couple of weeks after I was baptized, was to teach the Valiant class. Can you imagine me in a room full of 7 & 8 yr. olds...when I was 21? Oh, and the Bishop's children were in my class, yes siree!

Anyway, start practicing Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam. In the meantime, I'll be praying for you.

Remember, if He thinks you can do it, then you can! ;)

akshaye said...

"worse than an egg fart in a stalled elevator" - ugh the imagery (smellery) that conjures!

You should take bets - see how long people think it will be before you get fired!

Laura said...

Well, the sunbeam class is my worst nightmare, second only to nursery. Good Luck, and give em lots and lots of sugar to take back to their parents. Parents absolutely LOVE picking their little kids up from primary hyped up on sugar. Seriously. (And the kids'll love ya for it too!)

I'd rather be in young womens dealing with hormonal 16 year olds wondering "why, oh why that hot dude likes that skank better than Me!"

Sue said...

Two hours is just crazy. Isn't it? Someone should write a letter. I vote for you.

When we taught Sunbeams we went on LOTS of walks outside, around the building. To burn off all the sugar.

Brianna said...

That's how to get your religious ed classes "staffed". We Catholics have it all wrong with our volunteering method . . . :)

Good luck with those 2 hours - you could consider it cross training!

Topher said...

Guess who just got called to the bishopric. Wanna trade?

Vanilla said...

I think the puppet should say bad words in Sunday School and then you and Jared should reprimand it.

Then when the Branch President questions you about it you could be like "oh, it wasn't us cursing it was that damn puppet."

Bahston Beans said...

Okay, we need to schedule a photo shoot. We'll stage some shots of you and Jared drinking espressos, doing keg stands, etc. Then I can mail them to your branch president in unmarked packages. Are you in?

Jess said...

Reason #1045 of why you'll never find me a member of an organized religion. You couldn't trick, bribe, or force me to teach those ankle biters on a Sunday morning. Sundays are for sleeping off a hangover.

Rob & Katy said...

wow- that was the one calling you said you didn't want. when will they wise up and make you organist?

Grandma said...

I'll make a glittery "ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK" warning sign for the Sunbeams.

Karyn-for-you said...

I volunteered to teach the 2-3year old's in a moment of insanity. I quit after the first training class that I did with the superintendent! I considered switching churches as an excuse to quit but went for the," I quit approach"
good luck with that,

jackie said...

Amy, you are SO funny! I look forward to reading the Chronicles of the Sunbeams!
jackie smith

katieo said...

ohmygosh I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sunbeams!!

(as long as there aren't more than 6 of them, and they've all had naps...)

no really, I think they're hilarious. And you can get away with doing ANYTHING in that class. Just bring in the goldfish, sing lots of songs, and take lots of walks. My fallback? Crayons and lots of white paper- works like a charm. If anyone looks at you weird for roaming around the hallways with them all you have to do is shrug and mouth the word, "sunbeams," and they'll all feign sympathy. It's like graduated nursery. Not too old for the snacks, but old enough to color. You guys are going to have a blast.

carla said...

if the push you too far just remember we Jews will always take ya!



Mindy said...

I am laughing so hard! Sunbeams! You poor people! I used to substitute in the sunbeams class a lot, and they had to touch me. They'd play with my hair, stroke my arm, poke my boob... I'm not kidding! Watch your boobs!

Jill said...

I'm in my second year teaching the Sunbeams.
They like to try to bend your fingernails back also.
Last year, I had 2 darling kids in my class, and to keep them quiet, I fed them full of fruit snacks and fishy crackers.
This year, 7 kids. One has a special diet, so I can't even bribe them with candy.
I blogged about a typical Sunday for me:

Not that I'm trying to scare you or anything.

January said...

Am I the only one here who wishes I was called into nursery or Sunbeams or even my daughter CTR 4 class??? These kids are awesome!