Aug 21, 2011

Blown Away

8/21/2011 — cori
Can I just say I have best neighbors in the world?! I have been consistently blown away by their kindness, giving, help and friendship. Today was no different. Jenna, our 11 year old neighbor, has become a constant fixture in our house. She is always here. She's such a sweet, little friend to Chloe. She was here with us the other day eating lunch. I was feeling horrible at the time. I felt so sick I could barely eat or talk to anyone. I told all the kids I was going to go take a nap (which is a rarity for me) and for them to play quietly. Apparently, this concerned Jenna and Chloe to no end. When I woke up they had found a solution to help me feel better and this was it:

"Lor de SPA" This adorable little sign was taped to my bathroom door. I was led into the bathroom and told to have a seat (thankfully I have a chair in there). Then Chloe handed me this:

I needed help. This was definitely going to cure any ailment I had. How could it not? They even offered me a menu of snack items I actually like? I ordered a glass of water that Chloe served me while Jenna (both of whom had to dress up in fancy clothes to attend to me) started rubbing lotion on my feet.

Then they filled my tub with hot water and told me to soak my feet. They had the whole thing planned out to a tee. It was so sweet. I was so pampered. Not only did I get a foot rub and massage. I also got a pedicure and manicure, courtesy of these two, delightful attendants.

Chloe did my pedicure in a lovely shade of light blue
with a pink heart embellishment on my big toe.

Jenna gave me a french manicure.

I was overwhelmed with their act of love the rest of the day. I couldn't stop thanking them. I indeed felt better.

Sewing Lessons

8/21/2011 — cori
I've not had nary a one. Yet I still attempt feats of greatness (read here: trying to sew a straight line on a piece of fabric) on my sewing machine.

Two years ago, I had it in my head that I would pass along all my 'sewing knowledge' to my dear 5 year old daughter and we would work on a project together. We got as far as picking out the fabric together. I didn't even have a pattern for this skirt. Since I had no clue what I was doing, I couldn't explain a thing to her or answer her questions, she quickly left the room and left me with a project I wanted to give up on. Yet I turned out a skirt somehow and miraculously it didn't fall apart. It is the most wonky, unconventionally sewn piece of clothing you will ever see. But she loves it, thinks her mom can sew and wears it all the time. So ultimately, it was worth the intense trial and hardship I lived through.

Enter project number two. Our next door neighbor built an American Girl doll bed for Chloe. She immediately dressed it up with some pillow cases. Then we sat down and put our heads together and came up with a really awesome idea of how it could look. Only problem, it would involve me and the sewing machine. Have you ever seen my sewing machine?

It is of the 1960's variety, a lovely shade of avacado green that would have matched all your modern household appliances of the day. It is also a very, heavy metal. Which means it is so heavy I can barely lift it to put it on the table. It sounds like a typewriter when it is working. My children don't even know what a typewriter is. My grandmother gave it to me.

It also comes equipped with this stylish little foot pedal. I feel like I'm in the driver's seat of a very old race car. The hinge needs oiling or it squeaks.

But thankfully, it also comes with this handy users manual that I have to read every single time I pull out the machine. Apparently, I can never remember how to thread the needle or wind the bobbin. You'd think after multiple readings it would just sink in. But no, I just can't seem to grasp the rocket science behind the complexity of this age old machine.

But thankfully, they have very explicitly hand drawn instructions, detailing the steps I'm to go through. If it wasn't for that detail, I doubt I would have been able to achieve this feat:

The American Girl bed. A project that probably would have taken anyone else 2 hours, took me two whole days - must have been all that reading I had to do.

A Little Reminder

8/21/2011 — cori

I was given a gentle, hilarious reminder this week, that even though Gavin appears to be growing at the speed of light, and is the same height as me, he is still a child, not totally grown up yet.

Gavin, my 7th grader, was getting ready to go to school to get his new student i.d. made and find out his schedule for the year. To say he was excited would be an understatement. He even did his hair, brushed his teeth and wore an outfit that actually coordinated that I didn't have to pick out for him. All without me reminding him. Truly a sign of maturity (for him).

However, all on his own, he decided that he should also smell good. He was so proud of himself when he told me, "Mom, guess what, I rubbed deodorant (of the Gillette, gel variety) all over my face so that I would also smell good. I didn't want to waste Dad's face gel."

I just smiled, smelled his face, and indeed it did smell good (thankfully it wasn't powder fresh). I told him, "That's the way to think creatively!" To which he replied, "I know!"

There was no way I going to burst his bubble, he was oozing with pride. Thank you for reminding me that even though you're almost a teenager Gavin, you still love to share everything with me and you're still adorably cute and you're still very, very twelve.

Aug 17, 2011

Family Reunion

8/17/2011 — cori

Here are the memorable moments from our recent family reunion in picture form:

If goats can be beautiful...this is what they would look like.

Sunrise down on the farm.

The quintessential farm picture. Old and beautiful.

We rode like this to the local park/lake, on folding chairs in the back of the pick-up down dusty old dirt roads. Several of the kids kept asking, "Isn't this illegal?" We told them not to worry, we're in the country, this is how they do it.

Chuck having fun with the kids on the merry-go-round.

Walleye fish fry. Delicious. The best fish around! No food frustration here.

The boys and their obsession with weapons.

A homemade board game called Wahoo made by Chuck's late Grandma,
still played and enjoyed by all.

A hayride on a beautiful night.

Bike rides down the dirt drive.

Uncle Joel on his tractor.

Gavin making sure to get in plenty of reading time.

The lush corn fields surrounding us.

Wagon rides.

Quality time with the horses...

....and the goats.

The campers that most everyone slept in.
This is how they do it in the country.

Fresh Air

8/17/2011 — cori
It was a gorgeous, crisp, end of summer morning here in Minnesota. I was enjoying it to it's fullest sitting outside, soaking up the peace and beauty around me in the early hours of the morning before the children woke up. So as not to startle them, I left the sliding door open with the screen so they could see that I was outside when they woke up and to let in the beautiful breeze. Sure enough, Chloe was the first to wake and came outside to greet me. She inhaled deeply and said, "Mom, as soon as I woke up I smelled a hint of fresh air and knew the screen door must be open. So I came out here to find you." I'm so glad that 'hint of fresh air' was the lure that brought her to me. We both were able to bask in the beauty of the morning together with our cups of hot tea. It just doesn't get much better than that in my book.

I'm surprised that out of all three kiddos, she's my most 'outdoorsy' one. She loves being outside. She appreciates the smells, animals and sounds associated with nature. Often, when we're out back together she comments, "Mom, it's like we're camping but we're not. It's always so pretty out here." I have to agree, that's what I love about our backyard as well.

We were out at Aunt Lou's farm again recently and Chloe got some hay stuck in her hair. When she came over to me, I reached out to try to take the hay out. She quickly stopped me and exclaimed, "Mom, don't. I like that hay there. It makes me look like a real farm girl."

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