Our warm summer like September dashed away and cold October arrived with below average temps and wind. Our pumpkins are cold this morning but tomorrow they will be literally freezing when the low temperatures will drop and my neglected potted plants will freeze. I brought a few geraniums into my office to keep for something to remind me of summer. Nathan instead reminded me they stink! We will see if I can keep the stinky geraniums alive. I still have about 150 bulbs to plant and I better quickly do that this weekend before I have completely missed the window and we have permanent snow on the ground. Permanent until next spring when it will slowly melt and then the bulbs will give us hope for summer again!
Last weekend I learned with a few friends how to cook chili for 400 people. Yes 400. It takes a lot of hamburger, pinto beans, tomato paste, onion, salt, pepper, sugar, chili powder and water! Plus all the fixins’ of bread with honey, cheese, sour cream, coffee, punch, etc. It was all for a benefit for our friends.
In June, a local friend of ours had a freak accident while diving off the diving board at the local swimming pool. He ruptured both patellar tendons in his knees. He was unable to walk for over 75 days and is now beginning a long road of recovery that will leave him out of his job for at least a year. His wife is a dear friend and is at home caring for her husband and two young sons. A few friends began organizing a fundraiser to help this family earlier this fall. Last Saturday night, we gathered at a local church to make the chili. Ten roasters later we had chili simmering overnight in each of our homes. Nathan and I both were paranoid about the four roasters of chili in our kitchen. Nathan was most concerned about not starting a fire with those old roasters from the local fire hall and I was most concerned about the chili tasting good! I got up at 3:30AM to stir the chili. Nathan got up at 6AM to check again. Then early Sunday we returned to the church to get everything ready for the crowd. You can see Elizabeth (with friend Brenda) was most fascinated with the tables of cookies and bars that people donated. The event was a hit. We raised more money than we had expected and even got into our tenth roaster of chili but did not run out thankfully. It was a great event. And we received compliments on the chili! Most of all we were grateful for all the support that was given to our friends in need. Small towns are the best at rallying together and supporting one another.
Our sweet kiddos can never all sit still long enough for a picture these days. Elizabeth is Busy Bits. She is just always on the go. Hunter is 12, a boy that doesn’t always like his mom taking his picture. Anika is still her darling self and entertained by siblings. They are definitely still very sweet and just had a fun few days with Mama Jane (or Mayme as E calls her). I was gone for two nights and everyone of course did wondefully well. Anika learned that she indeed can take a bottle just fine. I have loaded our deep freeze with plenty of milk for Anika while I am away on business trips. Nathan had Anika sleeping in the bassinet next to the bed while I was gone. She woke twice in the nights for him, took the bottle and went back to sleep. She also did great with my mom during the days.
Elizabeth said “Mommy! Hum home!” (come home) every time I called and could not stop jumping up and down when I walked in the door last night. I brought her a replica Delta plane that she is fascinated with and keeps saying “Mommy’s airplane!” and rolling it around the floor and having it fly through the sky.
Last night, Hunter was most interested to talk to me about our amazing sports teams of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins. Both have had tremendous weeks and it has been a fun week to be a fan! Now if the Twins can just recover and pull out some wins against those Yankees.
I returned home to every single piece of the kid’s laundry being clean and put away last night. Plus we had a huge pot of homemade soup on the stove and a fresh homemade cake with my favorite fudge frosting. And my mom was no where to be found. She left for her home after Nathan got home from work last night.
When my mom called our house last night to say she had made it home, Elizabeth got on the phone and said to her “Mayme hum back!”. She missed me while I was gone and now she was missing her grandma! I think they had quite a busy and entertaining time together.
Hunter is a reading machine and you can always find him before bed or sometimes early in the morning, reading. He loves to read. It is not always cool to admit that but he does. Hunter told me last night when I was putting him to bed that he can tell I am working again because I have my professional voice back and that I use “bigger you know more professional words”. Amazing how I can put on a suit, lug around my work bag, filled with business cards and a lap top and my vocabulary expands. I told Hunter to keep reading and his vocabulary will become more professional too.
Back to work is challenging but rewarding. After one week we are already getting into a solid routine and feeling good about it. Thank goodness for sweet kiddos, a helpful husband, mother and mother in law plus a stellar cleaning lady!