A few weeks ago my parents and sister arrived the morning of October 21 to celebrate birthdays. Andrew started the morning off by making crepes with loads of toppings. While he and Emily were cooking in the kitchen my dad and I walked my usual morning route and chatted.
Once we had eaten our fill of Andrew’s gourmet cooking we all got ready to head out to Prophetstown State Park. It happened to be the harvest festival so there were activities at the farm and Indian Village. We saw animals (including baby chicks that just arrived, but I missed that highlight for a bathroom stop…), watched a blacksmith work, and made cornhusk dolls with the kids. Emily got really into the project. She was very thoughtful in her stylistic choices, even going back to make changes to the directions of the bow and adding a face. When we got home she chose a different color marker to redraw the face on. Nathan didn’t care much about the making (although he was right on track with the body part we were creating), but he was certainly aware that the doll was his.
We finished the farm area by walking through the 1900s farmhouse and getting free popcorn. Christine, Emily and I each had a chance to play the player piano by pumping the foot pedals. It was more challenging than I thought it would be, but also super fun!
At the Indian Village a couple who are experts in Native American food were cooking traditional meals. We were able to sample some of the different options as well as walk through the different buildings in the Indian Village. Everyone was pretty tired and hungry (it was around 2pm at this point and we hadn’t eaten lunch), so we headed home after about twenty minutes.
After lunch we opened presents! Emily first gave me a doll from her room. The day before she told me she was giving it to me as a surprise and was trying to figure out how to wrap it so it wouldn’t break. She had tears in her eyes and she gave me this thoughtful gift. Andrew was pretty worried about the exchange the night before and talked to her about whether she was giving it for keeps or to play with. It was the perfect discussion because she realized she could give something close to her heart but there were options. We have been sharing the doll and she has been keeping it safe for me in her room. It really was tender to see her make a thoughtful sacrifice.
Andrew really surprised me with a new camera lens. He’s been thinking about it/hiding it for over a year and I had no idea!
My parents gave me four books from my “I really should own this book because I’ve checked it out from the library multiple times” list and I thrilled to be able to really dig into my own copies now.
Emily and Nathan were surprised to find out they also had birthday presents! Emily was given more duplos and Nathan trains. They have been highly used the last few weeks and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Nathan loves his “tracks” and there have been many meltdowns about having to transition to another activity (diaper change, bed, lunch, going outside).
Side note: I was having lots of contractions. But it was a few weeks ago and the baby is still hanging out, so they really can go for weeks and weeks.
We headed out for celebratory frozen yogurt at my favorite place in town.
My family left Sunday morning after sacrament meeting. It was an excellent weekend!