Tag Archives: family

Acts of Kindness and Lessons in Faith

I woke up Saturday morning with an activity list of things to do.

1. Although I find lists extremely helpful, making them overwhelms me.
2. If I get a list made, I become overwhelmed with trying to cross everything off.

It was a fairly simple list….

1. Return stuff at store
2. Aidan soccer game
3. Food shopping
4. Pick pumpkins at the Alpaca Farm
5. Admire and possibly pet said Alpacas
6. Come home and eat lunch
7. Put Autumn down for nap
8. Have boys paint and decorate pumpkins

Aidan’s game was at 10 and I somehow managed to get everyone fed, dressed, and out the door by 9:15. Plenty of time to run to the store.

That is, if your car will start.

The thought of telling Lincoln to close the car door the previous day comes to mind as the car is making funny clicking sounds and the RPM and speedometer hands are having seizures. He mustn’t have closed it completely, which left the cabin light on. All night.

I ran next door to see if the neighbor had jumper cables. Her mother-in-law did. AWESOME!
She drove her car down to mine and I hooked everything up.

Attempt 1 to jump my car failed. By attempt 2 I noticed the cables were beginning to smoke.

FUCK. Me.

Let me just tell you, smoking jumper cables are fucking HOT.
I burned myself. Nothing awful, but it hurt. A lot.

I forgot to mention that my mom and sister were in Boston at a college open house, so I was flying solo.

No car means no anything when you’re living in the sticks.

At 9:50 I tried calling the coach. The thought being maybe he had cables, or someone there had them and could give us a hand. He didn’t answer. So I left a message, explained the situation, and let him know we weren’t making it.

Aidan was upset. I was upset. Lincoln didn’t like the sun in his eyes. And Autumn was as cool as a cucumber.

I had a “thinking moment” and remembered that my mom’s best friends (we’ll call them Aunt J and Uncle P) were coming to Aidan’s game. I gave them a call. Within moments they were parked beside me.

You’re thinking cables, right?

Nope. No cables.

They took Aidan to his game.

I was upset. Lincoln was upset. Autumn didn’t notice a thing.

It was at this point that I remembered why I hated lists.
It was also at this point that I realized we weren’t going to be able to do any of the things we planned. More specifically… pick, paint, and decorate pumpkins (aka the highlighted activity for the day… aka the thing we spent days preparing for and talking about)
And it was at this point that I lost it and became a heap of tears.

Tears? Over pumpkins?

Yes and not necessarily.
Like I said, it was our highly activity for the day. One that we spent days discussing what the boys wanted to make. And days discussing the plans to turn their visions into reality.
I LOVE it! Pumpkin decorating is one of my all time favorite things to do.

 

It’s amazing how some things have a way of working out….
Aunt J must have known how much this day meant to me. She must have known how much I needed it because this is how the rest of the day went…

Aidan got back from his game and the story I’m told is that the team was down a point or two when he arrived. By the end of the game, Aidan had scored 5 or 6 goals. Aunt J and Uncle P lost count. According to Aidan, he score 80.

Aunt J called AAA while I was making lunch. They got here shortly after we finished eating and jumped my car.

Autumn had gone down for a nap so Aunt J offered to stay at the house so I could take the boys for their pumpkins.

We got back and the boys played outside for a while.

By the time the boys were done playing, Autumn had woken up (I don’t think she ever fell asleep).

Pumpkins were painted and decorated.

…and it went this way because of her. And even though I hugged and thanked you before you left on Saturday, I want you to know that your small act of kindness made a HUGE difference in my day.

 

And, without further adieu, I present the pictures….

 

Pumpkin picking at Plain View Farm

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The chosen pumpkins…

 

 

Alpacas...what the heck are they? An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.

Alpacas…what the heck are they?
An alpaca is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance.
Alpacas are bred for their fibers (aka hair), which are used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool.

 

 

Really wishing he could pet an alpaca...

Really wishing he could pet an alpaca…

 

 

Really, really, really wishing he could pet an alpaca...turns out they don't like sudden movements or loud noises.

Really, really, really wishing he could pet an alpaca…turns out they don’t like sudden movements or loud noises.

 

 

The kids had the task of finding their perfect pumpkin for $5-.  Their 3 pumpkins came in at $7- total, leaving them with enough money to purchase 3 finger puppets (1 for each of them)

The kids were given $5- each to find their perfect pumpkin.
Their pumpkins came in at $7- total, leaving them with enough money to purchase 3 handmade finger puppets (1 for each of them)

 

 

Onto painting and decorating…

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Lincoln working hard on covering his pumpkin in black paint.

 

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And Aidan worked with the white...

Aidan working with the white…

 

 

The peanut right as she started painting...

The peanut right as she started painting…

 

And The Peanut right before we cleaned up.

And The Peanut right before we cleaned up.

 

Autumn really enjoyed the activity. So much so that she painted for 45 minutes.

Autumn really enjoyed the activity. So much so that she painted for 45 minutes.

 

This is how she felt about cleaning up.

This is how she felt about cleaning up.

 

The Final Products…

Aidan needed some kind of a scoring system, so this is what we came up with…

Aidan.

Scariest.

Bloody Mummy.

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Lincoln.

Spookiest.

Black Bat.

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Autumn.

Most Original.

Untitled.

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There have been a lot of challenges for me in Massachusetts. The biggest being having to function and carry on despite negative outside forces (i.e. dead car batteries).

There have also been a lot of lessons learned since moving up here; two that stand out.
1. I am strong and capable.
2. Sometimes you have to take a step back and have faith that everything will work out. Maybe not the way you would like it to, but anything is better than nothing at all.

Best. Sunday. Ever.

It’s raining here. Which means no outside.
I’m counting down the days until we visit New Jersey, which is 5. But if you want to be exact, it’s more like… 5 days, 7 hours, 28 minutes, and 9 8 5 however many seconds.

Aidan is at work with Nana. Nana is a 2nd grade teacher who is in the building at 6:30 in the morning and doesn’t leave until 6:30 at night, sometimes later. And when she comes home, she stays up until 11 o’clock. She is the most dedicated teacher I know and I can only wish my children have at least one teacher in their lives like her.

I went off on a little “My Mom Rocks” tangent, so sorry. Anyhoo, Lincoln and Autumn are sleeping. And by sleeping, I mean napping. And by napping, I mean they’re probably awake in their rooms playing. Regardless, I can’t help but think about how awesome of a Sunday we had last week.

Nolan came up to visit. It had been over 6 weeks since we last saw him and the kids were beyond excited. So much so that Lincoln declared we had to have a party. But not just any kind of party, a “costume party“. And we did. But that was on Monday.

We had a yard sale Sunday morning and decided to go apple picking afterwards. It wasn’t really planned. It was more of a “why not?” decision. And one I’m so happy we made.

It may have been because the kids had awesome behavior. It could have been the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Or maybe it was the fact that my family was together. But last Sunday was the best day I’ve had in a really long time. I’d go as far as saying it was perfect.

We go to Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, MA every year. It’s 20 minutes from my mom’s house and offers more than just apple picking.

 

We always start our visit with feeding the farm animals.

Autumn loved feeding the donkey and the bull.

Autumn loved feeding the donkey and the bull.

 

Lincoln liked the goats and sheep.

Lincoln liked the goats and sheep.

 

The goats really liked what Lincoln had to offer.

The goats really liked what Lincoln had to offer.

 

Aidan feed 1 goat, but was more interested in the old tractor. I have pictures of him on that tractor from previous years and didn’t think it was necessary for another, but now I’m questioning that decision.

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Aidan on the tractor. October 2011

 

From there, we went to the washing station to clean off all the animal saliva and attempted to go apple picking.

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I was hoping to get all 3 of them standing next to each other, possibly holding hands. What I got was typical. And typical was and is good enough for me.

 

It took some time, but we eventually got into the orchard…

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1st picked apple of the trip.

 

Lincoln loves apples. He loved having an unlimited supply. At one point during the trip, we found him working on 3 different apples.

Lincoln loves apples. He loved having an unlimited supply. At one point during the trip, we found him working on 3 different apples.

 

Aidan really enjoyed climbing the trees to reach the "just right" apples.

Aidan really enjoyed climbing the trees to reach the “just right” apples.

 

Climbing the trees was one thing, maneuvering around the fallen apples was another.

Climbing the trees was one thing, maneuvering around the fallen apples was another.

 

Autumn also enjoyed picking...

Autumn also enjoyed picking…

 

..but she definitely enjoyed eating them more.

..but she definitely enjoyed eating them more.

 

I tried my best to get a "nice" shot of these 3. This was way better. This captured each of their personalities.

I tried my best to get a “nice” shot of these 3. This was way better. This captured each of their personalities.

 

I couldn't help but join in on the silliness.

I couldn’t help but join in on the silliness.

 

 

By the end of the trip, we had a full basket of apples…..

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I’m so happy I didn’t have to carry that basket of apples.

…some very full bellies…

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…and some delicious treats for later…

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We left the farm with a basket looking like this….

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This is what that same basket looked like 4 days later…

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And this is today. Exactly a week later….

Lincoln put a pear in the basket because he didn't want it to be empty.

Lincoln put a pear in the basket because he didn’t want it to be empty.

 

My children ate most of the apples we picked. I did, however, mange to prevent 25 from going into their bellies…

We made a gluten/dairy free apple pie. It. was. DELICIOUS.

We made a gluten/dairy free apple pie. It. was. DELICIOUS.

 

We also jarred the remainder of our our homemade apple pie filling.

We also jarred the remainder of our our homemade apple pie filling.

 

In the end, they wound up eating those apples anyway. Lincoln and Autumn fought over the last piece of pie, which went to Nana because she rocks.

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