The Simple Life, Part II

Earlier this month, Sebastian and Sophia spent a weekend with my Mom.  They took some time with Grandma to visit and see a slice of her life out in the country.  We brought the kids out on a Friday and ended up having dinner together and then walked to my sister’s house just down the road.  We made s’mores around the campfire for dessert.  My Mom has never had a s’more before and decided to try one for the first time.  Chocolate usually gives her headaches, but she enjoyed the first one so much, she ate a second one.  Luckily, she didn’t end up with a migraine the next day.

Roasting Marshmallows

Before the evening was over, my sister gave Sebastian a lesson on how to drive her four-wheeler.  He did a great job and drove slowly around for twenty minutes, taking corners, backing up and practicing proper driving techniques.


The kids were headed to bed when Mike and I left for the evening after 11:00 p.m.  A late night for the kids, but they were able to sleep in the next morning.  Grandma made them a family favorite – homemade waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.   After breakfast they helped Grandma bake homemade bread.   Sebastian and Sophia got up too late to help Grandma make the dough, but they helped with kneading and putting it into the loaf pans. They enjoyed some of the bread fresh out of the oven and brought three loaves home with them.  Yum!

Next, Grandma taught Sophia about cutting material for sewing.  They put together pieces to make a quilted pillow.  She showed her how to use the sewing machine and Sophia got to push the foot pedal, while Grandma and Sophia together held on and turned the fabric.  The pillow looks super cute and Sophia now has it on her bed.

My Mom always brings fresh bouquets to her small church each week for mass.  Her church service is later in the day on Saturday, so they picked flowers in the afternoon.  She made the arrangements and put them in vases.  I think she enjoyed bringing the kids to church with her.  They also picked up an elderly friend who she often gives rides to.  After church, they dropped off the bouquets at the nursing home for the residents.  What a great experience for the kids.

Sunday came around and it was already time for us to pick them up.  We got there in the early afternoon.  It was a beautiful day so we spent a good amount of time outside.  We even went on a trek into the field and woods.

Pine Forest Beyond The Field

Daphne and Sebastian enjoyed running through the fields.  I’ve never seen Daphne so happy.

Running Wild
Catch Me If You Can

The kids checked out the BIG bales.

Top Of The World
Top Of The World, II
Leap Of Faith
Bales, Bales And More Bales

We headed into the woods and saw signs of animals.

Fox Hole

We saw the big white pine that was there since I was a kid.

The Big Old White Pine

We headed out into the cow pasture which is now a bit overgrown without the animals there anymore.  We found an old deer stand.

Going Up To The Deer Stand
Up A Tree
Surveying The Area

We cut across the swamp.

Holding Hands

We found a small creature.

Tiny Toad

We saw lots of bugs and insects.


We made it back from the walk and checked out some of my Mom’s flowers.

Yellow Lilies
Pink Lilies
Yellow And Orange Lilies

Before we left the farm and all of the wonderful nature, we took a photo of the kids with Grandma.

Thanks Grandma!

It is an experience that they will remember for a lifetime.

The Simple Life

Growing up in rural Minnesota, life was simple.  Too simple I thought at the time.  Summers were spent working on the farm, making hay, helping with the garden.  As a kid, I didn’t appreciate the simple life.  Going back and visiting my Mom this past weekend made me realize that growing up out in the country was actually pretty cool.  We learned how things grow, we saw calves being born, chickens hatching and tadpoles turn into frogs. We harvested peas, beans, carrots and more than a dozen other vegetables from the garden. We picked apples and plums in the fall from our trees.  We cut wood for the stove to keep the house warm in the winter.  These are the kinds of thing I want my kids to see, understand and appreciate.  I know a quick weekend with Grandma won’t do all of this, but it’s a start.

Running Wild
Field Of Dreams
Open Playing Field
Off The Beaten Path

MCP Project 52 ~ Week 40

Week 40 Theme ~ Vintage

My siblings and I (along with our spouses and kids) recently spent a day out at my parents’ farm helping them with cleaning and other projects around the yard and house.  While working out  in the garage, I came upon three vintage bottles.  The one in the picture below is an old quart milk bottle from the DMDA – Duluth Minnesota Dairy Association.  My Dad was a dairy farmer just about his entire life – helping his grandparents on their farm when he was just a kid, then buying his own dairy farm after he married my Mom in 1954.  The bottle was absolutely filthy from many decades of sitting out in the garage, but it cleaned up nicely and is now proudly displayed at my house on a kitchen shelf.  It will always serve as a reminder of the hard work my Dad put into the farm for the many years before I was born until he retired from dairy farming when he turned 60 – the year I graduated from high school.  He continued to have beef animals for the next 20 years, but sold the last one shortly before he turned 80 when he officially retired from farming.

Vintage Milk Bottle

p.s. I did get permission from my Dad to take it…just in case anyone was wondering.