And no broken bones!
If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you probably remember that last year, during a Labor Day picnic, I stepped in a hole while carrying DJ and broke my ankle. What followed were 3 very difficult and stressful months for our family. We were talking about this dreadful event at the dinner table last week, and Bee said, “When you broke your ankle….that was a BAD time,” and my husband replied, “That’s when we learned how much we need Mom.”
I learned how much I need them too because during my first week on crutches, I caught one in a throw rug, fell, and broke a toe on my good foot, which pretty much incapacitated me. I highly value my independence, so this was a very humbling experience for me, and one I hope to never repeat. Thankfully, this Labor Day weekend was very fun! It was jam-packed with activity, so I’m going to break it down by day:
The kids asked to take part in their favorite weekend activity, garage saling! I’m not joking…at 7:30 AM, the girls were standing at my side of the bed, attempting to quietly stare me awake, and as soon as I opened one eye they blurted out, “Can we go to garage sales?!” This was an easy request to say yes to, because my husband and I also love saling. We only went a handful of times this summer because of the stifling heat, and ongoing house projects that consumed all of our weekends.
So, we loaded everybody into the van, the girls with their sunglasses and garage sale purses, and picked up donuts for breakfast (which the kids call “donuts for the road.”) We went to probably a dozen sales, and aside from the usual bounty of name-brand kids’ clothes, including a stack of Mudd, and Limited Too jeans for Bee, here are some of my favorite finds:
A new-in-the-box, Pampered Chef accent decorator. It retails for $24, and they were asking $15, but my husband – a master negotiator – got it for the bargain price of only $6.75!
It has 6 tips so now, when I make the kids’ birthday cakes, I won’t have to limp by with my cheapie, salvage store set anymore.
I also got this tea light holder and candles for only $1 for both,
and a large, stainless steel mixing bowl for only 50 cents. When combined with my other 2, I have a complete, nesting set. These are my favorite bowls to use when cooking and baking, so I was pretty thrilled about this. Also, a man whose Mother had just passed was selling all of her vintage, retro kitchenware, and when I commented about how I have a penchant for retro stuff, and have been wanting a food mill for a long time, he gave me this one for free!
My husband cleaned and oiled it, and it works like a charm. The one I had my eye on was $50 – I like this price much better.
Bee bought an abacus with her own money, and played with it all afternoon. She had just learned how to add columns of numbers with an abacus in her challenge math class, so she was excited to find this one for only a dime. I have to say that if I didn’t vividly recall being in labor with her for like, 20-something hours, I would swear she could not possibly be my child.
Cakes, who has a heart of gold, “bought” me these two things (they were on a table marked “FREE”) for next Mother’s Day, and tried so hard to wait (almost a full year!), but she only made it to our driveway before she had to give them to me, because she was just bursting with the supreme effort of keeping her surprise a secret.
Inside the little box is a dried flower, and it says, “If I had a flower for every time I think of you, I could walk forever in my garden.” Also, she gave me the hotel “softening lotion” because she said, “I know grown-ups love stuff like that.” She’s so funny and cute!
My funniest memory of this weekend’s garage sales was when an older lady (I’d say in her early 80′s, maybe?) told me an incredibly off-color joke! And this is why I love garage sales so much – not just for the bargains, but for the entertainment!
On the way home, we stopped to pick up a few incredible deals at the grocery store, including 4-pound bags of pure cane sugar for only $1.48 – and no limit! I bought 6 and poured them, along with my existing sugar stock, into one of my food-grade buckets, which I also use to store bulk-purchased flour and grains (they stay fresh for a LONG time this way). Of course, because I am me, one of the bags got away from me…..
I now have about 50 pounds of sugar on hand. That ought to hold us for awhile!
I made scrambled eggs, fried turkey ham, and cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and we went to church as usual. Our pastor gave a sermon about asking God to help you discover and use your special gifts for His kingdom, and I swear he was looking right at me when was speaking. I feel a real push by God (and my husband) to write lately…perhaps I need to pay attention, huh?
After church, we came home and changed, and I prepared sandwiches, snacks, and drinks, which we packed in a cooler for a fun day trip to the Natural History Museum and an amazing fossil gorge.
This museum is at my alma mater, and is always FREE – a terrific value because it has so many interesting exhibits. It was funny how astonished the kids were that Mommy was ever a teenage girl who went to college. To them, I’m just Mom, and I’ve always been the same as I am right now.
After the museum, we went to the nearby fossil gorge (also FREE!), which was created after two catastrophic floods, fifteen years apart, washed away so much soil and bedrock that all these ancient fossils were exposed. Now, I’m not one to get excited about rocks, but the fossils here are simply incredible! We spent a couple hours walking and climbing, and exclaiming over awesome finds. It was like a treasure hunt!
After a lot of walking and climbing, my ankle was getting sore and swollen, so I sat down to take a break. Cakes was concerned that I might be lonely, so she decided to sit and keep me company. My little sweetheart!
I snapped this picture of us because I was just telling my husband that someday, the kids are going to look at all the pictures of our fun, family outings and wonder, “Where was Mom?” I’m always behind the camera, and I don’t generally like pictures of myself anyway, so of the 114 pictures taken this weekend, I’m only in 2.
After the fossil gorge, we stopped at a park with a picnic table because I’d brought along a cheesecake sampler for an afternoon snack.
This park had a water fountain for dogs, which the kids found really funny. Cakes wanted to give her Brown Sugar Puppy a drink.
We were welcomed home by the delicious smell of the round steak I’d prepared before church, simmering in the slow cooker.
After dinner, the kids had bubble baths and went to bed because everyone was tired from our busy day. After I tucked DJ in, my husband peeked in and asked, “DJ, do you want me to pray for you?” DJ said yes, so my husband sat down on his bed and said their usual nighttime prayer. When he finished DJ said, in a quiet, sleepytime voice, “Way-men. Now, get out Daddy.”
I’m telling you, these kids are a laugh a minute! Every day, one of them says something that totally cracks us up, and the advantage of blogging is that I can record their funny little quips for posterity while they’re still fresh in my mind.
Because we spent the last two days having fun, today will truly be a Labor Day for us. My husband and I both hope to finish up some projects, but this morning my family brought me pancakes in bed, AND my husband kept the kids occupied long enough for me to finish this very long blog post! (He took them to a garage sale and bought a Hot Wheels track. I’m sure this will come as a surprise to no one).
They’re very sweet to me, and I’m pretty spoiled.