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48 hours in Albert Lea

Last week we got to spend a 48 whole hours in Albert Lea visiting my sister Molly and her family in their new house.  We had five kids under the age of six. We packed a lot into those days and made the most of them! Here are some of the highlights

  1. Jumping in a Leaf Pile-  On one of the days it was about 4:00 and starting to get dark but we loaded everyone up in the vans and drove a few minutes away to a park. Norah fell asleep on the way over. They played for a few minutes on the equipment but what they really enjoyed was making a leaf pile and jumping in it.  Molly only has trees with needles on it and I only have leaves with Chicken poop on them. So everyone enjoyed a clean pile of freshly fallen oak leaves.
  2. Amazing Story Time at Albert Lea’s Library- Their library only took a few minutes to get to from Molly’s house (the girls said it was a short trip!) It overlooks the lake and is right by Fire station so we got to see a huge new firetruck through the window.  I had heard my sister rave about all the things that their story time does. It was like a free mini preschool.  Songs, felt poems, learning about order, shapes, numbers, colors, fall theme. We read stories about squirrels, did shaky eggs,  had a snack and made squirrel crowns. AMAZING!!!!!!!
  3. Making cut out Sugar Cookies- We knew we were going to have a tea party and so Molly premade some sugar cookie dough. Monday I helped kids roll it out and cut. Then we baked them. Tuesday morning we had a frosting party and they were rock stars at frosting cookies. We ate them with our tea party, and yes, they didn’t have to wait until dessert to try them:)
  4. Our November Poetry Tea Party- This was a huge success and it was all due to my mom. Last month we had started doing Poetry and Tea Monthly for school. I told my mom that we were going to try to have a tea party at Molly’s. Here is her text that she wrote back: ” Okay I got the scoop on the tea party. I will bring finger sandwiches and cubed cheese and apples to slice up, fancy tablecloth, fancy dishes for the girls. The boys get plastic. Small teapot for hot cider if some want that stead of cocoa. Molly wanted me to bring grandma’s book of poems and will bring What a busy day, many nice poems with pictures for this age. Sounds like fun.”  We had the table all ready to go before story time and then Peter slept through our tea party.  Anne got to try hot cocoa for the first time and sipped it before Molly had a chance to get the hot water.  Mom brought our special tea party swords to stab cheese and fruit. Leeland ate a whole container of raspberries with that sword.   After a few minutes of eating Norah said, “Aren’t we suppose to be reading Poetry?” Molly had Yo Yo Ma playing in the background and read poems from Shel Silverstein.  It was perfect, memorable and will be hard to top!
  5. Making Celebration Crowns- Molly and I are both in MOPS this year and part of our theme is “Celebrate Lavishly”. We decided to make crowns to celebrate that we had gotten together every month this past year.  I printed off thumb nail pictures  from each month and we added them to the crowns that Molly made and labeled each with the month.  The kids loved to wear them throughout the time there. It is a sweet remembrance of our time together over this last year!
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  6. Going to Molly’s Sing n Sprout Class- My sister teaches a Chrisian music class in Albert Lea. We got to go to her last class. It was so much fun. I was out in the hallways most of it handling Leeland and Norah Meltdowns. But other than that.. a great way to end the 48 hour trip!
  7. Playing- Playing at a new space with cousins, watching different cousins pair off and play or help each other.  Yes, there were bad attitudes or crying but for the most part that’s pretty normal as our days go.  It’s fun to play in someone else’s backyard or read a book and sit on someone else’ s lap.  When we first got there all my kids wanted to hold Peter. Leeland even sat down and patted on his lap to have Peter sit there. It was precious.
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  8. Mothering together – Molly and I both quickly noticed how much easier the day was when you have a fellow Mother by your side. Someone to help clean up while the other plays with the kids, someone to talk to and craft with, someone to have patience when you no longer do. It was a blessing to be able to do that and can’t wait to see them all next week for Thanksgiving!

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