Seester Sunday: Flashback to February

This Seester Sunday occurred on February 23, 2020. I am writing this post in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic and realizing just how much I took for granted just two months ago. My seester Sarah has been super busy homeschooling four of her five kids, while also caring for the fifth and getting ready to give birth to a sixth child in July! I am posting this without her, as she may or may not add her piece later. 😉


I enjoyed this last pre-quarantine, in person Seester Sunday surrounded by family. I stayed overnight with Mom and Dad in Durant, since we celebrated Dad’s birthday on that Saturday night.

We kids were also surprised with a set of DVDs for each of us with old family movies on them! Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Dad cooked me an awesome ham, egg, and cheese sandwich on King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls for breakfast. So good.

Then I attended mass with my sister and her family at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wilton. This was a special Sunday, as it was nephew Gabriel’s first time as altar server. Of course this godmother had to take a few pictures. 😉

We stuck around for donuts after mass while the kids had Sunday School. Niece Amelia also took a few photos for me.

And Kateri was on the move during the entire time. This girl is growing so fast!

After the pups and I went back to Durant and lounged with my parents for a bit, we were off to Bennett to take my nephew Gabriel and two oldest nieces Lucy and Amelia to a birthday party in Tipton.

Once the birthday party was over, we dropped the kiddos back at home in Bennett and then headed home ourselves.

Such a fun day!


Fridays with G and L: Start Somewhere Walk and Ice Cream Drama

The highlight of Friday, October 7, with G and L was the Start Somewhere Walk.  (The low point was ice cream drama….but good news first.)

Sarah’s workplace, Eastern Iowa Physical Therapy, was sponsoring the Start Somewhere walk in Wilton.

The day began with me introducing G to the Will Ferrell movie Elf and G finding multiple uses for my newly acquired NFRW convention bag.  It can hold a lot of toys!

G was full of hugs for L and would ensure she felt a part of our play time by occasionally saying, “Hi, Woo-woo!” (Hi, Lu Lu!)  I try and try to get an “Aunt Mel” out of him, but it seems now my name is “sssss” – must be the default name for the names he can’t pronounce.

Before taking off for the walk, I put L in pigtails.  She has been sporting these for some time, but it was my first time creating the hair style.  I was proud of my work!

Prior to the Start Somewhere Walk, we ran to Walmart in Muscatine (forgetting that Tipton was closer) to pick up a last minute item I needed.  G always likes to go places, but he randomly said “No!” when we pulled up to the Walmart store.  Thanks for calling me out on my own hypocrisy (alas I am a Target girl) G!  While there, we had to buy a Hawkeye stocking cap for G, as well as some Hot Wheels shades.

The stocking cap is on sideways, but you get the idea...

Then we hit the Culver’s drive thru before leaving town.  Nothing like french fries to get you ready for a walk!

The Start Somewhere Walk proved to be a success in Wilton.

Lucy loved the Start Somewhere Walk!

G even scored some play time at EIPT after the walk.  Then we burned off some more of that toddler energy at the Wilton City Park.

Still wearing the "hat"

So many fun toys at Mom's workplace!

Since we were already in Wilton, I thought it was a good idea to finally check out the Wilton Candy Kitchen.  I lived in Durant for four years without ever checking it out, although I have heard many a story about it.

I was looking forward to my first trip to the Wilton Candy Kitchen and hyped it up to G all day long.  We arrived at the front door to the shop at 1:40 p.m.  The sign said, “Closed”.  No!!!!  I told G the ice cream shop might be closed, and he said, “Oh no!” – one of his new phrases.

The closed sign also said “Back at 2:30 p.m.” and I could see people in the store.  After all of this I had to at least see if the sign was true.  Leaving G and L strapped into their car seats, I quickly ran up to the door.  George and Thelma were on their way out and explained their daughter, who was standing on the sidewalk, was in town so they were closing early.  However, they could get us something.

I thought that was very nice of them and proceeded to go get G and L out of the car.  Thelma asked what we would have and I said a strawberry and chocolate sundae.  Then, as I was just opening a car door, Thelma’s daughter informed me the order would be to go and she would keep an eye on the kids in the car while I went back in to get the ice cream.

I should have asked whether it would be for here or to go, but why would anyone go to an old fashioned ice cream shop and get it to go?  Part of going there is experiencing the atmosphere!

Fine.  I’ll deal with this one hiccup.  Oh, but there’s more.

Thelma hands me a small styrofoam cup heaped over with ice cream.  No lid.  One spoon.  She states, “$4.50” and I hand her my debit card.  They only take cash or check, and I have neither.  I apologized even though I really wanted to tell them to get with the 21st century, even if their shop is stuck back in the 19th to 20th centuries.  I nicely tell her I will get ice cream elsewhere and go to hand her back my order.  She then handed me a brochure and told me to just send a check in the mail to their P.O. Box.  Wow.

Back in Smurfette, I tell G that he must wait to eat the big mess of ice cream in my hand.  I proceed to head out of town toward Bennett, scoping for a spot to pull over and enjoy ice cream.  We had already been to the park, so I was looking for a change of scenery and thought we might make this into a cool adventure.

Then we got stuck behind a tractor and trailer going 20 m.p.h.  I decided to cut my losses and handed the mess of ice cream to G.  I could clean him and the car seat, but I could not deprive this child of the promised ice cream for any longer.

Aunt Mel breaking down and giving G the mess of ice cream. If you zoom in, you can see ice cream smeared on legs and a big chunk on the car seat. All washable!

After we arrived back in Bennett and cleaned everything up, it was nap time.  Praise the Lord for nap time!  🙂  G and L are fabulous kids.  The adults (including me) are the ones who make things difficult.