Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Are You My Mother????

It began with what I guess you could call a pretty reasonable assumption. In fact, there wasn't really any reason for me to question the grounds on which it was assumed. Besides, I wasn't the first to receive this question. Charae had told us before how she'd many times been on the receiving end of this mistake. Let me explain...walking beside Ania one day, I was asked, "Is that your child?" Well, I mean, she has red hair, as do I, and she possesses a considerable sum of freckles, as do I!!! :) It is understandable how we could look related...and, due to the considerable age gap, how I could be her mother.
That would have been fine, if it would have stopped there. But, nay, this was just the beginning of what would be followed by a series of rather disturbing assumptions.... 

A while later, I went to help out at a wedding. We got there, all happy and ready to work....but little did I know, I was in for the second mistake of the year. Our job was to refill the food at the tables...we were at a point where there was nothing then to do, so we stood out in the open area talking with some friends. It was then that, someone standing by asked Grant, (a friend of ours) whether I was his mother. Eek! I mean, he's just two years younger than me. I didn't see it then, but though this might have seemed a bad thing at the time, it was one of the milder cases of misunderstanding.
I was just getting over this when...

A few Sundays ago, Leisel and I were lazily strolling down rows of tables filled with all kinds of beads and special gems...we were attending the annual bead fest in Portland. Now, I'll admit Leisel and I have been labeled as many things...we've been asked before, when we were younger, whether we were twins, or, as we began to grow up, even if I was her older sister....except, within the last few months, I've grown up to be none other than the infamous mother. As Leisel and I walked up to inspect the earrings on one man's table, he started showing Leisel all kind of earrings....and then he asked it, "So is this your mother." I managed to retain a smile. (but in side, I was saying "I bid you a very good day sir. You sure know how to lose business" :) And Leisel is two years OLDER than me!!!!! This was just not getting any fact, it was getting worse!

....And then it happened. Just when I was beginning to think that it couldn't get any did :) While strolling through the mall with part of the fam one day, Jonathon ran into a guy he knew from college. The guy walked over to meet all of us.  He then turned to me, extended his hand and introduced himself. (Slow down here Buddy,why are you treating me so...well, adult-ish) Then after Jonathon went through all of our names, he pointed to mom, "And that's my mother." The poor guy looked momentarily confused and then started pointing, (Why's he pointing in my direction???) "Oh I thought," he began, and wisely stopped himself. It was then that I could feel all of the blood drain from my face, and my heart sank to my toes....(PLEASE! NO, NOT JONATHON'S MOTHER TOO!) He couldn't meant that. This went beyond logic....beyond sanity...and worse of all, beyond what I could bear. Here I was, surrounded by sisters, part of which were older than me, and my MOM and grandma were there.... and of all the people, he picked me. Asking that was the last straw...but due to my surrounding and the current circumstances, I didn't sock him.

My family, in an attempt to console me, could have blamed the first mistake on the part of the person as just not thinking...or even the second...but this was FOUR separate times. Whew! We figured that this put me at about 40. I knew that if they knew me personally they'd immediately retract that statement and put me at about 12 years of age...

Since then, I have tried walking with half my height's capacity, checking every day for any grey hairs, and concealing any forgotten wrinkles.

I shudder to think what they'll think I am when I finally reach the stage of motherhood :)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2nd Annual Apple Cider Pressing

I guess you could say that I have always been one to romanticize what things used to be like in the old days....get togethers with friends and neighbors for harvesting, or the annual festivals....we girls have always talked about how absolutely wonderful it would be to organize a harvest fest someday, complete with hayrides, pie tastings, and barn dancing....or perhaps, just a simple get together to press cider....

...just last Saturday, a group of friends joined together to process their crates of apples for their second annual cider processing. 

...only this year, instead of last years 900 pounds, they each got 1800 pounds. 

You can tell by the looks on their faces that they were not at all excited, as they began the cider processing that day...

The weather proved to be a bit chilly that mugs of cider were passed around to help thaw frozen fingers, and warm cold bodies.

...while others figured out different creative way of escaping the cold.... I said, they were creative :) 

The young men in our group kept a warm fire going at all times for that moment when it would be needed....

As lunch time rolled around, people began filing inside for bowls of warm chili and corn bread, and headed back out to eat by the hot fire provided....

      ...believe it or not, it actually got too hot :)

In the time that we were there, we only ended up with a few casualties...

...none of which actually lost their fingers :)

The boys kept themselves dutifully employed the whole time...errrr, at least most of it :)

After a considerable amount of cider had been pressed....the long awaited for competition began....rematches from last year.

All the while, as each participant stepped up to do their part in the pressing competition, the spectators on the sides cheered them on with bits of encouragement..."You're just NOT going fast enough!!!"

....well, I mean, after a couple years of friendship, you have a different definition of the word encouragement :)

The winners this year were Nate and Titus Copper, winning at 3:10 ...Jonathon and Ben were a close second, coming in at 3:23, which was good for amateurs :) We found out though that they kinda has an unfair advantage, having seen all of the mistakes everyone else made along the way...and then learning from them, so that by the time it was their turn, they were experts :)

I am afraid that, since I figured it might fall under the category of bragging, I cannot mention Rachie and my score *cough*....The rest of the scores were as follows: 
Kayleen and Lauren~ 5:34
Charae and Sarah~ 5:13
Leisel and Emily~ 6:08
and Rachael and Lynnae~ 6:18

We finished with up with 30 gallons of cider for our family, and the Coders ended up with 48 gallons. The rest was taken home to be processed into applesauce and apple pie filling, where it is now, at this very moment, being done. The annual apple cider processing has now officially become a tradition...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Our Adventures Babysitting.

Okay, so I'm posting this post a little late...a week ago yesterday, to be precise, but due to the fact that I have another Saturday happenings post coming up, here it is...

Last weekend, Leisel and I had the privilege of babysitting the Copper's seven little children. They were the cutest kids, so you'll have to forgive the lengthity of this post....I was snapping photos ALL the time :)

They proved to be quite a handful, as there were times when you had all seven of them asking you something at once....but growing up in a family of nine had kinda prepared the both of us for a lot of commotion ;)

Our introduction to the kids was when Nate, the oldest of the seven, first warned me, "You know, I think you might find us kinda' dangerous kids. I mean, we climb trees as tall as that one," he pointed to a nearby tree, "We even climb the shelves in our closets. In fact, you will probably find us more times up than down." was true :)

Little Vancy had my heart from the start...I know, isn't that the most adorable face you've ever seen??? :)

Within the first few minutes of our time there, after Nate had gotten over the shock of finding out that I had never before carved a pumpkin, he took me to their front steps where I was able to carve my very first pumpkin, with his expert help.

Our next lesson was to be that on the art of blowing out candles....or not. For as Nate put it, "Instead of blowing out alllllll of those candles and wasting all of your breath, you just take your fingers and pinch it."...we're now a professionals :)

Darby enjoyed showing off her assortment of colorful nail polishes....and receiving several manicures from Leisel while we were there :)

Andi was my little cuddle bug...She stuck by my side and informed me from the start that she wasn't going to go anywhere that I did not go. In fact, it was interesting to hear her and Darby debating the next day whether Leisel or I was their favorite sitter.

There were moments that left us both the time the toilet got clogged and ended up overflowing all over the bathroom floor.

 When their energy was at its peak, we wore part it off dancing to their favorite CD, "Slugs and Snails", all the way from "You've gotta eat them beans, boys" to "Whose got the ball?"...the scary thing was, that by the end of it all, I was singing the songs around the house :)

In the time that we were there, Leisel and I became expert tic-tac toe champs, with the hints and tips provided by both Andi and Hally...

The sermon, the next day was to be  preached by Nate, who had been preparing all the previous day. He'd even given a call to his grandpa to discuss some parts of the Bible. He discussed the creation, moving through Genesis, Isaiah, and was priceless!

After the sermon, he let me know that, were my pastor ever to get sick, and our church needed an extra speaker, I could tell them that I knew a young boy that had spoken a 45 minute sermon on the creation, and who would be willing to do it for us.

I know it, Vancy was not happy to wear them corduroy pants...but the weather was too chilly that morning for me to let him wear his shorts....thus the sad face :)

Hally shared with us her dreams of playing Christine's part in Phantom of the Opera some day, and we enjoyed hearing her imitate the different parts.

There were times that I found it hard to keep a straight face when around the when Tray prayed for our breakfast the next morning. (the thing while we were there was how Leisel and I said O-men  after our prayers instead of A-Men (with the longer A)....hence his prayer that morning, "Dear Jesus, I do pray for these girls that say O-men after their prayers instead of A-Men, when I really think that A-men is more fun to say. I do pray all of these things, A-Men.

Leis and I had a wonderful time....the kids were wonderful, we had a blast, and felt really privileged to be able to babysit for them...