Mama Syd was here last week hence the silence around THIS joint. Around our joint, however, there was anything BUT quiet. There were presents to inspect, errands to run, food to cook, visits to make. . . The list went on and on. Thankfully she had 9 days with us this time so we could pack it all in.

And pack we did! Two trips to the lake were made, and if that wasn’t impressive enough, Mama Syd did one on her own, overnight with all four kids.

*Insert adoration and praise here*

We made our second trip up on Saturday-a perfect day for a Northern Hills visit. After purchasing a surprise gun for Papa Chris we detoured through Spearfish Valley to see if there were any pumpkins to be had.

Sure enough, there was a pick your own field and the kids took to it with alacrity. Max chose the first one he touched, Philip picked the tallest and skinniest one of the bunch and Tess wandered up and down the rows looking for the “prettiest and cleanest” one she could find. In the end, she decided on one that had “glitter” on the stem and we had to shush the boys from correcting her so that we could move on with life.

Oh, and Ellie? The was a fit pitched, full volume, right there for all of the patch patrons to see because she wanted a ride in the wagon and dad walked away unknowingly. The injustice of it all! But Jac is a swift and efficient dispenser of Love and Logic and the situation was diffused in a timely manner and she was able to grab her own tiny pumpkin without further incident. THANK GOODNESS.

Now the pumpkins await their destiny out on the steps. Mama Syd’s bed is stripped, all the hand-me-downs are switched out and the baby stuff brought in from the garage. Mama Syd is back with Papa Chris and teaching again and we slogged through today missing her, not quite ready to relive our memories just yet. Until then, the countdown has begun for January.

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