Brownie Floor Picnics

We had a family dinner at the farm on Sunday.  

The two boys, the middles of the munchkin four pack, wanted a brownie.  They wanted a brownie bad.  Like standing below the pan doing the brownie happy dance.  Their parental units, otherwise known as my brother and sister-in-law, said no to their brownie want.  

I sneakily cut little brownies out of the pan and quietly told the middles to follow me.  We tucked around the corner of my parents' kitchen.  Right next to the stairway by the laundry room.  And we sat on the floor.  We sat on the floor and I handed them each a brownie and held my finger up to my lips and said, "Shhhh, we're having a brownie floor picnic."  The two middles looked at me with sparkles in their eyes as they tried to quiet the giggles that were escaping from their brownie filled mouths. 

There we sat.  The three of us.  On the floor.  With our legs crossed.  Sneaking a brownie.  Giggling.  

My heart took a picture.  

Then Sil came around the corner and said, "I know what is going on here and just you wait.  Oh just you wait.  I hear paybacks are a you know what."  

Word spread across the kitchen of the brownie floor picnic and laughter floated around.  And I said, "I'm the aunt.  I get to do this."  

Later on, my brother made dessert.  I think I must say that again.  Brother made dessert.  Like he stood in the kitchen and made something happen with ingredients.  He whipped up a holiday cinnamon cranberry bread pudding with a homemade caramel sauce.  It was delicious.  

I don't even like bread pudding usually and this was yummy.  Worthy of making it a "dessert day" for sure.  Brother was only slightly proud of himself.  I think he was waiting for us to actually give him a pat on the back.  Here's me saying, "Good job.  You made dessert.  Good job."  I won't mention the part about Sil helping with prep work.  I wouldn't want to take any of Brother's thunder away. 

Then later later on while the water was running and dishes were clanging and chairs were sliding in the kitchen, I snuggled up on the couch with trivia cards and my niece.  She is a smart cookie.  I love the way her brain works.  Quick and witty.  And sitting there with her head on my shoulder and her little legs tucked up next to mine was a quick reminder of why I choose to stay living in this area. 

I remain here.  I remain here so I can be a part of family dinners at the farm on a Sunday.  With brownie floor picnics, Brother making dessert, Sister Pister filling in Sil and I on the latest boy, my parents visiting with me about my latest endeavors, trivia card playing curled up on the couch, holding that tiny nugget of a punky baby...simply being with my family. 

I remain here to have the gift of being with my family.  And for sneaky brownie floor picnics of course.  They are the best.    


Sister Pister was a Witch

Last Saturday, before the wine drinking and apple eating and kitchen dancing I partook in at Danae and Blake's house, I went to my sister's high school musical production "Into the Woods."  Here's what I knew before heading into the evening.  She played a witch.  There would be singing.  I would take pictures.  My mom would give me mints to keep me entertained.  Going backstage beforehand would call my name.  

I also knew there would be a bake sale.  Because that's how small towns do it.  And if I ever wonder if Momma Debi is starting to slip in her greatness, she goes and reminds me once again that indeed, she has it going on.  Homemade bread with cute labels.  She's fun.

I couldn't help but laugh at the deer heads hanging on the wall.  The Sportsmen's Club let the kids use their building to build a stage and practice in for well over a month.  That's what I love about small towns.  Deer heads on the wall behind the bake sale with a stage in the next room.  It's not everywhere you come by that on a Saturday night.   

Now, here's what I did not know going into the evening.  Sister Pister has singing and acting ability.  Her first appearance on stage was a rapping scene in which the subject matter for her ditty was the garden and all its vegetables.  And there was something about beans thrown in as well.  When she came out, I actually laughed out loud at her skills.  Turns out the girl can sing and rap while keeping up a witch persona.  I turned to Momma Debi and said, "Did you know this was what it would be like?  This whole thing is seriously awesome."  

Because it was.  Every single one of those high school kids put on a marvelous show of singing, dancing, acting, and being dramatic.  I was in awe at the sight of a group of teenage kids throwing their worries of "looking cool" out the window to don costumes and stage makeup to sing and skip around in front of almost the entire small town.  They did such a fantastic job!  I actually did not want the thing to end.  It was thoroughly entertaining.  Which means their three directors need some props for putting it all together.  I know many many hours were put into this production and it showed.  Because I am very easily distracted and not a good sit still-er but I did not want to get up.  Not even once.  I did need mints passed to me from Momma Debi every once in awhile though.  Some habits die hard.  

I'll let you enjoy the show...

Such a fabulous production went down.  In a Sportsmen's Club building in a small town.  With deer head on the wall at one end.  And a stage on the other.  

Made me proud to be from my small town.  And of course, I was proud of my little sister.  The witch turned beauty at the end.  

I'll end with this.  Small town kids are some of the best around.  They can wear many hats and aren't afraid to try and do new things.  Like rap while looking like an ugly witch, rap on stage, then wear a sparkly dress or paint freckles on their face, pretend to be a boy, and sing in a musical.  Later in life all of those "jumping in with both feet and getting the job done" moments will serve them well.