Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The simple joys of life with kids on a spring day in rural Minnesota May 8, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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IT TOOK TWO SWEET KIDS to remind me just how joyful the early days of spring on a rural Minnesota acreage.


My favorite photo of Evelyn and Landon as my great niece celebrated her birthday on Sunday.


On Saturday, Randy and I watched our great niece and nephew while their parents celebrated their wedding anniversary with an all-day date. We were happy to do so. We love these two little ones who live within miles of our home. The family moved here a few years ago, our only family so close. The kids call Randy “Papa Two.” I’m just Audrey.



With sunshine and summer-like weather, we spent the entire day outdoors. Roaming. Playing. Running (the kids, not us). By mid-afternoon, the pair had successfully exhausted us. By then, Grandma and Grandpa arrived as our tag-team replacement.



It was a busy and adventurous day. I’m more cautious in my approach to caring for children than my husband. So when I observed Randy allowing the two to climb among the branches of a lilac (I think) bush, I advised against it. “You gotta let ‘em be kids,” he said. OK, but I wanted them safe and uninjured. Other than a slight slip from a branch and resulting tears, they were just that. OK.





I played side-by-side with Landon and Evelyn in the sandbox, pushed them in swings, supervised the watering of greenhouse plants.




We petted goats and watched chickens.



And we paused, too, to smell the perfume of apricot blossoms.



Landon told us that he wants to work on tractors when he grows up. No surprise there. He’s crazy about John Deere. And after observing his barbering skills on his little sister’s hair, I advised against that as a career.

Evelyn wants to be a horse girl, whatever that means. She already has the cowgirl boots, which I pulled on and off her feet multiple times. She prefers bare feet to the trappings of socks and shoes.

I love that these siblings would rather be outdoors than anywhere. I love that they have such good imaginations. We sat on the front stoop and in lawn chairs and “fished” with tiki torches, landing five tuna and past-our-limit walleyes from the front lawn “lake.”



We picked up sticks and loaded them into Landon’s mini gator which he steered like a seasoned farmer across the yard to the campfire pit. His efforts, though, to convince us to start a fire failed. While he and Evelyn can persuade us to do a lot, starting a fire on a hot and windy afternoon was not one of them.



Piggyback (or maybe horseyback for Evelyn) rides and tiny hands clasped in ours…such sweet moments. I’ll take them. Kids remind us that we need to pause in life, to take a day just to delight in the sunshine, the great outdoors, the carefree days of childhood.


© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


17 Responses to “The simple joys of life with kids on a spring day in rural Minnesota”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Sweet memories being made and a good time was had by all. Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jean Mader Says:

    Oh I want to go outside and play! For sure I want to go fishing from the front porch! Loved the photos of those darling kids and the beautiful day.

    • Thank you, Jean. I thoroughly enjoyed our fishing expedition. When I asked who would clean and cook the fish, my great nephew looked at my husband and said, “Papa Two.” Gotta love a kid with a quick answer like that.

  3. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    It sounds like you had a very busy day. It’s fun to stop and see how little ones look at the world.

  4. What FUN!!! I have such fond memories of growing up and around various farms. I am a grown adult and if I could I would be barefoot all the time – ha! I remember being outdoors a lot, especially on the weekends. BroCraves and I would stuff our pockets with food and eat a hearty breakfast before heading out for hours and sometimes came in just before dinner time – hence the food in pockets and would pick from the gardens too. I truly loved seeing my first nephew start his early years on the farm too. I can still picture him in his t-shirt and diaper and him carrying around his blue/white ball. Boy did we sleep good after a day outside! Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  5. Kiandra Judge Says:

    Great pictures! We’ve been spending all our time outdoors too with Soren, our little one. Just found a quote yesterday by Laura Ingalls Wilder that’s perfect!
    “Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”

  6. This is a lovely post and the pictures are wonderful! The one of the little guy getting a drink from the faucet is Frame Worthy! Norman Rockwell stuff! Love it! ❤

  7. valeriebollinger Says:

    Sounds like a great day!
    I like the drinking from the faucet photo too!

  8. Jackie Says:

    Adorable little ones! What a blessing for their parents to have trusted family near by, sounds like you had a wonderful time with your “greats”! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the photo of Landon drinking water from the faucet.

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