I am so thankful to be sitting in my 165 year old dining room, feline companion purring on my lap, coffee in my hand as the heater hums gently in the background. Ahhh! We have had quite the weekend! Saturday dawned chilly and gray with the threat of rain or even…..snow. The brisk autumn winds rustling the leaves and scattering them in all directions. This being said, WE had a party to put on. An outdoor party and we needed to get to work!!!
As my husband kindled the remnants of the previous night’s fire in the outdoor fireplace, I moved swiftly around the house from task to task then off to the grocery store for those last minute items. Our boys are our whole life and we never spare an expense when it comes to celebrating all of the abundant joy they have brought into our lives. We were expecting 25 guests for a grand party that included an hour and a half of video gaming in a 46 foot long trailer that is set up to allow up to 30 to simultaneously play various video games. The favorite, of course, being Minecraft!
We also were planning to FEED this giant group of children, varying in age from 7 to 13. We decided on a barbeque, and my husband being the resident chef- got to work on marinating chicken, cooking hamburgers and hotdogs and whipping up our favorite recipe Amish macaroni salad that is not only labor-intensive, but so delicious! Add a sheet cake (half vanilla, half chocolate- of course!), candy corn, chips and dip and the “you -can’t – leave-a-party-without-it” goody bags and we were set to go!
Let me just say, I am so impressed that our dear friends, Tom Slatin and his gorgeous fiancée, Angie Conklin were willing to come and help us keep the peace, serve food, answer those endless questions, and keep these 25 kids on our 3 acres of property!! Thanks guys! You are the reason this post is entitled “Family.” Without their Auntie and Uncle to not only (Tom) snap amazing photos and Angie (everything else!!!), we would have surely been trampled!
All kidding aside, we had such a wonderful time in the brisk late afternoon watching all the smiles, hearing all the laughter, and being thankful- when we had a second!- for the life that we are so blessed to be able to provide for our sons. They have such great character and compassion and due to these qualities, have chosen an array of wonderful, silly, fun-loving and just plain awesome friends! As the dust settles on this year’s party, I am reflective of what it means to have all of these great things in our lives. I am humbled and grateful for the gifts that cannot be bought by money. The ones so brightly displayed this weekend being the gift of friendship, children’s giggles, and endless supplies of stories to hold us over until next year!!!