Katie had her graduation open house yesterday. The weather was perfect with comfortable temperatures, a gentle breeze, and sunshine. It was a hectic week as we prepared for the event. Katie wanted to have the party at a local park about 3 blocks from the house. There is a picnic pavilion, walking path, playground equipment and skate park nearby. After we started hauling in extra tables, Mike realized that there is also a canoe portage and swim area in the river that flows through the park. Mike was able to speak with a few canoe groups and learned about a few easy 3-4 hours canoe trips that we can take over the next couple of weeks.
Even though the party was to be held at a park, I still wanted the house perfect. On occasion, we have had people drop by our home before and after parties. I wanted to be prepared. The kids and I have been working frantically to clean out closets, organize school supplies, paint walls, complete unfinished projects.
Mike offered to cook almost all the food. He barbequed 60 pounds of pulled chicken, prepared way too much coleslaw, fried tortilla chips, cooked 2 gallons of homemade salsa, and made 4 gallons of baked beans. My contribution to meal preparation was jello salad and 2 dozen cupcakes. Mike loves to cook, so he enjoyed all the cooking, even though he didn't realize how long it would take to cook large amounts of food.
During cooking day, the house got trashed. Food and serving dishes were from one end the house to the other. Woody came by to decorate Katie's cake, which created a frosting mess in the kitchen (where the frosting was made) and dining room (where the cake was decorated.) It took hours for us to get everything in order before bed Saturday night. The boys and Madelyn ran errands, supervised Paige and Allie, and cleaned.
Everyone helped haul everything to the park. The boys and I decorated the picnic pavilion. Everyone also pitched in to drag everything back home to our immaculate home. No one dropped by the house, so some of my children feel that all our deep cleaning was worthless. I still see the value.
I promised everyone that they could sleep as late as the want Monday morning and had an absolutely free day, to do whatever they wanted. There were a few disagreements and a few tears last week, but I was so proud of how everyone worked together. The kids have certainly earned a few days of recovery.
We probably won't get back to finishing our remaining school work for this past year until next week. I'd like to get a few summer outfits made for the younger girls and everyone needs a small break.