This January marked a big year in our household. The Surprise turned 21. My baby is officially legal in every aspect of the word! At least he is chronologically. There are parts of me that hope that we all stay childlike in some ways. But anyway, about a year ago the girls and I decided that we would plan a party for the Surprise. A surprise party for the Surprise, if you will.
Each of the kids, with the exception of the Surprise got a trip to Chicago and an outing to Medieval Times Restaurant when they finished fifth grade. Circumstances got in the way of the Surprise's trip. So....we decided that the perfect party for his 21st Birthday was a trip to Medieval Times. Now the closest one to us is near Baltimore, so it took a little extra planning to pull this off.
The weekend after the big day, five of the seven kids, my son in law, P-3, the Ninja and all four grandchildren got together and headed to Baltimore. It really was a surprise to the Surprise! As we got closer to Baltimore, he asked more and more questions. Of course, we lied through our teeth and tormented him as much as possible. Pook actually convinced him that we had reserved a Loge for the Washington Redskins/Green Bay Packers game and that we had enough time to shop for fan apparel. He truly did not know what was up until we walked up to the restaurant!
Now, when our family does something like this, we really get into it. We got the big group photo, we bought banners and of course rocked the house cheering for our Knight. Pook, Calvin and I also decided that the Surprise should be surprised further by being knighted by the king. In true spirit of the occasion, the Surprise got into character and played along with the entire event. He was knighted by the king and received a souvenir photo, and a sword and shield! Only my crazy bunch would get into the spirit of an event like this and travel four hours one way to do it!
In that sense, I hope my gang never grows up completely. I hope that we live our entire lives with a little bit of innocence and a whole bunch of fun. My kids have taught me that you really are only as old as you feel or think. They have also taught me how important it is to laugh - at them, at myself, at things that happen in life. So, Sir Surprise, hope your birthday was happy and that you always keep your sense of humor and some of the little boy in you. Love you!!!!
Well Happy 2016!
I have been absent for at least a month and I do apologize. Every year I seem to get more and more absorbed in the holidays. It takes me longer to decorate and set up. It takes me longer to clean up after – In fact I only have about a third of the house done at this point. And I enjoy the chaos a little more and a little less.
We couldn’t completely celebrate Christmas on the 25th this year because of work schedules. For the first time in YEARS we were not at home. We decided that since we wouldn’t celebrate until the 26th, we would have dinner at Mini Me’s. Of course, Pook and the Surprise were devastated. They are 21 and 24 and as I listened to them complain about not being home and not opening presents my mind saw a three year old and a six year olds! Good news though – They Survived It! (We gave in and let them open two presents)
So, on the 26th the entire gang of 7 together with spouses and girlfriends and grandchildren were at the house for the usual Christmas morning adventures. Breakfast casserole, Christmas music (You just have to listen to Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby!) and gift opening. It is controlled chaos. Okay, no it isn’t. It is just plain chaos! And I love it. I hand out the gifts and watch nervously to make sure everyone likes what they got! Of course, “Mommy” always tells me when we shop that everyone will love their gifts. And now it is my daughters’ turns to get irritated with their girls for asking for more and more gifts. The two youngest were not interested in unwrapping things. “Stitch” preferred to have someone else open his and then he would yell in delight when he saw it. “Mommy’s” youngest was happen to just take the paper off of anyone else’s gifts. I squeeze in a few of my own to unwrap while I watch. Someone usually comes through and shreds the paper I am working on to prevent me from keeping any of it. (Sometimes you can reuse it you know – there is a story that goes with that).
Now, make sure you add to the chaos our four dogs, “Mommy” brings her German Shepherd, “Mini Me” brings her two dogs, and finally “Calvin” adds his two dogs into the mix. We were close to being outnumbered by our furry friends this year.
One of the highlights of the day for me was the fact that I got a group picture of all of us. There is usually someone missing from the photo each year but not this time. We totaled 18!
I do hope everyone enjoyed the biggest birthday party ever in 2015 – Christ’s Birth and I pray for a peaceful and loving New Year!
Well Happy 2016!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!