Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

I knew this moment would come, but I can't believe it's here.  My firstborn goes off to school!

Patrick was very encouraging this morning.  He said, "Well done mommy."  He's ready for Kindergarten.  He is prepared.

He is just so excited and so ready to go.  He turned around once to wave and that was it.

I turned around after the bus drove off and I couldn't believe what happened next.  I wept like a baby.    Thank God Patrick was there or I wouldn't have held it together.

The other two looked at me odd all morning.  Then they started fighting and all was back to normal.   Nap time came for these two and I spent some time kneeling for son #1.

Can't wait to see him at the bus stop and find out how the first day of school was.  We're making history!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kindergarten Preparation

I am feeling a bit unprepared to send my firstborn off to Kindergarten in less than a week's time.  First off, I can hardly believe it.  Where did the time go?  He was just this little man.  

Now, look at him.  I listen to him speak some times and I just marvel over how much he has grown, and how much he just gets it.  He is a really good kid: sweet, tender, smart, courageous and sensitive.

I'm not fearful that he can't write his name, or that he'll have separation anxiety or that he doesn't know how to behave in social situations.  He will get on that bus Monday and be joyful for the next adventure.  He will love being in school.

What I think I'm afraid of is losing the little Micah that I know.  I realized because we never put him in preschool that this will be the first time I'm sending him out into the world with people who may tell him bad things or teach him bad things.  I'm afraid he'll lose his innocence.  The child who is so sweet, so forgiving, and so tender to his brothers; a little boy who is confident in who he is and who his God is.  What if he comes back with an attitude? more prideful?  Or he's kinda mean?  What if he comes back fearful of some other child who's been mean or bullied him?  What then....?

When our children are young, we can monitor their every moment, control their environment, and guard their safety. But as they grow, they begin to move out into the world on their own. We are no longer in control of who they see, where they go, and what they do. For me, this is where faith enters the picture. Perhaps nothing on earth is more testing of our faith than the time when our children begin to sever the bonds that have held them close to us. Letting go of children doesn’t mean simply turning them loose in the world to fend for themselves. It means turning them over to our heavenly Father who loves them more than we ever could, and who guides and guards them according to His perfect will. The reality is that they are His children; they belong to Him, not to us.  The more faith we have in Him, the less fearful we are and the more we are willing to turn our children over.

What a faith walk this is....

Monday, August 13, 2012

1st Annual Neighborhood Barbecue

If you build it....

they will come...

If you give a mouse a cookie...or a child a place to eat...

 He will eat it!


This is exactly why we were supposed to live here.


What a great 1st Annual Barbecue!  Next year, we decided block party on the street! :-)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Planning Ring Crabfest 2012

Beer + Crabs + Fellowship = Heaven!

So, I'm grateful I caught the delicious rumor going around:  Wegmans was doing a Crabfest! Yup, only one time a year, you make an order a week in advance and you too can pick up a bushel of steamy seasoned crabs, and have a fun crabfest at your home with friends.

Isn't this cute?  Ingredients to a fantastically fun and affordable crabfest are below.

If you're paying for the crabs, you want to skimp everywhere else!  This was probably one of the easiest events to throw...a main dish I didn't have to prepare and every other item was brought by the most generous of friends!  But what is the secret to planning for 18 adults and 13 kids?

First, you kick off your party at 4:30.  Adults have appetizers and cocktails upstairs.  Kids do this downstairs.

Next, you really want to set the mood.  It's easy to throw down brown paper and call it a day, but the guests feel loved when you put a little thought into it.  First, I needed to think about colors to be my jumping board.  I went to World Market and found these great napkins! $3.00   So then it was easy to create the rest of the tablescape.  First, find soup can tins (I save them for crafts) and put the seafood crackers and forks inside!


Also to set the theme, I found some lobster bibs also at World Market (sold in a set of four $1.99) to lay down as part of my tablescape.  I had three tables set with six people at each.  At Walmart, I found the silver butter tin cups (4 for $1) and also little plastic cups for old bay or vinegar (free from a vendor doing a tasting! Not kidding).



To top off my purchases, I bought a bag of lemons and Old Bay! Then I stuck some beer from the pantry and some tabasco bottles, with a large paper towel roll at each table as more decoration.


Bed Bath and Beyond sells a seafood crab fork set for $14.99 but it's $11.00 with a coupon.  But it's the tin can with a napkin print taped around it and a homemade crab print with personalized label that made it super cute!  


And as if each table didn't feel enough love, each one got their own tent cards.  There was Kind of Crabby, Oh Crab!, and Crab Your Seats!  I thought of another one later:  Let's get Crackin'!  I put one couple together that knew each other and one that didn't.  It was a good formula!

Voila! You've got yourself a customized and affordable tablescape.

At the dollar store, I bought 4 medium plastic trays to put the crabs at each table, and then I put out 3 stainless bowls I owned for the crab receptacle.  By 5:30 guests start crackin'!  This crabby table looks crab-happy, don't they? 

Kids watched a movie while parents feasted on a dessert buffet.  Interestingly, from three tables---those that were still going strong with the crabs and beer, migrated together at one table.  It was mostly the men!   It was a great time.  Not bad for a spontaneous last-minute event!