Celebrations and a Lack of Fish

Welcome to July! I hope everyone is enjoying a few extra days off. We’ve had a good couple of weeks celebrating with family and friends. 

Fulton turned 16 on the 28th.

Tony’s parents were in town to celebrate. We had ravioli and ice cream cake and he got more Legos, War Hammer kits, and books. He also got to pick what we watched for family movie night. The day before, we all went fishing. Like all our fishing trips, we were unsuccessful at actually catching fish. We didn’t even have any luck with our crab traps. Next time Tony’s parents visit, I think we’ll try a new fishing spot, but honestly, I don’t think it’s the spot so much as some sort of curse that hangs over our family. Maybe we will start a novena to St. Andrew before our next attempt.

At least we could enjoy the view.

Our 14th annual Nativity of St. John the Baptist party was held on Saturday June 29.

The weather was warm, but thankfully not unbearably so. We had 80 people in attendance including Byron’s girlfriend. I tried to prepare her, “There’s going to be LOTS of rowdy kids, like, A LOT of kids. Please don’t leave your toiletries on the bathroom counter unless you want kids trying your moisturizer.” Thankfully, she didn’t seem fazed and seemed to have a nice time. Her presence meant I tried to be less grumpy than usual during party set up which I’m sure everyone in the house was grateful for.

The new 16 year old staying cool under the tents. We hung a Christmas backdrop since St. John’s Nativity was originally celebrated as a summer Christmas. Some years we’ve gotten candy canes but I got tired of picking up plastic wrappers from around the yard.

We always provide burgers, dogs, watermelon and drinks, and I ask people to please bring a dessert or side. It’s always interesting to see what we wind up with. One year it was all chips and salsa, another, all bags of chips, some years it’s dessert heavy which is what we had this year. We also had a bunch of hot dogs leftover which never happens. Some years the alcohol multiples to fill three or four coolers; this year not many people drank alcohol period. This was one of the years when people had very strong feelings about the sack race and I believe there’s already smack talk happening about next year.

Tony coming in second place in the men’s sack race division- which is actually the least heated of all the races!

Tony went all out on the fireworks to make up for not having any last year. And I had sparklers for all the kids. I thought it was an impressive display that ended with a 3 dad finale (meaning three dads were needed to light all the fuses) but it was a tough crowd with the kids screaming “BIGGER!” after each firework ended. At the end of the night, to figure out the attendance, I always write out all the familiy’s names, and the number of members that came. As I looked at the list of names for this year I realized how different it was from our first party. It made me wish I’d kept the lists from previous years. 

Praying Vespers around the bonfire pit. Then I let the kids roast marshmallows while the adults got first crack at the real desserts inside.

For Independence Day, we hosted my parents, an aunt and cousin for the day.

There’s nothing like cleaning for a party, having a mess made of things during the party, and then agreeing to host more people four days later and having to re-clean all the things that were just cleaned. We celebrated Fulton’s birthday again with homemade Chick-Fil-A sandwiches (use this recipe and deep fry) plus a Godzilla cake. My aunt is cleaning out her mother’s house and came across a lot of clothes from the 90s with the tags still on. She asked if the girls or I would want to take a look and since Edie loves vintage clothes I said sure. I’ve never seen anyone so excited to wear 90s clothes; not even in the 90s. Edie has everything sorted and outfits planned and I can’t even pretend to like some of it. Now I know how my own parents felt when I bought and wore tons of bell bottoms and outrageous clothes from the 60s and 70s. 

In the background…

I’ve been trying to hire personal care assistants for Fulton and Teddy. I knew it would be a challenge, but I guess I’d hoped I’d have at least a few leads by now. I’ve also been getting iron infusions. While I don’ t enjoy getting IVs (my veins are tough even for the experienced nurses in the infusion clinic), I’ve been feeling much more energetic. Lastly, Fulton and Teddy’s summer camp is desperate for volunteers. They just put out a frantic last minute request and I was surprised that I hadn’t heard sooner that they were struggling to find counselors. So I shared the MDA’s request on social media and our family is hoping for the best. I don’t know what changed, but it just seems that our local camp has really been struggling since COVID to find volunteers.

That’s the latest from these parts! Have a great weekend!

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