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...was the refrain I heard repeatedly this past weekend. We went to Lovely Wife's XXth High School Reunion in Wichita Falls, Texas. LW and I flew down on Friday afternoon (solo, can you believe it? We left the kids at home--more on that later) and were meetin' and greetin' by 8:00 p.m. I was the designated photographer all weekend--except after my camera broke. After Friday night's event, there was a BBQ lunch and tour-of-the-school on Saturday. GREAT BBQ! Oh, how I miss Texas BBQ. Beef, of course. My only complaint was that the sauce was a little tomatoish, but hey, it was great. Saturday night was the big event. Dinner and dancing at the Wichita Falls Country Club. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures since I broke my camera at the High School that afternoon (trying to take a picture of a geek in a leisure suit). Website quality will surely suffer. I suppose I had as good a time as a spouse can have at these events. I met lots of LW's friends from the past and no, they haven't changed a bit. Needless to say, a good time was had by all.
Last night LW and I attended a Sunday school party at our friend's house. What a perfect evening. The weather was crisp and clear; the sky was filled with stars. After an excellent pot-luck meal, we went for a hayride. I now have a new hayride strategy: sit facing the outside of the tractor--not the inside. Reason: if you tip over while traversing a steep grade, you'll be able to jump off. As it was, I felt very vulnerable as we were driving on a hill. The hayride was great fun, though. We tried (rather pathetically, I must admit) to sing some oldies and even some "church songs". After the hayride, we all gathered about the bonfire to chat and drink hot chocolate. As you might have guesed, a great time was had by all.
Well, last night was the big party. BoyHead's 16th Birthday Party. The plan was: invite over 10 of the Homies play cards well into the night, eat lots of pizza, play ping-pong and X-Box games, go to the park and play capture the flag. All went well. In fact, other than shell out $50.00 for pizza, my participation was not required (nor was it requested). L.D. and I just sat around and watched movies (LW was out creating masterpieces). All went well. No Ambulances or Firetrucks were summoned, so I figure I did my job. I didn't get any pics of the cake or the "blowing out of the candles" since this event occurred sometime after midnight (well past my bedtime). This morning, LW and I cooked a masterful breakfast for the masses. Hash Browns, pancakes, cheese eggs, sausage, cantaloupe, juice and milk.
Poor Lovely Daughter. The girl is hardly ever sick, but this was her third day absent this week. It all began on Monday afternoon. It was a cold, windy and rainy day. The freshman football team was playing the mighty WhoeverTheyAres and, of course, the cheerleaders were there to inspire the team and the crowd. After over two hours of cheering, yelling and all-around inspiring, L.D. hit the wall. By the end of the night she was hacking like a 60 year old smoker. She was down for the count. She ended up missing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Three days. This, from a girl who has received the "Perfect Attendance" award three years in a row. Next time she goes out in the cold I'll make sure she has cotton in her ears.
Sister Kim, Cap'n Nate and the tribe made the trip to St. Louis this weekend. They have just moved from Germany and are still in the process of moving in and getting settled. The good Cap'n is going to Afghanistan in a few weeks after having just returned from a year playing in the sandbox. Sister Kim is singing her heart out, as always. The girls all seemed quite happy and they're all real cute--as you can well see. Now that they're within auto range, we look forward to seeing them much more often.
BH turned 16 yesterday. Such a milestone. It seems only yesterday that I turned 16. I remember that I got a gold pocketwatch with an inscription on the inside cover. I carried it everyday until I went in the Air Force six years later. But enough about me, this is all about BoyHead. He was in a great mood all afternoon since he had passed his drivers test and now is licensed driver. We actually had additional family present for the first time in years. Kim and Cap'n Nate brought their tribe to help BoyHead celebrate....oh yeah, and to pick up their car. Li'l Katie helped BoyHead open his presents. More than anything he wanted a ping-pong table. He got a net, balls and paddles. I think that gave it all away. The table is on order and will be here Tuesday. All of this made BoyHead a happy camper--and that's the goal.
This afternoon I picked BoyHead up early from school so we could get to the drivers license office before the rush. BH turned 16 on Friday. He was fairly nervous. I tried to give him tips: keep your head turned and looking out the back window as long as you are going in reverse, come to a complete stop, always use your blinkers--even when paralell parking, and other such pearls of wisdom. I know he was especially concerned about paralell parking since we didn't actually practice that until this past Wednesday. There simply isn't a great opportunity to paralell park out here in the 'burbs. In the end, he had to rely on his training and experience. He did well and passed on his first try. I am grateful, too, for now he can "fetch me things".
The frost is on the pumpkin....But if you're well read you already know that. Lovely Wife and I had an opportunity to cook some food, earn some money and participate in the political process. We catered a fundraiser for the future Governor of Missouri, Matt Blunt. Not a sit down thing, just hors d'ouvres (sp?). My main job was to cut up fruit (cantaloupe, strawberries, pineapple, honeydew, grapes). Did you know that I make a lovely fruit tray? My other jobs were to cut up cheese (now don't be juvenile and start making cut-the-cheese jokes) and wrap bacon around 647 little smokies. We also made miniature spinach quiche, and little ham and cheese and crust doo-dahs. Also cheese and crackers. I'm also quite good at trotting the trays down to the basement and then back up and into the car. Yes, loading the car is a very important part of the job. One of the most important, really. After all, if you don't load the car then you might as well not even bother cooking.