Sunday, August 29, 2010

21 kids, 23 hours

Jason's 8th birthday was this past Saturday, and our weekend-long celebration was lots of fun, but I sure am dragging now! After a double feature at the drive-in on Friday night, on Saturday we had a joint 8th birthday party for Jason and two of his friends who all have birthdays around the same time. We didn't get around to sending out invites to Saturday's party until Friday, so we felt certain that not too many kids would show up. Boy, were we wrong! 21 kids showed up for the party, held at a cabin on a creek in the George Washington National Forest, and only one kid's parent stuck around for the festivities (beyond the parents of the 3 birthday kiddos). I am amazed at how well all the kids got along, but I've gotta admit, it was hard to relax with that many kids under our watchful eyes. And of course, we planned activities that our kids like thinking there would just be a couple kids, activities that become much more stressful the more kids you have around. They:
  • caught toads and crawfish in the creek
  • went fishing
  • played water balloon games
  • did target practice with a bow and arrow (gulp!)
  • did target practice with a bb gun (double gulp!)
  • roasted hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire (no, you can NOT throw crawfish into the fire!)
  • played on the swingset and ran around and played kid games like tag, kick the can, water gun tag, etc
To top it off, it was a campout party. The kids were invited to spend the night with us. In addition to our 5 kids, 5 other kids decided to go the distance with us. Of course, only 3 lasted the whole night (hey, kid, couldn't you have your nervous breakdown about camping out BEFORE 10 o'clock at night!?! Especially when we have to drive 5 miles out to get cell phone reception and your parents are 45 minutes away!?!). Needless to say, it was a late night. I was in our 8 person tent with 5 children and one other adult. One kid talked in his sleep all night and kept sitting straight up in his sleep. He was also a cover thief, and he woke me up as he pulled my blanket off me. Thank goodness for my drive-in movie quilt; it has gotten lots of use since it was finished. I had a deathgrip on the quilt and rolled to a corner of the tent to stake out my territory. I was cozy and warm, but I was terribly uncomfortable. Next time, I'm bringing an air mattress!

The last kid got picked up at noon, 22 hours after he had been dropped off, and the parent of another birthday kid and I just collapsed into lawn chairs for another hour while our children enjoyed some archery practice without a million other kids in line. I've learned my lesson - never assume that they won't all come, assume that they all WILL COME and limit the guest list! My sensitive, diplomatic son didn't want to leave anyone in his class off the invitation list, but even he admitted to me that there were kids there that he didn't really know.

All's well that ends well, though, and they all had lots of fun. Not a one left without pouting or crying because he/she didn't want to leave.

So, you can understand why I was feeling a bit bedraggled when I got home, and why no real sewing took place this weekend. I took a shower and a nap, and spent the late afternoon finishing another Beverly Connor book (a Lindsay Chamberlain Mystery - it's official, I am now a fan). My brain is too tired to try to come up with a solution to my "make it bigger without having enough fabric" dilemma with my GGG quilt, anyway. So for now, I'm starting another book and getting a full night's sleep before starting the week tomorrow. I wish I could say it was going to be an easy one, but we have an overnight retreat for work midweek. (*sigh*) There is just no rest for the weary.


Unknown said...

WOW, you are one brave lady. I know I would have never lasted through the night with that many kids, or at least not without my friends Jack, Bud and Gin. lol My hat's off to you. I'm worn out just reading about all your fun.

Rachel said...

Oh my goodness - I was tired just from reading about your weekend. You certainly are a brave woman! I can't believe none of the other parents stuck around to help. Glad to hear all the kids had fun, though, and everyone (including you) survived. Now, get some rest... if you can.

Janet said...

I'm surprised you had the energy to write it all up. Have a good rest!

Shay said...

Were you temporarily INSANE? (and I mean when you had the original idea , not during the event)

I did that once...never again. One sleepover, 11 girls, and just me. Crazy-ness. Nobody slept .

Sounds like the kids had fun, and you dont have to do it again ever now...been there done that. I feel your pain.

Chocolate will fix it. Go forth and eat as much as you want.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, what a busy weekend for you. But sounds like so much fun. I know the kids had a great time. Have a great week!

leslie said...

you are one brave woman. i remember though and it is kinda fun. you will get a great night sleep! thanks for joining my blog. i have enjoyed looking at yours. i will follow to see what else you are working on!

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your weekend!

Annette said...

You are very brave to take on that many kids. Your son will have some great memories from it. And you will too...AFTER you have some rest.

Stephanie Hughes said...

Erin, sounds like a great time and you must be completely exhausted. The pictures will nice to see too! Steph