Dear Andrew & Abby,
Well, now that we've made it to Wednesday, we've almost recovered from last weekend. Of course, we've also been out doing things every night so far this week, so we haven't completely recovered.
This weekend we celebrated Andrew's birthday. We also attended the annual Cub Scout Blue & Gold dinner and Mommy participated in the Chili Cook-off at church (obviously, neither group consulted our family calendar before scheduling their events). And we had to finish up Andrew's Science Fair project. Gosh, am I forgetting anything? Mommy felt like a whirling dervish in the kitchen Saturday and Sunday - we made a corn casserole for the Blue & Gold (Grandma Jamie did most of that, thank goodness!), chili AND vegetable soup for the Cook-Off, and meatballs and roasted red pepper dip for the party at our house. Whew! And I haven't cooked since then! But really, Mommy loves to cook, so I had fun doing all of that, I just got a little stressed about trying to do it all at the same time!
Your Grandma Jamie (Poppy Ted had to work, so he couldn't come) and Grandma Dottie and Papa all came to visit for the birthday, and they got to go to the Blue & Gold dinner and to the Chili Cook-Off with us and that was fun. I'm not sure if they had a good time doing all of that or not, but it was nice that they got to go to Andrew's Cub Scout event. It's hard because we live about three hours away from both sets of grandparents, so they miss out on a lot of the stuff that other grandmas and grandpas get to go to. The Blue & Gold includes a Father-Son Cake Bake, which you and Daddy didn't enter this year, but there were lots of fantastic cakes to see. At the end of the evening, the winning cakes in each of several categories get auctioned off first, and all the other cakes are given away in a raffle. There was one cake in particular that Andrew had his eye on - a volcano cake made by a boy in his den. He put a LOT of raffle tickets in for that cake. It occurred to me that if we took home a cake from the dinner, I wouldn't have to make one (as I was planning to do that night after we got home - because Mommy had lost her mind somewhere when we were cleaning up the house). I got more raffle tickets for Andrew and we put them in for the volcano cake, but I still worried we would not end up with the volcano cake and Andrew's dreams - and Mommy's - would be crushed. Then the auction started and there was a beautiful tropical island cake up for bid. In another moment of insanity - and desperation to not have to bake a cake - Mommy bid on it, and won. Woo hoo! No baking! So when the raffle started, I was actually hoping we would not win the volcano cake - we no longer needed it. Except Andrew really did want it, so luckily, we won it. And then one of the last cakes went up for raffle, and they called Grandma Dottie's name. So we went home with three cakes. That is a lot of cake - and a lesson in Be Careful What You Wish For.
The Chili Cook-Off was fun for Mommy - I got to make my Chili Con Cheri and my yummy favorite Old World Vegetable Soup, but I don't think it was as much fun for either of you. Andrew was a big help at my table and helped hand out soup samples and Abby mostly sat with Grandma Jamie, so I don't think you hated it, but it was probably not the highlight of your weekend. Sadly, Mommy did not win Best in either category, but I did win Most Original Soup Recipe and Best Table Presentation. The funny part is that your daddy decorated that table in less than five minutes using leftover decorations from our Fiesta! VBS last year. He's so clever!
After the Chili Cook-Off was over, we went back to our house and got ready for your party. Originally, we were not going to have two pirate parties, but that's what we ended up with. Saturday night and Sunday morning, I finished up the new treasure hunt clues - I made TEN this time, since five didn't seem to be enough the last time. They turned out great, and I have to say, I do think our tricks to making them look authentic work really well. We had SO many more people at this party than we did your first party. Which is great and I think you had a wonderful time. The kids seemed to enjoy the treasure hunt and you got some very nice gifts.
And we all survived the entire weekend! Whew!