Monday, April 18, 2011

Birthday Bash, Farm Style

Nana and Papa hosted a birthday bash for Hannah up at the farm on Friday night. We spent a few weeks getting ready, and fretting here and there about the weather. A perfect day in April in Texas is hard to depend on. Sure enough, this was the scene in my downstairs bathroom at 11:00 p.m. the night before the party.

Storm sirens were going off in our neighborhood because there was a huge spring storm with high winds and large hail. We all took cover in the "storm bathroom"! Ha! Panic set in and I immediately started texting my sister in law up at the farm.

Luckily, Papa and my Buzzard whipped up a sensational Plan B. They worked up some major elbow grease and headed out bright and early Friday morning to whip the garage into shape. I secretly think that Nana had never been more grateful for a spring storm. Several hours and two tired gentlemen later, the garage was positively gleaming, and the "stuff" that usually resides in there had been mysteriously relocated. In hindsight, having the party in the garage worked way better than our original plan of doing it outside. The garage made for an excellent dance floor, and when the sun went down, it transformed quite nicely into a movie theater.

Hannah had been dreaming for the past year about having a party up at the farm before she graduated. I feel quite certain that Friday lived up to all her highest hopes, as Nana and Papa pulled out all the hospitality stops in welcoming our friends into their home. It was a night to remember, and certainly a highlight of her senior year.

Without further ado....scenes from Nana and Papa's Party Farm....

The night was big on several counts, as we had many very special guests in attendance. It was particularly meaningful to me that my Dad drove in from Hot Springs just for the party. I had not seen him since Christmas, and even though we didn't have much time to visit together, it was a huge treat to get to see him!

Papa manned the grill at the start of the party. We served hotdogs, chips and dips, and fruit salad. I love feeding teenagers. :-) I don't know where that comes from, but there is something deeply satisfying about laying out a huge spread of food and seeing it vanish!

Emma kept bringing me her empty hotdog bun and asking for "another one of those things that goes inside".

After dinner, we loaded the stereo with swing dancing music. Some kicked off shoes...

...others kicked off shoes AND socks. Whatever the form, there were lots of dancing feet present!

Several of the kids knew the Virginia Reel, which is an old fashioned line dance. They all got organized and explained it to those who didn't know it, then everyone went to town! It was a great ice breaker for those who weren't sure they wanted to dance.

There was also tons of fun swing music! Several of these kids get together to go swing dancing downtown on Saturday nights. Some of them had learned swing steps at prom or worldview ball dance lessons too. The basic moves are easy and fun, and even the most reluctant dancers were having a great time learning a few new things!

One of my favorite hams in the whole world....

Hannah's worldview teacher came to the party, which meant so much to her. He is fantastic on his feet, and promised her a birthday dance. All the kids made a big circle, and Mr. T danced the tango with Hannah in the middle. They were FABULOUS! It was such a highlight of the night. Then, Mr. T taught tango to all the kids who wanted to learn. I think we played the song five or six times while the kids all practiced with each other. They had a blast. It is a really skilled and complicated dance!

Several of the adults enjoyed hanging out inside and visiting. A few of ventured down to tour Papa's infamous barn, where there is never a shortage of cool projects in the works!!

Several of them settled in to cheer the Texas Rangers on to victory as well!

I tried to get photos of the birthday girl with guests as they were leaving, but I missed several people. :-( Also, I didn't get a SINGLE photo of Hannah with any of her Grandparents, including her host and hostess! Shame on me!

Ms Beverly and Tony. Beverly is one of the Bible Bowl coaches, and fun just magically appears wherever she shows up. This woman has invested so much in my kids, and I'm really thankful for her heart of ministry. She is evenly matched in Tony, who is equally fun and kindhearted.

Our beloved Papa John and Aunt Sarah. I insisted they show up to lend moral support to Nana and Papa - ha!! No family function is complete without the grandparents-by-choice!

Crazy Y's. Crazy. And I wouldn't have them any other way.

The S's live across the street from the Y's. Yes, it takes an entire street to contain that level of crazy.

Benjamin, who was a dear for coming out to celebrate with us. He had lots of his own family in from out of town that night since he had his eagle scout court of honor on Sunday.

Israel and Mikayla. Getting to know this sweet family better has been a blessing this year in Bible Bowl.

The D's. The R's somehow escaped being stalked by my camera!

Emily K, who knows how to bring sparkle to a party scene!

Tracey, who taught Hannah most of what she knows about camping. And snow skiing.

Alicia and Morgan came up to the farm a little early and let me boss them around to help get things set up. My standing joke with Alicia is that I'm always looking for things to blame on her, but this night was so great I can't even think of anything to pin on Alicia! No fun!

Mr. Zekie

Wow, Buzzard. Our little girl is 18. I'm not sure how we got here so quickly, but it's a fun place to be. We are sure lucky to have such a circle of friends and family to come honor this girl with us. We've made our fair share of messes, but this pickle in the middle is one of our home runs.

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