Friday, August 30, 2013

Camping and Kindnesses

The past couple of weeks at work have been so stressful that on a scale of 1 to 10 it was tapping out at oh, maybe 15!  This will likely continue through October so I have lots to look forward to. (snicker)  I attempt to be a very positive focussed person but sometimes this gets hard in the face of hostile emails and deadlines that push the boundaries of realistic productivity to new levels.  For some time it even looked like I was going to miss out on the first few days of our Labor Day camping vacation.  To be sure, I have camped for several long weekends with the kids.  But this campout is special because my wife is with us and this is the first time since last Labor Day that we have vacationed as a family unit.  But a series of random acts of kindness turned things around.

First, my boss called me at home on Wednesday night and said if I could wrap up the most key things Thursday morning, I was free to leave.  Consider it done!! (grin)

On my way driving up the turnpike I stopped at a toll plaza to pay, only to find out that the car in front of me paid my toll in an act of kindness.  I was stunned by the kindness of a stranger and paid it forward at the next toll.

Last night the kids and I were walking down to the beach.  There is a large beach front amusement park as well.  I wasn't really planning on going there as it is very pricey.  But someone leaving a grocery store we walked past on the way had 3 vouchers for free admission that their kids had not used and offered them to us.  Can you say extremely cool!!!!!  We stayed at the park till nearly 8:30 while they rode the rides and watched dusk descend on the ocean from the top of a ferris wheel.

Such a run of generosity is truly a blessing and a reminder that the world is really a good place and there are far more nice people in the world than not.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inching toward independence

Rob filled out his first college appilcation last night.  He worked very diligently on it.  He has had the info from them for a while.  Part of me felt I should nag him to fill it out and send it in.  That little voice inside me kept saying "the clock is ticking on this."  And it probably is.  I know getting into college is a competitive thing.  But more than getting in, I was worried that somehow in his mind my concern for achieving that would look like pushing him out of the home.

For so many adoptive kids, this is a time when the trauma from the past makes the plans for the future threatening, frightening and the result is really ugly.  I get that.  I was not adopted and came from a traditional family set up.  Yet, I remember when I had only been living on my own and going to college about 4 months or so.  My mom started nagging me to come and dismantle my room at home so that the space could be re-purposed.  I didn't want to get rid of my room at home. It was a visual sign of a safety net I thought I wanted and needed.  So, like most teens, I ignored her.

Til one day when I was visiting at home she told me I had to get this done.  I responded with anger and stormed into my old room, ripping posters from walls, tossing momentos in a box and shoving all in the back of my car.  I cried all the way back to my house.  Even though I was living on my own, even though I had wanted to get out of the house as soon as I could, I felt bereft.

My point?  It is harder often for kids who are adopted. So I am not pushing, even if it means in a worse case scenario, his admissioin is delayed somewhere or he has to rethink a plan. I have told him I will help with any paperwork, and with searching out financial aid (ack!!!!)  I think it took him some time to process all that and we are on the road to searching and exploring colleges now. And even when he has fledged, his space will be here for him when he needs or wants to come back.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Spontaneous is hard!

So the new plan as Fiona gets closer to leaving the Great School and moving nearer to us is for her to call us more frequently. Which is great in theory. I would certainly love to have several phone calls a week. The thing is, Jane wants to have them be more spontaneous. Which means nine times out of ten Fiona calls and we are not home.  It can't be cool leaving a message all the time and I have been trying for 30 minutes now to call back on the supervisor cell so that she will know that I got her message.  Argh!

Maybe I am overthinking things and she is really fine with it, who knows.  But our evenings are so busy. We are rarely just home and that is now, when we are still in summer mode. When the school year starts there are evening commitments aplenty.  Maybe that is Jane's hidden agenda; showing Fi that we are busy and not always at her beck and call?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crossing tipi off my bucket list!

 We are back from a lovely camping weekend.  It was truly spectacular.  I have camped a LOT and I have not ever camped like this before.  In some ways, it was sort of surreal.  First off, no tent. That tipi KC is standing in front of?  That was our abode.  Inside were 4 little camp beds set in a circle around the perimeter of the tipi.  It was so cool.  How many of you all can say you slept in a tipi?  (OK there probably are not that many of  you who WANT to, but trust me, it is really neat.)

This campground offered lots of opportunities for the kids to have a blast.  KC is suited up to go on the pedel boats with us in the top picture.  It was a great way to burn off the extra energy after a 3 hour car ride to get there. Usually there is enough work to setting up camp, but this time, we threw the sleeping bags on the beds, put the small totes of clothes in there as well and set up a camp stove. Total camp set up time?  Less than 10 minutes total.
Here is Lissa sliding down the firemans pole in the very nice playground space that was there as well. There was also an arcade which in addition to the creepy arcade games that I personally despise, had pool, air hockey and ping pong which offered a lot of fun for little or no financial outlay.  
 This was the view from our tipi. I could sit on the dock and sip my coffee and look at this all day if the kids would let me.  Divine!  There were areas here to swim in the lake as well as at a heated pool.  Fishing was allowed in a specific area and there were kayaks and canoes for rent as well. Rob spent over an hour out on a kayak one evening and had a great time.
Here you can glimpse the pool and also see the giant life sized chess that KC and Rob are playing with. Lissa and I did the giant checkers.  Additionally there was a mile or so nature trail that we walked, and plenty of open space for playing flashlight tag and frisbee.

We had beautiful weather, with crisp cold nights and comfortable sunny days.  Our evening fires were fun, as we added Mystical Fire to our blazes and had the most amazingly colored flames for a long time.  Bragging shamelessly, I make a good campfire and I don't use newspaper and trash to start my fire.  People would walk by and comment on how well and quickly my fire was going.  Being a Girl Scout from way back when has its benefits.

This campsite had a few features I have never experienced anywhere before.  They offered deliveries of fresh home made muffins and coffee to your campsite in the morning. And on Sundays, you could have freshly made Belgian waffles delivered for your breakfast.  Truly, this is a different kind of camping and I felt positively decadent. . . but that did not stop me from availing myself of the opportunity. After all, my goal in life is to live fully and try as many experiences as I can. Who am I to turn away freshly made waffles that I could eat looking out at that lake?  Not this lady!

We also spent an entire day at KC and Lissa's favorite theme park. We were there when the door opened at 9:30 and closed it down with the last dancing elf at 6:00 p.m.  In spite of that, we still found time to swim in the pool, attend a make your own sundae party as well.  As KC puts it, "The J-E team knows how to have fun!"

In a very funny turn of events KC made friends with a boy who was camping there and who turned out to be from the city we live in!  Lissa also made a camper friend but she does not live near us.

We are now home and all the post camping clean up has happened.  In three days our "big campout" at a favorite site in Maine will happen.  My wife, Rob and I spent part of tonight getting the camper loaded for that sojourn.  In an unfortunate turn of events, an inportant work project will prevent me from joining the family there until Friday night. They will leave on Wednesday though and the kids are all such seasoned campers from their treks with me this summer that I know they are fully capable of helping out K.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Knitting Families

Fiona called last night and it was a really great call.  She was amazingly composed and thoughtful, in the deep thinking sense of the word.  She said that she was going to try one of the work initiatives again this fall because she knew she needed to have a better variety of skills on her transcript because it would help her case in finding a suitable program close to us.

I asked where she wanted to work and she said she would probably start by going back to the day care that she helped at for a short time last year.  I said that she is really good with children and this might be a good fit. She said she loves kids but that when there are lots of them and it feels like they are not listening she gets overwhelmed.  She also said that she feels she should be careful about being there and does not want to go when she is not in a good emotional place. She thinks of the kids there like KC and Lissa and she said just as she would never want to upset or harm them, she does not want to do anything that would cause a problem at the day care.

Then she told me that she is going to cousin N's for a baby shower on Saturday.  N is great--she is in fact the person who has agreed to help me loc Lissa's hair.  She said N considers us all family and would I want to send a card to the other family member who the shower is for.I said I would love to--I am actually friends with both of them on Facebook.  I asked Fiona if I mailed her the gift and card if she would be in charge of bringing the greetings from us to the party.  She was excited to do so and very much wants all her family, bio and adopted, to be a cohesive group.  I said that I have always felt that her bio fam where our family too now and that I think of it like knitting.  all those individual pieces of yarn get woven into something stronger and more beautiful than when it started.

So today on lunch hour I am going to priority mail a set of little bibs and bodysuits and our card to Fi. The congrats are for the young mom but I think the bigger congratulations go to my daughter who is working so hard at her life.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chet's good day

Chet has had a bit of a challenge behaviorally this summer.  His impulsivity is off the charts.  He has a hard time being quiet when you are telling him a task because he has all ready thought of 3 things to ask you or to change about what you were going to have him help with.  We have had to be vigilent about when and how he interacts with the younger kids and with Fiona because sometimes he blurts out things that are so wildly inapproriate that they would be frightening or inappropriate to them.

But there have been some shining moments.  The day the above beach shot was taken was one.  Another was last week when he and KC made plans (KC spearheaded this) to watch a new Fineas and Ferb movie together.

Yesterday was another great day.  I had spent most of the week trying to lay the ground work with Chet for how the party would unfold. Reminded him who was coming, what we were serving.  Chet loves to socialize but has trouble with social cues and also is easily overstimulated.  The more people who come, the louder things get and the more he ramps up.

However the BBQ allowed him many ways to be involved in physical ways which helped diffuse any of the nervous energies that begin to  consume him. There were things to bring from the kitchen to the back yard. There was cooked food to put on the platters and then on the serving table.  More ice was needed from our cellar.  He did all that and more and then I made sure that he sat and ate.  We had a number of tables so poeple could spread out and this too helped things out. He does not do as well when in addition to the simulations listed above, then there is close physical proximities as well.

After we ate he loved helping to clear things out, while the majority of us stood and talked. I had to cue him not to walk through the circle of chatting people as he bussed tables but over all, he did great. He felt useful and included and part of the whole, which is all I want for all my kids.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Family BBQ

It would have been good if I remembered to use a camera today!  But it was a great family and friends BBQ and Fiona had a great time as well. She is here with KC, Rob, his girlfriend and Lissa. Actually I did take pics of the canopy and set up before the party started. I will have to download those. (the above picture was taken with Rob's girlfriends phone.  Since she posted it on social media I felt okay about putting it here.)

 When things started though, I was just busy mingling and making sure folks were happy and fed.  It has taken a lot of years to blend us all into a cohesive unit. We have seen deaths, marriages, breakups, family expansion with the addition of children, sickness, and trauma.  But through it all, through the times we didn't understand each other, we held each other in love.  And gradually, understanding came.  I am a firm believer in the just keep being nice philosophy and it has stood me in good stead.  Today I watched my inlaws and my mom reach out with love to Fiona, to Rob's girlfriend and her mom, to our neighbors.  I marveled at the bonds that have grown between my inlaws and my mom and my kids godparents.  I smiled watching the kids de-camp from the food zone and getting silly all together in the upper part of the yard while we old fogies stayed down below chatting and catching up.

I am blessed beyond words, utterly enveloped in bliss at the moment.  Having all my kids here and happy was the best.  Hearing my BIL engage Fiona in conversation about moving out here and seeing her again soon was a gift I will treasure. Watching my mom and Fi hug, another pearl.

You would never know looking at the back yard that anything happened there today.  I am (patting self on back shamelessly) a pro at breaking down from an event. K had to go to work so she left about 3 and I did the cleanup while the kids watch Teen Beach Movie together. This was the movie Fiona was sick and missed on her last visit so she was mega happy to finally see it.  Chet came down and hung out with them as well, and listening to the chatter and laughter in the living room while I did the kitchen clean up was great.

My mom and my FIL are both 80.  Rob is 17 and on the cusp of fledging and starting his adult life in the not distant future.  I have the feeling that he will spread his wings and soar and that his flight will take him far from me before he circles back.  I have a sense that days like today are truly ones to treasure as we never know how many times we have to be all together. So I will always hold this memory close, and images of the day will be bright in my heart,  even though I didn't use my camera much!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Family BBQ tomorrow!

Every other year we get to host the family BBQ.  I love to do this.  We rent a big canopy for the back yard so that there is shade if it is hot, cover if it is rainy.  While our house has many rooms, in the style of Victoriana they are smallish, oddly shaped rooms that do not lend themselves at all well to large gatherings.  So the BBQ is one of my favorite times.  I decorate the canopy a bit with big jugs of wildflowers in front of the stakes.  This is also so no one will kill themselves on the tent stakes that look like what would be used to make a railroad. They are ginormous.  But big jugs of goldenrod and asters in front of them will stop anyone from tripping on them.

We went to the party store and got some bright colored table cloths and disposable champagne glasses so we could toast my newly wed BIL.  Then it was on to the cooking.  I made a favorite dip to go with the chips.  I made a new cous cous dish which is so yummy I can't wait to dive into it tomorrow.  I boiled up the taters and eggs so my wife can make potato salad tonight or tomorrow morning.  Then KC and I made a lemon merangue pie. It is my FIL's favorite and perfect for a summer BBQ.  It will only serve about 8 people but we also have a sheet cake, ice cream and watermelon so I think it will be fine.

I am extremely excited too because Fiona will be here, as will Rob's girl friend and her mom.  Also the little guy who lives next door and hangs out here all the time.  I define family rather loosely.  I think family is really about the connections that support us and sustain us. Tomorrow will be filled with that.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dancing Dude

This picture gives a glimpse into how important dance is in KC's life! After buying shoes for hip hop, ballet, tap and jazz I didn't really want to buy a t shirt.  But . . . how could I resist when he saw it?  KC is a true dance spirit. He has danced in some form or another as soon as he could walk. Not that he was all that speedy in learning how to walk. LOL But anyway, I remember him skipping through the house waving scarves and pieces of shiny fabric in time with music when he was very young.

He has never had an interest in playing sports.  He likes family games of soccer and dodge ball and whiffle ball. But where Rob was sports all the way, KC is not.  He also is not shy about the fact that he dances, and he totally has figured out that a bevy of little girls come with the experience.

So for all those reasons, he has the shirt, and I have a crazy dance mom schedule of 2 evenings and 1 Saturday a.m. at the studio.  Such is life.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fiona's Case is moving!

In a bit of absolutely positively WONDERFUL news, Fi's case is approved to be moved to our area.  This is huge as her needs are complex and frankly expensive and it was unclear if the move to our area would be a go.  I feel strongly that to be her guardian and be truly present in her life requires a geographical closeness as well. She needs to pop over for supper some night, or to watch a movie etc and not have it be a big production on how to get her here etc.  This also likely means that the guardianship is pretty much a shoo-in.

Fiona is excited . I am excited. The kids are excited.  When KC heard he was planning all the ways she could be with us for various family things. I think it will also help to give Fiona a sense of security as I know that is how I feel about things.

I have been so lucky with the Great School. One of the reasons they are great is because they recognize, affirm and support us as a family unit. Not as "the adoptive parents of Fiona's biological brother." The places that placed that tagline on us did not see the bigger picture. That we are there for Fiona even when Rob has other things on his mind.  I don't just drop him off for a sibling visit.  We are family in the real nitty gritty, sometimes great, sometimes painful way that families are.

There were also placements where my contact with Fiona was limited because my status was murky and so ill defined.  Calling me the former adoptive parent isn't all that positive sounding.  The reality of our situation is much more complex than that.  How do you explain to professionals who don't know you that  you were not giving up? That you were making sure she had services your insurance could never provide and that the other children stayed safe and fairly untraumatized?

The change in the oversight location and the change in my status to legal guardian wipe away the questions of others while still ensuring that she has the mental health supports that she will likely always need. She will be here Sunday for the BBQ  I am making her favorite mac n cheese to have at the buffet just because I know it is her favorite and I want there to be that comfort of a favorite food on a day when she will be meeting new people.  I know, someone is going to write about how we should not comfort ourselves with food, but the reality is, sometimes, we all need to.  I also think it is important because our BBQs typically have a variety of family favorite foods.  K's side of the family would never get together without having potato salad for instance.  I adore salsa and chips.  It is a visual way of belonging and blending and affirming her place in the family.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fiona's first weekend call

As we move forward toward my guardianship of Fiona, my role in her life is becoming more  of a "recognized" parent.  The Great School in the City now calls me when there are incidents.  I sometimes heard about these in the past, but know that it was not regular and usually through Jane after time had gone by.We are also having a weekend call as well as our Tuesday one. And we have a sleep over each month and at least one day visit. It is good.

Though this weekends call was not a happy one. Fiona had a significant behavioral outburst on Saturday. Staff called on Sunday (bless them, as it ended about 12:30 in the morning) and  she was still not really in a good place emotionally on Sunday.  Fi called me and complained at length about the staff. The trigger was a dispute over television between Fiona and another peer. It escalated dramatically from that initial altercation.

Fiona told me that she was angry that staff did not let her call the police and did not let her go to the hospital.  I do know that we all feel that hospitalization is not the best course of action. There is very little if anything typically done and much of the good work that we all do is actually un-done by the different environment. Oddly enough, healthy eating for her diabetes tends to go out the window there which always strikes me as odd, and there are other issues as well.

I am not down on hospitals, I just see it as a last resort, not something we do when we don't get our own way. I think staff called her bluff a bit on it since there was no self harm going on and nothing that could not be handled by other less restrictive options.

I asked Fiona if she thought there was anything that she could do other than go to the hospital, because I really thought we should consider that as our very last step always.She said no.   Eventually we made a list of things she could try to calm herself--a shower, favorite music, a PRN, a healthy snack,writing or drawing.

Mid way through she said what the real issue was. She is afraid that she will not like anyone in the new group home. She is afraid that something will go horribly wrong and she will wind up out on the street. (it was weird to me that this was her fear as that has always been my fear FOR her).

I reminded her that we were family and we were going to find a place that would be a good place to live and would be closer to us so she could be here more as well.  I also said that she would not be homeless.  More tears, but it seemed to be that flood that then leaves you calm. At least I hope it was.  It is hard when this is by phone and you don't have any visual cues to help out.  I also reminded her she is coming out here on Sunday for the family BBQ

But things seemed better today and I also got an email from Jane that DCF sent a packet that seems to indicate that they agreed to the request to relocate her case to our area!!! Jane is not 100 per cent sure that is what it means but we both hope that we are reading it correctly and that is the emails intent.  It will be fantastic if that is what it is!

Just Beachy!

There will likely only be 2 more opportunites to be on a beach between now and the middle of September. So I was thrilled that yesterday my wife was again willing to come with us to the ocean.  Good weather and family times are rarely squandered here.  I save up the memories of sun fun and laughter against the colder darker days filled with runny noses and snow!

K got some great shots of the kids too!  I should have put on a close up of Lissa but I love the movement in this shot.  She loved running down to jump the waves, screeching at them and then racing back.  She probably ran miles yesterday!

Chet did so much better than the previous trip. That in itself was a gift.  There was far less drooling--a visible sign tht he was more calm and regulated.  KC always works hard to find things that he can do with Chet at the beach. It is one of hte few places where there is commonality between the two.  KC loves Chet deeply but Chet's inability to emote or to understand those who are highly emotional makes things very hard for him relationship wise.  But the beach is somehow that place where all that           goes by the board.  They look for shells together, they dig holes and make sand castles together. For a mom, it is so beautiful to watch.

KC spent a lot of time jumping waves too.  It is always hard to get him out of the water as he is such a water beetle.  But the rule is when I see you shiver or your blue lips chatter when you answer me, in you come to warm up. LOL

On the way home we stopped at a Dairy Queen for ice cream.  Chose them because they have a non dairy slushy type drink that KC could have.  The ice cream the week before at the other place made him feel chokey, activating his dairy allergy a bit.  Here at home he usually stays with popsicles and sorbets but those are harder to find at ice cream stands.

Then I caught up on all the laundry of the past few days.  Our dryer is presently not working and I have not got funds free to call a repair man.  So we are hanging out exclusively. Whcih I am fine with but Friday it poured buckets.  Saturday was the party, so we were 2 days back in laundry in a house where we do 3 loads a day. Egads!  Got it all done and it is on the line and festooned in other areas to dry as well.

Checked Face book and discovered that the dance store where I get KC and Lissa's shoes was having a 27 % off sale.  Since KC needs 4 kinds of shoes and LIssa 2, this was not to be missed. So off we went to the store and got all that we needed. I saved nearly $70.00 which made this mom smle!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Party Prep!

I was really worried today as the day dawned very wet and rainy.  The annual summer party for the kids is tomorrow. I will not have 17 kids in my house ever.   I really need an outdoor venue for this event!  All day it rained.  And not just a gentle rain.  Raining buckets rain.  I would look out my window at work and wonder how I was going to get the canopy up and the tables out there so that tomorrow we can decorate after shopping.

And then, at 5 p.m, magic!  The rain stopped. The sky began to brighten and blue patches appeared.  We got the yard tidy and the party areas set up.  Truly the goddess was smiling on us.  Course maybe she thinks anyone crazy enough to have a passle of kids in their back yard every year for a party deserves a little help.  LOL

Back inside we made the party favors.  The chosen theme was "rock star" so we have everything tied into   rock star bandannas. They look cute.  By tomorrow  night I will likely be exhausted, but I do like doing this.  It really gives the kids a chance to work on skills, plus see their friends and I get to chat with some of the grownups who are all people I like.

Good thing I like to party as next week is the family BBQ hosted here by yours truly.  I need a nap!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Spidey KIds

Monday was our first National Night Out event where I work.  There were vendors and food, local officials, lots of emergency vehicles to check out and lots of fun!  I had to be there and chose to bring the kids who predictably had a grand time.  I try to really network with the resident population when we have a social event.  It helps when people can see the management staff as people not so different from themselves.  Being in attendance with my family I think reinforces that.  And my kids have a good ability to pretty much get along with everyone.  It is rare for them to truly not like folks.

The night ended with a lightstick and noisemaker parade to "take back the night" and Spider Boy and Girl were right up there in the parade, waving noisemakesrs and Spider Boy was waving at the on lookers as though he was the mayor or something.  Since the mayor really was there, it just cracked me up.  He is such a ham and so into performing.

It was a late night for them though and the next two days were sort of recovery days filled with insipient crankiness.  Today we are more in our usual groove, but I feel a huge time crunch as their annual Summer Party is this Saturday and I am so not yet ready.  KC has helped to make some games but we still have a bit of work yet ahead of us.  Somehow, it will get done.  I hope.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Just beachy!

Yesterday we went to the beach.  All of us--even my sand hating wife!  I was excited beyond belief as usually that is just the kids and I but she offered to come with us and even chose which beach to go to.  The weather was perfect.  Sunny and warm but not burn your feet on the sand hot.  The water was 67 degrees or so which is cold but tolerable. The waves were not so severe that the littles were knocked over.  See? I said perfect!

KC spent a great deal of time perfecting skim board and boogie boarding skills.  Still not quite there on the skim board, which is a lot about timing, but he has the boogie boarding nailed.  He is such a water bug. You would swear he was born in a water sign, instead of April.  He will stay in the water forever if you let him.  When he was little I used to have to buy insulated swim gear for him because he pitched such a fit over getting out and warming up. Thankfully, at 9 he is more able to understand that he can return to the water when his lips are no longer blue and he is not shaking uncontrollably. LOL

Lissa said her favorite part was running to the water and screaming.  That is pretty much my Lissa.  A chance to scream is so up her alley.  Ear piercing screams. But she had fun.

Rob endured the day.  He likes to watch the water but not to really be in it. However he is also a helpful big brother and would hold Lissa's hand while she ran to the water to scream etc.  Chet ran in and out of the water and looked for shells.  He had a really good time but was quickly overstimulated by the sound and sensation of the water.  When he gets over stimulated the first thing that happens is that he starts to forget to swallow and we have to keep reminding him not to drool all over the place.  Usually the ocean is a place where he is more regulated instead of less, so this was disturbing, but at least he had a good time.

My wife went in the water some, but had to be careful of her newly healed ankle and spent the rest of the time in a beach chair relaxing and watching us all. When the kids had their sand castle contest, she and I could sit and chat.

There were plenty of snacks and lunches packed but the beach trip is not the same without a trip for icecream on the way home.  Sadly, ice cream (smalls) for the 6 of us cost about as much as 5 or 6 gallons of ice cream.  Yikes!  But it was fun to sit on a picnic table out side the stand and eat our cones and joke around.

This will be a busy week with both some extra work responsibilities and the kids upcoming summer party which needs some final preparations.  The beach day was the perfect way to rejuvenate before this weeks mad race of responsibilities!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Summer Party Plans

Next Saturday is KC and Lissa's summer party.  Pray for good weather as this really needs an outside venue! LOL  Last night the kids helped figure out the games and what would go where in the back yard.  We drew a sketch of their plans on the dry erase board.  The games will be made over the next couple of days--they are fairly simple.  The only game we are actually purchasing is Twister.

KC decided that since this is a rock star theme that there should be a "DJ" booth. So he created a sign last night and has plans to cover a small table with craft paper and make it look like speakers or something. Then he will bring down his favorite CDs and spin tunes while the party is in progress.  The two of them have decided on the food and we will buy the non perishables today and the rest of the paper goods.

I love that the party is highly kid driven and has been right from the beginning.  They do the guest list, the theme, pick out the crafts and games, help make the games and decide on the menu.  It is not just fun but also a skill, sandwiched in there as well.