I haven't been able to post for two reasons: 1) I have been attempting to dig out of the more chaotic than usual chaos that the kitchen rebuild created, to get ready for a Halloween party here, which leads to 2) I didn't want to leak the surprise that we had in the works--a surprise for my dad who faithfully reads this blog!
For a couple of months we sisters have been planning for SisterM & HubbyO to come from the Bronx with their cutie boys, and for SisterA & HubbyA (and SisterR!) to come from Indianapolis with their cutie girls, and have a great Halloween party at my house. And the sneaky bit--we didn't tell Grandpa they were coming, we just set it up so that he would be in charge of handing out the candy, and every one of the Trick-or-Treaters who showed up would be his grandkids (or kids).
Everything was going great. The plans were in place, Grandma had been enlisted to get him here on time--and to give us a heads up when they left, so we could get everybody stashed at the other location (so they would be able to surprise him).
The boys who couldn't be here (BrotherN & WifeS in California, BrotherB & WifeM in Pennsylvania, BrotherE in Utah and BrotherR in Virginia) were scheduled to Skype or call during the party. We were very excited to have more than half of the family together--5 out of nine siblings!
M&O were scheduled to arrive around midnight on Fri, so BigGirl and I were staying up to finish the cleaning. I was so tired that I was just about to take a little nap on the couch, when headlights pulled in, so we ran out to see the cutie babies--except there were no babies--just awesome BrotherR, and his good friend S, who had made the 9 hour drive from Virginia! Much happy shrieking happened at that point!
Shortly thereafter, there were more headlights and sure enough, it WAS the cutie babies, with their cute mommy & daddy AND BrotherE! They had picked him up from the airport as the ultimate surprise! WOOT!!!
In total, we ended up with 7 out of the 9 siblings! And it was (as always!) hilarious! Didn't get to bed until 2:00am. Worth it.
On Friday, we got ready for the party, and had actual (technically unrelated, but well loved) party guests here, when finally it was time for the surprise part. We sent everybody "unexpected" down the block to the library, where they got into their costumes, and waited for the signal. We decided that they would arrive in "order of unexpectedness".
IT WAS AWESOME!
"Do my eyes deceive me? Can it really be?"
Yes--it really is!
My favorite part (besides the look on Grandpa's face!), was the fact that he didn't seem to catch the pattern--that every single one of the Trick-or-Treaters who showed up were his progeny! It was classic!
After the surprising part, we had a massive pumpkin carving festival, played some awesome games, and talked and laughed until 2:00am. Worth it.
(this kind of nonsense is what happens when you let the uncles loose with the pumpkins!)
Grandpa prepares to show the young'uns "how it's done!"
In Church yesterday, our family took up the first 3 rows in the Chapel. The Bishop announced that all the Anderson's were officially welcome to move back--it was great! After Church, we had a Soup and Bread (and Chili & Baked Potato) supper together before people had to leave.
I am so grateful for a family that I don't just love--I like--thoroughly enjoy them! We have so much fun together--and we always have. The blessings of the gospel radiate through our lives, making everything so much better, and I am (possibly) the most blessed person on earth.