Yesterday afternoon I hosted our annual pumpkin party. It was BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin). I provided paint supplies, cookies, and icing.
Events leading up to the party were a bit hectic.
--Jackson had an abbreviated school schedule since the county had an early release day. I had exactly enough time to get home for speech, then return to school immediately after speech.
--After three long weeks without a working dishwasher, we were inconveniently told that the the installer would be coming that afternoon to install the dishwasher. Jesse was the correspondence. I made him call back to clarify he could not come before 4 pm.
--I laid the trio down for an early nap, expecting to wake them up mid-way through the party. They boycotted naps.
--I had two sinks full of dishes, a dish rack full of drying dishes, and a counter full or raw cookie dough, and cookies on cooling racks. Friends arrived 20 minutes early to a disastrous kitchen. Thankfully they are true friends and immediately shuffled around my kitchen, helping where they could.
Including my kids, there were fourteen kids energetically running around. The weather was nice enough to leave the back door open. It was a hot afternoon with temperatures in the 80's. We completed for fleeting shade.
Jackson has been asking every day for the past week to paint the pumpkin he picked out from the farm last Wednesday. He happily painted his pumpkin with green and purple swirls.
The direct sunlight was an advantage when it came to drying the pumpkins. The pumpkins dried while kids played in every nook and cranny of the house and yard.
The oldest child helped roll and cut remaining cookies while I set up the cookie decorating.
Most of the kids haphazardly squeezed mountains of icing and poured half a bottle of sprinkles on their cookies.
I didn't let the trio paint pumpkins since they were still fighting naps, but they did get a chance to decorate cookies.
The kids continued playing, mostly outside. James sneaked back inside to help himself to unlimited cookies and candy. This is why we still have to keep our chairs on top of the dining room table!
Amelia and Maddie cuddled with other moms. One of my friends sent me this glamour shot she took of Amelia sitting in her lap.
It makes me happy to be known as a fun mom who lets kids make messes, paint, bake, and play freely. I'm well aware that "fun" should not be the goal or priority for a mom, but I think about how much I wanted to have friends over, bake, or do crafts as a child. Those activities were not encouraged by my mother. I don't want Jackson to ever worry about inviting friends over, making a mess, or being too loud. Of course we are teaching him to take initiative, br responsible for his actions, and self-regulate. I just want my house to always be a place where messes are allowed, creativity is encouraged, and friends and family gather to laugh and play. Yesterday we accomplished each of those things. It was a good day!