What A Great Day!!!

All the cleaning, cooking and fretting paid off big time today.  We had a wonderful graduation party for my nephew.  These past few years without his Dad have not been easy and don’t even get me started on his mother (and I use that word loosely).  It was great to have a group of people to come celebrate him.

The cast of characters for the day included… my Mom (Granny), Erika (his sister), Aunt Barb & Uncle Ward, Aunt Sue & Uncle Ross, Bob & Sherry Welch (Bob and my Dad go back YEARS… they apprenticed together starting in the late 50’s and Sherry and my Mom are good friends, and Greg Barstow (another of my Dad’s pipefitter friends, he was an usher at our wedding and he and Robert share a middle name).

I was worried this morning when I saw Donald had been up until 4:30am on Facebook and then panicky when he was not returning my texts.  We were supposed to pick him up for the party.  Luckily at about 12:30 he finally started answering and we were able to get him picked up.

I bought a yard sign and attached a huge balloon to it this morning and put it in the yard.  Some asshole stole it before the party even started… that really ticked me off.

Jim manned the grill and the boys hung out outside and the girls all gathered around the kitchen table.  We had burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, cheddar wurst, rice and summer squash salad, chips and dips, pasta salad and fruit salad.  Everyone loved my cooking (it’s a new found skill and the family is getting used to the fact they can’t tease me about not cooking anymore).  I was so busy hostess-ing I didn’t get nearly the amount of pictures I usually do… looking at the pictures you wouldn’t know there were 14 people here.

Greg got here in time for the present opening.

Robert continued the tradition of a Snoopy card.
Snoopy Card 

I on the other hand went for the mean, now it’s time to get to work card  🙂
AS Card 2

AS Card

I knew I wanted to get him a nice watch for graduation, and Lord know I fretted and fretted choosing one… about drove Jim nuts, “look at this one, do you like this one better, what do you think of this one??”  I finally settled on a nice Invicta watch and he really, really like it.
Watch 1
Watch 2 

Mr. Barstow arriving gift in hand (QT Gas Card.. yeah!!!)
Barstow Arrives 
Apparently when he got here he couldn’t find any street parking so he used my front lawn.  I can’t believe there were no ruts when he left with all the rain we’ve had.  That’s Greg for you, mad as a March hare but would give you the shirt off his back.
Barstow Parking 

My Mom made him this wall hanging.  The denim is all from old Levi’s of my Dad’s.  Donald was named after my Dad and they were the best of buddies.  It really meant a lot to him.
Wall Hangin

Everyone else opted to give cash (which Donald greatly appreciated since he is fixing up a car).  After presents we had cake and lemon bars.  I sent the left over cake “home” with Donald.  He is staying at a friend’s house for a few weeks since they got evicted from their rental house (grrr).
Cake

Two of my favorite boys…
Donald & Robert 

Gregory Charles Barstow and Robert Charles Wright…
Greg & Robert

I made up a packet for Donald with everyone’s addresses, thank you notes and stamps and told him I expect him to write thank you’s this week.  No excuses!  My Aunt Barb talked to him about doing some odd jobs for them and Greg took his number because he has a painting job he needs help with so he has some opportunities to make some money I hope he takes advantage of.

Now everyone is gone.  The kitchen cleaned up, the house spotless and the boys are asleep.  I’m headed out to enjoy a mild evening on the deck.

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