The Weekend of the Parties and the Eve of the 4th Grade

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then fifty snapshots ought to mean that I don’t have to type very many words at all tonight.

And I’m just fine with being a little less wordy this evening and not using my brain too much, because OH MY WORD! 4TH GRADE TOTALLY STARTS TOMORROW, AND HOW ON EARTH DID THIS HAPPEN? I NEED TO GO SIT IN A CORNER SOMEWHERE AND ROCK BACK AND FORTH FOR A BIT AND GET A GRIP!

We had one of the busiest weekends on record, but that’s just par for the course at the Jedi Manor. We tend to pack our weekends with some serious busy.

On Friday, while I worked at the church office, Sister kidnapped the boy, and she took him swimming at the golf course with her two kiddos. While I worked and missed out on the fun and the giggles, the boy splashed and swam and flipped around in the pool. Amazingly enough, Sister had her camera with her, and she popped off a couple of photos for me. Since I was, you know, working and all, and completely unable to participate in the fun.

Of course, the boy and his cousins, L and K, lounged around in the hot tub for a while, looking like total babes. While I worked. And missed the fun. (Did I already mention that?)

After I was done working on Friday afternoon, and after the boy had dried himself off after swimming, my friends, Cody and Sarah, helped me throw an enormous Back-to-School bash for our little tribe of classmates. Our little tribe of classmates who are going to be 4th graders tomorrow. At the rate we’re going with this time thing, we’ll be starting high school on Wednesday.

We gathered this group together, and we cranked the fun up to a notch usually only seen at the really sweet disco clubs.

There was a rocket involved in our fun party. The rocket may or may not have sent a few grasshoppers into space. Boys who are going to be 4th graders seem to get the biggest kick out of setting a grasshopper on the tip of the rocket, and then launching him moonward.

I don’t think that moonward is even a word. But y’all know what I meant. I’m in the middle of a breakdown here, because 4th grade starts tomorrow, and I can’t be expected to have every single one of my words tonight be something found in Webster’s.

The party was at Sarah’s house, because she has enough acreage to guarantee that future 4th graders have room to run. Plus, she has a fantastic patio in her backyard, which guarantees that there is plenty of room for parents of future 4th graders to stand around, holding wine glasses and bottles of micro brews.

Sarah had plenty of filling stations set up for the giant squirt gun war that broke out in her yard. These filling stations were the equivalent to a water cooler at the office to our pack of 4th graders. While they were huddled around the water, refilling their weapons, they weren’t allowed to squirt one another, so they spent some time laughing and talking and wondering why (WHY??) summer vacation was already finished.

This is Blaine. Blaine is a future second grader. We let him crash the party, because his sister is a future 4th grader, and because he’s seriously cute.

And really? I just want to know when was the last time y’all sat like this?!

Ciara may be our future homecoming queen for this class. She may wear a tiara and ride in the back of a convertible during the Homecoming Parade one day, but on Friday evening, she was quite serious about squirting boys with her Super Soaker.

On Friday evening, we also realized that boys have a very hard time running wild in a squirt gun war with their mouths closed. For some reason, having their mouths wide open, with a battle cry bursting forth, makes them run faster. May I present you with three examples of this? I give you the boy, Kellen and Henry.

The battle waged on for quite some time. Kellen had no problems with staging ambushes on the girls and attacking them with his squirt gun. He put chivalry on hold for a while.

So did Sam.

The girls fought back, though, and I managed to capture some of their victories with my camera. This is Dalton. They poor guy ran headfirst into Ciara, G, Isabella and Hailey. He didn’t fair well, as they became a wall of very pretty soldiers, who squirted him without mercy.

Eventually the boy turned a corner and crossed into Girl Territory. He thought he’d be able to win a victory for himself, but the girls stood strong, and they got him good.

Even Carter got soaked.

But really? Carter did it to himself! Don’t feel too sorry for him!

This is G, flashing her victory smile for the camera. The official casualty report never made it to headquarters, but we’re fairly certain that the girls won the squirt gun fight. (I may or may not have been very vocal when it came to cheering them on!)

And really? Do future 4th graders get much cuter than this??!

When everyone was good and soaked, we put the squirt guns away, and we played some tag games with the pool noodles.

Just looking at this picture of Sam trying to tag Dalton brings on a whole new level of motion sickness for me!

Later, we even played some games with the parachute. Future 4th graders LOVE parachute games!

Enzo made a fantastic lifeguard, who managed to rescue loads of kids from being gobbled up by the shark and pulled beneath the parachute.

What we didn’t have on Friday evening was a fashion show. I wish that we’d planned one, because I have my suspicions about who might have come away with the first place ribbon. Sister used to wear her shirt like this, back before DVDs had been invented, when she was pretending to be Daisy Duke.
After we’d exhausted ourselves with the squirt gun fight and all the games, and after the kids had inhaled the buffet of snack food on the back patio, and after the adults had popped the cork on yet another bottle of wine, the kids decided to entertain themselves by catching the chickens.

This is the boy, holding Bertie Botts. Last spring, I posted other pictures of the boy holding Bertie Botts, when Bertie Botts was a tiny chick. She’s not so tiny now. Sort of like the boy. I may have mentioned that he’s going to be a 4th grader tomorrow.

Quinn and Patrick caught chickens to hold, too.

Sweet Isabella packed a chicken around for the better half of the evening, as well. Look at her cute smile! (Isabella’s smile; not the chicken’s!)

Even Dalton got in on the Great Chicken Catching Event.

Carter and the boy hung out on the back patio with their poultry for a bit. Carter received a little surprise on his leg while the chicken was sitting with him. He was not overly excited about the little surprise that the chicken left behind, either.

Are you any good with fractions? Six-eighths of this group will be fourth graders tomorrow. You can reduce that to three-fourths. The boy will probably be wishing that he’d reviewed his fractions a little more over the summer, come tomorrow.

When he’s a 4th grader.

Look at the boy and his buddy, Enzo. Aren’t they sweet? Enzo has movie star eyes!

This is the boy and Kellen. They might not be quite as sweet! Together, they spell one word: T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

And together, this group spells two big words: H-U-G-E-T-R-O-U-B-L-E! (Sam tried to turn this Kodak moment into an advertisement for Hershey’s chocolate. They should give us some kickbacks for the free advertising.)

And then, as if we hadn’t partied enough on Friday night, this little pumpkin (my nephew, K) decided that it was high-time he celebrated his upcoming 5th birthday, so we had another party on Saturday.

There was a Spiderman pinata at this party, because Spiderman is a huge hit with the preschool crowd.

At this party, there was even a Spiderman cake! (It only had a tiny bit of almost-five-year-old spit on it.)

Nobody really cared about being the first kid to get a slice of chocolate cake; they all just wanted to be the first kid to grab Spidey off the top of that cake!

I’m not sure that anyone enjoyed eating their cake as much as little Drew did. Eating cake was a total body experience for him. He ended up with cake everywhere.
There were fun grown-ups at this party, too. Grown-ups like Riley and Amy.

Fun grown-ups like Nancy and Amy and Theresa. And with this snapshot, I won’t mention any names, but doesn’t someone look like she should be Erik Estrada’s next partner on CHiPs? (You’re still hot, Baby. Sort of.)

Mam and Pa were at K’s birthday party, too.

There were also presents at this party. Presents that made some members of the preschool crowd suck in their breath with excitement and exclaim, “WHOA!!”

Presents like a genuine frog habitat, compliments of Mam and Pa. Listen, Sister. I have some news to tell you about pet frogs. They. Are. Noisy. At. Night. It is not a joke. It is for real.

The preschool crowd was enamored with the Star Wars action figures, and the frog house, and the trains, and everything else that was fun.

Brynnie was at the party. She hung from a tree limb like a little monkey.

And isn’t Jenna seriously darling? OH MY WORD! I wish I had her thick hair! Is it wrong to be envious of a future first grader’s hair?

And look at Miss L. Cute as a bug’s left ear, isn’t she?

This picture of Antonio absolutely cracks me up, because he WOULD NOT let me take his picture, unless he was staring at me through a miniature plastic Slinky. And then, I was allowed to take as many snapshots of him as my camera could hold. I took eight dozen. This one is my favorites, because LOOK! You can see his eyeball perfectly!

Even Mikey was at the birthday party. Mikey is Hubs’ little girlfriend. Hubs thinks Mikey is the cat’s meow.

Unfortunately for Hubs, K also thinks that Mikey is the cat’s meow, and he’s already claimed her for his girlfriend.

So, fifty snapshots later, you kind of have an idea of how we spent our weekend.

We may have partied a tiny bit.

And now, you’ll have to excuse me, because I have to go stuff a backpack full of brand new Crayola markers and glue sticks and big, pink erasers and spiral notebooks and #2 pencils.

On account of the small fact that the boy is heading out the door first thing in the morning for the 4th grade. I may have mentioned that.

Yes, I may have mentioned it, but it doesn’t mean that I’m dealing with it very easily. 4th grade is such a BIG grade. And I have a sneaking suspicion that when I drop him off at his classroom in the morning, I’ll probably walk out the door blubbering like a baby.

How on earth am I going to handle the day when he packs up his truck and leaves for Harvard??!!

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