Graduation Panic

Graduation is two days away.

Two. Days.

I’m not in a panic. Much.

Let’s just say that things have not gone exactly as planned.

There was the whole birthday trip and unexpected overnight for the kids while I was home baking a ka-jillian cookies.

Then I pulled a muscle in my shoulder whacking out dandelions and moving cement blocks.

But I still finished baking the ba-jillian buns and smoking the turkeys.

Then Sunday night we had a torrential downpour which created in a river through the basement – the basement that was cleaned and organized and ready for the Open House.

Now – it is not.

Meanwhile my allergies are the worst I’ve had in years with one eye swollen shut every morning.

On Monday we drove to Des Moines for my niece’s graduation party – and the brakes froze up on the mini van.

I am not kidding.

Now we have a wet basement, a mom with both a hurt shoulder and horrific allergies, a vehicle broken down 120 miles from home, and graduation Open House a few days away.

And did I mention that Angel Girl starts Driver’s Ed this week? We get to make two trips to town. Every. Day.

With a broken van.

I might be a little stressed. Just a little.

The other night I dreamed that as I walked on the stage at graduation my pretty new dress turned into my mom’s prom dress from the 1950’s – complete with a tulle skirt, pearls and pumps.  The entire crowd gasped with horror when they saw it and my children were mortified.

Obviously I haven’t eaten enough chocolate before bed.

But all is not lost.

Monday night we turned the AC on – which helped dry out the basement and got my allergies in check.

Tuesday Jan and I took the Suburban and rescued the broken van.

Wednesday amazing friends showed up to help- literally digging me out of the hole.  Bless them. Bless them. Bless them.

Chex Mix is made.

Windows are washed.

Flower gardens are planted.

Curtains are washed, ironed, and hung.

My shoulder is not quite as painful.

And I’m finally marking things off my list!

We have another big work day tomorrow – but we’re gaining on it.

And at some point in the next few days I need to process the fact that my son has reached a milestone and change is coming.

Or maybe not.

What a Week!

It was quite a week here.

We’re in full-on graduation mode now.

Monday the girls and I went shopping. We found a new dress for me, bought the paper goods for the party and enough Hawaiian punch to sink a small ship.

Tuesday I bought all the butter on the shelf at the store and started baking.

Wednesday all of the kids took off on a one day road trip in Dagmar’s new truck to surprise my niece on her birthday.

birthday misadventure

I stayed home and baked more cookies, plus I started roasting the first of many mock smoked turkeys.

But as the kids were ready to head home – Dagmar’s wonder truck wouldn’t start, leaving them stranded at my sister’s house.

As the phone calls and texts were flying back and forth between our stranded children and their parents,  my amazing husband tried to diagnose the problem from listening to the vehicle over the phone.

And he was right.

We decided it was best if they spent the night there and we’d figure out something in the morning before Pedro and Dagmar had to be back here for work.

Thus their quick one day jaunt became into an impromptu sleep-over.

They didn’t seem to mind and their party continued.

But in the confusion of the evening – we kind of forgot the poor plants that had been outside hardening off.

You know – those tomatoes and peppers that I had started months ago as wee little seeds and had been nurturing ever since.

Yep. Those plants.

We had a frost during the night.


Meanwhile – my sister was feeding a house full of unexpected guests who didn’t even bring their toothbrushes while finding a mechanic who could could replace a starter cheap and fast.

Then she figured out how to use their family van to tow the wonder truck into town to the super hero mechanic.

And me? I baked more cookies and roasted another turkey – this time with my shoes on and my purse ready in case a rescue party should be needed.

But it was not. The mechanic preformed a miracle. The kids made it home and Pedro to work with 2 minutes to spare.


Friday I baked my first batch of yeast rolls and roasted another turkey.

And today we fought the crowds at the Amish green house to replace our frozen peppers and tomatoes. Obviously we weren’t the only ones to miss the memo on the frost.

Yep. It’s been quite a week.

What a Weekend!

What a weekend!

There were special friends who traveled 418 miles to help in the celebrating.

Dagmar and Dollface There were cousins, aunts, uncles, grandpas, grandmas, lots and lots of friends, and even a pirate.

Pirate DorothyWe love you Dorothy!

And there was Seth.

SethThe crazy one who kept us laughing all weekend.

And there was food. Lots of food.

Graduation SpreadIn addition to the purple punch, all the sandwiches and massive amounts of cookies – we also had a coffee bar in honor of Dagmar’s current coffee obsession.

And there were 7 gallons of puppy chow – served in a pirate basket with a silver scoop.

Which produced many puppy chow smiles.

puppy chow smileThere was an incredible video about Dagmar produced by my talented sister and niece.

It made me cry.

And there was carpet ball, kite flying, a new kitty, cute babies and a random dog who showed up for the fun and trotted back down the road at the end of the party.

random puppy and cute babyThere were long conversations, lots of laughter, a balloon bouquet, and pretty flowers.

And photos, and hugs, and just plain silliness.

There was even an epic – very intense game of Ultimate Frisbee.

ultimate frisbeeBut most of all – there were memories, both old and new.

Many, many special memories of the little girl she used to be and the amazing young women she now is.

It was worth all the effort – every minute.

World’s Easiest Purple Punch

GradWe did it!

We got the girl graduated and celebrated!

And I had enough buns and we’ll be eating chocolate chip cookies for a long time!

And we had fun – lots of fun. So much fun that the weekend will take its very own post!

But since I still have a house full of family and friends who spent the night and are keeping us rolling in laughter…

and who ate left-over puppy chow and drank Hawaiian punch for breakfast – with some even eating them together like milk and cereal (right Seth!?)…

I’m going to share a quick and super easy recipe today, and a longer post later.

Originally served at my nieces wedding –  the world’s easiest punch is both fast and refreshing.

purple punchAre you ready?

For Purple Punch- just take one jug of Hawaiian Punch Berry Bonkers and one 2 liter of 7 Up (or any lemon-lime soda).

Get them both cold and pour them together.

That’s it! I told it was easy!

Now since I’m so relieved the whole thing is over and I survived – I’ll throw in the recipe for the world’s easiest blue punch.

One jug of Hawaiian Punch Berry Blue and one 2 liter of 7 -Up. Get them both cold and pour them together.

I just bet you can figure out the recipe for the world’s easiest orange punch or green punch… or red punch…


One batch of punch (one jug of Hawaiian Punch and one liter of 7-up) will yield about 20 – 8 ounce servings. 

Graduation Thoughts

The preparations are finally done…

Grad 12and graduation is tomorrow.

It’s been a busy time and not just with the baking and cleaning and painting.

Just think of all the math page, flash cards, phonics books, science experiments, grammar lessons and field trips…

…the pages read, words written, pictures drawn and ideas shared…

…the 4H projects, Sunday school classes, American Girl books, and culinary creations.

So busy – and it went by so quickly!

It seemed like just yesterday that she was a precious newborn that her 19 month old brother called his “pretty little baby doll”.

hos-i-pi-tal GirlOr the curly headed toddler who asked for the book  Curious George Goes to the Hos-i-pit-al every night for weeks at a time until it finally drove that same brother to hide it so he wouldn’t have to hear it again.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was the pony-tailed, freckled face girl that spent hours playing in the sand box, climbing the the mulberry trees,  and making up crazy tricks on the swings?

Dagmar's graduationWhen did that bubbly little chatterbox grew into the beautiful young woman in the cap and gown?

The one who drinks coffee, wears heels and loves her jeans and flannel shirts?

The confident, smiling girl with the love of adventure?


How did we get from Dick and Jane to Advanced Biology so quickly?

As a new mom I remember hearing older and wiser women sagely telling me to cherish each minute because it goes by in the blink of an eye.

It didn’t seem possible at the time – but they were so right.

So blessedly right.

Congratulations sweet girl! You make your Momma proud.