Golden Memories!

It was an amazing weekend!

As you know, my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year – and my siblings and I wanted to honor them.

But what do you do with a Mom who hates Open Houses, and a fun-loving crazy bunch of kids and grand-kids?

You create a Golden Event!

So all 34 of us met here – at my house – last weekend for a unique celebration full of food, laughter and memories.

Unique describes it well!

Family started coming in on Thursday – with Saturday being the day of the Event (which we kept a surprise from Mom and Dad.)

Okay – a word here about trying to surprise my mom – she has been known to open presents early and re-wrap them because she can’t stand the suspense! Mom quizzed one of my sisters so much that my sister finally had to say, “Mom – I am not a present for you to shake for information! And no fair shaking my children either!”  🙂

It may be hard to surprise Mom – but we pulled it off in a really big way!

After lunch the grand kids decorated the car before we all got “dressed up” in our fancy attire for the big Event which we dubbed “The Golden”.  Since playing with dress-up clothes has always been a favorite activity – we had a lot of fun with this.

We had everything from the glamorous to the outrageous! One of my nieces came as a cowgirl, one nephew wore a bright plaid suit coat with a pink tie and holey jeans while my brother wore plaid shorts, a striped t-shirt and a Hawaiian shirt!

My costume? I actually found an ecru (almost golden) lace dress at the thrift store for 10 cents. Score!

Why the fancy attire? We were heading to a “Red Carpet Premiere”!

That’s right! My brother – in his eye-numbing ensemble – led our caravan of vehicles to the newly renovated Princess Theater in town – which we rented for a few hours to show 3 amazing homemade videos.

My youngest sister made two of them.

The first showed Mom and Dad’s courtship, marriage and our growing up years. The second covered everything since then – including all the grandchildren.

Together they covered 50 years of memories.

Let’s just say that we went through a lot of Kleenex.

The third video was made by all the grandchildren – it was a crazy documentary full of family humor and inside jokes. We laughed so hard we cried!

Mom and Dad loved it!

Everybody loved it! I can’t tell you how amazing it was to sit in that darkened theater holding Jan’s hand and watching Mom and Dad’s love story play out on the big screen. Tears flowed as picture after picture reminded me of the rich heritage I have – a heritage of love and laughter.

The kids just thought it was pretty cool to see themselves on the screen in a real movie theater.  🙂

From the theater we went to the local REC where we had rented the community room for the evening. We sat the entire family around one extra – extra long table and served a nice meal (nothing fancy – just good home cooking!).

The rest of the evening was spent dancing, singing, playing games, eating, and reading mom and dad’s love letters (Dad will never win awards for his poetry – but  gets lots of points for being very romantical!)

It was such a special time – and so much fun!

I feel so blessed to be a part of this crazy bunch – to have grown up surrounded by all this love and support – to be able to call my siblings my best friends – to have parents who are still crazy about each other after being married for 50 years.

It was an amazing week-end.

The Great Cook-a-Thon

We have some exciting family events coming up in the next few weeks – including a very special 50th Anniversary Celebration for my parents in which my entire family will gather here at our home for a weekend full of surprises and fun.

To make the “Golden Weekend” go more smoothly, we decided to make as much of the food ahead as we could.

So two of my sisters and a couple of nieces came down for a few days this week and we had our very own “Cook-a-thon” (complete with lots of chocolate and laughter and even some vintage music!)

My kitchen was hopping as we had every available surface covered and in use.

We made 4 cavatini’s that were put in aluminum foil pans and frozen.

We peeled over 70 potatoes and made 3 large pans of make-ahead mashed potatoes. These were also put in aluminum foil pans and frozen.

We baked a large batch of crescent rolls…

…a very large batch of crescent rolls (because you can never have too many hot buttered rolls!) 🙂

We also brined, roasted and pulled apart a large turkey, made a batch of hamburger buns, made 8 pounds of taco meat, prepped 4 egg casseroles, made 4 pans of cinnamon rolls that we froze before baking, and covered 40 pieces of chicken in Mom’s original marinade before freezing them in plastic bags.

Whew!

Not only did we make a freezer full of food, we also made some great plans and fun memories.

We discovered once again the truth in the old saying “Helping hands will get things done, half the effort, twice the fun”!

This post is linked up at Design’s by Gollum.