Sunday, June 27, 2004 having them grow up does has some benefits.

Sunday was my dad's birthday and we all went to my parents' house. We had 14 people in our 13 passenger van. We had Tom, me, 10 kids, 1 fiance...Allison and 1 girlfriend...Jessica. Drew decided he'd ride with us. I think his lack of working and high prices of gasoline had a role in that decision. LOL The girls had their regular sing-a-long on the the top of their lungs. I Met a Bear never sounded so good. Patrick kicked me when I hinted I would get them going on a round of..."It is the Song That Never Ends". They've been known to sing it loudly for the entire 45min trip into the city.

It looked to be a not so great day at the beginning. The weather wasn't cooperating,cool, raining on and off and very windy all day. My brother also decided that HE was in charge and no one could do anything right...especially me. We've always butted heads as kids but I had thought we were getting along a lot better as adults (I'm the oldest of 3 kids....sister is 14mos younger then me, brother is 4yrs younger). After getting ticked off and going upstairs to cool down and stop crying...I talked to him and explained what I was doing, and why. He actually seemed to be listening for a change and calmed down after that. Thankfully it was the last of our headbutts for the evening.

My dad wanted to do a shot of Sambuca for his birthday. Luckily he didn't care if they were lit on fire or not. I'd never had Sambuca, don't care for licorice, don't handle shots well and had 10 kids I had to take care of. This is where the benefit of having older kids comes into play.....I had 2 underaged DRIVERS at my beck and call! :o) So I got adventerous and joined into the birthday shot. It was SMOOTH and I didn't mind the licorice taste at all. While sitting down to dinner I thought...that didn't hit me. Then BLAM! 10mins later I felt it. I could see where someone could do a bunch of shots and be totally blasted without realizing it. I decided to take advantage of having the drivers around and enjoyed my adult beverages, although I was in no way drunk.

It's a good thing that Drew did drive...even though I hadn't drunk for a few hours and felt fine. They had a sobriety test at the thruway tollbooth. I thought for sure we'd get a ticket for an uninspected vehicle. Luckily the trooper didn't notice...seeing as he was preoccupied when the car infront of us took off without getting his toll ticket from the booth attendant. He just said to Drew...I'm assuming you're sober...seeing as you're responsible for driving all these children, and he let us go through.

My parents' street is a dead end that ends at a firehouse parking lot. This weekend happened to be their annual fielddays. My kids were ok with not going down and knew I hadn't brought my wallet....not that there was anything in it to give them. My sister had promised her 3 girls she would take them down...NOT a good idea when you're trying to relax at a family party. They bugged her and bugged her. Finally they started to get ready to go. By the time they went down her husband had us ALL going down. They spent over $100 for everyone to ride a few rides. BIL decided that all the kids needed to play the watergun game. So he had them line up, and the tune of $20 each game! They played 2 games with my neice Amanda winning a huge blue stuffed dog and Valerie winning a huge blue with green spots stuffed lizard.

We finished up the night around a fire in my dad's fireplace. The kids even decided to go swimming again!!! BRRRRRRRRR! Oh to be young and brainless...I mean carefree again. LOL We left when my dad's birthday was over....past midnight.

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