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Show and Tell Tuesday: My Favorite Party

It's time again to link up with Momfessionals for Tuesday Show and Tell time.
 I almost didn't link up this week because anybody who knows me knows I'm NOT a party mom!  And then I look at some of the other blogs and think, nope, can't compete with that!  But then it's not a competition, and I'm willing to bet there are other moms out there who aren't party moms, either.  So here goes!

My idea of a fun party is that my kids got to spend quality time with their friends and that everybody had a good time.  Decorations, fancy cake, etc., not so much.  

I think my favorite party we had for our son, Daniel, was when he turned 18.  This was actually the last party we had for him since he was away at college after that and then got married.  

We went out for supper to a Chinese restaurant and ordered "hot pot", sometimes called "Chinese fondue".  And obviously there's a proper Chinese name, but I have no idea what it is!  Any way, with hot pot, there is a large boiling pot of broth with spices in it in the center of the table.  Then they bring plates of vegetables, raw meat sliced paper thin, quails eggs, tofu, dumplings....pretty much anything you can imagine.  You put it in the boiling pot to cook, then pull it out.  You also have a dipping sauce on the side.  My brother told me that in China each person actually makes their own sauce so you can make it as spicy or not as you want.  We had a great time at the restaurant and they brought Daniel an ice cream or something with a sparkler in it for dessert.  In this picture you see our family with our "adopted" son who lived with us for about eight months.

At this point in time, we lived in a village, not in the capital city, but our kids were going to boarding school in the capital.  So we came down for the weekend and stayed in the guest house.  It was always challenging for me to cook in the guest house kitchen without my own equipment.  But this cake was pretty special because I made, FROM SCRATCH, an angel food cake.  Also, there is only a two to three month window of time when we can buy strawberries.  So, yep, a pretty special cake, alright!

Four or five of Daniel's friends came for cake and gifts.  Our gifts were always pretty simple, too, because there just isn't a lot to buy, especially for teenage boys, in Niger!

Coincidentally, one of the most fun parties we threw for our daughter, Suzanne, was also her 18th birthday. 

And, I had forgotten until I went through these pictures, that we also went to the Chinese restaurant and had "hot pot" for her 18th birthday, too!  I don't think it was ever in our minds that we had to do the same thing for her that we had done for her brother.  I just think when the question was asked, "Where should we go?" that that was a unanimous choice. (I'm pretty sure she's not upset in this picture, just striking a dramatic pose.)

At this point in time we hadn't seen Daniel for almost two years (the downside of missionary life!) so it was an especially nice party for us to have the entire family together again!

Suz's birthday was on a school night, so on the weekend we had all her friends come over and we borrowed a 2nd vehicle and took everybody out to the dunes.  I think somebody else drove a 3rd vehicle...I'm not sure how we could have fit everybody into two vehicles.  Her classmates were all really close and did just about everything together. There were also friends from the next class down that came, too.  We had a blast at the dunes, but had to call it quits earlier than we had planned to because we hadn't taken enough water to drink.  We thought we had plenty, but it was about 108 degrees out (that's not an exaggeration!) and the kids went down in the river bed and played football (aka soccer) with some local kids that were down there and worked up a sweat.  They drank every drop of water we had and were begging for more, so we ended up going home even though we had wanted to stay until dark and sing worship songs with the guitar.  So we came home and they played some kind of group game (in our very small living room).  
One thing I'll say about this group of kids was that they were great about creating their own entertainment.  That's perfect for a non-party-mom who loves having her kids and their friends around.

I'm easy to please for my birthday, too.  As long as I don't have to cook the meal and it in some way involves chocolate and just a few friends, I'm happy. 

John has been working part-time on his doctorate since 2010.  Every year he has to be on location in the UK for six weeks and it pretty much always ends up being April and May.  So every year since 2010, except one, he has been gone for my birthday.  (No, I'm not complaining, just stating a fact.....and my neighbors always remember me on my birthday.)  But in 2010 we were in the US and Suzanne and my parents invited two of my friends over, made a delicious curry supper, and we laughed and laughed and laughed all evening.  

 I think Daniel was telling my friends about Kelly and Suzanne about Theo. :)

 So come on, all you other non-party moms!  Come and share about your favorite party.  Having fun is all that matters, after all.
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