Sunday, April 24, 2011

Welcome to Our Family Circus

Saturday night was a circus cake event!  My brother Andy married his girlfriend Angi on April Fool's day and came down this weekend to celebrate with the family.  The trip actually had a dual purpose.  Andy and Angi have a little family that consists of them and two wonderful little dogs.  Xena was Angi's before they married, and Andy adopted a funny little dog he named Ranger.  Like most dogs who are adopted out of a shelter, Ranger came with a bit of baggage.  His behavior got so bad that there was brief discussion of returning Ranger to the shelter, but after the idea of a professional dog trainer was broached, he decided to give it a try.  We have a family friend here who does this for a living and worked miracles with my parents' dog Ferd, so Andy and Angi drove down with their two dogs for family visit and intensive training for Ranger.

So Saturday night, we all gathered at the farm.  I made Andy's two favorite things - circus cake and deviled eggs.  Once I made a huge platter of deviled eggs for some family gathering and he met me in the driveway.  Those eggs never even made it into the house.  So I made 36 deviled eggs - and they all got eaten (but we did get some too!).

As I drove up, I heard guns going off.  I really don't remember this being such a big deal as I grew up, but I suppose that with two brothers and a nephew with military backgrounds and Jerry doing his sometimes-dangerous towing business and my dad fending off foxes and coyotes to keep his chickens safe, it was inevitable that guns would become a part of regular family dinners.  Oh, and add to that John is dating a cop, so SHE was out there shooting too!  ZBoy isn't interested (yet).  His hearing is still so sensitive that even up at the house, he covered his ears when the shooting started up on the back 20.

Because of my Lenten dietary restrictions, Mom had to get creative.  The menu consisted of ham, sweet potatoes, and braised brussell sprouts.  Angi helped with the cooking (something I don't do well).  I think Mom's thrilled to have someone to help with that end of dinner.  I usually do the washing up.  Since they don't have a working dishwasher, everything has to be washed by hand.  It's time consuming but to me, it's better than helping on the cooking end.

Finally, dinner was served.  Andy and Angi were the reason for the gathering, but we were all there to see them and John who'd just returned from Kuwait.  James wasn't able to make it from New York and of course Matt and Dawon were in Korea - but the rest of us were there!  Dinner was wonderful though we were unusually quiet.  There was still laughing and joking and a good time was had by all, but we were also tired.  I'd barely slept that week.  Mom had been running about getting ready for the visit.  Jerry literally crawled out from under  semi-truck to come to dinner.  John is still catching up with his life after returning to the states.  Darling Man had had a couple of very long days before this event.  It was fun, but not the riotous, raucous time it might have been.

Mom's table isn't quite big enough to accomodate everyone...  so inevitably there's a "kids' table."  Except we don't have very many kids anymore (well, ZBoy's pretty much it) so it's just become a suburb of the main table city.  Those desiring a slightly quieter atmosphere sit at the suburban table.

With dinner consumed and circus cake (and a trifle that Angi made) were finished, Darling Man took our boy and went home.  Everyone else retired to the family room to chat, and I started washing.  By the time I got the first load of dishes done, John and Lynn came out to dry and put away.  It certainly made things go faster and may have been the first time I've had help out there (thanks, you guys!).

We are so happy to have Angi in our family!  Andy is so much happier as a married man - he just had to find the right woman for him.  Looks like he has!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Andy and Angie.

Pamela said...

I miss those family dinners. After my mother passed away - we just don't have the same family structure.
I do try to focus on my kids -- and grands.

PinkPiddyPaws said...

I had to laugh when you told me what he named the dog. I had an Indian Jones moment..."We named the DOG Indiana" ha..ha.ha... ;)