Our Country Lovin' Kids little festival was yesterday.
It was awesome. As in not just fun, but above fun. Purely awesome.
I cannot believe I finally had a chance to host a fundraiser. I had a vision of doing an event such as this when we lived in our other place. Parking was an issue, so it never came to fruition. I didn't allow myself to revisit the dream of having a big kids festival for charity here when we were in the looong process of purchasing this property. It wasn't until we actually moved that I began to dream.
I dreamed of a carefree gathering of kids running in the field. Of hearing laughter and giggles. Of kids playing simple games, with their siblings and with kids they never met. Of kids creating the rules of the game on their own. Of kids experiencing and becoming comfortable with a realm of animals. Of kids enjoying simple, homemade treats. I dreamed of a day that didn't feel rushed, having minimal deadlines and a variety of options. I dreamed of using that day, in part, to help a charity in some way, shape or form.
Yesterday was my first shot at giving my kids this little dream I was dreaming.
And you know what? It was exactly what I envisioned. Carloads of kids arrived. Some with both parents, some with just their mom. Although many a bit hesitant at first, it wasn't long before our yard was buzzing. Buzzing with chatter, squeals, ideas and fun. Buzzing with occasional rooster crow and the squabbles from chickens being chased by dozens of kids, along with the tractor haying in the field adjacent. All stopped to wave when the two passenger trains and the freight train went by. But then, the chatter continued. Playing, lots of it. Parents with their kids, groups of kids sans parents...all finding plenty of entertainment with simple toys. No electronics. No batteries. (Almost) no plastic. Just basic fun. And some yummy food. Just what I had envisioned.
But, the part that I never imagined were the smiles on the moms' and dads' faces. My first priority was making sure my sweet girl didn't disappear. (A mighty big job). My second priority I thought would be making sure my big boy was all set. (He didn't need me. He was busy making friends.) So, my revised second priority was trying to chat as much as possible with the friends who stopped by. My third priority was to not rush the day. To notice. Observe. Appreciate that I have the space, energy and ability to host a crew of 57 adults and children (yes FIFTY SEVEN) in a few hours. When I reminded myself to stop, I noticed big smiles and sparkles in the parents' eyes. Some of the families who came I know very well, some I know somewhat and some I just met. Turns out all of the parents seemed to really enjoy watching, playing with and experiencing with their children. What lucky kids to have such involved parents! In turn, these families gave most generously to children who have not. I'm thankful for everyone's contribution for Bags of Love.
I must say, that I grossly failed at capturing the day on camera. Oops.
I did, however, take a few pictures before everyone arrived. Not the best shots, but memories, nonetheless. I'm going to post so when this time comes next year, I'll remember what I did. And maybe by posting, one or two of you will see the fun and decide to join us next year. We'd love to have you!
Face painting and paper airplanes.
And the food. That which I didn't photograph. I *almost* took a picture when everything but the popcorn was there. I decided to wait...and then dove in with everyone else before getting a picture The menu was lemonade, popcorn, watermelon, cucumbers with basil aoili dip, lemon glazed pound cake, chocolate zucchini cake, chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies (recipes for most are in recipe tab above...and I'm told I need to blog the lemon glazed pound cake). Just about all of it's gone...which makes me smile.
I'm thankful for a beautiful day and a wonderful time.