Saturday, June 13, 2009

In a Whirlwind

It's been an absolutely whirlwind of activity here Amongst The Oaks for the last week. It started with Teen1's graduation last Thursday. The football stadium was magically transformed with 544 white chairs, a stage and backdrop, flowers and a giant "2009". It was a very nice ceremony with speeches and cheers and tears. Afterwards nine of us went to dinner. Teen1 ate dinner with us then left early for the "Grad Night" party. She got home the next morning at 5:30am. I'd say they did it just right.

Friday we went food shopping and decorated for Sunday's party. Oh, and work; I still gotta do that. Saturday I spend literally all day in the kitchen preparing food and doing laundry. Then Sunday we had an open house/bon voyage party for the graduate. We had rolls and rye bread and all the condiments for sandwiches. There was a meat platter, a cheese platter, and a veg platter. I made blue cheese coated grapes, deviled eggs, and radishes with chervil butter. There was a Greek salad, a layered salad, and a fruit salad. There were brownies, cupcakes, strawberries, cookies and banana nut bread. Oh, and ruffles and onion dip, chips and salsa, and huntsman cheese and crackers. We put it on the table at noon and guests helped themselves all afternoon. What a great way to entertain; I actually got to socialize with the guests. It was a lot of fun with some teens playing DDR and video games, others playing volleyball, oldsters eating and talking, and generally everyone enjoying the day.

Then Monday we unpacked and repacked, and then weighed the suitcase. Then we did it all again and finally got it down to just over 50 pounds. Whew. So Tuesday we all got up a 4am, left a 5, arrived at SFO by 7am, checked in, had breakfast, hung around at the gate and DRAT! the flight was delayed. Some sort of mechanical trouble with the plane. So after talking about it a while, rather than scramble to find another connection to the Chicago/Manchester flight, we decided to rebook on the next day's flight.

So on Tuesday we got up at 4am, left at 5, arrived at SFO by 7am, had breakfast {deja vu}, hung around at the gate, and finally got Teen1 on her flight to Chicago. And it actually took off this time.

And she called me from Chicago saying everything was fine, but then when she arrived in Manchester she hit a little snag. Immigration pulled her aside, took her passport, and questioned her about why she was arriving in their country unescorted, who was meeting her, what was their relationship, etc, etc. She told me later she was really scared and had no idea what to do. Her cell phone wouldn't work there, she had no British money, and didn't know why she was being questioned. Somehow they found her host family (who were waiting in the arrivals hall), questioned them, decided their stories matched and let her go with them. Actually, it's nice to know they don't allow minors to wander into their country unescorted, possibly to meet a stranger with evil intentions.

So with Teen1 safely in Manchester, I got caught up at work, took down the decorations, did a million other things including taking my computer to the doctor, and now ten days later, I finally got a chance to sit down and blog. I feel like I've missed so much! I'll get back in gear and catch up with you all real soon. But for now, I'm just thankful it's calmed down a little here Amongst The Oaks.


Mary said...

I glad her host family was there to help. It sounds like things have been really busy. I hope they calm down for you for at least a while. Have a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

WOW, so many things going on for you guys. We've missed your posts in the meantime.
I'm so glad tiny teen1 got to her destination and hope she's having THE BEST time. I'm so happy for her and imagine she's enjoying some fabuleux adventures.
Karen xo

Anonymous said...

GOOD NEWS. i mean your post was full of good news. i couldn't figure out where you went. anyway, congrats on the grad, the party, the re-flighting, the call, and the cleanup and return to "normal". wow . double wow. you remind me that i can still feel when we sent our first ( aka 'the boy' )off to france for his coll.last class/graduation gift. what a hug at ol' LAX. who cared if it was in public?! again, good for you! jkj

becky up the hill said...

Lovely..whew, your food looked amazing. Happy your family is all well. Thanks for sharing..and btw, our weather has been wonderful, that must have been nice too!

Neabear said...

I figured you were busy with all the graduation stuff when I saw that you had not posted in awhile. I remember those days with my kids. I am glad everything went well and your teen got to her host family safely. What an ordeal!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

What a gorgeous table! Everything looks and sounds so delicious!!! Hope your darling girl has a wonderful experience overseas.