Quarantine Chronicles: A Family Fun Fair

When COVID-19 entered our world, and by “our” I mean the little world the world of the Full Plate Family because COVID-19 entered the larger world a long time prior to that, we decided to meet the cancellations with the best attitude we could. We educated the kids about why everything was being cancelled. They accepted it with some tears and sadness, but they embraced the change remarkably well.

I did not do nearly as well. The first major loss was the elementary school Fun Fair. I look forward to this day more than the kids do. I love the schmaltz of it all. The silly games, the face painting, the hot dogs, the powdered lemonade, the pure exhaustion of the kids when the day is all done. I love all of it.

I understood why it was necessary to cancel it. I grieved it. Then I started planning our own Fun Fair. This became the first of our Saturday at home adventures, our Family Fun Fair.

Texts were created.
Games were played. Remember Bozo the Clown? We played his Grand Prize Game. No Schwinn for the win here though. Bummer.
There was face painting.
A Jenga Tournament
Popcorn and juice from the snack booth
And, cookie decorating!

It was so much fun! We’re going to try to do a couple of these a month during what will likely be a long break from school. We’re trying to keep the kids from becoming too sad about what they’ll miss while we’re away from their friends.

AJ, Ally, Bowen, Brady, Cam, Cate, Deafness, Dessert, FPD, FPM, FullPlateBupa, Gigi, Isabel, Jax, Juliana, Megafamily, Sofia, Tess

Disney 2018: All the things I want to remember.

Hi Kids!  It’s mom here.  I’m writing to you at the tail end of our Disney 2018 adventure.  We haven’t been here since January of 2017.  We were supposed to come in January of 2018, but your sister’s impending arrival put a little crimp in those plans, so here we are, ten months later.  Isabel is with us, and we all agree the delay was so worth it.

I wanted to commit to memory some things about 2018’s trip.  Sometimes, years after we take these trips, when we’re back in the most magical place on earth, and your favorite place to be, I get flashes of memories and I think ‘I should write that down before I forget!’  So, here I sit, on the patio of our Grand Villa at Saratoga Springs, writing it down before I forget.

First and foremost, I want to remember what it felt like for all of us to be together.  This is Ally’s Junior year of high school.  It is a little bit of a question mark how long she will be able to come with us.  Although, she insists it is forever.  I want to remember that, because forever is a hard promise to keep.  I want to remember what this little girl looked like when she met her beloved Mickey Mouse.  This was her first visit, and it didn’t disappoint.  She RAN through the parks with reckless abandon, searching for that mouse.  We finally found him at a character breakfast.  A $900 character breakfast that Disney paid for because of a mistake they made with our reservation.  Let’s remember that too, not because of the mistake, that made me cry, because it was a doozy, but because sometimes mistakes are huge blessings in disguise.  

I also want to remember this face.  Gigi finally had the language to understand ALL of what was happening around her.  She marveled at the interpreted shows we saw.  Thank you Disney, for providing ASL interpreters, it means the world to this girl.  She has named all the characters, this one is ‘Carrot Nose.’  She was THRILLED to meet him.  She knows he is friends with ‘Princesses, Frozen’ and I interpreted as she asked him all about them, in ASL.  ‘Princesses, Frozen, where? You are friends! Tell them, COME!’  Carrot Nose, couldn’t make them appear, but she was cool with that too.  Hugs and onto the next thing!  She has grown so much in her time in our family.  What once would have caused a complete meltdown is now explained to her and she simply moves on.  Thank God for language.  

I want to remember how the Christmas decorations were just going up as we got here for this trip, how we’ve never seen that before, and how excited all of you were.  They appeared overnight and you all declared it ‘magic.’  I want to commit to memory how you all believe, so wholeheartedly, in magic.  

I want to remember that this was the year that Cate posed for photos with a sass that only she could pull off, and only at this moment in time.  I took about 1000 pictures of you, Cate, because of this moment in time.

I want to remember that this year, at the age of 8, was the year that Bowen FINALLY reached 40 inches tall and got to ride a rollercoaster.  I want to remember what that did for his self-confidence, and how he declared himself no longer little.  He is now ‘a middle’ in our family.

I want to remember our bigs.  I want to remember how Ally spent all day wrangling strollers, without ever being asked, she just did.I want to remember how Cam, Brady and AJ set down their phones, chose not to venture off on their own when offered, and spent all day in the Magic Kingdom riding all the little kid rides with their younger siblings, because they believe in magic too, just a different variety.

Kids, I want you to remember me at this moment too.  Because, the days are long, but the years go by so very fast.  I want you to remember how much fun this was for me too, even when I had to yell “WALK THIS DIRECTION!” in my drill sergeant voice to get us to the next ride.

I want you to remember that you all are my joy, my magic.  All 12 of you.
I also want you to remember that I can whip a tea cup better than ANY of you.–FullPlateMom, who got her teacup whipping ability from her dad, and who plans to keep passing that on to future generations.

AJ, Ally, Bowen, Brady, Cam, Cate, Dessert, Gigi, Isabel, Jax, Juliana, Megafamily, Phineas, Tess

It’s The Great Pumpkin!

Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to.

Say, Charlie Brown, I’ve got a football…

I got a popcorn ball.  I got a fudge bar.  I got a pack of gum.  I got a rock.  

By the way, whatever happened to the world war I flying ace? Oh, he’s probably getting ready to take off in his Sopwith Camel on the next dawn patrol.

You kept me up all night waiting for the great pumpkin, and all that came was a beagle!

Maybe not only a beagle!

–FullPlateMom, who hopes you all find your Great Pumpkin too!



DC–The Last Days

Sorry, kids.  I fell behind on blogging our trip.  It was too much fun.  You all make anywhere fun.  I know how hard it is for us to travel as such a large crew, but you are always up for our fast paced adventures.  I am so grateful for that.

You bigs did a great job of helping tote the littles.  You hoisted them onto your backs when they were tired.  You took people to the potty every time you noticed an emergency.  You never complained about the lack of funds for eating out.  You were so patient with our ‘PB&J on the fly’ diet, because these littles never sit still.  I see you middles too, becoming bigs, by watching what they do, and I love it.

Here are a few pics from the last two days of our adventures.  We did so much!  Tess loves to “wander”, and wander we did.

To the Air & Space Museum.

Some members of the family were more interested in having their pics taken then in looking at the exhibits.   We wandered to the American History Museum to stand in front of the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter.  

We wandered back toward the Mall so we could see everything from the opposite viewpoint.  We saw the WWII Memorial for my Grandma.  We sent her a pic where Cate did NOT have her finger up her nose.  But, for our archival purposes, kids, here she is, in all her 5-year-old glory.  Oh, Cate.  We closed out our visit with a trip to the MLK Memorial.  It was a perfect way to end our time in DC.  And, this pic sums up all my hopes for you all.  Be fearless, and always remember the people who came before you.  You are your ancestors wildest dreams.  –FullPlateMom, who can’t wait to see where we wander next.