Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Best. Week. Ever!!

Cousins are the best. 

'Nuff said.

Well, okay, I'll elaborate. Last week we had our CBCs (meaning our Cousins By Contract) over for an epic visit, and we had the best, most swellest time ever. We had 11 kids all under one roof, and boy! was it loud! But tremendously fun! You probably already know all of my siblings (Beth Grace, Jessa Bri, Doofus, Teddy, and KT Bugs), and in this post, you'll get to know our CBCs: Kathryn, Count Bob, Uncle J, Sebastian, and Max (pardon me if I got the names wrong).

(And by the way, I apologize for this posting earlier. I stuck a bunch of pics on a draft and then it accidentally got published before I got to write anything. So, yeah... my apologies... And pardon the positioning of the pics... I was having fun.)

Beth, Kathryn, and Jessa. The first pic we took after they arrived! As you can tell, they are all very, very happy!  
Our CBC's parents had to go to meetings somewhere far away almost all week long, so we kids did our best to keep a cheery face as they drove away. As soon as the car was out of sight, we all ran back to the house in delight, screaming our excitement at the top of our lungs walked slowly back to the house to comfort ourselves with gingerbread cookies and lemonade.

Everyone knows the absolute best thing about epic visits with cousins (cousins by blood or by contract) is taking absolutely way too many pictures. And on the left there, you can see Count Bob doing exactly that. I think on our camera alone, we managed almost 700 pics in about six days. Epic win!! As for Count Bob and his camera, I simply have no idea how many he took.

You cannot get together with cousins without playing any games. So, we did. And we played a lot of games. Hide and seek, tag, scrabble, duck duck goose, LOTR Trivia, and The Fellowship of the Ring board game (pictured right). 

They were all fun, but I believe that the most memorable game was probably LOTR Trivia. My brother Doofus and I are huge LOTR fans (so much so that we could probably quote the extended LOTR all from memory), and Count Bob is becoming quite a LOTR expert himself, so everyone expected one of us to win the game. Beth and Uncle J teamed up in a fun, let's come in dead last team, and astonished us all by winning the game! 

One of the nights we kids made dinner (save for me, as I'm terrible in the kitchen; I washed the dishes), and we chose to do an Italian theme. Beth and Uncle J (right) made six pounds of meatballs (a bit more than we needed, but very delicious!), and Count Bob experimented with a new bread recipe and made some excellent garlic bread. :)

It was an *excellent* dinner. If you really want to know who everyone is, we've got from left to right: Uncle J, Doofus, Sebastian, Count Bob, Max, me, and KT Bugs. And please ignore the fact that I've got noodles hanging out of my mouth. How else are you s'posed to eat spaghetti? Okay, I'm seriously not really that sloppy of an eater...

KT and Max being silly... :D

They did just about everything together, including brushing their teeth. 
See what I mean? They even spied on us together while the older kids were swimming in the pool. We have the cutest little siblings in the world. :)

That's a weird picture of Doofus... He hardly goes anywhere without his cowboy hat. Not that he's a cowboy. He really doesn't even like horses that much.... anywho! Moving on...
We absolutely have way too much fun with cousins. Pictured right is Uncle J eating a gingerbread cookie. I think we made 14 cups of flour worth of gingerbread cookies and devoured them all. Yes, we have way too much fun. And I believe we may eat a little too much as well, but we won't dwell on that. 

Yeah....... way too much fun.... *ahem* That's Beth and Jessa doing what we did most of the time: laugh. 
Notice the matching shirts on Uncle J, Doofus, and Sebastian? They were our epic (can you tell I like that word?) CBC Week shirts. We all wrote our names on the back of our own shirts, and then everyone else put their John Hancock on the front. We even had our classy blood cousins sign them. :)

Teddy and Sebastian playing chopsticks. Yes, we are all true proficients on the piano, even more so than Lady Catherine de Bourgh. 

Our epic CBC Week happened to land exactly on Beth's and my birthdays (you will recall that we were born exactly one year and one day apart, making it rather hard to celebrate separate birthdays, but we love it anyway). And so, instead of just having some boring old party, we invited our classy blood cousins over (Toria, Em, Capt. Oblivious, Gherkin, Samwise, and Bear) and had a costume party! With awards! Epic!!  Beth was the only one who knew who everyone was, and the rest of us had to wait in suspense until the big night to find out who everyone picked to be for the party. And that's everyone pictured there on the right. Allow me to go a little in depth with each character. :)

*Ahem* First off... To your left is Doofus playing Ernest T. Bass and Sebastian plaing Barney Fife, both from the TV show Andy Griffith. Doofus got The Most Obnoxious Character Award (for obvious reasons) and Sebastian got Best Character Imitation (he had Barney's whistle and everything!).  

Here we have two characters from The Lord of the Rings: Em as the lovely elf Arwen and Bear as the loyal hobbit Samwise Gamgee. Em got The Prettiest Costume Award (would you just look at that dress! ah! love it!!) and Bear was given The Most Creative Costume Award (you know, I don't think I've ever seen hobbits wear cowboy boots before...). 

Sweet Teddy came as Pippi Longstocking. Her costume was one of the easiest to put together (well, at least from my family), as it only required me sewing a simple dress and then collecting all of the accessories. The purse holds her gold coins (we couldn't find a trunk she could cart around), and yes, her socks are mismatched. Her hair Beth braided with pipe cleaners to make the braids stick out just like Pippi's did. And would you believe that I made her dress from an old shower curtain? Teddy won The Most Colorful Award... as you can clearly see. 

Is it possible to have a costume party with no one showing up as the greatest mind behind costumes ever? Sink me, m'dears, of course not! Count Bob arrived smartly attired as Sir Percival Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel (complete with a snuff box and monocle, earning him The Most Ostentatious Costume Award). And of course, the steadfast figure in black beside him is none other than Chauvelin, portrayed brilliantly by our blood cousin, Gherkin. He won Everybody's Favorite. Epic. 

Jessa's costume, on the other hand when compared with Teddy's costume, was one of the tougher ones to put together. Her shirt/tunic/thingummy required over two hours at the sewing machine, but I was pleased with how it turned out. You should recognize her as Susan Pevensie from Prince Caspian. She got The Most Accessorized Award as her costume included all the intricate belts, bow, and arrows, and arm piece...

Another funny story about costumes: this one is made out of an old bed skirt and tablecloth. But they worked out nicely for Beth's Lorna Doone costume. Beautiful, ain't it? Uh, Lorna Doone... she's from Lorna Doone... just so you know. :) The lacing on the bodice took me forever to sew, as I had to put in buttonholes by hand for the string. As it was our birthday party, Beth and I were the ones who handed out the awards, so she and I didn't get any. We just got all the presents that everyone brought. :D
Ah! Captain Oblivious and Kathryn as Ted Nickerson and Nancy Drew from the awesome Nancy Drew movies (I'm talking about the old mysteries with Bonita Granville which are beyond awesome)! Nancy comes equipped with her swell camera ready to snap photos of suspicious characters, and Ted wouldn't be caught anywhere without his tennis racket (doncha know, he shovels coal with it). Captain got The Most Humorous Character, and Kathryn we awarded with The Most Famous Literary Character. 

Toria won The Best Hairstyle Award, and how could she not? As Jane Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, I'm certain she could not be that beautiful for nothing! I loved the little curls framing her face, and the moment I saw her I knew exactly who she was. Beautiful, beautiful! :)

Here's Uncle J, CBC. With that cloth wrapped around his head and those chains dangling from him, no one could mistake him as the ghostly Jacob Marley from the classic Dickens' tale A Christmas Carol. Beth and I gave him The Most Epic Costume Award... which he so richly deserved. 
Little KT Bugs was the cutest little bugs ever! She was Gretl von Trapp from the popular musical The Sound of Music. Her hair was previously up in braids, but she took them out before we could get a picture of her. And as you can see from the little badge she's holding up, she won The Cutest Costume Award. :) Max was Maxwell Smart, adorable in his suit and tie (and yes, he's hanging onto the Scarlet Pimpernel). Beth and I gave him with The Most Original Costume Award. 
And then last, but not least (if I may presume to call myself not least), to your right is Astrid and Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon played respectively by yours truly and my classy blood cousin, Samwise. And no, I didn't hit him with my axe, saying, "That's for everything else." Samwise actually made the little notebook Hiccup carries around and drew the map of the Viking village in it, a touch that I greatly appreciated and for which we gave him The Most Authentic Costume Award.
Awards all around!! From left to right: (back row): Capt. Oblivious (being oblivious to the camera), Count Bob, Doofus, and Gherkin; (front row) Bear, Sebastian, Samwise, and Uncle J. It was a swell party!

But our splendid CBC Week was not all fun and games! No, indeed, for we were (almost) daily required to work for 30 minutes out in our garden. We older, responsible children carefully planted lettuce and mulched and picked more beans than we care to remember....

... while KT and Max wreaked havoc by playing tag and running through the rows of corn. 
But all of our diligent work was rewarded with a cool plunge into my family's pool. Unfortunately, the water was a little on the way too cool side, so we alternated between playing Marco Polo in numbing waters and jumping out to play tag and thaw out in the grass. 
To the right: one of those thawing instances. Count Bob took advantage of his exit to attack the innocent swimmers with erupting geysers spouting maliciously from pool noodles. 
It was great fun. Obviously, as Doofus gives it all a thumbs up! :)

This post is by no means in chronological order so far, and I'm not going to put it so now. Here we are at night standing and waiting and watching the meteor shower that the Lord marvelously put in the heavens. We didn't see very many meteors shooting past, but it was definitely an awe inspiring experience.

And, as always: take lots of pics!! I think the bright camera flash killed Doofus there....

Sebastian, Teddy, and I laid down in the road (don't worry, we live on a dead end which no one travels down at eleven o'clock at night) to see the meteor shower better. 

And now we're getting into a few random pictures of the week. This is Doofus and me, sitting around trying to wake up after staying up until 2:30 the previous night talking about Spickens. Spickens are evil, and if you don't know what they are... consider yourself lucky. That probably means they don't know who you are, either. ;)

And we spent way too much time reenacting songs. We would play them off our computer and mouth all the words while acting it all out, and acting very dramatically, I might add. I think this pic was one of Sebastian, Doofus, and Uncle J reenacting Watch Your Footwork from The Happiest Millionaire. We watched The Happiest Millionaire twice while they were here, and it is quickly becoming one of our favorite CBC movies. Again, please notice the matching CBC shirts. :)

Kathryn and Teddy monitoring the music for the reenactments. Besides The Happiest Millionaire, we did songs from Beauty and the Beast (including one of the best songs not included in the movie, Me), Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

More games! Here are Uncle J, Jessa, Sebastian, and Count Bob playing Phase 10. You can't see it, but on the opposite end of the table I was sitting with Kathryn and Beth, playing Scrabble. A good game, even though I joyfully came in dead last (there's just something about cousins that makes coming in dead last fun). 
Have you ever played volleyball with two epic sets of cousins? It's swell! We had our classy bloods cousins back over again one afternoon, and they, with my siblings and I and our CBCs, set up a net and went at the ball for all we were worth. I don't think we could be called professionals by any stretch of the word, but we all gave it our best shot. Shot, uh, yeah... in more ways than one. ;)
Way to go, Captain Oblivious! :D
Oh, and did I mention that it was my birthday? Ta da!! And yes, my candle was stuck in a container of ice cream.  We ate all the cake on Beth's birthday during our costume party, so we ate all the ice cream the following day on my birthday. Doofus hung over my shoulder, just to ascertain that he would not miss out on any of the ice cream.
Well, folks, that's that! Hope you enjoyed looking through all these pics almost as much as I enjoyed living them!! 

God bless!


  1. Kiri, I shall never forgive you for putting up a particular picture of me up here. If you can't guess which one, well, then let's just say that you should use your head.
    It was so much fun!

  2. Looks like you had tons of fun! Love those pictures! Especially the ones of you all in costume!! The costumes are great!!!!

  3. How nice! I love your costume party and all the characters were great! I love having fun with my cousins! I have 54 cousins counting me and my siblings! Yeah I I know all of them by name! I also Love hanging out with friends too! Happy Birthday 2 u and Jessie! Have a great day and God bless


  4. Looks like oodles of fun! I absolutely love it when my cousins (by blood) visit. We play games all day long, from before breakfast till bed. I just love them. : )

  5. Oh my word, that looks like the most fun EVER! LOVED all the pictures and the costumes are terrific!

  6. I loved reading this, Kiri!! It reminds me of the EPIC :) time my family had a year ago when we visited our (almost-the contract hasn't been signed yet) CBC's in Minnesota. We only had two days with them, but boy, did we make it count!!! There were 11 children in our family at the time and our CBC's have 10 children so yeah, it was a houseful! Ultimate Frisbee, water fun with the hose, campfire cookouts, far more pictures than I care to count, watching Little Women and eating popcorn... I'm really missing them right now!! ):