We love visiting our children and grandchildren. One of the things I like best is thinking about making memories for the children. On our latest visit to our son in Texas and his family we decided to celebrate their new home, (They moved in July.), with a housewarming party.
Tonight was the big night. I made my son's favorite dinner, also a favorite of the kids, parmesan chicken made with a white wine sauce instead of the traditional tomato-based sauce and served with alfredo noodles. Salad, warm bread, apple sauce, and cottage cheese accompanied the dinner.
But the party started before dinner with a house blessing and prayer intentions led by my son. Then we lit a candle in the middle of a ring-shaped cake to represent my son and his wife, their marriage and parenthood. Each of the children picked a candle to put around the cake and we lit them and talked about how special they are and how they increase the light in the family. We said grace and dinner was served.
Each guest had a little paper candy cup filled with M&M's. We went around the table with each person selecting a candy to eat after they answered a question corresponding to the color of their candies. All the questions involved memories from their old home. "What is your best memory from your old home?" What was your favorite place there and why?" "What's the funniest memory you have of your old home?" "What did you like to do with other members of your family?" Everybody shared and shared some more.
Then we poured out the wine and sparkling cider and toasted to the new house -- wishing for happy memories to be made there. It was a lovely dinner.
After the table was cleared we spread out a big piece of butcher paper with "lots" drawn around a street ending in a cul-de-sac. Everybody chose lots and developed their property. One granddaughter decided to make her lot the community pool. Most designed houses and one sweet granddaughter a castle complete with flying pennants. There was much laughing and chatting accompanying the architects' plans. Everyone shared about their property and then we went to the housewarming gifts -- a Chinese gift exchange.
If you have never done one, they are great fun. All the gifts are wrapped. The first person chooses a gift and opens it. The next person can "steal" the first person's gift or choose a wrapped gift from the pile. If they steal, the person without a gift gets to choose another from the wrapped pile.
There wasn't much stealing but there was plenty of laughing especially when our son opened his gift -- a mirror with a magnetic back to attach to a locker. He looked into it and pretended to smooth down his hair to the laughs of us all. The Halloween makeup and pumpkin decorating kit were appreciated and everybody laughed when the last gift was opened by our 16-year-old grandson to reveal heart stickers and other girly items.
After that we ate the cake and had night prayers. Our little second grader said it was "the best day of my life." A fun time was had by all.
Every day my husband and I pray the five decades of the rosary offering each on for one of our five children and their families. Our greatest desire is to help our children keep their children Catholic and help to lead them to heaven. Making happy family memories is part of that.
What next? Perhaps dinner made in a pumpkin and a visit to a cemetery on All Souls Day to pray the rosary. How are you making memories for your family?