Soccer night. Dad and the kids headed to the local park to kick the ball around for an hour with a few friends. Eldest and I pureed pumpkin for pies and made pizza dough for dinner while Youngest finished a late nap. When the troops stormed back in around 7 pm, the filling to the pie was done, Youngest was chattering energetically, and the pizza crust was ready to spread on pans.
I hugged everyone, asking how the game had gone, and greeted our 9 year old sons’ friend who had come to spend the night. Eldest scurried to get the pizza toppings spread, I pressed 3 pie crusts into pans, and Dad went out to light the pumpkins on the front porch. All 3 of our 9 year olds plus the friend suited up for a Nerf gun battle (velcro vests and velcro/foam ‘bullets’) which raged loudly up and down the stairs.
While contemplating the upcoming Movie Night, I decided that a different arrangement of furniture in the living room might better accommodate the additional kids. (We were also expecting a friend of our two big girls, which swelled our ranks to 14 strong.) I started shoving furniture around. The girls’ friend arrived at the exact moment of maximum chaos: the living room was a wreck, kids were tearing all over shooting each other, and Dad had decided to work over the TV cabinet. He wanted to make the TV sit a little higher for better visibility over the heads of the kids who’d be sitting in the ‘front row’ for the movie (4 bean bag chairs). Thankfully two of the three pizzas had just gone into the oven, so I had hope that there would soon be food.
The girls’ friend surveyed the swirling chaos with a twinkle in her eye, and said, “Oh, it’s so homey!” She then asked if she could help make pies. Since I still had enough filling for 5 more pies (and no energy to make more piecrust), I accepted her offer gratefully. she and the 17 year old jumped in where I had left off on the pie. That left me free to finish the room-rearranging. Once done, my 12 year old plopped down on the couch, surveyed the new arrangement with satisfaction, and volunteered with a smile that her Ethiopian mom liked to rearrange their house too. She then offered to vacuum.
By then the first two pizzas were done. I cut them, pausing to tell my husband that the TV looked great in its higher position. I tossed baby carrots into one bowl, taco chips into another bowl, and cut a bunch of bananas in half. Soon everyone was happily devouring pizza (hamburger, pepperoni, and cheese.)
After dinner the 17 year old was chatting merrily with her friend, so John, our 12 year old, and I roared through kitchen duty while the 5 year old cleared the table and the two year old emptied silverware. By now the pies were in the oven baking, much to the delight of our boys’ friend, who said pumpkin was his favorite.
Once dinner was cleaned up, I made a big batch of popcorn and a few minutes later we were all settled in munching popcorn and pumpkin seeds while watching Surf’s Up. The smell of baking pie wafted through the air, giving promise of yet more good food after the movie.
It’s a very good thing.