having the time of your life.

"Ten years ago we had Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash, and Bob Hope.  
Ten years later we have no Jobs, no Cash, and no Hope." 

I love that quote.  My sister found it on Pinterest [here's the link].  Yes, it's pessimistic, but it's still hilarious.

  I turned seventeen yesterday!  It didn't really feel birthday-ey, since it fell on a Sunday this year and everyone in my family got to be lazy along with me, instead of me just lazing around while they did their separate things, but it was a great day.  The day before, Saturday, we hosted a harvest party for the third year in a row.  This was definitely a fun way to say goodbye to summer!  We had several games planned, and a whole "mess of food" for the hordes of boys that inevitably show up at our gatherings.

We kicked off the festivities with a donut-eating contest.  I (conveniently) was the photographer and therefore could pass on participating in this one.  Any big-mouths present?  This is the game for you.  The record time for finishing an entire donut?
17 seconds!
Laney was excited to do the contest again, but soon lost her enthusiasm once she again realized how big donuts are, and how tiny her 7-year-old mouth is:
We then moved on to a pumpkin-seed-spitting competition.  This is my brother trying to convince the rest of the guys that running starts are okay (he was quickly shot down).  
The champion spitter?
Tyler, with an astonishing 22 feet!

Now, everyone's heard of a wheelbarrow race.  Here's introducing...
Wheelbarrow Racing, 2.0!

This was a riot!  Everyone was paired off according to approximate equal size and arm strength.  You'd jump in the wheelbarrow, be propelled to one end of the yard by your partner, then jump out, switch places, and take off for the other end at top speed.  There were more than a few spills, and one lovely girl nearly was crushed by a runaway wheelbarrow!

The high point of the evening (for the winning team, anyway) was a giant flag football game, complete with cheerleaders, pompoms, and flashing cameras.  Okay, the cheerleaders were half-hearted, the pompoms child-sized, and there was only one camera.  BUT IT WAS FUN ANYWAY!

Some guys felt the need to bust a few dance moves out on the field.  
What next, you say?  What more could possibly be added to such a fun day? 
Well, my friend, I shall enlighten you.


Truffle recipe, here.
Pumpkin chocolate chunk cake, here.
I am of the firm belief that desserts should always outnumber main courses.  
In this case, seven different desserts > three "real" foods.  
That's what I'm talking about.

Spider cupcake holder, Crate & Barrel.
After eating, we all just hung out for hours, doing kid stuff.  Being friends.  Saying a lot, or nothing at all, just staring into the fire (yes, we had a fire, too.)  A great day, and a tradition I want to continue for... ever?  As long as possible, anyway.

All these beautiful people.  Their hearts are joyful, their smiles radiant.  Laughter is all you hear, whether they're competing, playing on a team, or just chatting. 
I'm grateful to call them my friends.  

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