Jerry took the kids with him to the park to help set up tables, so I was able to get ready by myself, which was nice. My "job" was to pick up Mark from the group home on the way to the park. Mark is a 54-year old man that we met when we lived about 20 minutes from here. He lives in a group home--I'm not sure what exactly is "wrong" with him, other than he is kind of slow mentally. He kind of reminds me of Forrest Gump in that way. I think if he had grown up in a normal environment, he would probably be able to live on his own, but he was orphaned very young and quit school in the (I believe) second grade.
|This is an old photo of Mark and me, but I don't have any current ones of him|
My dad always used to see him walking around smoking cigarettes, and he would stop and talk to my dad sometimes. My dad then started buying him a carton of cigarettes once in a while, which Mark thought was really cool (his money at the group home is rationed, and cigarettes aren't high on the list, haha). Anyway, when we moved out here where we are now, my dad started picking up Mark from the group home now and then to go fishing. Mark's birthday is on Halloween, and every year, we have him over to my parents' house and we celebrate his birthday before handing out candy for Halloween.
Mark really looks forward to being able to go somewhere, so of course my mom invited him to the party. I picked him up from the group home, and the woman working there said, "Now Mark, you CANNOT SMOKE. If Katie sees you smoking, she's instructed to bring you right back here." Mark has asthma and apparently he's been sneaking cigarettes lately.
Even though I'm totally anti-smoking, I believe Mark is an adult and can make that decision for himself, so I felt kind of bad for the way she was talking to him. As soon as we got to the park, he saw someone else smoking, and he bummed a cigarette! I just said, "Mark, I'm going to pretend I don't see you smoking right now, but don't let it happen again, okay?" Hahaha.
Wow, this entry is going to be a mile long if I don't stick to the subject.
My dad is huge into fishing, so that was the theme:
|Peanuts in a minnow bucket on each table|
|Dirt cake inside of worm containers|
|My mom's friend made his cake|
There were quite a few people there when my dad showed up with my sister. He was completely surprised (as evidenced by his clothes--if he knew it was HIS party, he probably would have dressed nicer, or at least matched his shirt to his pants!)
I saw a lot of people that I haven't seen in a while. My aunt and uncle were shocked when they saw me, because the last time they saw me, I was 253 pounds. One of my cousins kept looking at me and then looking away, and then when I went to say hi, she said, "Oh, it IS you--I was trying to figure out who you were!" and she kept saying how "gorgeous" I was.
I think my favorite part of the day was getting our pictures taken by Renee--she's a photographer and lives next door to my mom. I don't have HER pics to post, but I have some that someone took with my camera. We got a sibling picture (my sister, brothers and me) and a pic with my parents.
|Brian, me, Jeanie, and Nathan (my siblings)|
|With my parents and Noah & Eli|
|I love the look on Nathan's face|
A few of my cousins are cops, so when the cops showed up at the party, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing... ;)
|Nathan, me, Jeanie, and Brian|
|Me and Jeanie|
|The cop was taking the pic, and I was a little late... but Nathan and Brian handcuffed themselves together and acted like they were running.|
Nathan, Brian, Jerry, and I went for a walk on the railroad tracks through the woods. When I was a kid, we used to walk on those tracks all the time.
|Jerry and me|
I ate way too many desserts yesterday, and I definitely need to get back to counting calories today!