Homecoming at Home

If you have or have ever had children go through high school, you know the pain of school dances. Remember the days when you were nervously asked to the dance behind the stadium by the sweaty football player after practice in your cheer uniform? Or was that just me? These days the #HOCOPRO is getting out of control. What is #HOCOPRO you ask? Come on...it's a Homecoming Proposal!! Not an engagement proposal, or even a Prom proposal, nope- it's just HOCO. These poor boys spend weeks stressing about some clever, catchy "ask". They ask their friends, older siblings, search online or maybe even ask a parent, all in the hopes of discovering the one #HOCOPRO that has never been done. If only my son put as much effort into Algebra.

So here are my favorite examples that I found online. I was going to use my kids' photos but I didn't have written permission from them and couldn't risk the lawsuit.

This first one is one of my favorites because I love NOTHING BUNDT CAKES. This #HOCOPRO is super creative and Mom may have had something to do with it. He's given his potential date something to eat and remember his thoughtfulness long after he's driven away. And it's really the gift that keeps on giving because this is a cake you can eat anytime during the day. It's the best in the morning with coffee or tea...just sayin'.

Ok this boy must really like this little cutie. Can we talk about the castle? So I am picturing a trip to The Home Depot to beg for a refrigerator box. Unless his parents just got a new one and the box in the garage was the inspiration for the whole "ask". Let's assume they didn't, or the wife wanted to get the new frig and the husband shut down the whole idea. Now he can't go golfing this weekend because she's ticked and he has to clean the gutters instead.

Moving on, sweet boy gets the box at Home Depot but drives a sedan. Sweet boy has to call a friend to come with his truck. They load up the box and head home to design the castle. Bungee cords, why would they need those?? Well now this special box is on the side of the highway and traffic is stopped while the boys retrieve it. All in all, a dangerous but very unique #HOCOPRO. But wait- we still don't know if the parents are speaking to one another.

This one, well this speaks for itself. One would hope maybe the boys called ahead to be sure there were no parents home. Although if my husband and I were home we would have our iPhones out snapping pictures too. My hubby would tell me I couldn't post it or use it in my blog and I would tell him to mind his "bidness". We can't see their faces, so why the heck not? What's the worst that could happen? I suppose one of the moms could come to my home and threaten to kick my butt??

This is the second year I offered to host the #HOCO dinner in our barn. I have spent too many hours on the phone calling area restaurants asking if they could fit in 30 or so 16-year olds on a Saturday night at 7pm. I have had some managers laugh at me. Some won't allow groups that large and some (brilliant) won't allow that many teenagers. Last year a few of the moms and I cooked. We did a wedge salad. Filet with whipped potatoes & green beans. For dessert my friend found these adorable mini layered mousse cakes in little "shot glasses" at Costco. Done and done!.

This year we went the catering route. We chose pasta, chopped salad and a friend made incredible meatballs. A few other moms created a dessert bar and most of that was left over for me to eat the following day. There were more mini bundt cakes than we needed for the entire junior class. There was also a selection of frosted sugar cookies. I can tell you I was in a sugar coma by the time the KC Chiefs game started Sunday night.

It was one of those beautiful days that makes you look to the sky and praise God for October. The wind was calm, it was sunny but not too sunny and the temperature was perfection. So I did just that, I looked at the sky through my iPhone lens and thanked God for the blessing of a beautiful day to make memories for these lovely teenagers. (Isn't that so sweet?)

I forgot to mention a few details. My husband was out of town for Dad's weekend at the University of Kansas with our daughter. I also offered to host the freshman group for photos... at the same time. Lastly, I asked my 2 teenage sons to walk the yard and pick up all the dog poop earlier in the day. You see where this is going?? So right before 6pm 54 stylin' teenagers, and their parents (do the math), arrived and were wandering the yard. I decided to put the Freshman in the backyard and the Juniors in the front. Look at these handsome fellas.

As you can imagine there were some poop mishaps. Unfortunately, some of it ended up on those fabulous 4 inch heels. I personally think the girls were happy to take the heels off for a moment to have them cleaned. How can they be comfortable for that long?

I love old chairs and I especially love when they don't all match. When I hit estate sales, garage sales or flea markets I am always looking for cool old chairs. They do have to be sound, because big teenage boy butts will be sitting on them. Sometimes I wander across duplicates of chairs I already have. That's just neat to think about. Maybe they used to be together and somehow were separated in a dramatic family feud. Who knows, but I love the thought of bringing some of them back together.

I was able to use the beautiful fall flowers my hubby gave me for our anniversary a few days earlier. I really do love to repurpose. I put the flowers in little mason jars all along the 24 foot long table. I filled the table with lanterns, votives and live gourds & mini pumpkins on a thick burlap runner.

I wish you could have seen the kids faces when they walked in. I don't know if they were expecting paper plates and burgers, but that moment was priceless. These kids were so grateful and couldn't say thank you enough. The food was a hit and we only ran out of bread, I know, tragedy. Here was our dilemma though, when we cleared their plates, we hated to throw away a meatball that hadn't been touched. It just seemed like a crime. So why not just throw them all back in the crock pot and mix them around with the others? Who would ever know? Me and my 3 friends on the "catering" staff, we would know. Bummer!

So it was a beautiful dinner and then they were off to the dance. A friend asked if I like doing it or if I consider it a chore. I, unequivocally, love it! Yes, it's a lot of work both before and after but it's something that I find great joy in. I suppose I hope it's making memories for my kids and their friends. I guess you could say I love hosting. For me it's not laundry, baking, gardening or the dishwasher. Nope , it's hosting others and making memories. Wow- this whole paragraph was so cheesy.

In a nutshell, if you ever get the chance to do something like this, do it! It is so neat to see the interaction with the kids and actually listen to them talk. It's also a great way to spy on your kids and make sure they are using their table manners. Not all of the kids put the napkins on their laps, just as an FYI. So go ahead...bring the HOCO home.

Be kind & love others,

Christine xoxo

ps- I had to share one last photo below. This is clearly what was going on with the Juniors when I was in the backyard with the Freshman. Really, boys?