Besides our countdown for Europe, each of our girls have had countdowns of their own:
Carmen counted down to the day her braces came off!
Jaclyn counted down to a little trip she and I made to Idaho to go to the mission farewell of some guy she knows. Many of my friends thought I deserved either pity or praise for taking a weekend to do this, but it was actually fun. Thank goodness I liked his family! Ken tells me my going to Idaho with Jaclyn is just the natural extension of 18 1/2 years of accommodating parenting on my part. Jaclyn could have done the drive herself, but with her work schedule it meant late night driving through mountains, and I wasn't crazy about her going alone.
I wonder how many Statues of Liberty there are in the USA?
Chloe counted down to her Harry Potter birthday party. She had to add four days on to her countdown when we postponed her birthday party to accommodate my trip with Jaclyn, which stretched her anticipation.
Some decorations were my creations, but many of the decorations were done by Carmen and Chloe.
I was really glad that Professor Carmonigal was available for the party. Her alternate personalities were House Elf (before and after the party), Mr. Olivander, Madam Hooch, and "the snitch."
The sorting hat sang a song (Harry Potter in 99 Seconds) and then sorted the guests into their houses with a little bit of help from its blindfolding powers and a bowl of house crests.
Chloe was sorted into Hufflepuff again, just like her Pottermore account.
Hogwarts houses merged to play Quiddich. Our original plan was to set up the rings on soccer goals at a park near our home, but it was really raining out and we decided that after 15 minutes walking to the field everyone might just want to turn around and come home rather than stay and play, so we hung the rings from our garage for one goal and borrowed a neighbour's driveway for another goal. The girls still got wet, but less so.
Following the athletics we held a grand feast. Sadly, the food didn't magically appear on the table as one guest pointed out, but the buffet that mom (aka The Head House Elf) put on was quite a spread. Jaclyn said I should take pictures of all the food to somehow embarrass myself at how spoiled Chloe was with this party. Happily, we will live off leftovers the rest of the week. I love leftovers, they're the dinners I didn't have to cook!
Hagrid delivered a cake. (It was a little smooshed like he sat on it or something.)
11 candles! No boyfriends!
"Expecto Patronum!" (A dozen times or more) until the dementor pinata was history, leaving gold galleons for a trip to Hogsmeade.
The *shopping* helped the girls load their loot bags with Butter Beer, Snitch Cake-pops, Liquorice Wands, every flavour beans, chocolate frogs, liquid luck, and so on.
I wasn't embarrassed by the feast, but I'm a little embarrassed by all the treats. As a dental hygienist, I mean.