The weekend capped off a wonderful anniversary celebration.Kate arrived Friday night and Rob took the train in from Fairfield. Deb and Rob met Kate at Penn Station and the plan was to rendezvous with me at Carmine’s. However, Carmine’s was full up and we didn’t have reservations so it was on to Plan B. Our family is very good at rolling over to Plan B so an adventure awaited us.We wound up at St. Andrews Pub, a place I have been to numerous times and it turned out just fine. The four of us swapped stories and ate copious amounts of good food.Saturday was rainy but, undaunted, we ventured out. First, Deb and Kate ran errands then Kate and I went out to get stuff done. That afternoon the cable repairman showed up and it turns out we needed a new DVR box. Sigh. It now works and I hope it simplifies our lives as expected.That evening, Kate told us she wanted the kitchen to herself to bake and relax. We were heading out to the Parish’s 50th Anniversary dinner dance so that was fine.At the dance, which was quite nice but needed a bigger room to accommodate the band, Deb introduced me to many members of the choir. All of them made a point of mentioning how much they enjoy singing along with the kids and what good we have. We saw old friends and Deb was thrilled to see several of the priests who have moved on to other churches. While I’m not one for organized religion, I did come away with a good feeling about the sense of community a well-run church can provide.Sunday was supposed to be a relaxed day, filled with board games and a nice Sunday dinner before Kate trained back to college. But first, there was the 50th anniversary mass, which was one of the reasons why Kate came home. It started at noon and they figured to be back around 2. I was busily doing laundry, ripping CDs for the new iPod, and trying to do a little writing. Around 2, I was upstairs putting away laundry when Jim, Deb’s brother, arrived on his motorcycle, along with his new girlfriend, Jennifer.By the time I got downstairs to open the door for them, I spied Judy and Matthew getting out of their car. Jim’s local, so his stopping by didn’t raise any suspicions. Judy and Matt come up so rarely, I knew then something was up. And within minutes others started to pull up. It seems Kate and Robbie were strict about “2 on the dot.”But, they were still at church. I’m thinking to myself, I have a house filling with people, there are things to clear away, I have nothing to serve them…etc. Bob and Laurie Rozakis turn up and Laurie, naturally, takes temporary charge. All I’m allowed to do is take the industrial-sized ziti and put it in the oven. She was handling things until the kids arrived.I finally get through to Deb on the cell phone. She’s just getting out of mass, it ran an hour over. Kate had been complaining about a headache and wanted to come home but Deb really wanted to go to the reception and was getting pissed at the whiny children. I said, “Come home now.” “Why?” “Because your brother is here and your sister just walked in the door, and Judy & Matt and Bob & Laurie are here.” “Oh.”In the end, we had just over a dozen of our closest friends and family with us, some others couldn’t make it. It seems, no sooner did we leave for the dinner dance then Kate ran out and did a mammoth shopping and then stayed in the kitchen baking goodies until 11. She had Rob come home from the community theatre early to help clean up, which he good naturedly did.The party was wonderful, with terrific finger foods, a fabulous ziti and delightful treats that meant ignoring the diet yet again. They saw to it some of our favorite treats were on hand which for me meant Fritos and brownies. People mingled and mixed, the various kids played well together, either outside or down in the basement. A swell time was had by all.After the last guest left around 6, we took 30 minutes to put everything away, vacuum and mop and then relaxed a bit as a foursome before we put Kate on the train.This has been a terrific week long celebration, capped by sharing it with friends and family. We have some very dear, very close friends which makes us feel good. But, after hearing how great my kids were from others, I was reminded all over again yesterday. I’m still not sure what we did that had them turn out so well, but I am incredibly proud of them, their thoughtfulness, ingenuity and love.