Thanks to those of you who posted comments on my last post - I'm sorry there are others out there struggling with financial woes, but in some way, it helps knowing we aren't alone. And it helps, too, knowing I'm not the only one who struggles with really letting go and trusting God to work.
Birthday party thoughts: We're trying to think of money-saving ideas for Julian's party this year. It will be after I've gone to work and we've started paying through the nose for summer camp and daycare, so it's not like we'll be flush with cash. We'd thought of getting a five-pack of tickets to a local water park (which costs about $105 and includes food and unlimited drinks) for me, Brian, Julian and two of his friends, and making it something small that he could enjoy, rather than a big to-do at Pump It Up or Chuck E. Cheese or whatever. (As an added bonus, this way we wouldn't get a ton of presents from his friends that often just get overlooked in the mess of toys around here.) I mentioned this to J's dad, and he said he was sure Julian would be glad to have his four stepsiblings there. I wanted to ask him, "Um, are you planning on buying their tickets?" Because I wasn't planning on 1) having J's stepsiblings as the only party guests (if his dad is thinking the five tickets are for five kids total, instead of for the two s and three kids we'd thought of), or 2) shelling out a good bit extra for tickets and food for four more guests (if I'm paying that much, I might as well go to Pump It Up). Not sure how exactly I'll address this with his dad, especially as I know Julian will be invited to the joint party for his three younger stepsiblings (who all have July birthdays).
And along those lines, if we do go with the water park idea, would it be tacky to put a note in the invitation to this effect for parents: "We will be meeting at the front gate at such-and-such time. You are welcome to drop your child off and return at such-and-such time, when we will be at the front gate preparing to leave, or if you would like to attend with your child, you are welcome to purchase your own ticket." I have no problem with parents either dropping off or coming with, but I wouldn't want parents to think we were paying for their tickets. That would REALLY get expensive in a hurry, even if it were only for two or three parents.