Open House 101

patricks graduation

We hosted a graduation open house for our eldest this weekend. As many parents know, we learn what to do and what not to do through experience with our first born.This event was no exception.

In accordance with Murphy’s Law, all began to fall apart about a week before. Our 12 week old lambs escaped and scattered in the woods. We spent the weekend attempting to corner them in the farmer’s field down the road. Patrick managed to tackle one, but the other would not come close enough. In the eleventh hour after three days, Chad herded the last lamb home, across fields, electric fence, and heavy woods. That was the weekend before.

On Monday, our front door would not open (broken door knob), and Chad opened the chicken to begin smoking for the party and discovered it was all rotten! We said a few choice words, took a deep breath, threw out the chicken, enjoyed a night cap (or two), and went to bed. Tomorrow was a new day to set things right! He purchased more chicken, replaced the door knob with a sock and packing tape, and began brining chicken on Tuesday. We were grateful that nothing else broke!

A wise friend reminded me that this will be a happy memory in a few days. Thanks to loving family and insightful friends, the event was a success! It was a success because we were all there, celebrating Patrick’s new journey, college and adulthood! For those who still have to host one of these “hooplas,” I made a list of things I learned:

  1. No matter how carefully you plan, you will forget to invite someone. Let it go!
  2. Ask a friend to help restock food and drinks during your open house, so you have more time to visit with guests. (Special thanks to Colleen for this special gift!)
  3. Know up to half of those invited will not be able to attend due to summer vacations, all the other open houses, or life in general.
  4. Unless you want to purchase senior pictures for the entire student body, instead, hand them out at the open house.
  5. If Facebook is used to send invitations, remember not everyone uses social media and might not receive notice.
  6. Remember to provide a container for cards. Most guests will give a card with an enclosed check (but be sure to include space for gift bags, too.).
  7. After taking all that time to organize addresses for invitations, be sure to file that list for future use.
  8. If extra tables and chairs are needed, be sure to reserve them at least six weeks before the event (that goes for park pavilions and halls, too).
  9. Ask someone to take a few pictures. You will be too busy. (I regret that I don’t have a single picture.) I’m hoping that a few will surface. (Though I did share a picture from graduation night a few weeks ago)
  10. Be sure to sit down with your children and record the gifts. Teach them a valuable tool in their journey to adulthood. Teach them to write a proper thank you note. Congratulations to the class of 2015!

Thanks for reading!

Now that we are past Patrick’s Open House, you can find Cairn Hill Farms at the following markets:

Richland (Wednesdays, 3-6)

Middleville (Fridays, 8-1)

Hastings (Saturday, 9-1)

Come and get your summer lip balm, lavender room spray, goats’ milk lotion, farm fresh eggs, nettle tea, and many other goodies 🙂


1 Comment

  1. It was a great open house! I remember when we did Casey’s open house and the entire day was just a blur. Congratulations on your first successful open house! (despite all the “tests” before the event)

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