A few months before Clyde's birthday we were reading a kids' book about cows and it said that the first cows came to America on boats to Jamestown on May 14, 1611. Coincidentally we had already planned to celebrate Clyde's birthday (actually May 15) on May 14 and it's 2011 so it would be the 400th anniversary of cows in America. How fun! But I am a skeptic and can't just believe what I read, so my first thought (validated by Shelley's boss) was that it had to be wrong and that surely the Spaniards had brought cows earlier. Luckily, I have a book on the introduction and development of cattle breeds in America so I was able to read up on it. Turns out the Spaniards did bring cows to the "New World" before that, but these herds of mostly beef cattle were located fairly far south in what is now Mexico. They didn't cross over into what is now Texas until the 1800s, so the book validated that cows didn't get to what is not the United States until 1611, so we went with it. We invited people to "Come celebrate 400 years of cows in America and Clyde's 4th birthday" and come they did... there were 60 plus people, probably 30 kids.
There were lots of Rydalch cousins and some Hiatt second cousins. There were 9 "little Littles" - 3 first cousins, 1 third cousin and 3 fourth cousins. There were also friends, young and old.
The weather was a real mix, sunny, raining, blustery winds, but everyone stuck it out. We had pony rides, roping stations with roping dummies, bunnies & chicks to pet, a pinata, and a lot of just running around and swinging sticks. Then my friend Heather sang songs after the cake.
The menu was meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, Ben's homemade bread, and salads and fruit our families and friends brought. I made two prune cakes and got a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cake which was pretty yummy.
Clyde got lots of fun presents. The next day on his actual birthday his Mumsy, who had just returned from 6 weeks in Europe, took him shopping at Fred Meyer, where he got lots of new clothes and some tools but told her he didn't need any toys (until he saw a sword he had to have).