Happy Earth Day!
Masterpiece Monday: Birdsong, pt. 1

Our Bake Sale for Autism Speaks!

Well, after much planning and plotting, the big day finally arrived ... and I'm very happy to report it was a HUGE success!

Not only did everything go smoothly (thanks to lots of kind people, and many helpful hands) but - more importantly - we raised over seven hundred dollars in donations!

($770.42 to be exact - and every cent goes to Autism Speaks!)

My homeschool group mamas (and kids) worked so hard, and so well together, to pull off this Bake Sale. It was not only successful, but it was a whole lot of fun!

Would you like to see a few pictures?


Here I am with Crackerjack Friday night, working on posters ...

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Next year I will have a "poster-and-sign-making day" so that we get all the kids involved in this part of the process. Not that I didn't enjoy making that poster (I had all those new markers to work with, after all) but this is something better left to the kids.

Here are the two tabletop signs ...

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So bright and early Saturday morning we were up baking ... and packing ... and some folks were dropping off goodies for transport. Bill and the older boys headed to soccer, Nana arrived to hang out with Earlybird, and I ran out to pick up balloons (and a big ole iced coffee) ... and then it was on to the store!

Now, funny story (and I can call it funny now because it all turned out ok), but when I arrived at Stop & Shop, I first went to the Customer Service to "check in." I was told to do this way back last month when I confirmed our bake sale plans (date, time, etc.) with the store manager.

So the young lady at the customer service desk calls up the manager ... and then said manager comes out to greet me ... only he tells me, with a polite smile, that "he does not remember the bake sale of which I am speaking."

(This was me --> o.O <-- freaking out.)

Thankfully though, after chatting with me for a few minutes (and my reminding him of our phone calls, the letter he surely had on file, and the permit I had in hand) he said "he thought he recalled our previous conversation" and that it was "fine" for us to set up our bake sale on that day.


(Note for next year: Get manager approval in writing *and* call a few days ahead to re-confirm!)

Anyhoo ... once my panic subsided, I headed over to the vestibule to meet up with my friends and get started on assembling our corner. We set up our two six-foot tables off to one side of the vestibule. 

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We had blue tablecloths and balloons, assorted trays and baskets and little blue "place cards" for all the goodies. And by noon, we were ready to go!

The kids really enjoyed calling attention to our Sale ... 

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I think those bright smiling faces brought in a LOT of donations!

Our signs ...

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... and the sale tables, filled with all kinds of goodies:

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We did this sale a little differently than a traditional bake sale. Instead of pricing our goodies, we just asked for donations and offered treats as our "thanks." All donations were welcome, because every little bit helps! So someone could decide how much to give and how much to take. And in almost every case people were so very generous - sometimes not even taking a treat!

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As for treats, we had a really nice variety: loaf cakes, fruit breads, brownies, and cookies of all kinds ...

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Rice krispy treats and cupcakes ...

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... Italian biscotti ...

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... chocolate peanut butter candies ...

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... and adorable "cupcake cones!"

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And about midway through our Sale we had a visit from Earlybird! After soccer, Bill (along with Bookworm and Crackerjack) picked up my mum and EB. They came over to see how the Bake Sale was going. :)

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EB was a bit overwhelmed - it was a lot to take in, and this was not his usual Stop & Shop - but he was really excited to see us!

(After a while, Bill took Mum and the boys over to my brother's - where a construction project was underway - but he left Crackerjack behind to help me with the Sale.)

So two other little snafus to speak of ... the first was rather scary and the second was pretty funny (if not a little embarrassing).

Just about noontime, we were all standing about chatting and doing our bake sale thing, when all of a sudden alarms were sounding and the manager was running into the vestibule, shouting and chasing after this guy ... who, come to find out, was a THIEF!

Apparently he and his girlfriend "accomplice" (waiting for him in a getaway car) had some kind of scam going on, but apparently not a very slick one, because the manager figured out what was up. So the thief ran - but not before leading the manager on a chase (including a throwdown!) around the vestibule - right in front of us, and through crowds of shoppers including our own children holding those signs!

So yeah, that was a bit of a story. (Bonnie and Clyde got away, by the way.)

The other thing that happened, about a half an hour before the end of our sale ...

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Some of our balloons got sucked up into the ceiling fan!

And ooh, it made such an awful racket ... and it just got worse ... very embarrassing ... so I had to go tell someone (apologize, really). The Stop & Shop people let it slide, lol - the had bigger fish to fry at the moment. (I figured since we put up with their robbery debacle, we could call it all even.)

So by 4 p.m. our Bake Sale was done, and we were packed up and ready to go. All in all, it was a fantastic experience! In fact, I've already started a "file" for next year ...

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I looked it over while I enjoyed my post-bake-sale breakfast.


Well, folks ... I hope you enjoyed this (rather lengthy) look at our Bake Sale experience! I am so happy the day ran so smoothly - save for stray balloons and sneaky grocery thieves, lol. Most of all, I am thrilled we raised so much money for Autism Speaks, and I hope we might have raised some awareness as well.

Enjoy your Sunday evening, my friends ... thanks so much for stopping by ... I will see you all again sometime soon!