I have a few people to thank for the success of my hubby's 60th birthday party yesterday, so let me start with that. First of all sooo many thanks to my sister Diane who as always is someone I can count on to lend a helping hand. She came down from the mountains where she lives and spent the night with me, not only so that she could help me on some of the treats I was preparing, but also because my dh decided to go and pick up his dad from Arizona so that he could come to the party, and I didn't know if I felt like spending the night alone. ; ) He lives about 4 hours from here and so he drove out on Thursday night, and then drove back Friday morning. They got here around 2, so had plenty of time to rest up before the party. Anyway, back at home, we made candy (which I forgot to take a picture of our chocolate Santa heads, but they were both tasty and darling) and then put on a Christmas movie and chatted our evening away. The next morning started early and never stopped until 11 last night....We made our Santa hat cookies which Melody had found on-line and had made a couple of times and had assured me they were both delicious, and SUPER easy. Right up my alley. They proved to be true on both counts. If anyone is interested in how to make them let me know, though you can figure it out by just looking at them, haha. Then... my son James arrived around 10:30 and we went over to the clubhouse to continue the preparations. We set up tables, arranged the room, unloaded drinks and snacks, made hot cider, meatballs, the centerpieces etc. etc. etc. I was originally going to make popcorn snack gifts like the ones Lois made at Walking on Sunshine, (such a GOOD idea Lois!) but decided there just wasn't enough time, so my son James picked up some ready made GOURMET popcorn that was just positively delicious, and we bagged it up. I bought snack bags, and made tags, and tied it with ribbon. They were darling, and a big hit. He also brought chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint bark, and the vases for the centerpieces. They were made REALLY simply and inexpensively with fresh cranberries and water and candles, and looked beautiful with a few scattered scented pine cones. His wife Larissa made some of her WONDERFUL Pumpkin pie dip. I am going to have to get the recipe and post it on here sometime soon, as it is the BEST tasting dip in the world. You dip both apples and graham crackers in it. Soo good. James did all the fetching and carrying yesterday, and TRUST ME there was a ton of it. We even moved around some heavy chairs and tables in there to make more of a comfortable "chatting area". The jute box that was to come with the clubhouse was not working, so James bought a speaker system for his phone and hooked it up and we had lots of Christmas music, and also some other kinds occasionally as well on the night. Somehow or another we got everything done around 4:30 and people began arriving around 5. It was such a GOOD night. The extended family doesn't get together very often anymore, as there is just too many of us. But there were over 40 of us there last night. I think just Mike & Mel and Sam, and Donna and Todd and their two kids were the only ones missing. OH, and my two nephews were both working. The food was SOOO good. We had a delicious tri-tip, herb chicken, garlic mashed potatoes (these were to die for) bread sticks, and a Caesar Salad. The delivery guy arrived right at 6 and set the food up and within minutes we were eating. But not before James prayed not only for the food and the evening, but for his father. Mike & Melody picked up the tab for the food as their gift to Jeff, and again, it was MOST appreciated. When our kids were growing up on Diana court (where we lived for 25 years) most of the neighborhood kids spent their time at our house. A few of the kids over the years had become very attached to Jeff. A couple of them even called him dad. Well, I did invite these two guys to come as well, as Jeff considers them almost family. Only one of them could come (the other was working) but he brought his family and that was really nice. The two guys got together and bought a really nice football and signed it with really touching and nice wishes. When Jeff set down to open his gifts, we started with the book I had put together for him. To say he was blessed, would be an understatement. He told me later he felt like Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life"...haha. The bottom line is that he is just that kind of a guy. I wish I could share EVERYTHING everyone wrote, but it would simply take too long and the posts aren't mine to share. BUT!! I can share mine....
I don't think I could come up with a favorite memory (like I told everyone else to do haha) if I tried. After almost 37 years together, there is simply WAY too many to choose from. We have gone from kids really, to "senior citizens" haha, and everything in between. Though many of our moments together might seem very ordinary, together they've made a whole lifetime of memories that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. So then I began to think about what words I might use to describe you, and our life together best, and the first one that popped into my head was strong. Not only unbelievably strong physically of course, but strong in every way I needed you to be. Strong spiritually, strong emotionally, and strong in all the ways it is important for a man to be strong. Someone I could count on no matter what life might be happening to throw our way. The next word might be helpful. I know it seems like a weird word, but it just soo describes who you are. Always, and I mean ALWAYS ready and willing to help me with whatever it is I was needing. I will freely admit I have always been a little high maintenance, lol, especially in these last few years where I honestly don't know what I would have done without you. From doing our grocery shopping, to keeping my car full of gas, to making sure I have all of my "supplies", to cooking for me, and right down to letting me control the TV remote, haha, the list seriously could just go on and on. But it goes beyond what you just DO for me to be helpful, it would have to include how you are always willing to talk me through something, cheer me up when I need it, and encourage me with whatever it is I am trying to accomplish. You just have a servants heart, and I have basked in the benefits of that pretty much our entire life together. The next word I would chose would have to smart! Now I know it isn't something I have probably let you know too much, smile, but it is just so true. I guess I don't have to explain to you (of all people) how "challenged" I can be in some areas, and it always made me feel good to know, that you just KNEW IT...The next word is provider. This is an area I know that I have never really given you any where near enough credit for what you truly deserve. The fact that you have always worked hard, is just that... a fact. Your hard work provided us with a standard of living I really appreciate, and enabled me to never really have to work outside of our home. I love that you always just considered it your responsibility and never seem annoyed or irritated when you came home from work (this has been just in the last few years of course, haha) and found me lying on the couch watching TV and still in my PJ's. Now for any of those who might be reading this, it doesn't happen very often, but it HAS happened, and he greets me with a laugh saying, "Looks good to me." I guess I could go on and on but I imagine it is time to nip this, so let me just say this, My life with you has just been blessed. That truly is the best word to describe it. I love you soo much more now than I ever imagined I could, and I thank God everyday for you! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And may the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you, now and always....
There was a wide variety of posts somewhat similar to this one, and a few that were quite funny. But together they made a very nice book. After dinner we chatted and visited and took pictures. It was just wonderful. There were MANY little ones (4 two year olds alone, lol) and the noise level was large. They ran around and had a ball enjoying each. I put together a video of the best of the pictures, and with my new internet connection it really went pretty fast too. A couple of the pictures wouldn't fit in the space they provided for the video so I will post them here. It will be hard not for me to narrate every picture, lol, but I am very sure you will get the idea.
|Jeff & I with 7 of our 9 grandkids. We were missing just Samuel and Cody. Cody was there, but is camera shy and just couldn't be swayed about getting his picture taken. Oh well, someday I will pull it off and have them ALL in one together.|
|This is a pic of all the "older ones" haha...From left to right they are my bil Greg and my sister Diane, my brother Dave and his wife Rhonda, me and Jeff. We have all been married over 30 years and together through much of life's events.|
|Jeff & I and our parents|
|The sign in Dave's present|
|Hello Mr. Salesman|
Pretty much all of our kids stayed and helped clean everything up. AGAIN, such a BIG BIG help. Thanks to you all!
Soo much fun. But I was soo tired and hurting soo bad last night when I finally climbed into bed I couldn't even fall asleep at first. But I did finally manage, haha. Today Jeff and his dad have watched old movies and visited away, and I have worked on these pictures. In about an hour or so my parents are coming over and we will go to the Outback for a yummy steak. (not all of us Mel, I will have fish I promise!) Then we will come back here and have pie and coffee and they will open their Christmas presents from us. Jeff's dad will then go home tomorrow and I think I will try and finish up with my Christmas shopping. I am almost there.
How blessed I am. Hope you all are having a good week-end. ENJOY the video...be sure and turn your speakers on (I usually leave mine off) and hit full screen and then escape to get off.
|This free photo slideshow made with Smilebox|