Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Dad's 60th Bday Party!

My Dad turned 60 a few weeks ago. We had a big surprise party for him last week with family and friends!!

It was a blast and we made some crazy memories.

My dad knew we were having a little family gathering, that part wasn't a surprise. However, we did have some family there that he wasn't expecting. What we didn't tell him was that we had invited some of his dearest friends.

My mom & I were in charge of getting the party ready while Heath, my granddad and my sister kept my dad occupied by taking him golfing. I'm not sure who got the better end of that deal. Oh wait...yes I do. Just kidding. I loved being able to get the party ready.

This is when my dad first arrived before he new that we had a room full of his friends waiting to jump out for his 2nd surprise!

Ella running in for her surprise hug. She new about the surprise party for a few weeks and did such a good job keeping it a secret!

Getting his 2nd surprise when another room of people came out.

These are some really special friends of parents since they were newlyweds. They came in from Cameron, TX to be with my dad for this big day!! So special.

Okay...I have to stop here to tell y'all a really funny story! It's funny now...but not as much in the moment.

Let me confess to you that I am not the best homemaker. After 8 1/2 years of being married I have definitely taken some good strides in the right direction, but it's just not my spiritual gift. Especially when it comes to cooking. But I have to blame a good part of that on my husband because he is a phenomenal cook, so why should I have to be if he fills that role. I mean am I right? And I don't want to put words in my Mom's mouth, but I think she would agree because my Dad is the same way. So cooking just isn't one of our strengths.

However...my mother-in-law is known for her AMAZING cooking. In fact, she has done a lot of cooking for special occasions for us since I got married to her son and she LOVES it. She finds so much joy in being able to use her gift.

So when we started talking about my Dad's party a couple of months ago, she willingly offered her resources. Yay!!

Little did we know that my mother-in-law would come down with a terrible intestinal virus that would maker her bedridden for a week...the EXACT week of my Dad's big party.

Which meant that there was nobody to cook. My husband was already on top of smoking the briskets. He was prepared for that and did that. But the day of stuff he couldn't do because his job was to occupy my dad. And then my dad, who would also be our cook, was obviously not an option. This meant my mom and I had to take on this task on ourselves.

Please, please if you know me laugh out loud right now. I give you permission. Imagine 3 ring circus if you will? That about sums it up.

My mother-in-law gave us the list of dishes she was planning on making along with all of her recipes. It was now up to my mom and I to pull them off.

So I started on the journey with my phone close to me so I could call her at a moment's notice for advice when something "wasn't looking right".

Over the course of 24 hours I made 8 dishes/desserts that I have never in my life made. And you know what? They actually turned out great. I couldn't believe it. Who knew that the Lord was going to stretch me on this day?

In this picture, to the left is a corn, tomato, black bean, avocado salad.

Left is a very difficult (just kidding) already made spinach artichoke dip from Sams. But the middle is homemade guacamole and on the right is my hubby's amazing homemade salsa.

On the right is a 7 layer dip.

Homemade cherry cobbler and lemon bars...even the crust is homemade on both. Are you impressed yet? :-)

Ella made a special chocolate cake for Granddad. And decorated it herself. I would say this was the best dish of the day!

My sweet grandparents. These are my dad's parents.

After we all ate, my granddad gave a toast to my sweet dad!

It was very touching and obviously funny!

Ella presenting her cake to her Granddad.

And a happy birthday kiss!

Ella had a blast playing with all of her cousins who were at the party. This is Ethan. They have been good buds since Ella was itty bitty. She thinks he is the funniest human being alive, besides her daddy of course.

These next two pictures are of Ella and her 4th cousins (I think.) They are my 2nd cousin's children. So I'm not sure what that makes them but man am thankful they are in our lives! Ella always has a blast with them and I think it's neat we have this amazing connection with such an extended branch on our family tree.

Our cousins Tiffany, Ethan & Zach. These are my dad's brother's children. Love them!!

My cousin Jerrod made these awesome washer boards and gave them to my dad for his birthday! Isn't that so fun?

Sweet Ella.

After some fun at washers, we broke out my parent's croquet set. It was the most perfect day for a party. The weather was beautiful!!! So I'm glad we spent some time outside.

Ella was so funny. She was very into it. This picture cracks me up.

Ella also got to spend some great quality time with my sister who was in town for the party. They even got to have a slumber party on our couch bed that night which was just the ultimate for Ella.

One way my mom decorated for the party was she put old pictures of my dad out. We also had a running slideshow of about 300 pics from my dad's childhood through adulthood. It was really fun to see all of them!! And relive some fun memories.

This magazine my dad is holding is an old magazine that my Uncle had and gave to him. It's from the year my dad was born. I thought that was really cool!

Happy birthday Dad!!! I hope you felt a little bit of the love that day that you have shown all of us throughout the years!! There is no doubt that I am your daughter because I look so much like you. But more importantly I hope that I possess your character and personality traits. You have been the spiritual leader of our family and I appreciate that now more than ever as I realize how absolutely important that is for a family to survive and thrive.

We have had a blast my whole life!! My goodness...I can't imagine a boring life with you and mom. We have some major outgoing personalities in this family. And it's always kept things exciting. I'm so thankful for that. I love that Ella gets to experience all the fun and these amazing gifts as well. She is one blessed granddaughter.

Love you Dad!! I pray 60 is a blessed year for you and Mom.

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Lolly said...


Looks like you did a great job in the kitchen.

As I was reading your post, I saw some pictures of some of our old friends, Dennis & Becky. We have known them for about 20 years. Great family. How do ya'll know them?

Kelli said...

Janelle!!! Great job!!