Mom’s Birthday

“What do you want for your birthday?,” they asked.

“That’s easy,” I responded.

“I want all my children home at the same time.

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I want to play games – lots of games  – and snack all afternoon.

I want an easy supper – like smoked turkey sandwiches.

And a beautiful big salad with berries and pecans and feta cheese.

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And queso dip with chips.

And ice cream – with chocolate – lots of chocolate.

And I want to eat on paper plates so we don’t have dirty dishes.

Yes, that’s what I want.”

 

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And they came – all of them.

And we played games and laughed.

We ate turkey sandwiches and lots of queso on paper plates.

We snacked on puppy chow and popcorn.

We stayed up late and savored every minute.

It was perfect.

Absolutely perfect.

Yes. That’s exactly what I wanted for my birthday.

Love and Laughter

 

It’s been an incredibly fun month. Jan and I have been helping the youth group at church plan and prepare a special Valentine’s Banquet for the entire congregation.

And it happened last night.

(Even though we missed Valentine’s Day by a few weeks – we still hit the month of February – and that’s close enough for this year!)

These kids amazed me.

Absolutely amazed me.

Together we planned a sit down meal for 100 that they cooked and served and cleaned up.

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You haven’t lived until you help a group of teenagers make Oreo Ice Cream dessert and cheesy potato casserole in a tiny church kitchen!

Then they created an evening of entertainment full of laughter, inside jokes, and old-fashioned fun.

Every rehearsal left me gasping for air because I was laughing so hard.

At our last dress rehearsal I was laying down on the chairs crying from laughter, unable to speak.

All month I watched these kids take on responsibility and carry through – finding costumes and props, working out the skits, planning and buying decorations, learning lines.

And yesterday I was privileged to watch those kids serve.

 

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They moved chairs, set up tables, decorated, practiced – all with great attitudes and a lot of humor.

When the guests arrived, those kids hustled to get them their food and drinks.

When the last guest had finished eating – they moved tables, set up chairs and prepared for the entertainment.

And then they performed like never before.

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I sat in the back of the darkened church, holding Jan’s hand and laughing as if I had never seen these crazy skits before.

And crying tears of joy.

It was good we called it a Valentine Banquet because my heart was incredibly full.

I love those kids.

 

 

The Thirteen Days of Christmas

Thirteen days.

A house full of kids.

Four gallons of Chex mix.

Chocolate dipped everything.

An entire ham devoured.

Hundreds of games of Dominion.

Epic Minecraft battles.

Laughter.

Teasing.

Inside jokes.

Time with special friends.

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Late nights.

Lazy mornings.

Pots of coffee.

And now it’s over.

Matt flew out yesterday.

Pedro’s back at work today.

Dagmar’s preparing for next semester.

Christmas is put away.

The snowmen collection is out.

My house is quiet.

My couch is waiting.

My heart is happy.

And it is good.

No Room

IMG_3158You should see my house right now!

Oh. My.

On second thought – nobody should see my house right now.

We got home Saturday afternoon after traveling last week for Thanksgiving and immediately began to take down fall decorations and put up Christmas.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but we quickly ran into problems.

Like the love seat that is now sitting in the middle of the floor. We bought the sofa and love seat last January. We’ve never had a love seat before but it fit nicely in the spot where the recliner was – which happens to be exactly where we put the Christmas tree.

It was easy to pull the recliner around the corner every December to make room for the tree.

But a love seat, not so much.

It doesn’t fit. Anywhere.

It covers the heat vents and blocks doorways.

And so it sits in the middle of the room gumming up the works while Christmas piles up around it – 5 strands of lights, 4 glass ornaments,  3 window candles,  2 Santa hats, and a half naked live Christmas tree.

Ugh.

I should probably crank the Christmas music, grab the tape measure and fight the battle of the love seat.

Or…. I could brew some cinnamon apple tea, turn off the lights and watch Hallmark Christmas movies all afternoon!

It worked yesterday. 😉

A Weekend of Surprises

I had a birthday this weekend. 🙂

And it was a crazy wonderful weekend – full of surprises!

It started on Friday night when Pedro unexpectedly drove in the driveway.

It was a surprise birthday visit – and he bought me flowers and a birthday gift!

IMG_2081 Isn’t he handsome?!

He spent the night and the whole next day.

My momma heart was so happy!

Oh – but that was just the beginning!

On Sunday there were special surprises.

Hugs and chocolate and teasing and sweet gifts left in the car after church.

10928139_789384287821963_1557231960_nAnd Matt called and had time for a wonderfully long chat!

And the kids got me very thoughtful and sweet gifts.

But the biggest surprise of the weekend came from my husband who masterminded the perfect gift.

It started last fall, when we were in the big city – 90 miles from home – to pick up some car parts.

Since auto parts stores don’t hold my attention for long, I left Jan in the muffler section while I headed next door to Cecil’s – a consignment store.

I was mindlessly walking through the large back room of furniture when I saw the most wonderful antique wardrobe!

It was love at first sight.

It would make the perfect sewing cabinet! I could just imagine sorting all my material and notions into the drawers on the side.

But, alas, it was not to be. The store was closing in just a few minutes, we didn’t have a way to get it home, we had several more stops to make, and let’s face it – it just wasn’t in the budget.

Cecils 001So I left that beautiful oak wardrobe in the back room of Cecil’s , knowing that I would never see it again.

You know where this is going don’t you? 🙂

Unbeknownst to me – my sweet husband called Cecil’s and asked them to hold that perfect antique wardrobe for him – which they very happy to do.

Then he asked some amazing friends to pick it up and hide it in their spare bedroom – for several months.

These same friends just happened to show up at my house just as we were eating my birthday supper – which I must admit I found rather odd at the time.

And they sat with the kids and Jan while I opened my gifts – ending with the tiny box from my husband that held an antique key and a Cecil’s business card.

10994860_789384327821959_1606915880_nAnd then they helped Jan bring in my dream cupboard that they had delivered in the back of their van.

I was shocked speechless.

And then I started blubbering nonsense and I cried and everybody talked at once as the details of the surprise that was five months in the making came out.

I felt so humbled and so blessed.

Not just because I now have my dream wardrobe sitting in my sewing room – but because I have the most amazing husband, children and friends.

My heart is full to overflowing.