Happy Birthday Kerry!

This weekend we took a trip to Half Moon Bay in California to celebrate my beautiful wife’s 50th birthday!  The trip was great and we were able to enjoy the splendor of God’s creation along the way.  It was also nice to enjoy much cooler weather in a very scenic place.  I am so very grateful for the time the Lord has give us together and look forward to His plans for the future.

It was nice to also have Katey be able to join us as well.  She surprised us with a visit earlier in the week all the way from Florida where she is serving in a prison ministry.  All in all it was wonderful to be able to spend that time together.  There was no shortage of laughter and food…  Here is a short video of our trip.

Secrets, Surprises, and Celebrations!

Secrets, Surprises, and Celebrations!

It’s hard to believe that the month of May has come and gone.  The past few weeks have been especially busy around here as they have contained a graduation, two birthdays, and a surprise party!  Let me first explain the title of this post.  Secrets- many secrets have been floating around our house lately whether they have related to a birthday gift or the plans to throw a surprise party for a certain 50 year old (DAD!)  Surprises- It goes without saying that a 50th birthday surprise party *must* be kept a surprise!!  It’s actually quite funny that Dad was preparing a surprise graduation video for me while I was working on a surprise birthday gift for Kerry who was planning a surprise party for Dad!  Yikes!  Celebrations- We enjoyed celebrating my graduation along with Kerry’s and Dad’s birthdays, all within about a week!

For the past couple months we have been plotting a surprise birthday party for my dad. (Note: my dad is EXTREMELY hard to surprise and very suspicious, which added to the stress fun!)  We decided to disguise the party as a graduation party for me (technically it was for both of us, but he of course was oblivious to that little detail!)

My job was to distract the birthday boy for a few hours on Saturday (party day!).  The humorous part is that he thought he was taking me out to distract me while “my” party decorations were being set up! 😉


Distraction time!


Laying tape at the hangar earlier that day (another distraction!)


A graduation table set up for the party 🙂


After they yelled “SURPRISE!”





Watching a birthday slideshow for Dad.


My dad’s cousin, Marty, is an AMAZING pastry chef.  He made cakes for both of us!  Dad’s was a chocolate mousse cake (containing 8 different types of chocolate!) and mine was strawberry cheesecake 😀


Marty with his cakes



Dad’s good friend Richard brought him a raspberry pie…take a closer look!


How cool is that?!! 0x32 is the number 50 in hexadecimal format.  Yep, they’re really smart!!


A party just isn’t the same without a…confetti cannon!!

Kerry and Joy



Then came Dad’s actual birthday…




Whew!  We sure had fun with all these surprises, but it’s nice to be back to non-whispering-and-suspicious mode. 🙂 Now everything is finally out in the open around here…no secrets!!

“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” ~ Psalm 62:7

Lauren’s 12th Birthday

Birthday Girl

Today we all celebrated Lauren’s 12th birthday. The festivities began a few days prior when some of her closest friends joined us for a surprise party!  Katey had created a “photo booth” where the girls could wear fun hats, glasses, etc. and take pictures.

Happy birthday Lauren!  We love you.

Katey’s 15th Birthday

Lauren’s 10th Birthday!

Happy Birthday to our precious Lauren!

Lauren’s Bubbly Birthday

The big day finally arrived for Lauren to celebrate her eighth birthday. She had been planning and anticipating this big day for the past six months, so Kory and I made ample opportunities to celebrate it with her. The festivities started out with cupcakes being delivered to her class, upon which all of her classmates circled around Lauren at the front of the room and sang “Happy Birthday” while dad took pictures. She was all smiles.

After school, Lauren was greeted at home by a house full of streamers and balloons that Katie and I put up when Kory went to get Lauren after school. Then we proceeded into the kitchen to sing “Happy Birthday” again and present Lauren with a gooey chocolate fudge cake and her own little “Birthday Girl” sign on top. Katie played the Happy Birthday song on her viola as Lauren cut the first slice of cake. Who says you’re not supposed to have desert before dinner?

After cake, Lauren opened up her gifts, spent time playing with some of her new toys, and then we went to dinner at Red Robin, where Lauren was presented with an ice cream sundae and sung “Happy Birthday” yet again.

The following Saturday came Lauren’s big bubble birthday bash with eight of her friends joining in the fun. They arrived with bubbles clouding them as they made their way up the walkway, thanks to the mega bubble blower we rented. We also had polka dot balloons hanging throughout the house and yard which complimented the “bubble” theme. Lauren chose baby pink and turquoise as her colors, so all of the table cloths, streamers and other accessories kept in line with this theme.

The food was carefully chosen to appeal to the youngsters and also passed a rigorous screening for bubble worthiness. The kids enjoyed popcorn chicken, cheese balls, Ritz crackers with round pieces of turkey and cheese that Lauren and I cut out, buttered popcorn, grapes, and tons of candy (gum balls, Blow Pops, candy coated chocolate balls and more). The cake was from Dairy Queen and had hand drawn bubbles on top.

The party activities included lots of bubble blowing in the back yard. We had bubble wands in all different shapes and sizes, ranging from a gigantic bubble wand to pipe-like bubble blowers. We moved the mega bubble machine to the backyard, which was accompanied by two mini-bubble blowers, so the entire backyard was swarming with bubbles. I’m sure the parents enjoyed cleaning bubble solution off their childrens’ clothes later that evening. The girls made so many bubbles that they must have been out of air. There were big bubbles, tiny bubbles, bubbles inside of bubbles, and bubbles on top of bubbles.

We had an experimentation table set up where the kids could use different household instruments and supplies to try to create bubbles (slotted spoons, paper cup with a hole cut out in the bottom, strainer, spatula, etc.). The kids also made their own bubble art. We had four bowls of colored bubble solution laid out and the girls dipped their wands in the colored bubbles and blew the bubbles onto white craft paper. It was a bit messy, but the results looked like tye-died shirts and the kids really enjoyed creating art masterpieces.

Another highlight of the party was musical chairs with bubble-themed music that Kory put together. The kids played three rounds and us adults even joined in on the action, only to realize that we don’t have the energy of eight-year-olds any more.

The bubble birthday party was a huge success and I’m sure Lauren will be talking about this for years to come. Who knows what her ninth birthday will hold, but I’m sure we’ll be hearing about it many months before it arrives. We love you Lauren, you precious birthday girl!