Saturday, August 8, 2009

Two Birthday Parties and Three Very Special People

Dear friends,

So far this month, I've had the privilege of participating in two birthday parties -- one for my little daughter Melody, and the other for my husband Thad and our friend George.

Melody turned four on Sunday, August 2. Days ahead of time, some of her older sisters and brothers started planning a very special birthday for her. Since she likes Winnie the Pooh, they decided to turn our dining room into the Hundred Acre Wood.

Lydia, Andrew, Micah, and Naomi lovingly crafted large cardboard figures of Pooh, Piglet, Owl, and Tigger. When she woke up in the morning, there they were! We played a tape of Pooh singing, "I'm Just a Little Black Rain Cloud" too.

Melody was so excited about her new dolly and stroller that she gave her quite a wild ride through the house!

Settle down, Melody! (It seems like I'm always saying that, birthday or not, but she was a quite a handful for her special day!

In the evening, Thad fired up the grill for a wonderful barbecue dinner of burgers and chicken.

My daughter Mary, her mother-in-law Donna, and her husband Ryan are on the couch.

Three of our guests were Julia's friends Hannah, Alex, and Sarah (all in their 20's) who always take time to talk to Melody whenever they see her. Melody loves to play with them!

Lydia made this Pooh Bear cake from scratch! What a sister!
OK, enough of the kid stuff! Now on to a grownup birthday party!
On August 3, our friend George Pyros turned 40. He suggested to Thad, who turns 50 on August 18, that they celebrate their birthdays together. That's what we did tonight, August 8. They didn't want to burden Karen and me with the details of planning and preparing it, so they pulled it off themselves! George fixed a Greek dish, pastitsio, as well as other delicious food, and Thad brought the cake. We had the party at the home of George's friend and coworker John, along with several other guests. George and Thad are standing with the O Club decoration, to commemorate their Big 4-0 and Big 5-0. Thad has so often said that even though George is 10 years younger, he has learned so much from him. They usually meet every week for encouragement, and this party was designed for the same purposes. Each guest came with something to say to encourage the birthday boys. Karen also gave us each a random question to answer, such as, "What is the one thing you want to do before you die?" and "What is a favorite memory of childhood?" A great way to get to know each other!

I first met George's wife Karen way back when in a home school support group. They started attending the same church as us about five years ago, and we were in the same Bible study group for a while. We have always appreciated how passionate they are about the Christian faith, and about raising their five children well.

Larry is the one who first introduced me to Thad (then his roommate) back in 1984, and was a groomsman in our wedding. Such a blessing to have this dear friend all these years! Actually, it was at Thad's 25th birthday party -- at Larry's house -- that Thad first noticed me!

We've also known Tim for 25 years, ever since my InterVarsity Christian Fellowship days at UCF! We often joke about the fact that on his first date with Sue about 9 years ago, he brought her to our house to meet us -- to see if we would approve! We did! Thad was a groomsman in Tim's wedding and they now have three sweet little boys themselves. Here's to more lifelong friends!

Tim and Sue had to leave a little early, but here's a snap shot of the rest of us. The other guests were Melanie and Mark, Steve and Katie (whom we also know from home schooling and church), Dodie and John.

Thanks, everyone, for a lovely evening of fellowship and celebration!
And happy birthday again, guys!

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