Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Daddy's Surprise 40th Birthday Party

"The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray hair."

Proverbs 20:29

A couple of months ago Mama brought up the idea to have a surprise birthday party for Daddy's 40th birthday party. After some talking over, deciding the date, etc. we got the invitations out for August 15th. (Daddy's birthday is August 20th) We only had a few regrets so we were expecting around 40+ people - not counting us! :) During the week while Daddy wasn't around, we brainstormed on food, decor, and how we were going to make this a surprise, since Daddy is an expert at finding things at! :) We decided to have lasagna, Grandma's famous garlic bread (;-D), salad with all the fixings, and pizza with another HUGE ice cream cake for dessert. We prepared the lunch menu within a week of the party. We made the pizzas on Friday (the 14th) and Hannah told him it was for company that we had coming over on Monday. The lasagnas were not seen even though they were HUGE - and we did manage to hide (or at least keep Daddy from suspecting something) all the yogurt containers full of salad stuff and a huge thing of romaine in the fridge. I believe that Daddy didn't find anything out because we were praying for him not to...because it's really hard to keep a secret from him! :)

Well, Saturday morning we were all excited. For a week or two Mama had told Daddy to set Saturday as "a date with me" so that he would know to have all of his work done by Saturday. (We needed them to be out of the house a good 2 hours before the party started so we could set up, cook things, etc.) We tried to decide what to do with Daddy and Mama...bed and breakfast? river cruise? We finally settled on...the Walkerton's Farmer's Market!!!! :-D I'm not kidding, Mama told Daddy they were going to the farmer's market and then they were going to the surprise. Daddy thought that was fine. We rushed them out of the house as soon as possible and as they drove away we stood on the front steps and yelled "bye!!!" Well, the secret party was almost spoiled. You see Grandma and Grandpa were coming down early to help out and they were 5 minutes away from our house but we told them to stay out of view because Mama and Daddy hadn't left yet. Well, Grandma kept driving and she stopped until she would get a call to let her know that all was safe and that they could come now. It just so happened that Grandpa/ma went the way Mama and Daddy were going! So as Mama and Daddy passed, they thought they saw Grandma's avalon down a road and Daddy called them up. He asked them where they were and she said "Oh, we're still at the house. Why?" He was like "Well, we just thought we saw your car." "Oh no, we haven't even left yet!" Grandma said and Daddy said okay and hung up! Phew - that was close!

As soon as Mama and Daddy were out of the driveway we rushed inside, barked orders (Hannah and I :), cleaned the house, started decorating, put the lasagnas in the oven, and prepared for the big surprise! Soon Grandma and Grandpa arrived...and then Na-naw and Paw-paw. Grandma and Na-naw went straight to work in the kitchen and Grandpa helped Paw-paw bring the tables and chairs in and set them up.

Grandma cut up the lettuce for us.

I think she does the best job at lettuce than anyone else I've ever seen!

Paw-paw helping out in the schoolroom.

Grandpa working hard!

Caleb and Alexis going through music CD's.

Seth helping.

Na-naw cutting up the watermelon.

Grandma and the lettuce! :)

Another decoration.

The Glass' were the first guests to arrive. Here they are signing Daddy's card-thingy.

People arriving.

At 12:20 I (Kimber) went outside by the mailbox to wait for Mama and Daddy. The plan went as this: Mama blindfolded Daddy, drove him around for about an hour, headed back to our house (he's still blindfolded) and then she drove by our house.

(Collin - our cousin - gave the alert that "they're coming!!")

We then gave the alert to everyone inside and they all came out into the driveway. Then Mama turned around and parked close to our house...on the road. We were all really quiet!

Here they are - parked.

All the silent attendees.

Daddy (on the right) blindfolded. He's taking it off in the picture.

One of his first reactions.

Hugging some friends.

Daddy's "Slow Moving Senior" Hat and his cane - gettin' old! :)

After Daddy greeted people we all headed back inside.

While we were waiting for lunch to be ready we watched a slideshow of Daddy's life that Alexis and I (Kimber) had made.

Daddy watching his slideshow!

Another view.

Well, I'll try to get the slideshow of Daddy up here but I don't have it ready now...so you'll have to wait!

After the slideshow was over, we gathered to pray the blessing over lunch and then we got in line.

Amanda, our cousin, testing the food!

Daddy in line for food.

Everything was REALLY tasty!!! After lunch Daddy opened his presents...

Here he is opening the ice cream maker!

He got a hand-crank, White Mountain, 6-quart ice cream maker. (We made our first batch of vanilla ice cream on Monday and it was really good too!)

Opening a card.

Singing "Happy Birthday."

See how big the cake is??!!

Blowing out his candles.

Before you blow out the candles, you're supposed to make a wish, right? Well, guess what Daddy wished? TWINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (That means for Mommy to get pregnant with twins! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) Truthfully, some of us are praying for her and my aunt to get pregnant at the same time and both have twins - wouldn't that be neat?! [Mama and my aunt are NOT convinced]

After cake everyone kind of wandered around and then people slowly started to leave. Soon we were left with my grandparents (both), my uncle and family and ourselves! Na-naw and Paw-paw left soon after they helped clean everything up. Alexis, Caleb, Mama, and Daddy opened some more presents for their anniversary (Dad & Mom) and their birthday's (Caleb and Lexi).

Lexi with some warm fuzzy socks!

Caleb got a shirt!

Mama and Daddy got shirts that said "i love my husband" and "i love my wife."

After relaxing for a bit, eating left overs, and talking we took a grandchildren-grandparents picture and then everyone else left. :(

Grandma, Grandpa, and all their grandbabies.

Left to right: Eden, Diana, Kimber, Alexis, Seth, Grandma, Josiah, Caleb, Grandpa, Lydia, Amanda, Stephen, and Hannah.

So, I think Daddy had a very blessed surprise birthday party!

All for Jesus,


P.S - Daddy officially turned 40 on Thursday, the 20th.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Smoky the Parrot

"Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’"

Job 35:11

On Wednesday of last week, Daddy had finished weedwacking a customer's pond and fenceline and we had been riding their horses, looking at their animals, fishing, (or watching someone else fish) when a bird flew into a tree nearby. We decided to go investigate what it was since we saw a glimpse of red. Alexis, Seth, and I (Kimber) went underneath the tree. Daddy had said that he thought it was a parrot and sure enough...it was! The parrot was up fairly high but then he slowly climbed his way down the branches till he was on the bottom branch. Daddy then suggested we go get the Cheezits out of the car and offer it one (Polly want a cracker???). Well, they got the bag and brought it near it as I went back to the truck to get my camera. When I re-emerged the parrot was on Seth's shoulder eating a Cheezit!

This is what I saw.

It was so neat seeing him just sitting there, calmly eating a cracker like it was completely normal. Obviously it is a domestic parrot since there are no wild parrots in Virginia! :) He must've escaped from a cage or something because he even has a metal band on one of his legs.

Look at his beautiful head!

The feathers are so beautiful with the gray and then the white tips!

Holding a cracker.

This is how he ate: he would take the cracker with his beak, then transfer it to his foot (he's standing on one leg now), and slowly take nibbles off of the cracker until it was all gone.

His tail feathers were so pretty too!

Such a pretty bird!
(Do I keep saying that?? :)

This is the picture I took right before Daddy decided to try and catch him and put him in the truck to take home until we could find the owner.

Looks pretty peaceful, right?

Not! He grabbed Daddy's fingers at least 5 times with his sharp beak and broke Daddy's skin twice! Ouch! Daddy went up to it, slowly positioned his hands around it and then grabbed it real quick. Of course parrot didn't appreciate that so he swiveled his teeny head around and started biting Daddy. It was hard for Daddy to get away from him because their head rotates like 360 degrees! So finally he wrapped him up in his shirt to try and transport him into the truck safely.

In the truck.

This picture is really dark but I thought it was neat seeing just his gray and white head.

Eating a pretzel.


And, if you were wondering, the name for Mr. (or Mrs.?) Parrot is...Smoky. We're hoping to find an owner for him soon but for now he's staying in the laundry room in my rabbit's old cage. We've been feeding him pistachios, fruit, Cheezits, tomatoes, etc. Daddy gets him out at least once a day and we feed him mandarin oranges and he flies around sometime to different people as they hold their hands up. Smoky is extremely gentle when you're handing him food that I even let Lydia give him pistachios (Lydia thinks its so much fun!). If anyone knows of a person who owns an African Grey parrot and has lost one recently please let us know (leave a comment or email us). We found Smoky in the New Kent County of Virginia. If you need any more information about Smoky for someone, please contact us at wassfam@aol.com. Thanks!

All for Jesus,

P.S. - We think we may know someone who might be Smoky's owner but we can't get a hold of them right now so we're just waiting to be able to reach them. I'll let you know how things go! If we can't find the owner we'll just end up keeping him and probably teaching him some tricks and things!

P.S.S - Also...if there are any parrot experts reading this please let us know what we should do to make sure Smoky is comfortable and well fed!