Monday, September 2, 2013

Half a Century and Counting....

My Mother knew, ever since she was a little girl,
her first daughter would be named Katherine Elizabeth.
And on August 21, 1963 that daughter! 

Just 11 months and 23 days later, my sister Pamela was born.
She was there for my first birthday.

Fast forward 50 years...

The day was quickly approaching. Pam, with her two children, Jordan and Travis, came from Virginia to Illinois to celebrate my birthday.
They arrived on Monday after spending the night
at Garrison and Melissa's in Indiana.  

Games quickly ensued...

After dinner, we went to 'collect' Josh and Jen for some frozen yogurt. 

But first, we visited for a bit.

Grammy and granddaughter

...and share alike...
Auntie and grand-niece! 

Time for Sweet CeCe's!

No denying this son's parentage! 

Olivia and Luke love hanging on their big brother! 

Tuesday, Melinda joined the family for a trek to Starved Rock.

Traditional Starved Rock Photo!

Hiking to French Canyon.

Luke really likes his cousin! 

That evening, we all went to Melinda's for dinner
so Travis could see their home and meet Justin for the first time.

Pip was not sure what to think of this Virginia Cousin!

Pinky's, here we come! 

Jordan almost lost her ice cream!

More Luke and Travis time! 

Wednesday, after lunch, Pam received her birthday gift from me. 

The rest of the day was spent in preparation for the 'big kids' to come for dinner and the birthday celebration.

Victoria, Rebecca, and Elaina cooked...

Jordan made the 'birthday cupcakes' (thank you, Jordan!)...

the boys played Risk...

...and as she did so long ago on her first birthday,
Katherine took a nap with her two youngest children, much to their delight!

Before dinner, Aunt Pam played with her nieces and nephew.
They all had such fun!

My Mom and Dad called to wish me a Happy Birthday!
They had surprised me in July, on their way home from out west,
and spent a few days celebrating my coming birthday then. 

Dinner was very special with everyone together
(though missing Garrison and Melissa). 

The Party!!

Cherry Almond Cupcakes...

My husband gave a toasted to my 50th birthday and our 27 years together.
It was August 2, 1986, on a ferry boat in the middle of the James River crossing towards Jamestown,
that he asked me to marry him! 

A birthday tradition...
home-made cards from each of the children. 

Garrison and Melissa call to wish me a happy birthday.

Melinda and Justin's gifts... 
Melinda had put a lot of thought into blessing me.
And the words in her card were very special!
The plaque now hangs over our large family photo in the living room.
It is so true!
"Family ~ a little world created by love"
The scented nightlight with my favorite scents. 
And an adorable pumpkin with a Bible verse on it!
"Enter into His Gates With Thanksgiving"

Next, out to the porch for Josh and Jen's gift. 
Josh gave a little speech on how, because of him, we began home schooling. And that when he was little, he drew a picture that still hangs on our wall representing our home school...Lighthouse Christian Academy. 
Then the unveiling... 

Birdhouse Lighthouse
hand-made & painted by Jen!!
The birdhouse even lights up at night!
It is amazingly clever!

Back sister's gift! 

A basket of 50 chocolate bars,
a bottle of Mascato with a bracelet on the neck,
and two necklaces with earrings.

My girls came over to examine the necklaces for their Etsy shop.

And the best for last from my wonderful loving husband...
a card with a beautiful write sentiment, a gift certificate to Christopher and Banks, and an envelope with 50 tokens for back-scratches, 50 for dinners out, and 50 for talks on our back porch
(which is one of my favorite things in the world to do!)

Fellowship time! 

Then all to soon, it was time for everyone to make the drive home. 

She was there for my 1st birthday.
And Pam blessed me by being here on my 50th birthday.
We are 'Sisters Forever'!

I rejoice that the Lord has given me such a wonderful family!

Melinda said in her card...
"May God bless us by giving you 50 more years here on earth!"

It is my prayer... 
not only to see my children's children, grandchildren,
and great-grandchildren...
or that I may grow old with their father, my dearest love and best friend...

...but that I may spend a Half-Century loving them all
as Christ has so graciously loved me!

To God be the glory!

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