Family . . .


What a special day we had yesterday!  My dear sister-in-law, Claire, orchestrated the most amazing surprise party for my brother’s 50th birthday!  Happy Birthday Alan – there is no way to say how much we all love you!!  

Claire was nearly shaking with excitement all morning until Alan arrived….it was extraordinary to see!  She was overcome with love and emotion at getting to give her beloved husband this “gift of family” AND the big surprise present that awaited him! There were countless little fictitious stories that Claire and Shannon and Ian had to concoct and play out in the weeks leading up to the grand event, in order to pull this off. But they did it!  And they managed to fully surprise the man-of-the hour, our beloved Alan! 

One of the grandest joys of the day was the additional surprise for the whole family of Josh, Nicole, Isabella, and Shauna driving all the way in from PA in order to honor their Uncle Alan!  Such a blessed thing to do! 

How wonderfully relaxing it all was!  It’s so seldom to encounter languid, old fashioned days like this in today’s world, where Summer takes on the old meaning that we’ve read about in books from years ago, or seen in movies and longed to be a part of……..

But the precious prayer and planning that went into the whole day ushered in hours of fellowship and rejuvenation that are rare indeed to find.  It was the kind of day where you want to take mental snapshots of moment after moment and commit them to memory……






Pizza and sides were nibbled on throughout the day. Naps were had by those who were tired. Blankets were gratefully occupied on the lawn. Videos were watched.  Hot dogs were grilled. Precious walks were taken with dear little ones. And cars were examined as men are wont to do.

Fun visits and laughter snuggled themselves into every nook and cranny of the day…



Every moment was truly a testament to the planners….

AND to our great and precious God who is the Heart of our family.


Can I just say…I LOVE my extended family….