Our youngest daughter and her husband flew in from Missouri, and our Navy son flew in from South Carolina. Due to the government shutdown, we did not know if the Navy son would be able to take leave until the day before the party! So glad he was granted leave. It would not have been the same without him since he was an integral part of the surprise, and who would have helped me clean the house? We gathered all the children, minus two, and all the grandchildren, minus one, into our home. Vehicles were hidden down the road, finishing touches were made, and pictures were taken.
We prepared a traditional holiday meal, had a photographer do family photos, and we waited. I knew better than to try and capture the moment myself. Our family is just too big, and it takes too much effort just to keep the party rolling for me to be in charge of photography. It just isn't humanly possible. So, for the really big events that I just don't want to be without pictures I hire out, and I breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the party.
We wrapped up all the details in plenty of time, and we waited. I watched out the office window for his car to emerge through the trees, and there it was. "He's home!", I yelled, and everyone got into place. It was so awesome to hear everyone yell, "Surprise!", as he walked through the door and see the look of confusion on his face when our son in law was the first person he laid eyes on. Totally priceless! He was so touched and enjoyed himself so much that he thanked me for it for days. Pulling this off for him is sure to remain a high point in my life. SO AWESOME!
|Smith Family Part Two; the Third Batch|
|All present and accounted for!|
|Mr. & Mrs.|
|Happy Birthday to You!|
|Ultrasound pics of #13|
It really was a great time. We missed the children and the gandchild greatly that were unable to attend. With eight children and 12 grandchildren it's no wonder we can never seem to get them all in the same place at the same time, but we are a houseful nonetheless. The cousins always have such a wonderful time together, and I am so happy we find ways to get them together now and then.
It just feeds my husband's soul to have his family around him. If we could have figured some way to make it work we would have had everyone possible here (siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, friends, etc.), but it just could not be done. Guess we'll save the super big bash for when he turns 60.