A Surprise

Last Sunday afternoon our children surprised us with a party in honor of our 40th wedding anniversary. We had chosen the date of our trip to Greece to coincide with our actual anniversary date so that our kids would not feel as though they had to do something for us. With four of them living in Virginia and the two living Near Philadelphia having a Toddler underfoot, we didn't want them to feel burdened with feting us. Obviously, we were wrong.

They started planning way back in April, they told us. Tom, Anastasia, Amy and Andrew arrived at Sherry's home on Friday night and began preparing. Chris had taken Sam to the Grange Fair. Here are Anastasia, Amy and Sherry hard at work in Sherry's kitchen on Saturday. We had no idea the Virginians were in town -- we thought that Sherry had gone to the Grange Fair as usual.

On Sunday, thinking we were going to a small family picnic at Bonnie's for the purpose of sharing vacation photos, we were greeted by about fifty of our favorite people!

The cake was made by a colleague of Sherry's. The woman had been told that one of us was a quilter, one of us was a sailor, and that we had recently returned from Greece, where everything is blue and white.

There was so much yummy food including barbeque, chicken salad, deviled eggs, cookies, veggies, coleslaw, cheese, crackers, dips, cookies, hand-made candies. Sherry made her famous limeade, Anastasia put together a wicked Sangria, and Amy made calligraphy labels for everything.

Everyone said, "Your kids sure do know how to throw a party!" Everyone was right.

Some of the guests found the centerpiece surprising. We didn't. Among the guests were the Good Guys, a group of women and their husbands/honeys who have been together for more than twenty years, supporting each other, celebrating special occasions, throwing amazing theme parties, and laughing a whole lot. Early in our history together, one of us received a rubber chicken as a surprise, and the chicken (and many subsequent replacements) has been part of our events ever since, often being dressed in an outfit suitable to the occasion. He's been a bride, a bridesmaid, a Santa, among other things, and when I went off to seminary, he was dressed in a little black shirt with a clerical collar to honor the occasion. Of course he would be at our party, and look how happy he is to be aboard ship!
We were, as I said, totally surprised. We had no idea we had so many friends! And that they would all be available to be with us on an August Sunday. Andrew had prepared funny door prizes. One was a bag of "things Mom likes" and included quilt blocks of cats and Swedish fish; the complementary bag was "things Dad dislikes" and held Kellogg cereal and a squirrel mug.

If it weren't enough to have all these wonderful people present, some brought gifts. We were just amazed and thrilled. Above all, we felt blessed.

If you were wondering if that cake tasted as good as it looked, take a look at Sam's clean plate!


Mrs. Goodneedle said…
Happy, happy! What wonderful kids you have... I'm sure it was hard to keep all of this a surprise. You are indeed blessed. Love the good guy!
Tanya said…
Congratulations! What a wonderful party and a wonderful family! It sounds lked so much fun. I can just hear you all laughing and imagine all the hugs that went around!
Carole said…
Happy 40th anniversary! It's so nice to get together with loved ones!
QuiltingFitzy said…
That's the highest form of praise your children could have given. Gathered all those you care about around you and took care of all of the details to boot.

Yes, Happy, Happy Anniversary.
Unknown said…
Well you can rest assured that you made a wonderful job of raising those kids if they went to all that trouble for you - it looks like a fabulously happy occasion and hats off to the cake maker - it's beautiful :o)
Morah said…
Beautiful! It sounds like it was a fantastic day from fantastic kids that adore their parents.
Quiltgranny said…
How wonderful! I sat here smiling while reading about how special your day was - and how special your kids are!
Ms. Jan said…
You have such a marvelous family, Nancy. I'm so happy they pulled off the surprise for you and Joe--you deserve to be honored!!!
Holly said…
What a wonderful day was planned for the two of you! Great kids you have there. Happy Anniversary!
Anonymous said…
How sorry I am that we live so far away!!! Neff was in touch with us, which touched me greatly. Unfortunately we had to say no, but believe me I thought about you two & your great day together with those you love so.

Happy Happy 40th & may that number double one day!!!

Love love, Judy B.