Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy 20th Birthday Elder 9!!

Can it be that our baby boy turned 20 today!?  T-W-E-N-T-Y???  Wow. I've heard all my life that it goes by fast. I had no idea how VERY ULTRA FAST it actually does go by!

So I belong to an email group and then also a Facebook group (which I started and run admin for) where missionary moms and "resident moms" that have been members for a long time, gather and support each other, share ideas, and from time to time run a little Q&A with whatever questions we may be having at the time.

On the Facebook group, I met a resident mom. This woman has been an angel. She just happens to have a friend that lives in the same ward that our son attends at the moment. One conversation led to another and we all began planning a surprise birthday celebration for Elder Nine.  We tried to have it on the day of his birthday (today) but it turned out they couldn't do that. So we planned it for Monday, March 10th.   I spoke with my friend, and discussed the cake, the balloons, etc. She picked them all up at the local stores, and after her day at work she headed over to the house.

She said when Elder Nine arrived with his companion, they entered the house and the three families and people that were there and hiding, waited till he entered the family room, then came out singing "Happy Birthday To You!" and he got the biggest grin on his face (even blushed a bit) and was SO surprised and shocked!  

So my friend approached him and just let him know that she, the other sister, and his Mom had been planning this for a couple of weeks.  I don't think it really hit him fully that his mom was the one that got this all going.  Then he went to blow out the candles on the cake and read the top of the cake: "Happy Burpday Elder 9!"  and he about lost it from laughter!  "Burpday" is a family thing, and we usually say it at least once on everyone's birthday.  He knew for sure then that this wasn't just some nice people in his ward throwing him a party, but that his family really did have something to do with this. :)

They all ate cake, he opened the card they gave him and just chatted and laughed.  He couldn't stop smiling. And he was so surprised that I, his mother, had kept this secret from him. He told them I have a hard time keeping things secret from him. Yep, I do. But since he wasn't here to give me "that look" and flash that dimple, it was much easier this time!  They asked him to open the birthday package we sent him, but he said he rather save it and open it today, on his actual birthday. Meanwhile my friend was taking photos and mental notes, as we had planned on her calling me afterward to tell me all about how the celebration went. 

She did call me and we talked for about an hour. We laughed so much and it was so FUN to hear all her descriptions of him and what all he did, and how much he smiled and how toward the end he told her this "made his week"!  Aw! That made MY week!

I am so thankful for these resident ladies that helped me out and acted in my place when I was unable to!  God's tender mercies, done through the hands of another!

Thank you, my sisters, my friends!  And I thank Thee, Heavenly Father, for  not only my wonderful son but for the blessing he's been in our lives all these years! It is never an easy thing to raise a child from birth to adulthood, and the process itself invites troubles and trials, but it is also filled with great memories, laughter, joy, and tremendous love as all those "good" and "bad" things knit our hearts together in love as a FAMILY.

Photos are a bit fuzzy, but that's alright. At least we got to see him and the people that loved us enough to do this for our family!




 The "Burpday" is a family thing....  He KNEW who ordered this!

 Most of what was in his small birthday package. He got some extra spending money, a pair of new New Balance shoes he half-way need (which he bought back in January) and some new shirts, socks, and belt that are in process of being sent - He has lost a lot of weight and has had to punch FOUR holes into his belt, and cut the end of the belt off, so that it fit properly! His shirts are way too big on him and his slacks had to be taken in.

(A family favorite: the talking unicorn! (card) candy, more music CD's, handmade drawings by Emily, more letter-writing supplies, and "Heart Attack" hearts with nice things written on them to or about Elder Nine)

I MISS my son!!

But he is happy, healthy, and is serving the Lord with all his heart, might, mind, and strength. We could not be more proud of him (in a humble way) nor more happy! Wouldn't want him anywhere else on Earth right now!  

But I still MISS HIM! ;)

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