Our dear Mother turned 50 last month, and because her birthday fell in the middle of harvest season, she planned a birthday party for Hudson (whose birthday is after hers) and never said a word about doing anything for her birthday. She assumed that after the harvest craziness was over someone would remember about her birthday and we would celebrate then.
Well, one evening when the parents were out on a date, some of us started brainstorming and decided that we were going to throw a family-only surprise party for Mother that weekend. We quickly started a group on voxer with our new sisters (for food planning purposes) and confirmed with all the siblings that everyone could come. We decided not to tell Dad, since it is hard for him to keep things from Mother anyways, plus we thought it would be fun to see him surprised as well.
We planned a menu of Mother's favorite foods:
Honey Dijon Chicken
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Vanilla Ice Cream
Allison + Chelsy were in Kansas the weekend of the party, so Mother thought they wouldn't be home till later that evening. Cassidy invited the family over for Sunday dinner so Mother wouldn't cook. The plan was for Chelsy and Allison to travel home early and, unbeknowst to Mother, make food and decorate for the party before the family got back from church. The other sisters (Bryn, Carolina, and Cassidy) each brought a dish, as well, so that with everyone pitching in we had a veritable feast.
We planned everything out for the surprise to come off without a hitch- the younger children all requested to ride back from church with the married siblings, which left Dad and Mom coming back by themselves. Cassidy texted to ask them to "pick something up" at the house on their way. We planned for the surprise to happen when they "stopped by the house"- everyone else had bee-lined there from church and would be ready and waiting.
The table was set, the food was ready, and we all staged in the dining room for their arrival. As they walked up the steps and in the front door we all began a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday". Dad jumped at least a food in the air and Mother stood rooted to the spot in complete shock. She declared that she had never been so surprised in her life! She was completely thrilled to be surrounded by her husband and every one of her children for a special celebration in honor of her 50th birthday.
We ate and talked and laughed and spoke words of blessing over our dear mother. Afterwards we gave her gifts and enjoyed a special time of singing together (her favorite family activity).
"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." Proverbs 31:28