Sunday was a big day. It was the culmination of our 40 Days for 40 Years Celebration. We woke up on Sunday morning to decorations that the kids had put up around the house.
We walked through the paper streamer door.
There were signs up all over the house.The kids wanted to give their Daddy his gifts right away. It is so funny to see how their personalities and love languages come out in the gifts that they give.
Abby, made him a Jeep and a football. The really cool part is that the Jeep had a picture of him sitting in the driver's seat and his Cowboys tire cover on the back just like the real thing. She also gave him some candy. She is very artistic and creative. She really put a lot of thought into what she would make for him and worked on it for days.
Lauren gave him one of his favorite candies. This girl loves her some candy. She loves to get candy, so it is often her gift of choice for those that she loves.
Sam always cracks me up. Leading up to someone's bday, he doesn't want to buy a gift. Then, when the actual day is here and everyone is handing over their gifts, he is scrambling to find something to give. He came up with this gift for Rick, a pirate, ninja, and some other little guy figure. Before the week is over, he will probably ask for them back.
Cody is another creative one. He made a video slideshow for Rick on the computer. It was really good, way better, than I could have done. He showed it to Rick that morning, but we also had it streaming throughout Rick's party for everyone to see.
Earlier in the month, Isaiah had given Rick a matchbox Jeep on the day that represented his birth so I didn't really think about having him get his Daddy something else. As Rick was opening gifts, he disappeared. When he reappeared, he was holding something behind his back and had a big smile on his face. He said, "Daddy, I have my gift for you!" Then he pulls his hand around. He was holding 3 pairs of his jeans. He said, "Daddy, you can have my jeans for today! They will have to grow a little before you can wear them." That was so sweet, but the thing that was even sweeter was him sharing his clothes. Clothes are a big deal to him. He didn't have his own clothes before he came to us so they are really special to him. It said a lot about how he feels about his Daddy that he would share those with him.
I totally forgot to take a picture of Laila giving Rick her gift of hugs and kisses. We also gave him his journal that the kids write in for each bday and Father's Day.
Next Stop: Cracker Barrel for Breakfast/Lunch
We had to wait for about 25 minutes because we are a "large party." I always forget about that. It was a busy morning there. The kids passed the time by playing with the toys. We got lots of looks while we were there. There was on older couple that stared at us through the whole meal. I am pretty sure we were their entertainment for the day.
As we were leaving, Isaiah said, "Mommy, take our picture in the rocking chairs." As you can see, Laila was NOT happy.The rest of the day was spent getting ready for the big party that night. We were so blessed to have the Fowlers offer to let us use their home. Laura and I spent the week getting ready for the party by decorating. We took pictures and memorabilia from throughout Rick's life and created stations throughout the house. Here are pictures of some of them:
License plates from all the places where he has lived.
Wedding stuff and pictures of us.
Sports corner: This included everything from when Rick played sports, when he coached sports, and his items from his favorite teams. The crutches are not a mistake. He has had a lot of sports injuries over the years.
Swaziland: Pictures, souvenirs, and of course, Chomps!!
School: Campbellsville College and Dallas Theological Seminary
Various pictures that gave us all a few laughs.
Pictures and items from his dad, mom, and siblings
CloserWe also had an area that represented his music. There were lots of pictures hanging throughout the house, many of which were hilarious. There was also an area that had some of his favorite things. It turned out to be so fun for everyone to see.
The food was plentiful!!
That was a lot of candles.
He got them in one breath!
I love this man!! I REALLY, REALLY do!!
The night ended with Rick in the hot seat. We shared funny stories, things we admired about him, and prayed over him. It was such an honor to have so many pour into him in that way.Rick, I love you more than words can express. You truly are a real-life example to me of God's redemption, grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love. I see God's hand on your life. I respect and trust your leadership of our family. I know that this Birthday is the beginning of something new that God wants to do in and through you. You have already created a legacy with your life, but that legacy is not complete. I love that you ground me. You settle me down, when I am feisty. You encourage me when I am down. You listen to my endless talking. You love me despite my weaknesses. You are an amazing father. I love laughing with you. I love experiencing life together. God has something big ahead, Baby. Hold on and get ready for the ride.