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At Grandma’s Surprise Party!

A few months ago, I was looking through the calendar and getting a few of the major events planned out for the year. Surprise, surprise, my mother’s 60th birthday (don’t anyone tell her I told you how old she is) fell on a Friday, on a three day weekend AND she was already going to be off work from a previous shoulder surgery. It was a rare, magical combination for sure! So, I thought really, really hard about what incredible gift we could send and after mulling it over for a while, I decided to gift us!

We got to see some COUSINS!!!

Honestly, I’m surprised that my mom didn’t pick up on the secret plans my family had for her. I kept telling the girls to keep it a secret from Grandma, but they dropped obvious hints every five seconds like they were hot potatoes. Henry was the only one who could seem to keep his mouth shut.


So, we got the house all clean (because I like coming home to a spic-and-span house so I can recuperate from traveling for a few days by not having to do any housework), left Raven with one of her doggie friends, loaded the chickens up on food, made sure the cats were set and let the horses out on the lush back pasture. The animals are never really sad when I tell them we’re going on vacation.

Happy birthday, Mom! Here are some rocks for you.

Once we loaded the car, including the birthday rocks–yes, I gave my mom rocks for her birthday–we jumped in and before we pulled out of the driveway, all noticed a horrible grinding noise the car suddenly started making, having never made it before. Joy!


Thank goodness for nice mechanics. We stopped by a guy who’d already saved me once before when I locked my keys in the truck while at the post office and he made his best guess about the problem, Jerry-rigged the car and sent us on our way. With a prayer and cautious driving, we made it halfway to Nebraska, where we stopped at a hotel for the night. We left early the next morning, having gorged ourselves on pancakes at the restaurant next to the hotel and made it to Nebraska by lunchtime.

Claire is a GREAT little traveler.

Jack, ever the mischievous little boy, wanted to park the car around the corner and covertly sneak up to the door. I disagreed and plowed the car into the driveway–by the end of a ten hour drive, I just want it to be DONE, though I was a good sport and did hide with everyone else when we obnoxiously rang the doorbell. And boy, oh boy! Was Grandma surprised!


We enjoyed her special day at home for a few hours, before taking her to a secret location (the park across the street–SUPER secret, I know) where we’d invited lots of friends and family to celebrate. Other than starting the festivities a tad late (Oops!), lots of those family and friends came to visit and we were able to see old church friends, painting buddies, cousins, longtime family friends, band friends, work friends, school friends, vet friends, horse friends…it was a good time!

Making my pregnant sister, Jenny, do all the work.

So, I’m not sure what we’ll do for her 61st birthday next year (shh...I didn’t tell you again how old she’ll be), but we’ll have to think of something.

Cousin fun!
Maybe a longer trip and more rocks.
Happy 60th, Mom!!!
(Oops. I did it. Again.)

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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