Tag Archive | birthdays

The big 4-0 has arrived.

Well, the first 40th birthday has nearly arrived. Son-in-law Chris turns 40 on Tuesday and son Tim will follow two weeks later.

So far, I think Chris is enjoying the celebration.

This weekend he got to play paintball and have an evening on the town. Then his parents took he and his twin (along with their families) to dinner.

And on Sunday, his boys presented their gifts. Each had made something for him. Callan went to a ceramic studio and painted a football helmet in Florida Gator colors and Konnor created a broken-glass picture frame. Using a hammer (which was a HUGE hit…pun intended), he smashed up some colored glass tile, then glued the pieces on the frame. A little grout, and a carefully chosen picture and voila! A gift for his dad.

Best of all…

But most fun for the boys was planning a treasure hunt for their dad so he could find his goodies. They wrapped and hid their gifts along with ours around the house, then wrote clues for Chris to follow. Both boys were proud not only of their gifts but in the enjoyable time they created for their Dad in finding his gifts.

Chris came into our family in 2003. And though I call him my son-in-law, long ago my heart welcomed him as another son. Our family wouldn’t be complete without him!

Happy 40th Chris. We sure do love you. Here’s to a wonderful, wonderful year.


Now that was some party!

Ever heard of a game truck? It’s a mobile gaming center that comes to you. Check out those pictures.

For Callan’s 7th birthday, a game truck came for the afternoon offering all sorts of fun for a bunch of his friends as they duked it out for a few hours playing the latest and greatest video games.

Back in the day…

Birthday parties are so different today, aren’t they? Back in the day, when I was a wee one, birthday parties were spent in a blow-up pool in someone’s backyard, or by playing games such as dropping clothespins into a bottle or pin the tail on the donkey. And we thought it was a blast.

Things began changing.

When my kids were young, things began to change. Themed parties and destination parties began. We would go to Burger King or perhaps the park. Kate had an aerobics party one year and when she was 10 she and her friends went to the salon to have their nails done. For me, these were a bit easier because I never quite felt creative enough to host a really fun party at home.

Today’s parties offer even more choices.

Now the party can come to you. Bounce houses, fun water slides, game trucks…you name it, and I bet it’s available. This is such a help for today’s busy parents. I have a feeling the kids at Callan’s party today will be talking about this for a long time. (I almost wish I was there…but then, I don’t do very well with today’s gaming. However, a great game of Pong or Pac Man would be enticing indeed!)

What are some of the fun birthday parties you remember as a kid or that you threw for your own children?


Time to stop and smell the roses.

April 2, 2018

Birthdays galore.

In our family, we experience many birthdays close to each other: Christmas time…Greg and me. Late Jan-early Feb: son and son-in-law, March: daughter, sister-in-law, Mom, daughter-in-law, brother followed by early April: grandson Callan and sister-in-law.

Whew! If you’re not careful, you’ll completely miss one in the busyness of life.

Life can get crazy busy.

In order to NOT miss a birthday or appointment or something on my to-do list, I rely heavily on all my calendars being in sync. This means my Outlook calendar must match my phone’s calendar because I’ll be printing it and placing it on the refrigerator. And if that paper calendar doesn’t match with my phone, something is sure to get missed.

First thing every morning, Greg gets up and looks at the paper calendar. I, on the other hand, rely mostly on the iPhone calendar and its reminder system, counting on a ding to alert me each time I need to do something. To be sure it all gets done, I also keep a handwritten list on my kitchen counter that glares at me until the last item is checked off and the list can be crumpled and thrown away.

Take time to smell the roses.

We all understand the meaning of the expression and encouragement to take time to smell the roses. But many times, we do the exact opposite. I certainly do. I can get completely caught up in the to-do list and can miss the small moments, the wonderful moments that surround us all the time…the smell-the-roses moments presented throughout our days.

In being sure I buy cards, find the perfect gift, arrange a visit to the birthday person, prepare a special cake, etc., I can lose the joy of the occasion which is to honor and celebrate someone I care for deeply.

In fact, we can do that with anything: holidays meant for family and fun can become a chore because of the enormous amount of preparation needed to ensure a perfect event; having friends or family visit in your home can lose it’s joy when you pressure yourself to have it spotlessly clean; vacations filled with wonder and discovery can get bogged down by endless research to be sure you visit all the best places.

What to do?

S-l-o-w  d-o-w-n. That’s it. Or at least, it’s part of it. And it’s so very hard to do. While on our hamster wheels of life, we need to slow down to appreciate people important to us, to enjoy the things and people God has placed in our lives and in our care, to marvel at His amazing creation.

Remember…happiness is often found in the little things, in the everyday things, in the ordinary things of life.

The older I get, the more I’m aware of not wanting to lose the moment. To-do lists are a part of my nature and being organized enables me to function better. But I’m more determined than ever to slow down and finally start smelling those beautiful roses God has grown all around me.






Our family has recently experienced several milestones.  September saw two birthdays for our sweet granddaughters. Addie turned 5 and Zoe 3. I love the expression in the picture where Zoe has just opened a card from her Poppy (my dad) and out comes money. Even at age 3 she’s well-aware of the significance!

Then Konnor lost another one of his top teeth. He even pulled it out himself then gladly posed for a photo. And brother Callan scored three goals in one soccer game!!!


Milestones are important. They serve many purposes. They boast of an important event and serve to remind us of things that have occurred. Milestones can also teach lessons and they can keep us from repeating poor decisions, too.

In September we got to enjoy several happy milestones: the lost tooth, soccer goals, birthdays, and a move to a new house. But we’ve also experienced a sad one as time on earth winds down for a dear friend who is soon to leave this world. So we’re storing up memories of him now with lots of visits and I’ve asked his family for an item from his house to keep because each time I look at it I’ll think of him, remember our many years together, and smile!

The Bible talks about memorials because they are built to remember something important in our walk with the Lord. Just like the Washington, D.C. memorials, each one holds significance and reminds us of an encounter. Good or bad, memorials or milestones can cause us to reflect and learn and lament and rejoice.

So this September I’ve done just that. Rejoiced over birthdays, soccer goals, and a lost tooth, enjoyed the blessing of a new house and all the new adventures to come. I’ve been thankful that my move enabled us to live close to my dad (only 4 miles apart!), and yes, I’ve been sad and mourned the loss of a friend that’s soon to come.

Whether they are happy milestones or sad, they all paint a picture of my life. Of the way God orchestrates every aspect and weaves together every thread into a beautiful tapestry. They point me toward Him as I see his faithfulness, experience his blessings, or receive his comfort.

So I choose to remember the good and the not-so-good for all serve a greater purpose as I am continually being made and shaped into God’s image.

How about you? Experienced any milestones lately?


On turning 60.

60 years. Me. 60 years! How did that happen?

It’s been nearly two months now but on Christmas day I turned 60.

I’m not re why, but for some reason we put a lot of emphasis on becoming a number that ends in a 0 or a 5…with the biggest emphasis on the zero-ending ones.

I know a zero marks the end of a decade but is being 60 really a bigger deal than being 59 or 61? At some point it’s just plain nice to mark a birthday, any birthday, as a reminder that we’re still here.

I don’t want to wait for a “big” year to appreciate someone. I want to celebrate the lives of those around me every year, every month, every day. I want those I’m connected with to feel loved and valued every single day they draw breath.

And now for the nitty gritty: I don’t feel a bit different. I don’t feel older. I don’t have more aches and pains. In fact, nothing much has changed. I can’t draw Social Security, I don’t even think I get any additional senior discounts (I’ve been getting them for years). Turning 60 doesn’t make me feel any more mature like turning 30 did. Now that was a great year because I finally felt like others would see me as a grown-up! And turning 60 doesn’t even make me think more about end of life issues. It was really just another day.

But I did get one very special gift that truly means the world to me—a book of memories from friends and family. It was daughter Kate’s idea’s and I’m assuming with her dad’s help she hijacked my email address book and wrote to my loved ones inviting them to send her a memory about me. She lovingly compiled them into a beautiful book complete with photos. I was so moved in just receiving it that I couldn’t even read it for a good week because the tears would start that minute I glanced at it.

Finally, a week or so after receiving the book, I opened the pages planning to read just a few notes each night. I ended up reading them all! They made me laugh, cry, sigh, and they even made me remember things I had long forgotten. And to me each one was a love note sent from the heart of the writer straight to my own.

Cindi Turns 60

Cindi Turns 60

In the photo here you’ll note a picture of the actual book, a close-up of the book’s cover photo (yes, that’s me), and a copy of the title page inside.

A great big thank you to each one who took the time to share a memory or two, and a very special thank you to my precious daughter for all the effort and time that went into it but more importantly for the love behind it.