Happy Birthday Mom!

My mom turned 70 yesterday! We've been chatting for several months on the best way to celebrate. We needed something more than our traditional family birthday dinner, but not as much hoopla as the big shindig we did for dad's 70th. 

The celebration started with an invitation to friends, family, former students, co-workers, and her church family to join us in a card shower. She has been receiving cards in the mail for the past several weeks. 

There were so many we had to find a creative way to put them on display. 

Last weekend the older three grandkids did their own little birthday party for grandma. They each took responsibility for planning and cooking a portion of dinner. C and Little J decorated while J was busy getting the card display started.

C chose to focus on the main dish. She made a delicious chili.
Little J created his own recipe for his side dish. It included diced cucumbers, peppers, and strawberries wrapped in a toasted whole wheat tortilla shell.
J created a healthier version of strawberry shortcake with homemade whipped cream. She replaced the shortcake with a banana/egg pancake. 

 (note the smiley face streamer image on the windows)

We used the family "Happy Day" plate and added a candle for the birthday girl.

On her actual birthday, we hosted a small gathering of close friends for lunch. We got out the fine china, goldware, and extended the dining table to make room for everyone and give it the extra special look worthy of mom's birthday.

Her friends included childhood friends, church friends, and friends she made as a young married lady. There is something very special about friendships that have a lot of years of memories. 

I loved listening in on the stories from the kitchen.

Just for the documentation of the day.....the menu included:

  • meatloaf - basic and Italian
  • Pioneer Woman's mashed potatoes
  • homegrown sweet corn 
  • homemade rolls
  • cranberry salad
  • oriental salad
  • fresh pineapple
  • honey mint iced tea
  • iced tea
  • lemonade
  • water
  • coffee
  • homemade chocolate cake by my sis

At this point in time my mom does not need any more "stuff" added to her house. It makes gift giving a bit of a challenge. I think we came through nicely with our gifts to her.

In addition to the party, my sis and bro made the early morning journey "home" to go to church with mom and dad. They also made special arrangements to do a special grandkids photo shoot. 

My sis took care of the party center piece. We took one of mom's antique dishes to the florist to use....yea! no added stuff.

And I had one of her wedding portraits reprinted and professionally matted and reframed in the original frame...yea! no added stuff.
When I took the photo and frame to the store I discovered a treasure that has been tucked inside the layers of backing. My dad wrote mom a declaration of his love on the original back cover of the photo frame. Somewhere along the line another cover got added to the back and they forgot about the hand written note. Next time you are at their house, you are invited to take the portrait off the wall and look at the back. It is in the hallway photo gallery.

A side note to my sis and bro....
I am so far ahead of you in the favorite child points. After I finished cleaning up from the party, mom said "you're my favorite" (wink wink).

Now that we have that clear, I'll show you these photos, because they are good photos, not because they are mom's favorites. :)

We all hope that all of the gifts and celebrations remind mom how much she is loved and cherished and has made a positive impact on us!


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