Grandpa's 90th Birthday Weekend / by Brooke Courtney

Two weeks ago we celebrated my Grandpa's 90th birthday. People flew and drove in from Florida, Arizona, Nebraska, California, and Michigan, North Carolina, New York and more. My Mom, Aunt Jan, cousin Kami and I have been planning the 90th birthday celebration since April. Emails, meetings, coffee dates and lots of work went into our planning and it was worth every minute of it.

The entire celebration began Friday night with a Variety Show put on by all in attendace. I wasn't able to be there Friday night due to a wedding, but I hear it was hysterical. Several girls sang the "walk in love" song and another put together a puzzle at record speed accompanied by The Flight of the Bumblebee song! My Aunts sang a childhood game song they all knew, while others danced, wrote songs and recited poems dedicated to Grandpa.

Saturday afternoon everyone got together, split into groups and raced around town for a video scavenger hunt. (Family: The scavenger hunt video will be on the DVD, no fear!) After the scavenger hunt, everyone ate dinner at Aunt Jan + Uncle Bill's house, followed by hours in the dunk tank, fireworks and watching Tangled on the lawn in the dark. It was a magical evening.

Sunday morning by Mom and I began working on the decorations for the birthday party itself, which was being held at my parent's house. You can see a few of the getting ready photos here and here. Early afternoon was filled with pie baking, tying silverware together, ripping fabric for the tables, setting up the Smilebooth and testing our icecream machine!

By 5:00 that evening, slowly but surely, all 52 family members, spaning four generations, assembled at my parent's house under the tree ready for dinner. Ladder ball and croquet followed dinner, which was then followed by running through the sprinkler (prettttty sure T.J. was the only adult to participate in sprinkler time) and the candy scrambles. The ages 10+ candy scramble was defintely more intense than the younger kids! We also had a watermelon seed spitting contest which was so fun and actually a lot harder to do than you'd think.

Just before icecream and pie, we presented Grandpa with his gift. Kami had put together (with everyone's input) a blanket with nine scriptures that remind everyone the most of Grandpa. I know Grandpa was touched. He just kept saying "Thank You", over and over, and over.. trying to look each one of us in the eyes.

A slideshow of Grandpa's 90 years was watched at the end of the evening, followed by a prayer from Grandpa which ended "Lord, I'm not sure what else to say. Thank you. Bye for now."

The entire weekend was truly a blessing and a priviliedge to be a part of. I am so incredibly thankful that I took the time to video bits and pieces of the weekend. I didn't take many photos knowing that my cousin Kris had that under control, but you can see what I did shoot below. The rest of my time was spent shooting video.

Lastly, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who was able to come to the party. It meant more to Dad/Grandpa/Great Grandpa than we'll ever know. And to those of you who couldn't make it, you were deeply missed and thought about all weekend! Hope to see you all again soon! [BC]

 

 

Video song: Mat Kearney, "Count On Me"

Smilebooth photos from the party will be blogged shortly and then made available for free downloads online!