My sweet father turned 80 last month.
Now, I know a lot of folks reach 80, but he has had two heart attacks, the last being almost 20 years ago, on Guy's and my 1st anniversary. With a history of heart trouble in the family and his own father passing away in his 40's, mom had always predicted dad would die young. But it ended up being her that left us far too early.
For Dad's birthday my awesome sister-in-law, Tracey, suggested that we gather to celebrate. My amazing sister Korinne who cares for my dad planned a big project for us to do as a gift for my dad. We would build an aviary for him to raise quail and turtle doves (because apparently the hundred or so hummingbirds he feeds everyday don't quite keep him busy enough!).
Almost every member of the family was able to come, which made it extra special. The menfolk dug and chopped and did very manly things that required much sweating and grunty-sound-making.
"Num", as Natalie calls him (Adam).
While the dudes worked and got stinky, Julean and I pretended to work (but mostly talked and laughed) while we assembled the bench that was our group gift to Dad. I mean, there were only so many shovels, and the guys had it all under control. We lady-folk did assemble a meal worthy of a barn-raising, though.
(Testing out the bench. The "sitting" pictured here is for purely scientific purposes. Nothing lazy about it)
Auntie Julean and Nanobot. A regular redhead convention.
Cousins Jason, Natalie, Emma, Sam, and sundry animals.
Jason always finds a baby to look after.
There is a predominance of Y chromosomes in our families (If you look at the young man standing by Guy you will see John, Adam's twin from another mother).
Pete, Caleb, and Isaiah. And cake. Lot's of cake.
Ellie, Jonah and Elijah. They worked for an hour filling in State nicknames. Homeschool kids are known to suddenly do schoolish things without provocation whilst right in the middle of an otherwise utterly non-schooly event. It's awesome. Also awesome; a picture of Jonah smiling. A rare sighting from our little camera-phobe.
Happy Birthday, Dad!
I hope the next time I see you, there are a dozen baby quail following you all over and calling you "mama" in Quailese.