Wednesday, October 8, 2014

40th Anniversary Surprise!

August was a FULL month for us.  We had something going on every weekend that month- the first two weekends we were at the beach.  Chloe got to go home to Tri-Cities with Nana and Papa right after the beach.  She was so excited!

She got to ride home with Aunt Bethany and with cousins Avery and Stella.  They had such a great time together.

Bethany spoiled them by taking them out to lunch and dinner that night.  

I received text updates and pictures from Nana and Papa throughout the week of all the fun things Chloe was doing.

The girls had a "girl's shopping trip" one night.

Nana let Chloe pick out a new shirt for school.  This oldest of mine is growing into such a beautiful little lady.

They went to the county fair one day.

Chloe has always been good at rock walls!

There was lots of cousin time!  Chloe had a great time spending time with the 4 big girl cousins in Pasco all week.

Olivia went and turned 11 months in August.  She has been cruising furniture and standing independently for what seems like forever (months).  I was pretty sure she'd be walking before her first birthday.  She is a super-duper fast crawler and can get all over the house in seconds.  (Her legs in this picture look huge compared to the rest of her body!)

 The Friday after we got home from the beach, we headed up to Tri-Cities mid-morning.  All of the Andros siblings had been busy all summer planning a surprise 40th Anniversary party for Ben's parents.  The siblings living in Tri-Cities definitely did the most work, but it was a fun, collaborated effort that we all enjoyed getting to be apart of.  Their actual anniversary was in June, but in order to have all of the siblings and their families here, we needed to do it in August.  Better that way for a surprise, too.

We fed all the kids before the party even started.  Pizza is perfect for 16 kids who wouldn't fully appreciate the nice dinner we had prepared for the party.

When the church building wasn't available, we decided to have the party in Megan's backyard.  It was perfect!

Meredith did the center pieces

Each table had a picture of Larry and Vanessa's engagement photo.  So cute!

The siblings sneakily snuck out of Larry and Vanessa's house the original wedding dress and suit worn by the bride and groom on their wedding day.

The guests all signed a matted engagement picture, that would later be framed for the happy couple.

The guests arrived early, so as to be ready for the surprise.  We started getting food out- Cafe Rio style.  It was so, so good.

Megan made her famous, fabulous punch.

Nick and Chelsea and Marcus and Rhiannon were given the job of getting the anniversary couple to Megan's house.  They had told them they wanted to take them out to dinner, and that Chelsea was going to drop her girls off at Megan's so they could go childless.

Instead, the came and discovered a BIG party!

And they were surprised!!

The kids were all so excited.

There was such a wonderful crowd that came to celebrate with them- friends they have known for years and years.  It was such a special night for them!

The kids all wanted to be right with Nana and Papa.

After letting Larry and Vanessa say hello to everyone, we started the evening with all of the grandkids singing "The Family is of God" for them.  They did such a beautiful job- it was so sweet.  (Chloe is missing from the picture because she refused to sing.  I was so disappointed).

Meredith and I quickly whisked our children away to her house where we had a babysitter waiting.  We both knew we would be able to enjoy the evening much better kidless, especially baby-less for me.  It was past Olivia's bedtime and she would have been zero fun.  I let Chloe stay and she was thrilled.

Dinner was delicious and it was so fun seeing Larry and Vanessa be able to visit and mingle with all of their friends and family.

The dessert bar was yummy too- assorted cupcakes and cookies.  I was in charge of cookies and I made 3 different kinds of cookies, all quadruple batches.  There was over 300 cookies, I believe.

When it got dark enough, we put on a slideshow, comprised of photos of the happy couple and their family over the past 40 years.  Everyone sent pictures to me (discreetly stolen from Vanessa's photo albums) that I cropped and organized, then Ben spent hours making the slideshow and setting it to fun music. 

Their engagement photos

Wedding day!

What a beautiful couple!

40 years later- and still as happy as ever!  They are truly one of the happiest couples I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  They are so patient and loving with each other and they always want to spend time together.  They are such an example to me of love and devotion.  They truly love being together and have such fun in everything they do with each other.

Ben had brought up Larry's old shirt that he wore in his engagement picture.  He long ago gave it to Ben, which he has loved wearing over the years to college dances and for Halloween and such.  It still fits Larry like a glove.  :)

The day of the anniversary party- August 22, just happened to be my and Ben's actual anniversary.  11 years together and I still can't get enough of this guy.  Can't wait to make it to our 40th!

We enjoyed the rest of the weekend hanging out with everyone.
We stayed at Meredith and Dave's house.  These two girls (8 months apart), were "twins" for a day.

Livy loved the swing in Aunt Mer's backyard, even if the sun was right in her eyes.

Later in the afternoon, we went swimming at a neighbor's house with everyone.  This was Livy's first time swimming.  She loved it, but was a handful in the pool.  She kept wanting to stick her head completely under the water and would try as hard as she could to wriggle out of our hands so she could fully submerge herself.  I only kept her in a few minutes (it was too exhausting and scary), then she and I played on the side and watched everyone else.

There was lots of dad and kid chicken fights.

Ben and Chloe won one of them!

The weekend went quickly.  We had a wonderful time and were so glad we could be there to celebrate Larry and Vanessa's 40th Anniversary.  Happy Anniversary to an amazing couple!