S: Don's 70th Birthday
BC: The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him. Proverbs 20:7
FC: Don's 70th Birthday
1: This is a story of a dad so great his kids planned a surprise for him. | Don Lee's 70th Birthday Weekend
2: The kids knew turning 70 was a momentous event so they collaborated, then consulted with their mom. Don is a popular guy, they knew a lot of people would want to help celebrate his birthday. The happy event fell on Thanksgiving weekend so they decided to visit their dad that weekend and invite the rest of the family to join them at the family's favorite restaurant for special occasion - Red Lobster.
3: Now the question was how to provide an opportunity for others to be included in Don's birthday. The kids decided to send a letter out to all Don's friends and contacts at every church at which he had ministered. The idea was to take all the responses received from this invitation and combine them into a scrapbook their dad could have as a permanent memory book.
5: When the special day arrived, it was sunny and perfect. The brothers kept Don occupied at the house in the morning while the sister arrived early to set up the "back room" at Red Lobster . Immediately upon entering the room, a table held the cake, cards, gifts, and 70th birthday decorations. 6 tables were pulled together in the center of the room to make one large "adult" table. Two "kid" tables were arranged in booths at the back of the room.
6: The Hardy Families and Kittrell's were the first to arrive. They enjoyed spending time with each other while waiting for the guest of honor to arrive.
7: All Don knew was that the kids planned to take him to lunch for his birthday. It was a real surprise when he saw the banquet room decked out in 70th Birthday decorations, a cake, and gifts.
9: The grandkids divided themselves into "boys" and "girls" tables. Alex was a bit shy so he decided to stick with his sisters. Jason and Andrew played video games and came up with a creative "70" photo idea while they waited for the festivities to start.
11: The adults ordered appetizers and spent time fellowshipping until the servers had all the orders.
13: People from far and wide had responded to the scrapbook invitation. The oldest brother presented the book to Don and told the family what a blessing it is to have such a wonderful father. He gave examples of letters from the scrapbook: -A 92 year old church member said Don ministered to her. -A former parishioner was saved, at nine years old, while Don was his pastor. -A different minister was encouraged by Don. The list was long and heart-touching.
17: The next gift had "Who's Counting?" on the top of the bag. Everyone got a good laugh when Don read it. Once the package was open, he found a book of family beach pictures. The photos started over 10 years ago in Fort Morgan when the grandchildren were small and continued up through their time together in Gulf Shores this past summer.
18: A card with Proverbs 17:6 was tucked in the middle of the book...
19: Children's children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers
21: The final gift from the kids was a new watch.
22: The sister brought Don the cake, lit the candles, then the family sang Happy Birthday. Alex was fascinated and came to get a closer look. Don asked Alex to help blow out the candles.
25: After the candles were out, the cake was moved back to the "gift table". Megan & Melissa said they were good "servers" and delivered cake to everyone at the party.
27: At the end of the party, the whole family enjoyed spending time together and catching up. Don gave Alex the "Celebrate" pin and balloon.
30: Family Photos
35: Candids from the night before the party
39: As our story comes to a close, an interesting thing happened. The kids who thought the surprise weekend was all about Don found that they were blessed after reading stories of people touched by Don's life. Is there any other way this story could end?
40: They all lived happily ever after.