Happy 80th Birthday, Papa!

I think this is one of the best surprise birthday party's I've ever gone to. Joshua's grandfather (whom we both call "Papa"), was turning 80 years old and his grandmother wanted to throw a big surprise birthday for him. We weren't supposed to be here for this party, yet God worked it out--what a blessing!

His grandmother somehow kept this a secret from him for probably six months--maybe longer! She called family from out of state and arranged for them all to come down and be at the party. A couple of times the surprise was almost spoiled, but the party managed to be pulled off.

We all got to the party before 4PM to make sure we were there before Papa and Gram got there. There was a lot of preparation beforehand, although in the photo above, it looks like everyone was just standing around (there was a golf game on and everyone was mesmerized).

Joshua's uncle (picture above) arrived at 9:30AM to smoke all the meat and prep for the big shindig. There was ribs, chicken legs, and sausage--yum!

While waiting for Joshua's grandparents to arrive, we snagged a quick picture of ourselves. :) I rarely am in a photo. Truth be told, I don't like having my picture taken. Ironic, isn't it?

When Joshua's grandparents arrived, Papa believed it was a party with his cruise friends. As he walked into the gate, he began to see faces of not only his cruise buddies, but friends from old. At this point, however, he had no idea that his family from out of state was there. 

Slowly, one-by-one, each family member came out of the house and it was overwhelming for everyone on the porch. Tears freely flowed, hugs abounded, and laughter was in the air. It was such a treasured moment.

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I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. 

Papa kept saying, "This is unreal! I can't believe this is happening!" as he wiped away his tears and laughed with joy. 

Happy 80th Birthday, Papa! We love you dearly and are so happy to have you in our lives. 

-Ashley