Tuesday, March 26, 2013

~Surprising the birthday girl...and meeting my blogging friend.~

 ~Donald and Melinda Shirk and Phillip and I go quite a ways back.  We attended GBS together, and became great friends.  We've been with each other through the dating years, newly married years, through the new baby stages with our first babies, etc.  Kimberly and Bryanna were born about a year or so apart and so have been friends ever since.  Back in 2010 you may remember that the Shirks were the ANGELS I talked about that took a week out of their busy schedule to come and HELP US on our USA house.  We would never have gotten to enjoy the 19 days we got to enjoy in our own home, if it would not have been for them.   A couple months ago, Melinda called me and told me that they were going to have a Sixteenth Birthday party for Bryanna, for she was turning Sweet 16. She told me that the party was not going to be a surprise, but that she would LOVE It if we could fly home from Colombia in enough time to come down to her party to surprise Bryanna.  We've been PRAYING that no one would slip and tell her our secret.  If you can see this picture well enough (It was taken from far away) you can tell by Bryanna's face that we SURPRISED Her half to death.  She later told her mother that the room was spinning around and she thought she was going to faint when she saw us!!!  YEA!  Jesus helped us to surprise her!  (This is one reason I couldn't post our Deputation schedule until after her party! =) 
~Here's some fun pics of her party. ~

~Bryanna's pretty cake that has quite the story behind it.  =) (It slid out of it's box on the way home from Costcos, a friend of Melindas worked on it, then Costcos added some more piping around the edges to replace the edging that had DIED, then a friend did the decorations on top, another lady in TN made the pink roses, and A. Jan transported the icing roses from TN to AL.  There were lots of hands that made this cake the pretty cake it turned out to be. =) ~

~Another HUGE surprise for Bryanna was that her grandparents from AK flew in.  She had no clue and was so SURPRISED that they came too.~

~Our little Mary.~
~Opening gifts.~
~Playing games.~
~Melinda gave Donald a riffle...(that had belonged to her Dad).  She thought that since he now had 16 year old girl maybe he should have a riffle to scare away the boys.  =)~
~At the party another "Heather" showed up.  After the party I told her that I wasn't used to having another Heather around, and she told me that she was sort of named after me.  Her mother loved my sister and I and loved our names and wanted to name her girls after Laura and I.  She got her Heather, but the next 2 were boys and wouldn't have been happy if their Mother would have named them, "Laura." =)  It was so nice to meet Heather.~
~All the young people at the party.~
~About 2 years or so ago my sister emailed me and sent me a blog address. She told me that I just HAD to go to this lady's blog that she surely had a knack for decorating really cute.  So, I went to Brittany's blog, and loved what I saw and started leaving comments.  Then later on Brittany and I started emailing back and forth.  We became fast friends (or to quote Anne with an "E" and what Brittany put on her blog too...we found that we were "Kindred spirits."  I felt like I had found a "sister named Brittany that I never knew I had before." ;-)  I have often commented to my Phillip that Brittany is such a DEAR lady. 
Well, when we knew we were going to Bryanna's birthday party in Pell City, AL, I told Phillip I bet Brittany and her family doesn't live too far to from Pell City.  So, we contacted them about us possibly having a missionary service at their church.  When it worked out on their end too, I was so excited that I was finally going to meet "Brittany from Painted Parsonage." =)
We had a delightful time with them.  It was too short, but our family loved every minute being with their family.  Here's Brittany and I.~
~She snapped this fun picture of our family.  I plan to get it enlarge to hang it in our home.  I bought the frame today. =) ~
 ~MY FUN SURPRISE!!  Many of you may have seen this ADORABLE sign that Brittany made for her house.  (I "borrowed" her picture off her blog so I could show you her sign.)
When I walked into her home and saw her sign in real life it brought tears to my eyes and I said to Brittany, "Where was my brain?  I could have so emailed you and asked you to make me one of these signs and then I could have sent you a check."  (I'd be happy to make my own signs, if I were going to be home to do it. =)
Well, after our delightful afternoon together we took our children to the restroom, gave hugs and said goodbyes and then got into our van to head to the next service. 
About 5 minutes down the road my Sarah (who was sitting on the back bench in our van) asked me, "Mommy, Did Mrs. Brittany give you her sign that says, 'Over and Over, Again and Again, God is Faithful?' "  I said, "No."  She said, "Well, there's one behind my seat right now!!"  I quickly looked at Phillip and asked him, "Phillip, Did Brittany give me HER sign?"  He said, "Yes, while you were in the bathroom with the kids, Brittany pulled this off her wall, handed it to her husband and told him to slip that in our van for you."  So, I called Brittany right away and told her, "Brittany, you have me CRYING!!! This was so SWEET of you.  I was NOT asking for your sign."  She told me that she wanted me to have it.  How thoughtful of her!!!
I can't WAIT to to hang it in our home!!!!!
Thank you TONS, Brittany, I will cherish your sign forever.  =)~
 ~And they took this picture of our families together.  Bro. David told us that our little Mary had him wrapped right around her little finger.  He sat and held her for probably about an hour while she slept on his shoulder.   So sweet.
We'd love to come back through so we could have a longer visit with them.  We feel like we've known them all our lives.  They are dear people.
I told Brittany that we NEEDED to come back on another day besides Sunday, so that she and I could go shopping, and do some crafting together. =)  We had a blast being together. 
Thanks, David and Brittany, for all y'all did for us, we surely enjoyed our fun time in your pretty home. =) 
More pics from our weekend coming up.~


CrazieChrisa said...

Looks so fun! I'm glad you got to do your surprise and see your kindred spirit:) I'm jealous that A. Jan got to see y'all though:) Will y'all be coming to Florida at all? Stay safe! Love you!

Emily Grace said...

Beautiful family photo! Love it!
Love and prayers, Emily A.

Charity said...

It sounds like your trip is off to a great start!! :) I've been blessed to have visited the "Painted Parsonage" a couple of times... what a dear family they are!

Brittany said...

What a fun birthday surprise! And that cake is so pretty - sounds like it was quite a group effort ;)
We're SO happy y'all got to visit! Y'all were just as sweet and fun as we had imagined you to be =) That sign just seemed to fit with you all - every time I read your blog about the many times God works out different situations for y'all and answers prayer after prayer, I always thought of that song - Over and Over, Again and Again, God is Faithful. God has certainly been faithful to your family over and over again! I couldn't think of a better place for that sign to go =) And if *I* had been using my brain, I would have specially made one just for you before you got here ;)
I hope the rest of your tour goes GREAT!

Keith and Crystal said...

Heather, your blog looks so beautiful and "spring-y" :) I love the family picture. Brittany's blog is one of my favorites, too.

I was hoping so badly that you all would be passing near us, but I think the closest service is 5 hours from us. I would LOVE to meet you!

Hope your Easter weekend is blessed!!

mmsbryan said...

So glad for Brianna's surprise. That took a lot of effort for you all to get on the road so quickly but I know that you will be the first to agree that the Shirks have put forth a lot of effort to help you all get some days in your new "old" home before you had to return to the field. Not just that, but over the years Melinda went to her sewing machine when you could not get to yours and made some of the most lovely clothes for your kids to have for some special days. I will alway remember Noah's little suit and the girls pretty dresses the year the kids would not have had anything new to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord but for her gift. A gift of time and effort is truly a sacrifice and a gift of love. Speaking of a gift of love, Brittany's gift of the lovely mirror with it's message is a classic love gift. So glad that you gals found each other to be for real not just someone out there on your on your blogs, and sounds like you were not disappointed. Thanks for taking the time to post when you would rather be "playing house". You made us feel like we were there to surprise Brianna and to visit the "Painted Parsonage." God has surely blessed Brittany with lots of talents. I am so glad that she is giving them back to Him in service to others. It is wonderful having you closer to home, we are anticipating the day that you will all will really come "home." I Love you, Moma

lila said...

See what all you would have missed if it wasn't for deputation. You are so blessed. Glad you are having a great time. Love you tons

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