Being a New Year's Eve baby, I suppose everyone celebrates Ernie's birthday in one way or another! Our day began with birthday calls and songs from the kids and Mom Stout...a tradition in our family and a wonderful way to start the day.
Then we had a much appreciated visit from some friends we've known for 30+ years, Trent and Nancy Landenberger. We attended the same church in Florida, Trent was our dentist, and our families spent lots of time together before and after having children. They too are North Carolinians now and live in Apex. Trent has been to Peru a couple of times on dental mission trips, has hiked Macchu Picchu, and could share some valuable insight about Peru and dentistry with Nick. They hope to meet up in February when Trent will be in Lima as part of a cruise around South America. Nancy, also a cancer survivor (8 years!), made some delicious soup and we all shared a warm meal and enjoyed catching up. We have so many fond memories of times spent together in Florida, anchored in Biscayne Bay, traveling to Key West, diving for lobster, watching the boat parade, or just having dinner or lunch together. Mom Stout, Ernie's sister Sherry, and brother-in-law Bobby also enjoyed catching up on our days in Boca Raton, Florida.
|Nancy, Sherry and Mom Stout|
|Bobby and Trent|
|Sitting down for a warm bowl of homemade soup and fresh bread.|
Next we got ready for a pizza party with Ern's folks and brother Marvin's family. It takes ALOT of pizza to feed 18 hungry people! Many thanks to Bobby and Sherry for treating us.
|Pizza Hut to the rescue!|
|Big prayer circle!|
|The Sams aren't quite in to pizza yet, so they got some strange colored baby food!|
I made Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever. for dessert and it did not disappoint...rich and chocolatey for sure! The Nats got to help Grandpa blow out his candles (only had 6, so guess we are representing his 6th decade of life).
Of course football was a main attraction on TV, and we were pleased that UNC, FSU and UCF all fared well in their bowl games!
Samantha got some extra cuddles from Grandpa, and Natalie enjoyed a blue lollipop with Mommy as we relaxed together before opening presents.
A special present was then given to Grandpa by the Dews. It is a blanket he can throw over himself when napping, and it has pictures of the whole family on it. What a constant reminder of how he is covered in love!
It was time to say goodnight and goodbye to Ernie's folks, Sherry and Bobby, as they were heading to Black Mountain the next morning. Thanks to everyone for helping us celebrate a very special birthday for Ernie. Happy New Year!
|PopPop, EZ and Grammy|
|Original Baker 5: Marvin, Ern, Sherry, Mom and Dad|