Tuesday, September 17, 2013

highlight // weekend wrap-up

When we do a "highlight" post, we love to feature someone in our lives that is making a big impact on us, on our ministry, and so forth. Maybe even just someone that we think deserves a little spotlight. Well, with a weekend (plus Monday) so jam-packed with people, seriously wonderful people, this post needs to love on more than just one person this time.

Here's a little more about our extra BIG weekend!


On Saturday, we finally got to see something that we have been planning for months come to life! Jamey and I joined forces with his mom to throw a super special surprise party for his dad for his retirement. Now when Jamey's dad retired from the local school system, he at one point in his career held the title of each the P.E. teacher, the tennis coach, the much-celebrated varsity basketball coach, and the high school guidance counselor... all of which made just about everyone around know him by name. And he still holds many other various positions! Yet he tried to quietly & quickly retire on the Tuesday before our wedding last year, so that no one would make a big fuss about it. Yeah, right! Like we weren't gonna do that!

The invitation to the surprise party!

So in conjunction with his 60th birthday this year, we decided it was time to celebrate both occasions and throw one amazing surprise party. And the most amazing part is that it WAS a surprise and we got one over him! Anyone will tell you that getting something past Jimmy Smith while being right under his nose is one very difficult task!

The party was themed towards his varsity basketball coaching days, with everything decked out in Alleghany HS colors, and with all of the pictures, yearbooks, newspapers, and awards he had collected over the years all pulled back out for everyone to see. And of course, you can't forget yummy food and lots of cake!

First, Dad's surprise as he came in; Second, his cake with the phrase he coined for his team;
Third, one of his best friends rolling out a wheelchair for the "Old Man". 
Jamey and I put it a lot of work over the past few weeks to help his mom get everything ready: I designed the invitations, we both addressed them & got them out, we did lots of running errands and shopping trips, even a DIY project or two. Lots of staying up into the early morning to work on things after Dad was in the bed. But the biggest amount of work that Jamey and I put in before the party was our birthday present for his dad; we went through all of his old newspapers that he'd saved but never been able to really look through because they were stored away in a box downstairs and created scrapbooks for him of all of his games and seasons in order so that he can enjoy them, and so that they are safely kept for him now. Needless to say when Jamey presented his dad with the gift at the party, there were tears from the both of them!

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to celebrate Coach Smith with us, and for helping us surprise him with a great night night full of memories and friends. We can definitely report back that he absolutely loved it and keeps talking about it!


And then if we hadn't had enough excitement for one weekend, it also just happened to work out that we were throwing another event on the next day! We hosted an Open House for our ministry team members and close friends to come and visit with us one more time. Since we will only have about a week at home between Colorado and Honduras, we have had to say all of our final goodbyes to everyone except our immediate families before leaving for Colorado. The Open House idea was great for that, so that we could bring everyone to one place and serve them so yummy food, too! 

We wanted to say a huge thank you to the 35+ people that came out on Sunday, and for those who couldn't make it that sent their thoughts & prayers. We felt very encouraged and rejuvenated afterward, and loved getting to see each of you again! We have SUCH an amazing group of people on our ministry and prayer team!

In case you missed it, here's a little peak of Sunday's Open House. The weather was absolutely beautiful, and an almost mountain Fall-like feeling, so we pulled together the lawn furniture to the front yard and hosted the party on the front porch. Aside from having an excuse to try out this adorable cheese and grapes sunflower, I also served a double batch of my family recipe for Yum Mexican Chicken Dip straight from the crockpot, and there wasn't a spoonful left to speak of at the end! 


On Monday, my best friend Caroline was sweet enough to spend her day off from work driving all the way from Lynchburg, VA to come see us in Covington ... and help us PACK! That's what I call a great friend!! Caroline spent the day catching up with me, then first helping me decide on what to pack for our training in Colorado (since the temperatures will most likely be between 35 and 75 degrees any day, it was a hard decision!), and second helping me inventory and pack up some of the piles of things that is already laid out to go to Honduras with us. And on top of that, we also found the time to try our hand at making homemade cheez-its (um, awesome) and make a yummy dinner of fajitas & homemade queso dip!

Homemade Cheez-Its! And only 4 ingredients :) 

Bonus... today, Tuesday, Sept. 17: 

Today is Jamey's dad's actual birthday, and he is currently enjoying his homemade cinnamon sugar covered pecans his coworkers made for him, and is about to enjoy a homemade crust chicken pot pie we're making for his dinner tonight! Can you tell we love food around here? :)

We also just ended our "sending" phone call with GCM, GCLA, and NLCF to discuss our final expectations and preparations... more on that later!


  1. Yay! So much excitement! It was great to see you guys!

  2. The party for Jimmy was great. We were honored to be there. We certainly appreciate all he did for us.