Over Memorial Day weekend, my grandpa turned 80 years old. He is the most wonderful man, and his sweet wife had been planning on getting our WHOLE family together to surprise him for years!
It was tricky, with 20+ people who love to talk like we do, to keep it a secret.
We had a few slips...but luckily Bobba was none the wiser.
See his reaction in Sean's video below:
I love it! I love his hand out and the, "How did this all happen?!" at the end. He was completely surprised by the whole thing!
Devin & Liz were amazing and hosted every dinner and get-together in their beautiful home. We sat and ate, talked, laughed, and played games for hours.
We got to see our cousin Daniel, who had just returned home from his mission in Houston, TX. We were only missing two family members: Chris, who is serving a mission in Oklahoma and Jennie's husband, Phe who had to work. We missed them! Matt & KayLa's baby, Georgia Kay, was blessed on Sunday with all of the family there. It was so special!
Lindsay was behind all of the decor. She and Nana would go out to lunch and plan every detail of the big bash. She had black and white pictures of Bobba printed out and attached to the back of our dinner plates. It was all just perfect! See for yourself:
We decided that Nana LOVES the secret surprise! She would say things that were so close to giving it away with Bobba around and we'd all try SO hard not to ruin it...Nana is so clever and we all had to try and catch up.
After the big surprise, delicious dinner, and decadent Madonna Inn cakes, all of us sat around the table and passed around a collection of memories about Bobba. We had each been asked to share a story about Bobba, then sent it to Lindsay who printed them out and compiled them into a book. We each took turns reading someone else's memory, and needless to say, many tears were shed. Almost every memory about Melvin John Drake involved his lifelong commitment to service, hard work, and testimony of Jesus Christ. It was fun to hear Bobba's side of the story after certain more humorous memories, too :)
After that, all of the grandchildren sang Oh Susanna and Oh My Darling Clementine to Bobba. He had mentioned that those were his favorite old folk songs from growing up in Montana. Lindsay and I used to run away with our hands over our ears screaming, "Noooooo!" when he would sing to us as young children. He sang along with us, and we all realized what a depressing song Clementine is! Sean accompanied on guitar.
We later watched a slideshow of pictures of Bobba in his childhood, adulthood, early family years, as a grandpa, and great-grandpa. Mackenzie put it together and it was so fun to see! Bobba wanted to pause on every picture and give us all of the history behind it.
Devin had the genius idea to attach a tent to their sliding glass door that leads into their backyard. Since all of the furniture was moved for the tables, they put the sofas and chairs in the tent and it was our favorite hangout spot! Can you tell that Ada is in heaven with all of the attention from my cousins? :)
Over the weekend we did things like walk the Bob Jones Trail, play at Avila Beach, go shooting at VAFB, and play games and eat more food and dessert and candy :) It was the perfect weekend! Devin & Liz even have bingo cards & a little basket to spin with balls in it (That helped in getting Ada to warm up to Devin more)! They had some pretty sweet prizes for the winners...check out Morgan's eye-patch & David's cowboy pistol!
Treats & snoozin' for Uncle Dana! We have a lot in common...chattiness, left-handedness, two a's in our names, love of Dr. Pepper & Snickers...so fun to see him. Also he made me pee my pants when I was seven years old.
Sitting on the beach while my kids are entertained and loved by my awesome cousins?!
Tired little girl!
Ada loves her Uncle Sean :)
Lola was infatuated with baby Georgia! "A baby smaller than me?" she says!
It was a perfect weekend. I only wish that it could have lasted longer. I am so grateful that I was born into such a loving family, thanks to Mel & Alice Drake. Because of them we are all best friends, and when we get together - it is like no time has passed at all. This man just went through a quintuple bypass this year and has recovered incredibly. I've watched him fix plates of food to bring dinner to widows that he Home Teaches. I think he has been there to help at every move in the Santa Maria 3rd Ward, and has fixed countless cars of the family & things around our houses. All in his quiet, happy way. Love you Bobba!
Also, this happened. David vs. Matt.