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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Happy 71st Birthday Dad!!

Today my Dad turns 71!! He doesn't seem that "old" to me. He is still quite sharp, active and spry! He has been on a bowling league for 20 + years and is really good! He faithfully practices twice a week. I can remember being a little girl and watching him THROW the bowling ball up this hill we had at our house. It was a big hill too. He said it strengthened his throw, don't say!! Good stress relief too! ***Here he is with Tyler at his 1st birthday party. Looks like he's teasing Tyler, something he does often....and well!!***Dad and Mom have 8 children. Four boys and four girls. And although their lives haven't always been easy, (in fact, they've been quite hard) they have done all they could to raise us with a strong, godly heritage. When my Dad isn't bowling or walking around Green Dragon, (a local farmers market) or at New Holland Sales Stable or watering his flowers or eating at Yoder's....he is on the couch, in his "corner" with an old, smashed pillow on his lap and his thick, worn, highlighted Bible on top. (I believe my sister Jan already has "dibs" on that....just so everyone knows!!) It seems he's had that Bible for forever! And it has strengthened him, encouraged him... rescued him.
***Here he is with my Mom at a reunion one year when my Mom dressed in her Mother's clothing.*** They met when they were both still Amish and she looks just as lovely now as she did then. She was a beautiful young Amish girl and Dad was quite handsome...still is. "All the ladies wanted Isaac" as she recalls, but he liked my Mom because she was shy and didn't "chase after him."
Here's Dad keeping "in Touch"!! HA!! He loves to read and you will most likely find him with a book/newspaper/magazine/letter in hand if he is sitting. He enjoys reading and learning about history. If you ever drive with him ANYWHERE you will know this! "I remember when this use to be an old field....", etc. etc. He can talk your ear off if you'd like, BOTH of them!!! As I mentioned before, he is quite a teaser! One time he stopped at his sisters house, (Amish sister mind you), she wasn't there, so he took her clean laundry, tied it in knots and hung it around the house. The centerpiece being her underwear hanging from her kerosene lantern over her dinner table!!!!!!! ***This is the aftermath of one of his visits, (obviously I wasn't home!!) It took me awhile to untie all those knots in my apron by the way!!! Winnie-the-Pooh had a note on his head from Grandpa!*** Here Dad is a few hours after Luke was born. He is so good with babies, (had lots of practice I guess). He takes his role of blessing his Grandchildren pretty seriously. He acts silly sometimes and doesn't always remember all their names, but in his heart he is full of love and kindness toward them.
Grandchild # 22!! Luke Thomas!!
Speaking of Grandchildren, today is my nephews birthday as well. He was born on my Dad's birthday and named after him: Aiden Isaac! We're so glad he was born and he is so loved by all of us, (especially his cousins!!)
Another thing about Dad is that he is a die-hard Philadelphia Phillie's fan!! He sits and watches their games faithfully and attends as often as he can, although he prefers his own TV room so he can have his feet up and eat Mom's shoo-fly pie at the same time! ***I found matching Phil's shirts at Walmart of all places and had the boys wear them down to show Grandpa!!***
For Dad's 70th party last year we hired a bluegrass band called, "Sunnyside." They were a hit!! Sunnyside is the name of one of the farms we lived on so it was even more perfect to have them play!! Speaking of music, my Dad loves it! He's been playing the guitar for as long as I can remember and I'll be 30 this year!! He often plays when no one is home and prefers it that way. A time of two I would come home and be getting out of my car and I could hear him playing and singing as loudly as he could. He has a little amp now and loves it even more. He has the radio on all night long and says, "I can hear it in my sleep!" He sings loudly at church even though he is so off key it's embarrassing!! He goes to every bluegrass concert he can and shouts out requests, (again, much to my embarrassment)!! When I was younger I would be toted along to these events, usually hours away, thankfully with my cousin Renee and we would go meet all these boys that wore overalls and spoke with a twang in their voice. We would laugh our heads off at them!!! ***Here they are in the front yard at Dad & Mom's beautiful, picturesque home.***
HE LOVES PEOPLE and has blessed each of us children with that gift....truly loving & caring for people. He is a friend to all and because of watching that attribute in him over the years, we too have embraced that. Maybe we didn't realize it, but I believe it's because of his impartial view of others that we love the way we do. He talks with the mentally handicapped as though they are his best friends. The poor, the afflicted, the rich, the widowed, the lonely...Isaac is their friend. ***Dad and one of his friends at his 70th birthday bash.***

Dad, you have given us more then life on earth.
You have passed on a heritage, a legacy to us.
May your next years be better then your former ones.
*sorry Tom, this is the unedited version and your lovely face does not appear!!*
"When I was a kid, my father told me every day,
"You're the most wonderful boy in the world,
and you can do anything you want to."
Jan Hutchins~


Judy Martin said...

Janelle, What a precious tribute this is to your father. Oh, the rich, rich blessing of having a Godly, caring, nurturing father for our journey here on earth. Thank you for sharing him and your life with him, with all of us. I have been privileged to know some of his children, and I would agree with you, that he is a great role model. Judy

Anonymous said...

What a guy, that Dad of ours!! =) Full of life and fun.... Shrish

Anonymous said...

i didn't know your parents came from the Amish. =) your father sounds like a wonderful man. i got tears when i was reading your beautiful words. =)

did you catch 'the outsiders' last nite? it featured four young teens in their rumspringa days and the choices they face.

Jodee Leader said...

Happy birthday to your Dad. He sounds like an amazing man!

chinoq said...

Happy Birthday. This is a happy family really. Be Happy.


The lady of the house... said...

ok, i have no idea who the heck this chinoq guy is and it's kinda freaking me out, so i think i'm going to be changing my comment permissions....