I have been blogging my head off about Dave turning 50 (which actually happens Monday) all. week. looooong! If a picture is worth a thousand words, then today I’ll keep it short and sweet. Happy Birthday, babe.
(1) I love you. (2) I respect you. (3) I was lost before I found you. (4) I loved the thought of you before we met. (5) I am happiest when I am with you. (6) Your touch heals me. (7) Your look thrills me. (8) Having you choose me changed my life. (9) Every day before you was lonely. (10) Every day before you, you were the one I was looking for. (11) You were the whole package for me. (12) You ARE the whole package for me. (13) I am a better person because you saw something in me and shined a light on it. (14) I am a better person because you believed in me. (15) You know me better than I know myself. (16) You showed me what could be, in spite of what was. (17) I would go anywhere with you – including Japan for 5 weeks! (18) I would live anywhere with you – even an RV!I think. (19) I can hear your voice in a crowd. (20) When I can find your face in a sea of strangers, my head stays above water. (21) I thank God for you. (22) I thank God because you are my proof that He was thinking ahead to me. (23) No matter how many days we have together on this earth-it will never be enough for me. (24) I will want more. (25) I treasure all the times you have made me laugh.
(26) I treasure the songs you have sung to me. (27) Your hands-I love the touch of your hands. (28) You’re as cool as the other side of the pillow. (29) You’re as warm as the sunshine at the beach. (30) You’re as strong as the waves of the ocean. (31) You’re as beautiful as the sunrise on my garden. (32) You light up my life. (33) You’re the inspiration. (34) I will always love you. (35) I won’t last a day without you. (36) I’m keeping you forever and foralways… We will be together all of our days…Wanna wake every morning to your sweet face…Always. (37) I need you to know that I know you are a good man. (38) I know you are an honest man. (39) I know how deeply you care about people. (40) I know all you have sacrificed over the years to provide for our family. (41) I have seen the sacrifices for other people, too. (42) I can vouch for your total integrity in every area of your life. (43) I know you have always, when you could, chosen peace. (44) You have brought peace into my life. (45) I haven’t always made that easy. (46) But you kept doing it anyway. (47) I am so honored to be married to you. (48) I am so honored that you wanted me to be the mother of your children. (49) You are the best friend I have ever had. (50) In spite of the hard knocks, I wouldn’t have missed this for the world… (51)And I want you to know how valuable you are to me, my love, my birthday boy. You are. And if I had it all to do again? I would. I do.
I have to quit because you are only turning 50 – and I could keep going! Love you, babe…Jeanie
David Allen Rhoades will turn 50 on Monday. Wish him well here if you want. Or at email@example.com
pictured: Dave with his 5 grandkids (one for each decade!) at his family birthday party a few days ago; Gavin and Hunter, Gemma, Guini and Averi
We thought every song was about us and our love for the first, oh, 26 or 27 years (we’ll celebrate 28 years of marriage this summer)…Below are a few of the early ones that ignite some memories.
Endless Love Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie 1981. This was a huge hit the summer of our getting together and my sister, Tami, wanted us to sing it to each other at our wedding. We didn’t, but there is some early-marriage video of us lip-syncing to it very late one night.
Eddie Rabbit Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places (meaning before we got together :) )
“Some people are made for each other. Some people can love one another for life, how ’bout us?”How ‘Bout Us? by Champagne 1981
Cliff and Olivia Suddenly…the wheels are in motion, and I am ready to sail any ocean…
Reminds me of youth group trips: Careless Whisper by George Michael 1984
Up Where We Belong 1984 “The road is long, and there are mountains in our way…” Jennifer Warren and Joe Cocker from the great movie, An Officer and a Gentleman. Dave and I actually sang a “Christian” rendition of it which was quite well-liked. Hokey, yes, but Bebe and Cece did it first.
1984 Tina Turner What’s Love Got to Do with it? Got to do with it?!
Whitney Houston 1985 “No other man’s gonna do ~ so I’m saving all my love for you…” Saving All My Lovewhew!
1984 I Just Called to Say I love You, Stevie Wonder, naturally
We lived near the fairgrounds and our first night at home as newly marrieds, we listened to Air Supply singing at the fair, but through our windows So Lost in Love 1981
Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley
Dave and I have sang this song at many many weddings, Always by Atlantic Starr “Boy, I love you so, can’t find enough ways to let you know. But you can be sure I’m yours for always…We both know that our love will grow…”
Patti Labelle and James Ingram “Baby, come to me. Let me put my arms around you this was meant to be…” Baby, Come to Me
Little Jeanie Elton
“Once in your life you find her..” Arthur’s Theme: The Best that You can Do, Christopher Cross
I Love a Rainy Night Another Eddie Rabbit from 1981
“My friends wonder why I call you all the time, what can I say?…Because your kiss is on my list of the best things in life…” Kiss on My List Darryl Hall and John Oates
My baby takes the Morning Train, 9-5 Sheena Easton
Olivia Newton-John 1981 Physical I wanna get physical, physical…let me hear your body talk…
Rapture 1981 by Blondie, the first “rap” song I had ever heard. And she was blond and white.
“Please remember my life is in your hands” Woman by John Lennon
The Boy from New York City
1981 Slow Hand The Pointer Sisters
Ronnie Milsap Smoky Mountain Rain “keeps on fallin’…”
IOULee Greenwood, the song of our first anniversary in 1982. We danced to it.
Survivor Eye of the Tiger We actually used to work out to this song.
Another Ronnie Milsap: I Wouldn’t Have Missed It
Michael Jackson just hitting his stride Billie Jean 1983 Didyou see the Motown 25th Anniversary Special? It was historic!
Islands in the Stream Dolly & Kenny channeling the sounds of the Bee Gees
Sweet Dreams are Made of This Eurythmics
Making Love ot of Nothing at All Air Supply
The Girl is Mine “the doggone girl is mine…” Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
Laying out in the backyard getting a good tan just after Tre was born in 1983 listening to Taco Puttin on the Ritz
“Just you and I sharing our love together. And I know in time we’ll build the dreams we treasure. We’ll be alright…” Just You and I Crystal Gayle and Eddie Rabbit
Take a Look at Me Now(Against All Odds) Phil Collins 1984
Kenny Loggins Footloose
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Wham
“I’m addicted to you, baby. You’re a hard habit to break.” Hard Habit to Break
Everytime You Go Away“you take a piece of my with you…”
You’re the Inspirationyou still are, honey!
Amy Grant and Peter Cetera (he had just left Chicago and she was stepping out ino secular music The Next Time I Fall in Love I’ll know better what to do…
Sorry, but yes, Barry Manilow Wouldn’t it be nice being Lonely Together(we listened to this on our first date! haha!)
It’s Sad to Belong to Some One Else when the right one comes along
Dave sang to me at our wedding, a Carpenter’s hit I Won’t Last a Day without You
That’s the Way, a contemporary Christian wedding song was another one he sang to me in our ceremony
So romantic Wonderful Tonight.
But old songs are ours, too God Only KnowsThe Beach Boys
I’ll be Seeing You, we love the old love songs of the WWII era
Once on a walk in Dallas (around our 2nd anniversary, I sang the entire Gladys Knight rendition of Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me to Dave, because he is.
I had to delete a bunch of “our songs”. Too many. But last night on American Idol, I heard yet another song about Dave and me by Brad Paisley, Then. It is a song of memory, looking back to the first kiss and having babies days. It recalls all the love of those days, but then goes on:
Now you’re my whole life Now you’re my whole world I just can’t believe the way I feel about you Like a river meets the sea Stronger than its ever been We’ve come so far since that day And I thought I loved you then
I can just see you When you’re hair is turning gray What I can’t see is how I’m gonna love you more But I’ve said that before
Now you’re my whole life Now you’re my whole world We’ll look back someday at this moment that we’re in And I’ll look at you and say And I thought I loved you then And I thought I loved you then…
Keep singing to me, babe and I’ll keep singing to you!…Jeanie
For all the grandkids we’d share…The amazing grandkids:
Gavin – anything Grandpa does, Gavin wants to do!
Hunter – can keep Poppa talking about anything and everything all. day. long!
Guini – “again! again!” If one twirl in the air good, 2 will be fantastic!
Gemma – pointing out to us everything in life that is funny.
Averi – Poppa’s dimples and cheeks!
And all the grandchildren to come and great-grandchildren and the husbands we will add through Tredessa and Stormie…we are increasing!
He was born because God is good.
Because of a summer teen fling in the Heartland.
Because the birth mother (who was really just a girl) chose life.
Because the Rhoades family still had family love to share.
Because Garry & Dale needed a little brother.
Because Sandra and Sharon did, too.
Because Debbie would need a big brother when the time came.
Because Dad Rhoades had stories to tell and Dave had the heart to listen.
Because worship teams would need a drummer.
Because churches would need a pastor.
Because people would need to be led beside quiet waters.
To bring peace to any situation.
To teach peace and live peace.
To teach me the strength and power of gentleness, the value of just being nice.
To bless people. When he prays God’s blessings-he knows what that means.
There are stories to be told.
Stephen King won’t live forever.
The grandkids need their crazy-cool-swingset-playset-climbing apparatus.
There are daughters to walk down the aisle.
The world needs more twinkling Christmas lights and Christmas spirit.
To leave a legacy of godly fathering.
To leave a legacy of the faithfulness of God.
To equip our children for all that lies ahead.
To be an example as a godly man.
To make a place for worship and for the One we worship.
To worship the One.
To own everything you could possibly need for absolutely anything and be able to keep it all in one 3-car garage.
There are still passionate kisses to be kissed, hands to hold, love to be made.
For indulging my ideas and new projects, all the while tempering me.
To make toys and play GI Joe with the kids and put up the pool every summer.
To dig the deep holes for my garden.
Because no one else can pack like he does. A suitcase, the trunk, whatever…
As proof that God is good.
Dave turns 50 on the 23rd. You can leave him a birthday comment here or send one to: firstname.lastname@example.org
pictured: Dave and I at a backyard soiree last fall (yes, I cut Bryan out of the picture!). I love Dave in his Latino-lover Western-Mexican snap shirt (from Stormie), though he is always timid wearing it, fearing people will really think he is trying to be a Latino-lover, which…he is. Really one. Not ‘trying’. *smile…
Dave’s 50th birthday is March 23. You can tell him HAPPY BIRTHDAY here at the blog or here:email@example.com
Pictured: from the family party we had early (we’re out of town right now, when we get home, a bunch of the fam will be out of town – so we had it 8 days ahead of schedule!). Stormie and Elise provided pies at the birthday boy’s request. Steph headed up decor: quotes about writing and books and from his favorite authors (Tara included actual quotes from Dave like, “Who is burning something?” which was usually Tara burning candles in her room. And “Jiggle the handle.”); candles and books, tree branches on which to hang photos of family and the kids with their dad. The kids gave him things like: 50 cans of Diet Pepsi, $50 to Auto Zone, 50 Little Debbies, etc. Tara got a Mexican meal together. The boys arranged a laser tag event. We ate. We sang. We enjoyed pie. We did presents. We played Movie Charades because Dave loves movies! Then we had a fire on the patio and roasted marshmallows. We got to do all of this because David Allen Rhoades was born.
Audrey has bequeathed upon me the Christmas Spirit Award. I am suppose to tell 5 things I love about Christmas and bestow the award upon 5 other people for them to do the same.
Five Things I Love About Christmas:
1. The Christ of Christmas. I am a Jesus follower, lover and worshiper. Everything, and I mean everything is because of Him, about Him, to honor Him. The reason I live is to worship You, Lord…
2. Dave’s joy. Dave IS Mr. Christmas. Dave loves everything about it. He comes alive in the shortest days and longest nights of the year and makes my life merry and bright.
3. The five kids God gave me so I would understand the sheer JOY of giving them what they need to live (and get why He loves it so, too) and watching them, as they marry and have children, experience the same!
4. The five grandkids, of course. I did not know I could or would become one of those grandmas, but I guess I am. And I LOVE doing Christmasy things with these amazing, wonderful, sweet, funny, charming, talented, and loving children. They are beyond words for me, really. They renew my Christmas spirit regularly!
5. The symbols, the lights, the music and sounds, the smells, the meanings, the good wishes, the cookies, the friends, the laughter, the gifts I get to give, the Gift God gave to me, I love it all! All this and more…
Five People Who Also Get the Christmas Spirit Award
Because it is Christmas, I am keeping this a secret and not giving my 5-selected-blogger-friends the award – so that they may get their shopping and baking and all else Christmas done. :) Really, I am not just trying to keep the award for myself!…
May YOUR days be merry and bright…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: All this focus on Chrismas…am I forgetting other stuff??? Oh well, who cares? :)
For 28 Christmases now, he has worked hard, planned, created, wrapped, shopped, baked, played, decorated and done whatever else is necessary to create a magical, love-filled, memory-made Christmas for our family. Christmas mornings at our house are legendary feasts of extravagant indulgence and convivial love banquets of gifts and good smells and laughter and mountains of giftwrap and the music of Christmas and the love of the most incredible husband-father-grandfather. It isn’t about the money spent, for often there has been precious-little of that, but it’s the thoughtful generosity of spirit, gifts that remind the recipient: you are loved, cherished and appreciated-this is my token of that. But – wrap all of that in a huge Christmas bow and you have the gift of the season that my husband puts much great effort in to.
You are the original Clark Griswold, honey. You are George Bailey and Father O’Malley ringing the bells of Christmas. You are my handsome Jefferson Jones, my lover by tree-light. You are Kris Kringle and Santa Claus. You are the man described in “Holiday Inn” in the exchange between Jim Hardy and Miss Linda Mason (Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds).
Linda: You’re a lot like my father – just a man with a family. Never amounted to much, never really cared. But as long as he was alive, we had food to eat and clothes to keep us warm.
Jim: Were you happy?
Jim: Well, then your father was a successful man. I hope I can do as well.
Yes, baby, you are Mr. Christmas. I love that you are. I love that you are ever-committed to making merry for all. I am smiling at how excited you are to be organizing the decorations – getting ready to haul them out in mere days. You know where everything is and you’re planning, with a twinkle in your eye, to give us yet another wonderful Christmas.
As the Carpenters once sang: Merry Christmas, Darling…Jeanie
From Dickens’ A Christmas Carol~
“…and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that truly be said of us, all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, ‘God bless us, Every One!'”
NOTE TO SELF: Love the Christmas keeper.
characters above from some of our favorite Christmas movies, including: Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Bells of Saint Mary’s, Christmas in Connecticut, Miracle on 34th Street, Holiday Inn
pictured: sweet daughter, Stormie did the graphic for me, from a photo of Dave and a Bing Crosby album.
The teaching team was Mary Jean Powers (my co-mother-in-law-co-Nonnas-we-share-Hunter), Joy McGinnis of Seattle, our daughter Tredessa, Dave & Tara, our daughter and son-in-law and Dave and I.
It was wonderful and difficult. I exposed myself and got honest. Dave and I both told on ourselves, about the places we have failed in raising children who have come to know and seek after God for themselves.
I told them that:
It is never too late to become the family you might have been. Don’t give up. Get the Word into your home and family and serve God fearfully with all your might.
I am still learning to parent in this new season. I still have to apologize for things as the Holy Spirit reminds me – from both years ago and a few days ago.
Raising kids who’ll love the Lord? It’s gonna take at least Forty-Thousand Days of Purpose! Sorry, Rick Warren.
And-we have all have dirt under our fingernails. We’re sowing something into our children’s lives. We may as well be sowing the incorruptible seed of the Word of God to get the spiritual harvest that God’s Word promises in Gal. 6. Is your family at a crossroads or troubling time? Stand on the promises: read ’em, speak ’em, believe ’em, bury them deep in the soil of your heart in faith. Then? Eat the fruit! The harvest WILL come!
Dave taught on journaling as a way to leave your written legacy and not only taught about the blessing (learning to verbally speak blessing over your children), but prayed a bessing over the fathers and fatherless young men who were there.
I wondered aloud, at one point, if there was anyone who could possibly have messed up parenting more than I had.? Even though Mary Jean and Joy claimed they could have (and maybe we all had that potential), I am so grateful to be living to see the faithful hand of God in our lives, as a family. We’re still living it and tripping along the way sometimes, but I am so glad for the opportunity to encourage other families that God is faithful. He promises – and He will keep those promises! I was honored to get to pass that message along!
Blessed to be a blessing…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Keep living the legacy. You have to live it before you can give it away.
pictured: the view just outside our cabin door – if you look very closely, you can see some snow on the rocks from a few days before…we had 70+degrees; my husband praying for our son-in-law Dave just before he (s-i-l) reciprocated.