Category: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Sixty years ago this weekend, you turned 18 – and what a year that was! In the spring, you graduated from High School and then you met the handsome young man who would sweep you off your feet and love you for the entire rest of his life.

photos here!

Happy Birthday, Jenny

The stories your mom and grandma tell about your childhood makes me wish I had known you back then. From the toddler who cried and wanted to send her new baby sister back to wherever she came from, to the adolescent who declared that she would one day become a Supreme Court Justice, you sound like a fun child to be around.

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But I will always remember the first time we met. I’d been hearing about you from Bobby for a few weeks…

“Mom, there’s this girl I’m seeing. We’re going out again.”

“I think I might stay in Champaign this summer, is that OK?”

“She’s pretty special, I think you should come down and meet her”

And so we did. And, we fell in love with you, too.

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Jenny, you are the perfect fit for Bobby. Your personalities complement each other and you bring out the best in him. You challenge him to be all that he can be. You support him in his endeavors whether it is tinkering around the house, or developing a deeper love for the Lord and serving God. You are truly Bobby’s “Helper”

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” – Genesis 2:18 NLT

We loved visiting our newlyweds in your first apartment in Evanston. As a new bride, working your way through law school, you always had time for Bobby and our family. And, what a joy it was when Bobby had all of us down for your graduation celebration. He is so proud to be your husband!

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Jenny, of the many things I admire about you there are two that stand out: Your gracious personality and your loyalty to those you love.

You are gracious: You forgive offenses quickly. You always put other people first. You work hard to maintain and strengthen relationships. You serve the Lord willingly. You try to see things from God’s perspective. And you always have time for what is important.

Your loyalty to your family is observable in your words and actions. You and your sisters have each others’ backs no matter what. You look for the best in each other and you quickly give the benefit of the doubt. Your devotion to your family is admirable. Your unending prayers for them are a testimony to your faith in God.

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But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children – with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts. – Psalm 103:17-18 NIV

Your mom and dad must have done many things right to raise a young woman who loves both them and the Lord so deeply.

I am so thankful that you are a part of our family. As you know, I have prayed for you since before I met you. It is my privilege to continue to pray for you, both as your mother-in-law and as your friend.

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Bobby, you were three or four months old, it was the middle of the night, you had just finished nursing, and as I got up from the rocking chair to lay you back in your crib, I caught our reflection in the mirror. There I stood, holding my precious little red-headed sleeping baby boy, and I didn’t want the moment to end.

I asked God to sear that image into my mind so that I could forever recall the joy of holding you, my darling son, in my arms. How gracious of God to answer, “Yes.” But He didn’t stop there; He’s given me many precious moments with you over the past thirty years that have become cherished memories.

I love to think of you as a baby. What a sweet baby you were. You slept, ate, smiled, and slept some more. Your smile was contagious. You brought joy to everyone. You were such a charmer! And you still are! You lived every moment to the fullest.


And, you played hard! Whether you were Batman, Robin Hood, a Ninja Turtle, or a Ghost Buster, you were always fighting the bad guys, and you always won. Your personality enabled you to make friends wherever we lived. You pushed yourself and excelled at everything you did, just as you still do.


Bobby, I loved watching you play baseball at GCHS. I still laugh that we pulled dents out of your car with a plunger. And I was so proud to watch you graduate from the U of I. You never did anything half-hearted.


And when I wasn’t looking you grew up! God led you to Jenny and you gave her your whole heart. Then God led you to Texas!

My birthday wish for you is that you will continue to follow God, wherever He leads.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21, NIV

Bobby, you are a man of integrity. Whatever you do, you give it your all. You love wholeheartedly, and you follow God wholeheartedly.

That reminds me of another night that God burned into my memory: August 8, 1995. You couldn’t sleep. When I came into your room, you said, “Mom, if I were to die tonight, would I go to heaven?”

You accepted Jesus as your Savior that night. Then you asked, “Mom, can I be sure?” and we read this verse together:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord – Romans 8:38-39 NIV

Bobby, nothing can separate you from God’s love or mine. In His amazing grace, God knit our family together in a bond of love.

I am so privileged to be your mom!

Happy Birthday my precious son,

I love you,


Happy Birthday!

Daniel, it amazes me that you have grown into such a fine, Godly man. Not because I didn’t think you would, but because it just doesn’t seem like there’s been enough time.

How could you be all grown up? You were a baby just a few days ago. It seems like only yesterday you were getting your first haircut from Grandpa Lawrence’s barber, smiling on the bed, or splashing in the tub.

And, how can you be flying off to China on business, or driving yourself to St. Louis, when only recently you were modeling a toddler-size Cardinal’s T-shirt and cap? When did you learn to till and plant your own garden when we just watched you pull the petals off of Grandma Furrow’s flowers? And when did you get old enough to buy your own clothes?

Didn’t you just come home from a GCHS golf meet? Or drive in from NIU just in time to compete with Bobby and Dad in the Christmas cookie contest? And, when did you possibly get old enough to graduate from college?

How is it that you’ve lived long enough to fall head over heels in love with our beautiful Nicole, get married and have a family? How can your own sons be preschoolers?

I know all of this happened, because I lived it. But Dan, where did the time go?

Oh my son, if I could wish for you one thing on your birthday, it would be that time would slow down for you. For you to have all the time you want to enjoy every moment of your life; so that you can savor and pull every sweet drop out of every single minute – but it won’t. Life flies by so very quickly and we wonder: Where did it go?

Job 9:25 My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away…”

James 4:14 “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”

I’m not able to give you this wish, but God has given you a much more beautiful and glorious gift: the gift of eternal life!

On January 24, 1988, when you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, at that moment, you received the promise and the assurance that you will not die.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Dan, the greatest privilege and responsibility a parent has is to introduce their children to Jesus. I’m so glad you’ve become friends with Him, because it is now your privilege and responsibility to introduce Him to Jake and Matty, and you are doing a wonderful job!

Time will fly, there’s no stopping it, but one day, when you look back and wonder where has it gone, don’t forget to look forward. This life is temporary, but the life to come will be never-ending! I’m so glad we will all be there together, forever.

Happy Birthday, Daniel,

I love you!