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Friday was a big day – the rest of the family drove down from Minnesota.  Dad was really looking forward to seeing everyone – especially Courtney.  He had not see her since Thanksgiving!  Once Gary arrived, I put him to work calling my Aunt and brother to see if we could get everyone together for an impromptu birthday party for Dad.  Since my brother had just gotten back from Elk Hunting, I wasn’t sure that he and his family would come, but they all said yes.  It was about 4:30 and I had to have dinner ready by 6 – it wasn’t going to be fancy – just hot and good!

Dad was fairly animated – the first time I have seen him more like his old self.  It was good to see his personality come out!  He was telling jokes and smiling for the first time in a very long time.  It was good to have the whole family together to celebrate this milestone.    It was a late night of laughing and celebrating together as a family.

Here are some pictures of the evening;

Dad on his 83rd Birthday!

Dad on his 83rd Birthday!

Dad’s favorite cake is a fudge marble cake with chocolate icing and nuts on top.  He was thrilled to have a sweet treat to celebrate this milestone.

Mom and Dad with all of their Grandkids!

Mom and Dad with all of their Grandkids!

The grandchildren’s age range is from 5 to 18 and some have traveled half way around the world to get into this family.  Dad loves his little “China Doll, as well as all of his other grand kids!

These two are ready to eat cake!

These two are ready to eat cake!

Giovanna and Cheyton were more than willing to be the first to taste the cake!  They helped Grandpa blow out the candles just to get to eating the cake faster!