Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

Big 40th Birthday Party

on March 10, 2013

We are always partying around here for something.  This time it was for Andy’s fortieth birthday.  I planned (with some help from Andy’s mom and sisters) a big party with our friends and family Saturday night (his actual birthday even!)  It was a LOT of fun and everything worked out well.  Hooray!
Andy opened his presents from me before the party.  I found a super thick hat for when he works in really cold weather (even though that’s nearly over now…he mentioned it recently.)  This hat is machine washable too, which is much better than the wool one that I washed and dried and won’t even fit Vincent.  I also bought him a new Sunday belt that is really wide and thick leather and a fun trivia book.

I took Elizabeth and Olivia to the church an hour before the party to set up.  Andy, Vincent, and Abby came later so Andy didn’t have to set up and the littles weren’t in our way.  However, about ten minutes before the party was to start, Andy called me and told me the van wouldn’t start (probably because the kids were playing in it on Friday afternoon while I made rolls), so I sent my dad in our nice car to pick him up.

We managed to get it all ready in time. My dad was sleeping in his car in the parking lot and I sent Elizabeth around the building to wake him up.  I guess she scared him a little. He helped us set up and Shirley and Sara came early too.  Shirley decorated the tables and brought the paper supplies as well as a few other odds and ends.  Sara made the invitations, signs for food, a birthday banner, and brought some carrots, cheese, and licorice.  Suzie and Torrie each brought some food too.  Andy made a CD of his favorite music to listen to at the party.  I made rolls, cupcakes, and made the memory book, and brought more food.  I was worried about running out.

I used a cool site to make my own crossword puzzle about Andy and it was free.  I just had to type in the answers and clues and the program did all the work.
Andy’s dad worked on the crossword with Sara’s little boy Ezra.

Plenty of friends and family came (even more after this picture!)

Our food spread.  I replenished things as they got low.  There was way more than this in the kitchen.  Our longtime game night (now retired to the other side of the state) pal, Monica brought the lemonheads.

Andy with three of his four sisters and their babies, born within about a year.

Andy and his parents.  They are so great.

Andy opening a fun present.  He’s smiling so big because this particular gift had some boxes of yummy candy he likes.  That’s also the reason for Olivia’s jealous face.  Olivia actually said, “No fair!”

Monica’s husband Nate loves fun little boys.  They have three of their own.  Vincent sure likes him too.  He’s fun.

I asked everyone to email me little stories or bring them to the party of how they met Andy or some fun memories of him.  It was awesome to read through those and learn stories I hadn’t heard before.  Here’s one that tells you quite a bit about Andy.

Gene and I well remember a time while visiting mom and dad in The Dalles.  We were traveling with our pre-school children, Jan and Matt, to the Oregon Coast.  We were meeting other family members there, including George and Shirley.  We were not sure how to traverse the freeways and interchanges in Portland to get on the right road to go toward the coast.  Andy had memorized the Oregon state map, the Portland map and knew all the roads and interchanges.  He traveled with our little family standing on the floor in the middle of the back seat (pre-seatbelt time!) and guided Gene right through Portland to make it to the right roads.  He could not have been more than about 3 years old at the time. Uncle Gene and Aunt Connie

Now doesn’t that tell you a lot about Andy?  He’s super smart, likes roads, bridges, maps, and knows how to give directions and is confident.

Here’s another excerpt. Andy taught me how to dominate Mario Kart.  Now I could never beat him…but I became good at hustling the guys I would hang out with. They never expected a girl like me to beat them ALL. I owe my amazing gaming skills to Andy. Torrie (Ransom) Mower

And just one more (for now).

My favorite story about Andy goes back to about 1999.  Steve Sant had a weekly movie night at his apartment and a core group of people from the Young-Adult Singles branch would show up.  I had moved to the Tri-Cities in March 1999 and Andy didn’t know me that well.  On one particular evening I’d arrived to Movie Night before Andy and had already chosen a seat in the living room.  Among Steve Sant’s possessions was a very realistic, plastic spider that measured about a foot across.  I had been playing with it, and thought it would be funny to leave the spider sitting on my chest while I watched the movie.  When Andy arrived that night, the movie had already started and the room was in semi-darkness.  My seat was visible from the entryway in which Andy was standing as he greeted people.  Andy was about to sit in an empty chair about six or seven feet away from me when he looked over and noticed the gigantic spider sitting on my chest.  At that period in our friendship, Andy regarded me as an eccentric, quote unquote “different” sort of character, and thus he concluded that the spider was real.  Suddenly aware of his close proximity to my monstrous seatmate, Andy tried to book a hasty retreat by backing up and he nearly overturned his chair in the process.  As I mentioned, the spider was very lifelike, and a few moments passed (in the midst of laughter from the group at this development) before Andy was convinced that I didn’t really have a giant pet spider that enjoyed spending Movie Night on my chest.  Nathan Dirkmaat

Saturday morning started early because my mom was going to be dropped off at our house at 7am on his way (sort of) to a meeting in Connell to babysit our kids while we went to a trek parent meeting, but she wasn’t feeling well enough to come, so we had to find a babysitter for our kids and quick.  The first person I always end up asking is my best friend Ally.  She and I help each other very often.  She has a new baby, so I try not to ask too much, but since our meeting started at 9am, I figured I could at least text her.  She texted back twenty minutes or so before our meeting and said she’d throw on her clothes and buckle baby Luke in the car and come on over.  I told her she didn’t have to rush that much and that Elizabeth could handle things for a few minutes.  She still got to our house before our meeting started, but we were there already.  I love that we can help each other like that.  Rory comes over to our house fairly often these days to play when Ally needs rest in the afternoons.
Ally took this picture of Luke and Olivia.  He’s so sweet and soft and he loves Olivia.

Ally’s mom took Rory out to feed their ponies and dropped Rory off just after we got home, which would never work for the anticipation and all that for a four year old to then leave right away, so Ally asked if she could help me.  My plan was for my mom to help me, but she was sick, so Ally pitched right in and helped me slice the cheese and frost cupcakes.  Seriously, she takes the best friend ever award for Saturday.  The best part of Ally?  I thanked her for helping me so much and she thanked ME for asking her to come over.  She and I have a great agreement and we both constantly feel that the other one is doing more than we are.  It’s way better than feeling taken advantage of or only calling when you need something.  I fed the kids some macaroni and cheese while we frosted cupcakes too.

I was stressing out a bit this week trying to figure out how many cupcakes and rolls to make, ham and cheese to buy, and all of that.  I really overplan things.  I ended up with probably 100 extra rolls and 50 cupcakes or so, maybe more.  I gave them away at the end of the party and even more after church on Sunday.
I know many of you think I’m crazy for not just buying cake and rolls, but I like to bake and it’s way cheaper.  I planned out my week so that I’d have time to do those things on Thursday and Friday.  Thursday was cupcake day and Friday was roll day.  Now, neither of them took all day, but I did assign the tasks out to each day so I’d have a good timeline and not be as stressed.

After the party was over and cleaned up, we came home (with some help from Nathan because my dad had to leave early to get home).  After everything was brought back into our house (way too much food was left!), I started organizing it while the kids had bathes/shower and Andy and Nathan went to get gas in the nice car for the week and to return the church key. Before Andy and Nathan got back Andy’s boss and his wife came over to say hi.  They were going to come to the party, but had too much going on.  It was fun to visit with them for awhile.
We put Vincent and Abby to bed and Monica and Nate came over to play games with Nathan, Andy, and I.  We always enjoy playing games with them when they are in town.  I love that game nights continue even when they are just visiting family.  They actually came to the party and then went to her parent’s house to put their three boys to bed before coming over to play at our house.  With daylight savings time, we finished at like 12:30am.  Worth it.  Friends are awesome!  So is family.
And boy, do I love Andy and I’m so excited for a new decade for him.  He always just says that he “went  around the sun one more time” about his birthday, but I hope he knows how much we love and appreciate him.

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One response to “Big 40th Birthday Party

  1. Rachel says:

    i was thinking about you and hoping all was going well! good job!

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