This past weekend was four days of celebration for Sondra's birthday. It's fun to celebrate and even better to have a reason...haha.
Friday night we went to Sundowners for dinner. Great prices, very good food.
Saturday, I did errands and preparations for Sunday church. Sondra picked up Bailey to have some special "grandma time." We had Bailey overnight as well, and Sondra did not get much sleep, as the grandbaby woke up several times during the night. On Saturday afternoon, I bought some flowers, two birthday cards, a "love" CD by Reba McIntyre, a big white fluffy bear with a box of chocolates, and a big birthday balloon.
The next day (Sunday), Crystal and Shawn came to church and were proud to announce to us that they slept just fine all through the night (chuckle)! After church we went to El Pollo Loco for a very light snack, as we were making plans for dinner. Evan and Callie, Shawn and Crystal and Bailey all took us for a Birthday Dinner at the Castaway restaurant in San Bernardino high up on the hill overlooking the valley. Sondra had lobster and filet mignon, especially since the kids were paying for it! The kids (including Jason and Shelly from Oklahoma) had put their money together to buy Sondra a comforter and two pillows that she had admired at Christmas. She was surprised and pleased.
Monday was a work day for me, but a day off for Sondra. She picked up Bailey again and had more "grandma time" before she and Crystal took Bailey for some pictures at Penneys. In the afternoon, she also visited with some friends in the church, Ken and Beifei Edwards. Beifei is from Beijing and has "adopted" us as her American parents. After that, Sondra came home when I got off work and we went to Market Broiler, as Monday was her actual day of birthday (February 22). She ordered shrimp and tri-tip steak, and I had double shrimp. Both were delicious.
In other news, I did something very different at church. Instead of just asking for testimonies, I told them to come forward and donate a "happy dollar" and share what God has been doing in their lives. ("Happy dollar" time is what we did at Kiwanis meetings when I was a member some years ago, so I borrowed the idea and applied it to our church worship hour Sunday.) It was amazing. We spent almost ten minutes with a multitude of folks coming forward to put in $1, $3 or $5 to give thanks to the Lord for his goodness. It really was awesome. In fact, one lady told me during the Welcome Time that followed that she didn't have any cash and she had thought about going to the convenience market/gas station down the street just to get some cash out of the ATM so she could come back and share. (Even though I had told the congregation that I would put in a dollar for anyone who didn't have the money with them.) Anyway, I told her I was going to call her up to the front to share, anyway. She did. And guess what? After church, she went up to the store, got money from the ATM, came back and gave it to me to put in the "happy dollar" offering plate!
Can you believe it? People were thrilled to give money to talk about the goodness of God! That's the reality of knowing God and seeing his presence and goodness all around.