Surprising Mom.

Several weeks ago, my older sister (Janine) got a phone call from my mom and dad’s church. They said that each year they like to surprise one mom in their church by having her family show up to pay tribute to her on Mother’s Day…would we be interested in surprising our mom this year?


(My mom as a baby.)

Well, of course we would!

The church wanted as many of us siblings to be there as possible, but my sisters and I knew that most of the planning would have to be done by us since our brothers both live out of state and aren’t in the area any longer.


The problem was, all three of us sisters were not looking forward to the “speaking in public” part of the surprise. We did not want to do any public speaking whatsoever if there was any way possible to get out of it.

So, we put our thinking caps on and began making “grand plans” which involved us making a movie of our mom in which we could record our voices and thus avoid the whole “speaking in public” experience altogether.


What a job that turned into!

We first went through an insane amount of photos putting aside each and every one of them that had my mom in them. (I loved that part of the activity!)

slide7 (My mom as Homecoming Queen. Wasn’t she a beauty?)

My sister, Andrea, then scanned all of the photos into her computer. I was put in charge of editing the photos to try to make them look as nice as they could. We then put them into chronological order in a nifty movie making program we found on my computer (Windows Movie Maker.)

slide8 (My mom as a young nurse in Nurses Training School.)

Then began the “fun” part.

The “recording of our voices” part.

I should clarify this and say…the “recording of our nasally voices” part.



We all hated that part.

By the time we got to the “recording of our voices” part of the project, it was about 2:00 a.m. on our second evening of getting together to work on this and we were exhausted. And slap-happy. And silly. And giggly.

Which, of course, made the “recording of our voices” part of the project even more of an event.

slide14 (On the way home from the hospital after giving birth to moi.)

We giggled and snorted and laughed-until-we-cried our way through the first recordings we made. Holy wow – were they ever awful.

By that point, it’s almost 3:00 a.m. and we’re even more exhausted and just wanting to get the project over and done with, so we get all serious and make ourselves get the recording over without being complete imbeciles.

And then we sit down to listen to the finished project.


This is when the true laughter began. Every single mistake, weird voice nuance and pause was dissected with criticism as we howled with laughter while listening to each other. It was painful, embarrassing and yet hysterical at the same time.

slide18 (The “Three Nasally Sisters” who worked on this project for a week.)

slide22(My struggle with frizzy hair apparently began at a very early age.)

slide35 (Our whole crew at the time of my wedding. Our family has grown by leaps and bounds since then.)

slide43f(When my mom was younger, she was told that it was probable that she might never be able to carry a child of her own. This photo begs to differ with that opinion. 🙂

slide43g (The same photo shoot as the sibling one above…this time with the current grandchildren. Will wasn’t too sure about his cousin’s physical affection, Weslea just wanted down and Wyatt was a fat little baby boy.)

slide56(My parents celebrating 40 years of marriage. Wow!)


On Mother’s Day, my mom walked into the church sanctuary to find almost her whole brood taking up one entire section of the church. Even my brother, Jon, and his fiancee were able to make it. At that point, mom just thought that we were there to attend the service as a surprise to her and she was loving it…sitting there surrounded by all of her excited grandchildren and most of her children. It then came to the part of the service when the pastor got up and said “Each year, our church has a tradition of honoring one mom in our congregation who has spent her life raising her children in a godly home. This year’s mom is going to be introduced by Jon.”

It wasn’t until mom saw Jon walking up to the front of the sanctuary that it suddenly clicked that something else entirely was going to be happening as her Mother’s Day surprise and there might be another reason as to why we all showed up at her church that day. Jon introduced the movie by talking about mom and then surprised her even more by having my other brother, Jeff, wish mom a “Happy Mother’s Day” as well by talking through his cell phone into the church microphone.

The movie then played. My sisters and I cringed through our voices. And a few happy tears were even shed as we saw our mom honored for the amazing woman, mother, grandmother and wife that she is.


It seemed fitting to end this recap of my mom’s “Mother’s Day Surprise” with a photo of her and my dad. It’s impossible for me to imagine either of them without the other.

And that’s such a beautiful thing.

I love you mom and I hope you enjoyed your special surprise…

{I’ve posted my sister’s Mother’s Day Tribute in a separate post just so that I can have a record of what it said. You all are more than welcome to read it, but be forewarned…it’s loooooooong!}