Thursday, August 4, 2011

Family Man


After our 12 hour bus ride from Germany to Paris and the 9 hour plane ride to Chicago I still had one more flight to catch until I was truly back in the homeland—Texas, that is.  My brother, Matt, picked me up at the airport in Dallas and I spent the night at his house.


BENJAMIN!!!! (Making his blog debut)

The next morning all of us headed off to Kilgore for my granddaddy Dan’s 85th birthday partay!! My mom and aunt Brynda had been spending mucho tiempo getting all of the guest list, food, decorations etc. together and with over 150 guests it was no small task!  Bonus: It was held at Bodacious Bar-B-Q and I was able to get my first bbq fix for quite a while!

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One of the most amazing things about the party was that there were soooo many pictures of the birthday boy and his family and friends scattered about. Additionally, many of the tables had facts about the different decades in which Dan has lived.

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Ah the ‘70’s… I remember them well!


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A view of about 1/3 of the room.  (Also, I’m pretty sure the collective age of the group as a whole would overwhelm even the most advanced of computer processors!)


But what’s a birthday party without a cake, am I right?  Nancy and Brynda didn’t disappoint either with this three-tiered hunk of chocolate deliciousness.

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Can we also notice how well the candy flowers on top match the ones on the tables.  Classy touch, Ballenger gals!


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Mom and Brynda doin’ some cake cuttin’! (Two days back in Texas and I’m already abbreviatin’ my endings)


In addition to our two national flags—Texas and U.S.—there were also oil derricks (Kilgore was a huge oil town back in the day) and all of the colleges that Dan helped support over the years.  Naturally I cherry picked the Baylor and University of Michigan ones.  You know what that makes me?… … …

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A BUM!!  An educated bum, but a bum nonetheless.


I’m not quite sure how he got a hold of it but Luke decided to change his allegiance from Texas A & M to the old maize and blue. 

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One certain pair of pictures was displayed prominently on the “family” board:  The top one was taken at an airport when we were all younger and then the bottom was an attempt to re-create the first when we all went to London/Paris to celebrate Joyce and Dan’s 50th wedding anniversary!

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The next morning at brunch we couldn’t help but take another group shot seeing as it has been well over 10 years since the last one! (With Joanie and the great grandkids thrown in for good measure!)



Before leaving the party everyone was asked to sign one of two pictures of Dan as a child… here they are!

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Artist: James Taylor  /Album: In the Pocket

PS: While we’re celebrating numerical milestones… this week I passed 20,000 views.  THANKS EVERYONE!!


  1. Your mom really knows how to do it up right. What a great celebration for your granddad. Hope he has many more.

  2. 1.The picture of you and Ben is soooo good!
    2. Luke looks so grown up!
    3. I love, love, love the grandkid pictures.
    4. And, I have to admit, I guess I'm a bad friend...I thought that was you next to Matt when y'all were kids.
    5. And the cake looks fantastic.

  3. In the first one I was next to Matt but we couldn't remember the order when we took the second one so my cousin aid I had swapped places inadvertently :) you're not a bad friend!


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