While the Burtons were in town, we got to celebrate James' birthday as a large extended family. Karin put together the most adorable teddy bear picnic themed party for him.
These are all the teddy bears from our childhood. On the far right is Buttercup, my teddy bear that I got when I was born. Next to him is Pink Bear and Spare Bear, Bethy's teddy bears that she loved so much she had two of them so she always had one to cuddle when one was in the wash. Paddington was Karin's Bear, behind him is Reece's childhood teddy bear. James is holding his special, birthday bear he made at Build-a-bear. And the giant, floppy bear next to James is Papa Fudge, a bear I bought with my own hard earned money when I was in Elementary school.
Everyone got a basket for their lunch
Karin had set up several crafts for the kids to do throughout the party, they were all a big hit with the kiddos!
Ricky grew up just a few streets away from my parent's house, so most of his family lives in Utah as well. It's so fun to be able to have both families at parties and celebrations when Karin and Ricky come to visit.
Karin led the all the kids in a couple of fun games which they all loved!
Then we got to sing to the sweet birthday boy, and enjoy some "beary" delicious cupcakes!
After all the party festivities it was the perfect time for Andrew to open his mission call with all the families together. I had to so excited and anxious to find out where he is going, I can't even imagine how he must of felt!
We all gathered around, several people with other loved ones on face time calls who weren't able to make it to the party. We all made guesses of where we thought he would be called, none of us ever would have guessed correctly in a million years ...
When we first read the name of his mission we were all confused, we had to ask him to repeat it. He had been called to serve in the Adriatic South Mission! We all got out our phones and started googling the Adriatic region. Luckily his papers came with a map of the countries he would be serving in, Albania, Macedonia & Kosovo. I hadn't ever heard of that mission before! Andrew was thrilled to be going somewhere foreign and to be learning a new language.
He was to report to the MTC on September 20th and would be there for about three months to learn Albanian.
We are all so proud of Andrew for choosing to serve a mission, it is a big decision, and it's not always easy to decide to go. We are all so excited for him to learn a new language and to get to live and serve in such a unique and different place. We are already super excited to visit Albania with hims someday!