Friday, June 12, 2009


We celebrated our 50th Anniversary at Disneyland with the ALL the family – it was FANTASTIC in every way. Came home late this afternoon to welcoming puppies -- tired (don't know why) and very happy with tons of great memories. The actual date is May 30, 1959 – so very long ago. When we look at our 50 years wedding pictures, they seem to resemble nobody I know today.

Saturday afternoon we all checked in at the Grand California adjacent to Disneyland. Our rooms were on the 3rd floor and four in a row. Kurt, Karen & Lane’s room connected with ours, and all of us were in and out of one another’s rooms for the whole time enjoying the closeness. Dionne & Darin had adjoining rooms with Scott, Lisa, Cooper & Luke. While we waited in our rooms, Dionne told us we weren’t allowed to leave for at least an hour, so they waited with us as did KK&L (Scott et al were a bit late in arriving). Waiting was rewarded with a lovely delivery of chocolate covered strawberries made to resemble tuxedos and HAPPY 50TH ANNIVERSARY written around the edge of the plate in chocolate. YUM. A lovely bottle of sparkling wine accompanied the berries ---- we toasted one another and were cheered by our kids giggling and taking pictures.

About 4 o’clock, we all got fancied up for a special celebration dinner at Napa Rose (a four star restaurant). Dinner reservations were at 5:30 p.m. Dionne had requested a special place in the restaurant and they had given us this wonderful, secluded “nook” in the back of restaurant. It fit our party of 11 of us perfectly – away from the traffic and the noise (except for our rowdiness) . She also requested Sauci as our waiter (he is a samoulia and a chef as well). What a charming man he is – he made us laugh, served us well and delighted the kids and grownups without being intrusive. He even took our picture and did a great job ---. Our evening around the table began by a reading of I Corinthians 13 by Darin & Dionne which was read at our wedding, and then Don prayed for the evening and for the food.

In between the courses there was a quiz about Mimi & Pop when they were much younger – about 50 years younger. There was a question for everyone and a prize – Disney dollars for the grandkids and a mug with all our mugs on it for the older kids along with Disney drinking glasses. It was fun and funny as they learned more about us than they ever needed (or wanted) to know. Darling Cooper wrote a song for Mimi & Pop’s anniversary and sang it in front of everybody. It was quite clever for a 7 year old and went like this:

We hope you have a great anniversary.
50 years is a really long time.
Thank you for loving us and we love you, too.
Happy, happy, happy anniversary to you!

The grandkids each got an enormous bag full of goodies (mostly Disney stuff which we had collected and put in a Disney bag) for them to remember the event and to have fun as well --- there were a couple dozen presents which evoked lots of smile, squeels and fun for us grow-ups to watch them enjoy. Just before desert Don and Arnette shared with everybody why they loved one another --- it was a very special occasion, and we were done in a mere 3 hours (or a bit more). Time for bed as we all were exhausted from laughing, eating and enjoying each other. God is good – family is a precious gift of His love.

Sunday morning we had prearranged to meet Tracy (Dionne’s friend who works at Disneyland) at California Adventure (by the C) at 9:30 a.m. where she let 3 of us in free. Since she choreographs the Aladdin Show, we also were to meet there at 2 o’clock with VIP seating – great show. Our first ride was on California soaring – all 11 of us went in a seat which felt exactly like we were in a plane flying over various parts of California – San Francisco, Yoseminite, San Diego, orange groves etc. ending with a flight over Disneyland with Tinkerbell and fireworks. Then we split up and as the boys wanted to go to the Star Wars show across the way in Disneyland. Becoming a Jedi was certainly the highlight of the weekend for Cooper--- how totally awesome that he got picked!!!!!! His smile never left his face during all of the training. Luke, who did not get picked made us all proud by enjoying his older brother’s good fortune. They both bought Star Wars swords with their Disney dollars. We did get a wheelchair for Scott as his “dropped foot” still slows him down – a LOT. That way, we were all much more comfortable. He resisted just a little bit but in the end, I know he was glad to have the ride.

Still in CA Adventure Lane was riding the huge roller-coasters and other death defying rides with her dad, Uncle Darin & Auntie Dionne while mom watched. After we all went to Aladdin show, we decided to have ice-cream and go back to the pool to swim and relax --- it had been an eventful, delicious day, and for us there was yet another one to enjoy.

Scott and Kurt went home with their families as the kids had to go to school the next day, and Dionne & Darin stayed along with Don & me for an extra day. That evening we ate at the Story Tellers buffet --- it was delicious. Then, we meandered through Downtown Disney and found a wonderful spot to watch the fireworks. By the time they were over, we were ready for bed.

D&D’s tradition when at the Grand California is to get up very early and spend time in the hot tub followed by coffee and a cinnamon roll – we joined their tradition. Afterwards, we wandered through California Adventure and Disneyland going on a few rides, eating lunch (a giant corn dog) and strolling down main street Disney --- a nice way to wind down before our departure about 2. We were ready to be home and see our other 5 kids – Molly, Rollie, Mitzi, Rascal and Millie, the Tukutes who were being wonderfully cared for by Chad & Amy (and Spot, one of Mitzi’s puppies). God had truly blessed our little socks off ---each one of us.

This is yet another time when God’s goodness was evident. As I enjoyed this special time with all the family, my heart filled with pride and wonder at how very much they each mean to me and how very much I love each of them. It’s just a small glimpse into how very much God loves you and me. To love is to see the face of God, and once more He has revealed Himself to me in a precious way.

"For I will pour out water on those who are thirsty, And floods on the dry ground. I will pour out MY SPIRIT on your descendants, And MY Blessing on Scott, Kurt and Dionne and their families. They will spring up among the grass Like willows by the water courses. One will say, 'I am the LORD's' Another will call on the Name of Jesus, And another will write with his hand, 'Belonging to the LORD'." Isaiah 44:3-5