Crashing a party!

The youth minister, Dustin, and his wife, Jill, in my church down here have been trying for a number of years to have a baby, and they were recently preparing to go for their third attempt at In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) when Jill got pregnant. They had been through several miscarriages before, so they kept it hush-hush until they passed the point of no return. Just in the last few weeks, they learned what the gender of the baby is so they decided to have a Gender Reveal party in the church parking lot last night.

I had heard about this party a couple of weeks ago from a young woman I’ve been doing Creative Togetherness with once a week. (She draws while I quilt.) I asked Marissa if we could come to the party since we live here, but she was reluctant to make that decision since it wasn’t her party. Mark saw the people beginning to come, so he came and got me to join them. I held back until I had permission from Dustin to join.

They had the cars form something like a wagon train circle in the parking lot. Everyone was there by sunset. Most of the activities happened within the circle.
They used pink and blue table cloths. On the left side of the table, you can see a little poster with pink and blue balloons and they had people try to guess the gender of the baby by signing their names on a pink or blue balloon. My pastor’s wife made the cupcakes with pink frosting and blue sprinkles. The red and blue water balloons were for a game that was played later.
Dustin and Jill. She’s just beginning to show a little bit.
Mark hanging out next to the table.
The young woman on the right is Marissa, the person who has been coming over once a week to be creative with me. She’s holding her phone and there were several others going around with phones as well because Dustin and Jill have family members in California who couldn’t come, so they were included via Zoom!
This is Allie, my pastor’s wife, and one of their four young boys.
To reveal the gender of the baby, Jill and Dustin shot off small cannons with blue powdery smoke, indicating that they’re expecting a boy!
You can see the blue powder on their shirts, but what I love about this picture is the joy on Jill’s face and the closeness they shared in this moment.
There were some water balloons left after most of the activities were done, so Pastor Adam tossed one back and forth with his oldest son.
Guess who lost? But Nathan thought it was a blast! The handprints on Adam’s shirt are those of his four sons. The two on the bottom are from his twin two-year-olds. Grandma stayed home with them while Adam and Allie brought the older boys to the party.
When the party was over, Mark and I walked back to our RV, but everyone else stayed and continued to visit with each other. I think most of them were relatives or close friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while.

This was our last Sunday to host the church service at the sanctuary. In weeks past, there has been one older woman named Carolyn and Mark and me. Today, we walked into the sanctuary and saw that every other row of chairs had been removed. Carolyn came in and said, “There are going to be others today, so you should make some coffee. I got the coffee going and people started coming in for the service. We had eight people including us this morning! This afternoon, the board had a meeting to make plans for reopening. I don’t know yet what they’ve decided, but Adam will probably tell us before we leave tomorrow.

We have spent this afternoon and evening trying to pack and clean for our trip home. As usual, we are behind in the process. We won’t make it out of here as early as we had hoped tomorrow, but I told Mark that if we can at least get a few hours down the road, that will be a good start. We’ll see what tomorrow brings!

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