Sunday, April 28, 2013

Birthday Wishes from Across the World!

From a daughter-in-law perspective, Debbie Burton is THE best mother-in-law a girl could EVER ask for! I love her energy, zeal for life, her capacity to love others, her sense of adventure (or at least the willingness to tag along with Bob's,) desire to serve, and general ability to live, laugh, and have a great time. We have all missed her sooooooooo much! We have been happy to share her with the people of Norway, but we are also anxiously awaiting her return. For her birthday we couldn't send a package from Costa Rica, so instead we wanted to send her the top ten things we love about her! Of course this list applies to Bob too, but he'll have to wait for his birthday for the roast. :) The list is in no particular order...

You are good looking and so is your posterity! I think I speak for Jon too when I say, thanks for making good looking kids! We give you most of the credit on this one, as it's apparent that you are the one with all the good genes ;) We are of course grateful for ALL the attributes you passed down the generational line, with your spiritual gifts being right at the top.

You put family first. Your kids and grand kids love you so much, a product of years of love and nurturing. Even though we are miles and miles apart, Tom loves, misses you, and thinks of you often.

You know how to have fun with the kids! I think you probably know the zoo like the back of your hand, along with the kangaroo zoo, chuck-e-cheese, the neighborhood park, the movie theater, kids museum, library, planetarium, aquarium, natural history museum, and the local pool. The list goes on and on. Thanks for being an 'up and at'em' grandma!

You have a great spiritual influence in your home, your community, and your global community. Your faith in Christ radiates through your life in all that you do, and your faith in his plan for you is evident by the path that you choose. You touch the lives of others with your kindness and service everywhere you go. The world wouldn't be the same without you.
(below you are getting your mission call)

You spoil us rotten! Not just with gifts (like build-a-bear below) but with your prayers, thoughts, energy, and love. This is the day that the kids made their bears before you left on your mission. They can still press the button and hear your sweet voices saying, "Brooklyn, we love you. Be a good girl and we'll see you when we get home from our mission. Love ya!"

You'll give everything a good shot! I love this picture of you in front of this wacky painted bus on some tour, somewhere in the world. I know you don't think that you are the most adventurous person and you give most of that credit to Bob, but you have a great sense of adventure and a willingness to give anything a try. Somethings you wouldn't redo, like Tuba city, but let's face it, who can blame you for that?! I gotta hand it to you. With the challenges you have faced because of your back, you have still wondered through more unfamiliar streets than even the eager tourist. You and Bob instilled that into your children, and so I can thank you in part, for this wonderful adventure we are now enjoying in Costa Rica.

You make EVERYTHING pretty. These flowers below remind me of your gift to turn dull into delightful. For food, home, garden, and fashion you have the touch. You never settle on ordinary, and even with your mission budget, between IKEA and the local scarf stand, you have managed to make the mission feel like home. Often I think this talent of yours is overlooked, but you deserve mad props. Martha Stewart, move over!

Having two daughters, this particular characteristic you have I find especially important. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your enthusiasm for education and learning. You take the development of your mind seriously. It is a great example to us all. There is always a stone to be turned, a book to be read, a seminar to be attended. Learning never stops, and you are a great example of that. You are continuously moving forward and up as you learn, and you share your wealth of knowledge with everyone along the way. There are many woman out there with your abilities and experience making a lot of money. You choose instead to serve. This makes your impact even greater. My girls will always know what a clever, powerful woman you are.

You brought three, wonderful spirits into this world. Their impact is great, on both sides of the veil. You should be a very proud mama, and grandmama! Your efforts were well worth it and continue to make an impact. I am grateful for my adoring husband and beautiful children that are all a piece of you. Thank you!
(baby Redd)

You chose the best darn guy for your journey and you stuck with him! Well done. We all enjoyed so much watching you two in Norway. You have been together on the road of life for so long, and are a really great example of love and service making a successful marriage. Tom and I hit 10 years last month. It feels like an incredible accomplishment in this world. You two are solid and it's a beautiful thing to be a part of your life. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, we are grateful to God for you. He gave the whole world a gift when he made Debbie Burton. Happy Birthday!