Back in March, I introduced you to a very special person, my cousin, Wendell. A few people asked if he was my brother. I'm an only child but, if I would claim him any day. This past Friday, we experienced the joy of celebrating his 40th birthday with him at the facility where he lives.
Surprise! I think he suspected something was up but I don't think he expected an "I Love Wendell" party borrowed from "I Love Lucy", one of his all time favorite shows! Friends and family who came to visit led him into the day room where more friends and family awaited the celebration!
The birthday boy, who is absolutely one of the happiest people I know - any day, not just on his birthday! He loves a crowd, announcing that we were all part of a record - the most people to visit him in one day!
The "I Love Wendell" banner - the "flags" were cut from a collage of black and white "I Love Lucy" scenes - created from Google images and printed on card stock. I punched two holes in each and ran the ribbon through them! And, of course, there were balloons! What's a party without balloons?
Who remembers the "I Love Lucy" Chocolate Factory scene? So... we had to have chocolates - chocolate cake, chocolate fudge and chocolate peanut butter balls!
Wendell gets the first bite of my Mother's 12 layer chocolate cake! Her chocolate cake is a family favorite for any occasion and just perfect for this one!
Fantasy Fudge - the best ever! Here is a link to Fantasy Fudge recipe!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls - my favorite - Here is how to make them!
For drinks, we served bottled water with special labels and cranberry/sprite spritzer in plastic goblets for a festive flair! I had used bottle sticker labels for a party before but this time I made the labels on card stock with packaging tape using this tutorial!
Guests who didn't know Wendell as he was growing up enjoyed this black and white collage (created in Microsoft Word) of photos from his childhood through high school!
Meet one of Wendell's dear friends - this precious lady is a friend of a friend of mine (she's my friend, too, now!) who lives near Wendell and volunteered to visit him when he first moved there. After her first visit, she told me "I thought that I was going there to be a blessing to this young man, instead I was the one who received the blessing!" That's the Wendell we love! She is a regular visitor to Wendell, always making his favorite banana bread to take to him when she goes! God bless this sweet angel for her kindness!
Another sweet blessing to Wendell is his former pastor from his hometown who now lives near him and visits regularly!
Thanks to the staff at Arbor Springs who take care of Wendell every day and who stopped by to celebrate his special day!
Wendell enjoyed having his aunts and uncles there to celebrate with him! I know one thing for sure - my Daddy would have loved this party and he would be so proud knowing that his brother, sister, sister in law and my Mom were there to support Wendell!
Wendell always has and always will enjoy having his cousins around him! What a great time we had with each other and with Wendell!
As a memento of the party for Wendell to keep, we all signed this Lucy poster - just a Google Image enlarged at the UPS Store!
At the party, I was talking to one of the other residents and explaining my relationship to Wendell - I said he was like a little brother to me. This man said and "what a spunky little brother you have" - perfect description of Wendell! Happy 40th, Wendell and many, many more! We love you!
P.S. The "I Love Wendell" invitation was a creation of Whittle Whimsy
found at etsy.com. I love digital invitations that can be sent through e-mail or posted in social media.