Today is the 50th birthday of a very special person in our lives. Our pastor is more than just a pastor to us. He is like family--though he would say he is thankful he is not blood related to us (well, at least to me!). There is a nurse, though, at our local hospital who thinks he is my dad. That memory always makes me smile.
When he first came to our church, we did not have kids. We would begin our friendship when Will was born, because Charlie's wife was my long-term sub while I was out on maternity leave. When I returned to work, his wife told me to call her whenever Will got sick and she would help me out. I thought she meant as a sub. She meant as a babysitter! :) She would watch Will for me anytime--which would mean that Charlie would watch him too. He even went appliance shopping with them while they were building their house. Charlie has loved my family from the beginning. And we totally love him!!!! When Will was finally able to speak, he tried to say Charlie's name, and it came out as Chachi. That has been our name for him ever since. He is our Chachi and we are so thankful for him!
Because we love Chachi so much, we sat down as a family and made a list of 50 things we love about him.
Here it is: (I put a name beside some of them, because I did not want anyone questioning anything! He is our pastor after all!)
1.You are the greatest pastor ever.
2. You are my greatest friend (Caroline).
3. You have a pretty house. (Caroline)
4. You make me smile. (Caroline said it first but Will totally agreed)
5. You look handsome. (Caroline, again)
6. You have great toys at your house. (Will and Caroline)
7. You are the smartest person I know. (Will)
8. You rock from toe to heel while singing in church...everytime.
9. You have a clean car. (Caroline)
10. You are funny with the things you say in church. (Will)
11. You tickle me (Will).
12. You love the Braves. (Will)
13. You chase me and make me laugh. (Caroline)
14. You picked a good wife.
15. You raised awesome kids.
16. You made Caroline's day when you waved to her Sunday at the beginning of church and told everyone how old she was.
17. You are the first person Will wants to call when he asks a spiritual question I don't know the answer to.
18. You pray for us.
19. You have a good name--Chachi--it makes me smile. (Caroline)
20. Your hair doesn't move...ever.
21. You wear tennis shoes with pajamas.
22. You let our kids hug you each Sunday in front of the whole church as they leave for Children's Church.
23. You have a great color of hair. (Will)
24. You shared comic books with me and no one else. (Will)
25. You can eat more than any other human being we have ever seen.
26. Your house has the worst plumbing ever.
27. You like to watch football. (Will)
28. Mark is jealous that a 50 year old has more hair than him. :)
29. You are a great cook. (Will)
30. You like pink Christmas trees on your front porch.
31. You like to eat at Welcome to Moe's.
32. You occasionally let us call you Chuck.
33. You go with us to Pappasitos.
34. You are a safe, senior, driver.
35. You love kissy fingers.
36. You are friends with someone named Ms. Kitty.
37. You never mow your own grass.
38. You were willing to go pick up Caroline from preschool when she was having a hard time.
39. You plowed the wrong field on your dad's farm and told us all about it--showing us you are not perfect, but human.
40. You are the only man we know who has drowned twice and lived to tell about it.
41. You loved all 2 tons of my peanut butter fudge.
42. You put up with my sarcasm.
43. You are serious about praying for revival.
44. You chose to be a pastor instead of a used car salesman (though some days we think you might question that choice) :)
45. You are going to be at our church for the next 50 years. :)
46. You have an uncanny ability to remember people's names after only one meeting.
47. You had a hilarious slip of the tongue in the pulpit regarding alcohol. Mark and I can't remember the whole story but we laughed hard thinking about when it happened.
48. You are willing to open up your home for Bible Study even after a long week at work.
49. You are usually the last one to leave the church anytime you are there.
50. You are wise and kind and caring.
We love you Chachi! Happy Birthday!
and Mark, Will and Caroline