Facebook announcementOne of the blessings of living near most of our five children is that we frequently have big family get-togethers, like holidays or family celebrations or just to hang out. Nate, who married our daughter Anna, shares the same birthday as Mike and we planned to have everyone come to our house for a double birthday cookout celebration.

Bethany and Billy – along with their 3 month-old baby, Isabella, were the first to arrive on that first Saturday in March. After kissing her chubby cheeks, I passed Bella off to her Gapo – Mike wanted to be called the Great And Powerful Oz. Soon, the others arrived and there were nine of us gathered around the table.

It was an evening of laughter, sharing family stories – both old and new – and lots of good food.  After we sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ passed out bowls of banana pudding and chocolate mint cupcakes, and the guys opened their presents, Anna handed Mike a card. Anna loves ‘crafty’ things, including making cards using stamps.

I looked over as Mike opened the envelop and made some comment about how pretty the card was. There was a folded paper inside the card and he unfolded it. Anna had signed the bottom of the paper, “Hi Gapo. I can’t wait to meet you in October.” I glanced up to see two ultrasound pictures above her signature.

Anna was pregnant!

I squealed and jumped up to hug Anna. Mike showed the picture to our youngest daughter, Mary. There was something in her expression that gave it away.

“You knew about this?” he asked her and she grinned. He looked around the table to see everyone grinning. They had had all known since the middle of February.

Anna and Nate announced the news on Facebook last week and we all shared the picture, with Mike commenting, “…and so begins Phase Two of Oz.”