Caleb’s First Birthday in the States in Ten Years!


It’s difficult for me to get my mind around the fact that the last time our family was in Oregon for the summer was in 2005. That’s ten years! We usually return to the States in the autumn and winter months.

When we decided to return on home assignment for the American summer, our youngest son’s face burst into a huge, huge grin! He realized that for the first time in ten years he was going to celebrate his birthday in Oregon! He has no memory of his first two birthdays in the States. However, he knew what he wanted for his 12th birthday. Caleb wanted to be with his family.

So, we sent out word to our extended family that if they could make it for Caleb’s first birthday celebration in the States in ten years, they would make our youngest son the happiest birthday boy on the planet!

We were delighted to have family and our teammates from South Africa join us for the birthday festivities.


Caleb chose an Avenger theme and selected the first store-bought cake of his life. Once again, being that we’ve only been in the States for just over a week, the choices for the kind of cake, the kind of frosting, and the kind of filling confused our boy. Finally, he asked, “Can I just have a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting?” To which the woman at the bakery replied, “Of course you can, Honey!”

Caleb was delighted with his Avenger cake, but even more so with being able to spend his special day with his family and friends.


At bedtime after all of the birthday festivities had come to an end, I asked Caleb what his favorite part of the day had been.

Caleb replied, “It was great to have Grandma, Grandpa and Nana, the Traffases and Scott and Maggie come to my party. That was the best thing ever!”


Indeed, Caleb. Indeed!

Happy Birthday Caleb! We pray your 12th year is one in which you make many special memories with your grandparents and family while we are Stateside! Caleb’s birthday was a great way for us to kick off our time here. His special day with his family and friends was a happy, happy, happy time!

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