Yesterday was Father's Day. L and I spent a busy morning doing our time at church (me accompanying the Primary children for the required "When Daddy Comes Home"). The service was a little wacky - nothing feel-good like we get on Mother's Day. We had 2 high council speakers - does that pretty much say it all? One rambled on and on about his brother in law who plays professional baseball, and by the time he was finished I had no idea what his point was. The other prefaced his remarks by saying that if we were expecting a feel-good Father's Day talk, this wasn't going to be it. 'Nuff said.
After church, we went over to Mom and Dad's, and took them dinner. Mom had back surgery a few weeks ago, and Dad has been taking care of her. He needed a little break - they probably both did. We fixed Katie's yummy Crock Pot Sweet Chicken. (1 can Diet Coke, 1 c brown sugar, 1 jar mango or peach salsa - or just a fruity sweet salsa - all combined with about 3-4 chicken breasts. You cook that all day, baby, and it just shreds apart.) We made it into huge taco salads with blackened corn, pine nuts, and homemade tomatillo sauce. Mom said she hadn't been eating much, but I noticed she was able to eat all of her salad. As for Dad - we heard very little out of him during dinner. I think he was a happy boy. We also had chips and salsa - L made his famous salsa. So good! For dessert, I'd made a big old chocolate cake. I got the recipe from NieNie's blog (you can find the link to the right and below), which came from the blog Conversations With A Cupcake. It was very easy to make, but if I made it again, I think I'd use milk chocolate, rather than semisweet. Very rich, very VERY chocolately. Again - no complaints from Dad (or mom - a real chocolate fan) so I think it was well received.
It was a nice chunk of time spent with both of them. I was so happy to see Mom looking so well - she is so little and dainty looking, but such a hardy pioneer type after all the surgery. Must be due to my dad's great care. He has always looked after all of us, and it gives me pleasure to be able to look after him once in awhile.
One of my most favorite memories is of a time when most of us were down with the flu, and my dad was trotting in and out of rooms holding a silver tray with glasses of 7Up, making sure our stomachs were settled. On Saturdays he would always get up, go to the kitchen, and stir up a batch of waffles or pancakes. My favorite was pancakes, but it was usually waffles. We'd all eventually be in the kitchen talking, setting the table, and eventually eating our syrupy mapley goodness. Another time he decided to make pumpkin pies from fresh pumpkins. I think they were a little watery, but we didn't care. My mother is the elegant cook, but he is a brave cook, rarely looking at a recipe. He didn't usually (other that Saturdays) venture into the kitchen to make a mess, but I used to love it when he did, because it was always a culinary adventure.
So it was a treat, yesterday, to cook for Dad. He does love a good meal, and since my mom's been down after surgery, I think he was hungry for someone else's cooking. He kept saying over and over "This is the BEST Father's Day I've ever had!" Well, I doubt that, but it was really kind of him to say so. Before we left I snapped a couple of pictures - the one of him solo above, and the one of them together, below. It's a good picture of both of them. My mother lamented, "Oh, I look like an old lady!" to which Dad replied, "Well, you ARE an old lady - you're 78!" That's my dad - no tact, no charm - just pure love and admiration in his eyes when he looks at my mom. I feel lucky to have grown up with such a character for a father. He's given us a million laughs (mostly at his expense) but he's also taught my brothers and me how to be good people. How to work hard, and give things your best effort. How to raise our own children to be good people. He's been a great example to all of us, and has shown us (especially my children and me) great kindness through the years. For everything you've been to all of us, I love you, Dad!