Happy 25th Birthday, Rocky Rhoades!


Rocky was bemoaning turning 25 (or a quarter-of-a-centuryold) a few days ago and the fact that he would never experience having a “surprise party” because Jovan cannot keep anything from him.  In her defense, I have to tell you, Rocky is the worst!  He can make you think he knows things he doesn’t and then your facial expression gives things away.  He has done this to Jovan and I plenty of times.  He is a booger.  I made a quick mental note of the conversation and emailed his sisters.  In about 4 or 5 days flat, we threw together a little surprise for him (and about 80 other people) at a local school/park where we could play baseball with him, something he wants way more of in his life.

Could the secret be kept?  Well, we put on the invitation that no one should even let Jovan know.  Why risk it?  So it was a surprise for both of them.  We worried about church on Sunday.  Some one might give it away  But, yaaaay.  No one did.


We did it!  We actually surprised Rocky!  He showed up at our house 2 blocks away and there was a sign which said, “Happy Birthday, Rocky.  Meet us up at the ball field.”  The shelter is right at the intersection, so we could all see them coming and were waving and cheering them in.

Friends and family.  Food and cake.  Baseball.  And the wind.

Old friends, new friends, brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews, parents and in-laws and church family and neighbors joined us to celebrate Rocky.  There was even a dog or two.  His dad read a blessing over him and we found out who the really competitive baseball players are. 

There were 2 big cakes: a 12″ white with cherries on top and a pumpkin spice cake, which was really nothing more than a socially acceptable vehicle for eating the ultra-thick, unbelievably-amazing cream cheese icing (made with real butter and heavy whipping cream – the BEST I have ever made).  It was to die for, I must say.

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When Rocky was born in 1984

Can you imagine what a thrill it was, late on a Saturday night, to finally get a son?  I had three adorable little girls in flouncy dresses, barrettes and lacy ankle socks.  Then the doctor said, “You have a boy!”    I actually laughed and cried simultaneously.  I was sure I was having another girl, which would have been delightful, but wow!  A boy?  What a thrill!  I couldn’t sleep all night.  I just wanted to look at him and smell his sweet head.  He still smells good. 

Rocky, as a son, has been the sweetest and the orneriest boy in the world.  He has been the most polite and the most exasperating young man.  He has gone at everything with full vigor.  He has picked up the annoying traits of one of his parents (I won’t name which of us) who thinks that everything you do should be done bigger, better, faster, louder, and to perfection.  He pushes us, drives us, encourages us and chides us.  He never settles.  He never lowers his standards.  And he likes being right.

But he is so loveable and tender, too.  He is an adoring husband and such an attentive daddy.  He cares about all of us deeply and is protective and opinionated, always wanting the best for us.  He has never been harder on anyone else than he is on himself.  He is my boy, and he is beloved.  Happy birthday, Rock-man.  I love you so much.

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25 wishes for my son on his 25th birthday.

  1. Hey, Bo-Bear?  You’re not the kid brother anymore.  You’re a man.  You have put away childish things.  I wish for you to trust yourself and value your own thoughts and opinions and gifts the way the rest of us do.
  2. I wish so much happiness and romance and love for you and Jovan.  You’re in this tricky part of young marriage.  So much love and time go to the babies right now.  But love the wife of your youth.  Tend to her.  Listen and watch and pursue her like you did to get her to marry you.  The rewards will come back to you.
  3. I am loving watching Averi be such a little daddy’s girl.  The tenderness she has brought out in you is a sight to behold.  And I love the way she has picked up your very unique traits, especially the silly faces and crazy noises.  I pray you will hold these daddy-daughter moments as life’s most precious treasure, because that is what they are!
  4. Keep singing, Rock-man.  Sing to the Lord.  I sense His smile on your song.  It isn’t a job.  It is a call.  It is an honor to have been appointed to the Holy Place. 
  5. I wish for you the time to do all that crazy guitar-perfecting you want to do so badly.  Get going, kiddo.  10 years from now, you could be the best in the world!
  6. I hope you’ll win many X-Box games over the next year. I also hope there will be worthy and challenging opponents.
  7. I am praying for God to place the right people in your path, the ones who can give you something God wants you to have, and ideas you can build on.  I am praying for God-planned connections, and deep friendships with people who love you, but who will also aggravate you into growing.
  8. I wish for you a band of strong brothers-in-theLord: men who have your heart and your passion to fight the battles with you, like-hearted warriors you can trust.
  9. Strengthened family relationships.  You’re a hero to all your sisters and even though some of them are older than you?  They really love to have your protection and guidance and love in their lives.  They want you to butt in (and you like to, too).  So, get in there and get messy with your sisters.  And your baby sister still needs you so much!
  10. I wish for you a strong friendship and bond with your dad, who loves you so much-just like he read to you at the party.  Do you know how many young men will never get a father’s blessing spoken over them like that?
  11. I want you to keep making me laugh.  That sounds more like a wish for me than you, but you like to make me laugh.  You know you do.
  12. I wish for you to quit tickling me and scaring me.  Really.  Stop that, you ornery little booger.
  13. Happy birthday, Rocky ~ may this be a year of many, many wonderful surprises!
  14. Joy!  Just a great big, heaping pile of joy on you.  For you.  In you!  May the great joy of the Lord be your strength and your might.
  15. Songs!  Write more songs!  I can’t wait to hear the songs pour out!
  16. I am asking God to send you mentors who will recognize the deep treasure in you.
  17. Financial blessing and steps towards the dreams you and Jovan share.  May wealth and riches be in your house. (Ps. 112.3)
  18. I pray that you will enjoy the blessings of a man who fears the Lord and keep His commandments. (Ps. 112.1)
  19. I pray your children, Averi and the baby due in March and all the ones after that, will be blessed and mighty in the land (Ps. 112.2).
  20. Because you are a gracious and compassionate and righteous man conducting your affairs with justice, I know the Lord will see to it that even in dark times, a light will dawn for you and good will never be far behind (Ps. 112.4-5).
  21. I wish for your heart to be steadfast and secure.  You trust in the Lord, Rock-Man and you’ll have no fear of bad news.  You’ll always know you’ll win over the enemy. (Ps. 112.7-8)
  22. Keep the generosity going, son.  You have a giving heart.  God will honor you for that and raise your authority level. (Ps. 112.9)
  23. I thank the Lord that you decided at the age of 12 or 13 that you wanted to be a Psalm 112 man.  It is happening.  As you have become that kind of man, God is blessing you in that way.  So cool! 
  24. Sabbath rest.  Oh, how I wish that for you – the really good, God-blessed, restorative, one-day-a-week, joy-filled rest.  Make every effort to get it.  It’ll keep you!  Hebrews 4
  25. I wish for you to know how many people love you, respect you and admire you.  There are many.  But my wish is that you’ll see it, know it, and most importantly: RECEIVE it!


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I love my son!…Jeanie-the-mama

NOTE TO SELF:  Me and Rocky and the guitar.  More of it!

6 thoughts on “Happy 25th Birthday, Rocky Rhoades!

  1. Happy birthday Rocky! I am so glad you guys live so close and that we get to ride to the church together every week…I love you!

  2. Happy 25th Birthday, Rocky. I admire you for the wonderful husband and father I saw you to be at the reuinon. You are accomplishing some great things at your young age!!!

  3. Wow…! That’s all I can say.!!! Rocky~~you are one blessed guy.! and what a blessing you are to so many people and God’s not through yet.! I ‘guarantee’ you that. Now, see~~~25 isn’t that bad after all…(Is it?) That was quite a day your family gave
    you. Made me wish I could have been there. Always keep your beautiful smile.
    Awesome write up Jeanie. Even made (me) pop a few buttons. Love~~~~Grandma

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