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The Big Surprise!

It all started with this message from a guy named Ben who happens to live in New Zealand:

Hey, tonight my boss told me that he wants me to take some holiday time after he gets back from Germany, so basically anytime June, July, August, and I got thinking about what I could do with one or two weeks off…and I thought I’d bounce the idea off you to see if I could come over and visit for a week or two during Adalia’s next quarter break? I thought it would be fun to have it as a surprise. It’s just an idea at this point, would it work for you?

And so we did. Chuck and I told Adalia we were planning some “family activities” and to keep her schedule open. Last night I took her out to a ocean side park (that just happens to be next to the Amtrak station) for a photoshoot. She got all dressed up.061413_5700 blog

I took some photos…then some random guy started talking to her as he crossed the street…and he had a funny accent…Adalia thought it was some crazy guy, so she ignored him. I kept snapping pictures…Slowly, Adalia realized she recognized that voice… 061413_5758 copy   storyboard001


Yes, I’d say we pulled off that surprise pretty well…

storyboard001 copy

061413_5778 copyAnd so we have one of our favorite Kiwi’s visiting us the next two weeks.

You may remember that Adalia met Ben on her Teen Missions trip to Honduras in 2011. Ben and his brother Aaron came to visit us in September 2012. Right now we are enjoying some beautiful summer weather and great friendships.



  1. Michele P

    Priceless! What an amazing surprise. Enjoy the visit and her smile…I am pretty sure it will be on her face the rest of the year with the look of those pictures!

    • Lydia

      Absolutely awesome. It’s great to see them together. This trip has been in the pipeline for AGES it seems, but when Ben comes to visit the homestead, usually once a week, he’ll comment on how that week has gone so fast and his trip is getting closer… Now, slow down the time for a fortnight and enjoy every second! Love you…

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Actually, I couldn’t believe we managed to pull it off…on the way to the park she got our her cell phone and calculated exactly how many days until her trip to NZ…she had no clue she’d be seeing him within the hour!

  2. Earl

    Excellent job capturing Adalias’ expressions when she realizes it is Ben. I think your Grandma Ida would have loved this one!

  3. Aaron Stevens

    Haha first Ben is a Kiwi, from New Zealand 🙂 haha. And second it was interesting keeping it a secret for the last few months, but very exciting at the same time. As for the AF shirt, when Ben and I were in America last year we traveled visited a few friends before heading to Washington, and when we were in Colorado we went to an Air Force Academy by Colorado Springs. And he got the shirt from there, and also because he loves planes and Air Force. He had hoped to get into Te Air Force, but couldn’t.

  4. Emily

    Awesome job keeping the secret and capturing the look on her face! Absolutely priceless! Love seeing how happy they are.

  5. Davene Grace

    I’ve got tears in my eyes. This is absolutely precious. I can’t stop smiling when I look at these pictures, but I can’t stop crying either. 🙂 I’m so happy for Adalia!! 🙂

  6. Claire Stevens

    Yeah the photos made me cry too. I was worried i would spill the beans but thankfully in New Zealand i don’t have much contact. so happy for them they are so sweet. who knew my brother had a romantic side.

  7. Chava

    My husband is Finnish and I’m American so this is just SO cute, I love international stories of friendship and all :). The face was priceless 😀

  8. Ivory Walker

    That last picture makes me wonder… will there be an announcement soon? Or are they still just friends? Will it ever turn into something more?

  9. Delia

    I got the chills ALL OVER when I saw her look of surprise! Way to go, Dad & Mom; this will be a moment she’ll tell her grandkids about!

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