What's the big deal about Young Living

And Then There Was the Time We Surprised Our Neighbor With an Alpaca for Her 80th Birthday

We have amazing neighbors. They have raised animals and crops on this land for generations.

They were never able to have children, so they love their animals and tenderly take care of their crops with all the passion of parents.

And they love our children.

So, when My Madison, Miss Make Things Happen, found out that Mrs. Wonderful Neighbor was having her 80th birthday soon and has always wished and dreamed of owning her very own alpaca, she started researching how to get her hands on one.

(She filled in Mr. Wonderful Neighbor on her secret scheme to make sure it would be a suitable surprise birthday gift, and he was quite stunned at the idea, but in favor of it and gave his approval.)

Immediately, she found that alpacas are very expensive. As in thousands of dollars. Not only is that out of our usual birthday gift price range, but it so happens that alpacas are pack animals and have been known to actually die of broken hearts if they are separated from their peeps, so we would need more than one!

Do you think that made My Madison give up on her hope of making a dream come true for our neighbor? Are you new here?! OF COURSE IT DIDN'T!

She called around to several alpaca farms in our area and told each one her story, that she was a 16 year old girl who had saved her own money to buy her elderly neighbor an alpaca for her birthday.

One particular breeder was quite taken with her story and asked her about how much money she had saved up. When she told her that $150 was what she could spend, the breeder told her they had a 5 month old alpaca with blue eyes, which is considered a flaw in the standard, that they would be willing to let go of for just that price!

And since Madison had done so much research on the matter and was worried about "Angel" getting lonely, the breeder said she would include a little friend for her! A 2 1/2 year old male! They even threw in a bale of hay and Angel's favorite food, a 2 month supply.

The breeder has since talked to me on the phone several times and told me how impressed she is with Madison's maturity and gumption!

So, we lined the back of the van with a tarp and some newspapers and set off for the hour and a half drive to pick up 2 alpacas, just like any normal family would!

We got plenty of odd looks driving through downtown Fort Worth with our 2 four legged passengers, but we just smiled and waved and were giddy with the thought of how the birthday surprise would be received.

We had checked and knew the neighbors would be at home, so Madison called as we got within a few minutes from the driveway. She told Mrs. Wonderful Neighbor that we had gone into town and had seen something she might like for her birthday so we got it for her, and was it okay if we brought it over even though we hadn't had a chance to wrap it.

She said it was very sweet, and I'm pretty sure she thought it was a wallet or some other trinket.

We pulled into the drive and she was there waiting with her husband who was smiling like the cat that swallowed the canary. He whispered to me that she had NO idea what she was about to see when we opened those doors.

She was absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude and surprise and said so many times. She said this was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for her.

None of us could stop smiling the rest of the day!

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  1. Madison rocks! :)

  2. That is the most awesome story!!!!!! What an awesome daughter you are raising!

  3. I love this!! Thanks for sharing the story. I was wondering why you had alpacas in your van. This is the sweetest story. So proud of your girl!

  4. Well, i just teared up. What an amazing daughter you’ve raised. I bet you’re one proud mama!

  5. Love this! And I think the blue eyes are gorgeous! I can’t believe it’s considered a defect.

  6. You have the most amazing kids. They probably get it from their amazing mama. You and your family inspire me to step out of my little bubble of self-centeredness and look for ways to bless others. Thank you.

  7. So kind and sweet!! LOVE IT!

  8. Madison never fails to amaze me! Love that girl! (and she looks so pretty in the photos!)

  9. Kristianna Myus says:

    I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Madison!!!

  10. That is such an inspiring story! I hope Mrs. Fabulous Neighbor, the two alpacas, and Madison all live happily ever after 😉

  11. That is awesome! Madison, you rock!

  12. That is so awesome!! This story made me cry! Madison does rock!

  13. Tears in my eyes too! How wonderful!

  14. We’re smiling too! What a great story! (And I remembered that Madison rocks from all the way back in our Pampa days, so I’m not surprised!)

    Next time you head to Fort Worth, let us know. Maybe we can meet y’all for lunch (as long as there aren’t alpacas waiting in the back of your van)!

  15. So cool and what a heart warming tale of friendship!

  16. I LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!! it!

  17. What an amazing girl! You are doing a wonderful job as a mother and you inspire me. : ) Thank you!

  18. Way beyond thoughtful. That was so kind.

  19. Wow! Love that! :)

  20. What a fantastic story! Well done, Madison!

  21. Super cool!

  22. An alpaca! They produce the best fiber for yarn, you know. You are going to have to all learn how to spin and knit (it’s not as hard as it sounds)!

  23. What a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing it. You are truly blessed.

  24. You have amazing children. I am particularly fond of Madison– and not just cuz we share the same birthday (albeit a few years apart). This just makes my heart so giddy to read this and think of the giving heart of your girl!

    And oh, to be there, when Mrs. Wonderful Neighbor saw her present! Awesome!

  25. Wow. She truly is a lovely girl!

  26. You know, if this isn’t enough of an “extracurricular activity” to impress some college application guru, then I don’t know what is!

  27. What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. Madison’s perseverence combined with her other qualities will take her far.

  28. First, I adore the title of this post for so many reasons. Possibly the number one being because I am surprising my step-dad with a goat for his bday in 2 weeks! Not the same but you get it. :)
    Next, Madison is beautiful and I liked seeing the then and now picture. I am so curious to see what my children will look like when they get older. She has a precious heart and it’s no wonder no one could stop smiling the rest of the day!

  29. That is just awesome!

  30. What an amazing young lady you have on your hands! AWESOME!!!

  31. This story brought tears to my eyes. Madison is a wonderful person. And so are you for raising such a wonderful daughter!

  32. Brenda Johnson says:

    What a heart warming story! I know this couple must now feel they DO have children and Grandchildren for the rest of their days !! What a blessing and sweet daughter you have!!

  33. That story just made me cry! I love the pic of her in the van with the alpaca. So normal! What a wonderful gift….and a very cool breeder to let her have them for her price. So nice.

  34. What a great story. What your daughter did was a wonderful thing and that breeder is pretty awesome too!

  35. I’m crying! That Madison is not only super sweet, but inspiring. I’m just honored to know her and watch her grow up and do amazing things. I can’t wait to see what she does next. She truly has a Godly heart, I know you are proud:) And so wonderful to hear the breeder was so kind as well!! The girls are in awe:) Hugs to you all!!
    Oh, and your neighbor looks super for 80, wow!

  36. Kristina Best says:

    I’m a new follower. This story made me cry happy tears. Madison is such a beautiful person. Thank you for this sharing this story.

  37. That was a very nice thing your daughter did. It brought tears to my eyes. You must be so proud!

  38. What a great memory for all of you. I just love Madison’s outward courage to ask for what she wants, especially on behalf of someone else. I, too, have a nothing-can-discourage-me-from-doing-somthing-wonderful-for-someone-else daughter of my very own! And YOUR support of Madison’s efforts makes her able to do these kind and generous acts. God bless you all!

  39. Sometimes, I guess perseverance does pay off. What a great story and what a dedicated daughter you have.

  40. I LOVE this! Your daughter has a wonderful heart. It was awesome that she was able to find someone to work with her to make another’s dream come true.

  41. What a wonderful gift and a wonderful daughter you have!

  42. You have an amazing daughter….which I’m sure you already know! She is going to go far in life and for the Kingdom!

  43. Oh my, I am crying… this is the best story! I love it! So generous and thoughtful…

  44. Is it bad that two alpacas in the back of a van does not sound weird at all to me? What a wonderful idea and gift. Good job Madison!

  45. Love, love this! I’ve already shared it with three people this am. :).

  46. Kudos, Madison!!!! What an inspiration you are! The joy you brought to your neighbor filled her heart…I’m sure of it.

  47. That Madison is going places and handling stuff! Madison for president!


  49. What an awesome gift your daugther could think of giving! It brought me to tears just thinking how special this would be for Mrs. Wonderful. What a perfect blessing that your family that has been blessed with so many children can be a great comfort for the couple that was unable to have children! :)

  50. Wow! You have an amazing daughter! This story brought tears of joy to my eyes. What a wonderful present!

  51. A beautiful story from a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  52. Would you consider having your daughter move to Baltimore? I would love to have her as my neighbor! What a lovely story.

  53. Awesome story! Love it!

  54. I think this such such a sweet story. It’s so nice to hear of a 16 yr old being so selfless with her money and to genuinely think of others. What a good example she is setting for your other children.

  55. Your Madison is awesome.

    I’m also thinking that kudos need to go to the alpaca supplier who saw Madison’s vision and went above and beyond to make it work.

  56. Pam Swinnea says:

    So amazing!! What a parent you are to rear such a child! And lucky neighbors! Thanks For Sharing!

  57. What an inspiration and she’s only 16!!!!!!! Wish there were more Madisons in this world!

  58. What a blessing to read this wonderful story.

  59. That is awesome!!!! What a blessing!

  60. Wow, wow, wow. Thank you for sharing that story, that is so precious!

  61. Madison, this is just a foreshadowing of great things to come. It is obvious that God is going to continue to use your life to bless others. I can only imagine what he has in store for you and what an impact you are going to make. What a gift YOU are!

  62. this story is so awesome !!!!Madison you go girl… please do another story in a few months to update your readers on how the alpacas and the neighbors are doing and what Madison will be doing next I’m sure she is already working on something. thanks for sharing this made my day.

  63. That was amazing!! You have a wonderful daughter. And that picture riding in your van with your four legged friends is way too funny, that alpaca (is that what we call lamas in the UK?) looks like it’s having any normal day riding like that!!

  64. How wonderful! What a dear, compassionate girl you’ve raised. I love that God puts people together and makes them family, even if they’re not blood related! Pretty cool! Cute alpacas too! :)

  65. Heather Mason says:

    what a special story and memory for your family to share!

  66. “So, we lined the back of the van with a tarp and some newspapers and set off for the hour and a half drive to pick up 2 alpacas, just like any normal family would!”

    I LOVE the above quote more then you could every know. Sounds like my family and i always say…this is completely normal!

  67. I just love this story! How sweet :) You really have an amazing daughter. And those alpacas are so cute!

  68. I am a jaded, cynical NYer – but this post actually made me cry. You must be soooo proud of her.

  69. Wow. That is really sumpin’, Maddie Lynn. :) So proud of you. You are just like your mama. :)

  70. Oh my goodness you brought tears to my eyes. How awesome and loving.

  71. How incredibly sweet and thoughtful your daughter is! And I wish I had that much gumption as a 16-year-old! =) I cried some joyful tears when I read this story…it was precious.


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