Thursday, August 22, 2013

50 Years!


This year my parents are celebrating 50 years of marriage! 




They met when my mom was 14 and my dad was 17.  When they married, my parents were just 18 and 21!  They have endured their share of trials and joys throughout the years, but their love and devotion for each other has always been strong.

Although their actual anniversary is in September, we had a grand celebration this past Saturday. 

The day couldn’t have been more wonderful.

There was a huge tent, festooned with balloons and bunting, a projection screen for video footage taken on the day of their wedding, and scores of pictures taken throughout the past 50 years.


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There were also 5 photo boards with pictures taken representing each decade of their marriage.  For example the first 10 years were the “baby years” when 5 out of 6 of us were born.  That was followed by the school age years.  Then the next decade was when we began going off to college.  The 4th decade saw us all getting married.  We had 4 weddings in 2 years!  And of course the last decade has included the births of many of our children;  the grandchildren!


You can see a glimpse of the boards behind Mom and Olivia.




We all feel incredibly blessed to belong to each other.  And our kids share the same gratitude and love for their cousins.  With 18 girl cousins, ages  3-17, and 11 boy cousins, ages 2-17, there are no shortage of playmates!  (and 1 more surprise baby coming for my sister in January!)

They love to spend time with each other, and our once a month birthday celebrations at Grandma and Grandpa’s house are a time of fun for everyone.

Here are just a few of the many pictures of the cousins!



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And a peek at several of them as they sat down to prepare for the “program” on Saturday.




We sisters spent a good deal of time hammering out the details for the program on our return trip from Virginia a couple of weeks ago.  There have been many, many group emails flying around between us and our parents’ good friends, Sean and Dayla, as we tried to get everything figured out.  We printed out the details and set them on the tables for the guests, so they would know what was coming!




Our family has always loved music and singing together.  Dad and Mom wanted us to sing a few of our old songs for them and their guests.  Here are my sisters and I singing, “Perhaps Love”.  I wish I had a recording for you, so you could listen to it!  But just use your imagination.  Winking smile

We stood in order of age… I am on the right, then Colleen, Minda, Jennifer, and Heather.  Our brother Chuck is the oldest, but wasn’t able to be with us during that part of the day.  He and his boys came a little while later and joined the fun.




Our parents also wanted their grandchildren to sing a couple of the songs we sang when we were kids.  Here is a shot of the kids singing “I Am a Promise”, and “Plenty of Room in the Family”. 



They did a great job!  We were really proud of them.


There was also one really special surprise that day!  Sean arranged for my mom’s mother to be there!  Just the fact that my grandma is still with us, at age 92!, is a miracle.  Here is a shot of Mom when she saw Grandma wheeled into the tent!  I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  Grandma doesn’t talk much, but the smiles she gave us, showed us she was glad to be there.



And then there was the cake!  My sister Heather made this gorgeous cake and over 250 cupcakes!






They were beautiful and delicious!


Here are Mom and Dad cutting the cake!  



It was a day we all will never forget!

Filled with laughter and tears, music and Scripture, friends and family!


Talk about a fabulous “before” and “after!”





In fact, I think it might be more appropriate to say it is a  “Happily Ever After!”


We Love you, Mom and Dad!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sisters Guest Room Redo


I have 4 sisters!

We have so much fun with each other and love each other dearly.  The only glitch is that one lives all the way in Virginia, so we don’t see her as often as we all would like.

This week, however, we four Indiana sisters drove out to Virginia and spent 2 days helping our Virginia sis redo her guest room. 

We’ve never done anything like this before, and it was more delightful than words can express.  We are all happily married with children (lots of children) and have spent most of our adult lives taking care of and loving our own little families, so time with just the 5 of us has been very rare. I can’t remember when we’ve had so much fun together.  We laughed and laughed, with hardly a moment’s silence.  Stayed up late talking, painted and sanded, shopped at GW, fixed meals together, and ate about 4 pounds of peanut M&Ms in 4 days.

It was memory making we will never forget!


I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the before and after photos of the guest room.

The week before we arrived, my sister painted the room white and swapped out the curtains for sheer white panels..




We painted the bed white, and she found a pretty ochre colored matelasse bedspread on ebay.  The quilt was made by our dad’s mother.

My sister had a sweet little vanity which she wanted to keep in the room.  But there just wasn’t a good place for it, until we cleaned out the closet, took down the doors and metal hardware and set it inside.  A beautiful floral picture, some folded linens on the shelf, some more white sheers we found in her basement and then hung on hooks which my sisters found in one of the other closets, and the vanity had its own special place.  We completed it with a picture of our grandma when she was just 15, and a small lamp we found in the master room closet.  I think I painted the frame three times before we all agreed it was right for Grandma’s picture. Plus a sweet little pink glass bowl above the top drawer. 

She had a pretty garden print, but it needed a few changes.  We painted the mat white and touched up the frame with a lighter metallic champagne colored paint.


For the vanity and its stool, we used a gray spray paint and one coat of polycrylic polyurethane to protect it. 

We found a ladies size pink floral dress for the vanity stool at the local GW and cut the bodice away from the skirt.  Then we simply stapled the skirt to the padded stool and screwed the little hinges back onto it.  We loved it!



We decided to paint the matching dresser gray, so it would provide some soft color in the room.



We spray painted the lamp bases, and bought 2 new lamp shades.

My sister shopped her living room and found the perfect bedside table.  We stuck one of her husband’s music books underneath the little lamp.  She found the vase at Michaels, and we picked out some pretty pink silk flowers to add a little vibrant color.  The little blue and white plate we found at GW seemed just right for setting ear rings, watches, or other little things a guest might want to keep safe.



The rug was also lifted from another room in the house, until my sis can find one she likes better.

She was so happy with how it all turned out!

We all were!

It looks so inviting.




The time we spent together was priceless. 

A few days in our lives which we will all remember with love and thankfulness.



Thank you, God, for these beautiful women!





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