Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ken and Mary's 50th wedding anniversary


I've decided to break my routine of posting a review of the entire month and break it up for August I believe that a 50th wedding anniversary deserves special honor and especially when the couple has been faithful and is still in love! 

The morning before their anniversary party, I picked all my Abraham Darby roses to add to the table centerpieces.


I was invited to help put together the arrangements and I was so happy to do this since I so enjoy working with gorgeous flowers. 


We put together hand tied bouquets which centered each table at the reception!


These were the party favours!  What a cute idea and bravo to the cookie decorator!


I finally got a chance to wear my $50 vintage dress that I found in Summerland at an antique store.  My beloved being such a great sport, dressed to match!


The beautiful tables and the tent  and gold chairs  were so perfect!


My candlelighter dress was displayed next to Mary's wedding dress.


Inside the church where they were married they renewed their vows. 


It was just a lot of fun and we enjoyed visiting around the table.


They are still a lot of fun!  Their kids (Dwain, Tammy and Ken(nny) put together a game to see if they really know each other.

They do! 


Here I am with two of my brothers.  Ken on my left, and Gerry on my right!  I was so bugged that I didn't think to grab them for a picture before my third brother left. 


To finish this post... I'm going to leave you with the words I shared at the reception.

Ken and Mary’s 50th Anniversary Speech


It was right around the time that I gave up on the idea that my Mom and Dad would provide me with a baby sister that my oldest brother stepped up to the plate and provided me with a big sister.


I have amazingly vivid memories of my growing up years but somehow I have almost none of Ken living at home.  Even then, he was such a un-bothersome kind of person that I have no troubling memories to report.  But, I recall him babysitting us once when Mom and Dad were out and he was in charge trying to study at the table.  I have no idea what led to the look of disgust he gave those of us in his charge but he made his point and I somehow understood that he deserved respectful personal space as a young adult.


However, when he brought Mary to join our family, my desire to respect personal space flew out the window and I hovered and had my first chance to observe the ways of a modern young woman and  especially loved and longed for the day when I too could  apply lipstick.  


They were married at a time when it was considered acceptable to trust 7 year olds with flaming candles, sending them down the aisles to light the high and awkward candelabras.  The day started with a shampoo, rollerset and bouffant hairdo at LaRose Coiffures and I remember Mary handing the hairdresser a pearl hair clip to put in my hair for being her candle lighter. The only other significant part of the wedding day was being released after the second seating of the reception to run circles outside around the church.


Ten months after Ken and Mary got married (pause) was our parents  25th anniversary.  That was back in the day when special anniversaries were celebrated in a big way with a church service.  You know those 25th anniversary cards you buy your parents?  My mom bought one and made me memorize the verse inside.


I was loaded off on Ken and Mary the night before so that Mary could do my hair in a smart bun!  I woke up feeling so sick  and gave  Mary the very bad news that I was unable to attend and for sure could not do that recitation but in her calm reassuring way she somehow got me dressed in my pink lace dress and my brother Gerry’s black dress shoes that my mom sent for me to wear because  I had stepped on a rusty nail the day before and had a terribly swollen foot.  (and no, no one took me to the doctor but this is not about me.)  Mary somehow got me to DelMonte studio for the family photo and then to the church and …. I did that day learn that public speaking wasn’t all bad.

What they brought to the marriage.


As a 7 year old I recall that Mary brought Cutex nail polish in light frosted pink and I learned over the years that she has her own unique sign language and all who know her well understand exactly what her hand gestures mean.


Ken brought flower bouquets to the marriage and a quiet chuckle when he is happy, nervous, or worried.  


Mary brought a love of flower gardening and a talent of making their home beautiful and homey even from their first little Hillcrest Street bungalow.


Ken brought the  idea of having weekends away.  Their common phrase…”we need to get away”... started actually by necessity sometime soon after Dwain was born.  When the vacuum cleaner running 24 hours a day didn’t work to help Dwain sleep, they would bring him over to our house and Mom and Dad would drive him around and around  the block until he was lulled to sleep.  


After they caught up on their need for sleep, Tammy joined their family and Kenny came after her.  Their family was complete, with one sweet girl between two good boys.  


Mary  brought the relaxing routine of winding down their days with something yummy for their night lunch.  That was before they developed their love for Whitespot.  


Ken and Mary each brought something from their parents into the marriage.


Mary brought her Dad’s natural friendly ability to hug and if you have already said hi to Mary today, you will have most likely been greeted in this way.


Ken inherited our Mom and Dad’s sentimental and romantic ways and loves to give  Mary meaningful gifts that sparkle and shine.  


Mary brought her Mom’s ability to be optimistic  while Ken brought his Dad’s ability to think ahead of all that might happen and wisely frets when necessary.  


Mary has been heard to say… “welllll … it will all work out” and Ken has been heard to say… “Ya.. I’m kind of wondering about that”.   


And before I leave you with the impression that they are almost perfect, I’ll tell you a few things.


Mary does not sew, crochet or knit and  Ken does not fix cars, know how to retire and stay retired or how to be mean.


After all these different parts that they each brought to the marriage, together they brought a certainty and a commitment that they wanted to have a home where God would be trusted during good days and bad days.  They cultivated an atmosphere where family matters and a place where their kids would understand that Mom and Dad put each other first.  


Together with their children they became a benchmark for us when we were raising our own boys.


Monday, August 1, 2016

July 2016


I'm always so amazed when I look back at the photos I've taken over the month to realize how much happens, I apologize in advance for the length of the post.  I should have done one each week but I didn't and now here we are.

Settle yourselves in for a long post. 


We started July off with a family reunion on my beloved's side of the family.  
We were invited to his cousin's lakeside retreat in Princeton for the July long weekend. 



They are set up so perfectly for these kinds of events.  You can see our trailer tucked beside the lake on the left side and then on the right are washrooms and a large area for other campers and tenters. 


We brought Mom along this year.  I should have taken a picture of her tucked into the back bunk of our trailer to prove she came camping.  =) 

 It was so good to see these cousins and a few aunts and uncles.  Since the last family reunion, we have lost several family members and so we all recognized that having these times together with family is meaningful and important.


They all remembered the last time that we started deep frying doughnuts one evening and so we pulled out the deep fryer again. 

There is nothing like a warm doughnut out of the fryer on a warm summer night by the lake.

Thank you,  Gary and Heather for being such amazing hosts once more! 


We came home on July 3rd and we set to preparing for Mom's 80th birthday party the next day.  

Is it just me or does this cake look like it is wearing a summer (winter weight) scarf?  


I was so thankful for Bea's help in decorating and making it all beautiful!


My dream was to set out four long tables with white tablecloths on our back lawn but the weather that day just looked too uncertain so my beloved came up with a way to fit the 14 of us under our tent.


We wondered about a theme for decorating. 
Bea created these beautiful napkin placeholders using old German pages. 


We had searched through photo albums to create a story line.


In doing this, we just missed Dad so much and felt sad at all he has missed in the last 22 years. 


So cute in their going away outfits!

Skipping ahead to about the time I came into the family. 


Five generation picture when Terrence was born. 


Mom and Brenda, Mom with us in Hawaii and Mom with her first great granchild. 



Oh how she has loved each new great grandchild as they were born. 


Here is a recent photo of Mom. 
The sheer pleasure on her face is so beautiful. 



You know how hard it is to get a good photo once everyone sees food in front of them right?  


"80 years loved" the mirrored sign says. 


In her 80 years she has loved much and has been loved much. 
These little ones that call her Oma, just love her to bits. 


So, it didn't rain but it was super windy but we took a photo in the field anyways.
Bea set the camera on timer and then ran to the back to find a spot to be in the picture.  

The fun thing is that we were facing the road and cars and berry picking machines were driving by, honking and waving and so it was easy to get everyone to smile!

Mom is front and center.  
Left is our youngest son with his beautiful family.
To the right of  my beloved is our oldest son and his beautiful family.
On the far right is my beloved's sister and her husband.

We didn't invite Kobe into the photo... she just showed up.  =)


Ok... on to other things.

I love weather and was quite excited that we had a thunderstorm in the middle of one night. 
I sat straight up in bed, opened the window wider and just enjoyed the sounds and the flashes for the short duration. 


I just thought my red currant bush was beautiful.
I planted it mostly for the beauty of the berries but did end up making one batch of red currant jelly. 


I should give  away a prize if you know what this is without peeking ahead. 
Stranger things have happened I know, but one day my youngest came over and popped these worn keys off my keyboard and pulled out a little bag of replacements.



He said... "I've never seen anything like it'. 


Who looks at their keys anyways? 
I didn't know there was a problem. 
I just type!  

But thank you!


OH.. and then I got into this macaron making frenzy.  
The macarons above were for "Little Miss Muffet's" birthday party.
These were her colors.



I'm not sure what happened but before I knew it I was making macarons every day for a week.
Humid, or not, I was giving them a go.
I wanted to be sure I could do them with sure success.

The ones above were with red currant buttercream.  (remember the red currants? )



Stay tuned in the weeks to come, for a teepee making tutorial.
All this "Kanneloni Macaroni" girl wanted for her birthday was the teepee for her American Girl.
I looked it up to order but at the cost of a night away in a lovely hotel, I decided I would make one myself.

I searched for tutorials on how it is done and when I saw what was out there I decided to come up with my own teepee plan.


She was happy !


Yesterday I sent a quick text to her mom to see if she had taken a photo of it all set up with Kaya in her new teepee home. 


She sent back that she hadn't yet....


But within minutes, she sent me these few photos after looking out the back door and discovering the play happening right then.

Is that not a beautiul thing?

So.. the teepee project that took 1/4 of my July was worth every momemnt!!


Are you still with me?


The next birthday was for Little Miss Muffet.
I always love to help in some ways for the grand parties.

This sweet girl had a cake picked out and I did my best to recreate the photo from Pinterest. 



I just had so much fun making these rose swirls out of tinted whipped cream. 
I'm getting better at them.  Not perfect yet, but better.


Turqoise, gold and purple. 



Jasmine topped the cake!






When this sweet girl was born and I called her Little Miss Muffet for my blog, I had no idea how perfectly it would suit her. 

She is just a little doll!  


It is probably terrible to take pictures while we are praying but...
I love to be able to see this. 



I thought it was funny how when the food was served, the groups naturally formed.

The girls sat together...
except...


.... the birthday girl went and sat with all the boys.

OH boy!  There is a sign of things to come.



OK.. we'll come back to birthday parties.

We went to the BC BMX races.


These riders did our family proud.


Ok..  this was fun.

On one Saturday night at church, the power went out during the first bar of the first song.

After a few more songs and the realization that the power was not coming on anytime soon,
the service was taken outside to the back of the church property.

It was wonderful!


Now, this guy, Little Oh, wanted a skateboard in the worst way for his birthday.
 When that thing came out of the box, it was straight outside and his first attempts were not to learn how to skateboard, but rather to learn tricks.


Yup!  He's something!




Since this was taken, he is riding.. "for real".  


Now, his brother's birthday is not until December but what good is a skateboard in December?

Is that not the best excuse for a 8 1/2 year birthday gift that you ever heard?

Thanks to SkateXS for sending these custom boards to us. 


The older of the two, got on his board and like anything he has with wheels, just rode that board like he owned it.  

It looked so easy, so I stood on the board.  Just ... stood on the board.

We will come back to the birthday party later, because I like to keep the month in order of how it happened.  Thank you for bearing with me. 


These guys really wondered why I was taking a picture of them.  Should I have run out to explain?


Our insurance company sent out someone to just do a prudent check that all was well with our systems on the farm.  

It turned out that our main box that the power comes to from the road was hot!  

We called  our electrical company to come out asap and switch out the box.  
That meant, that the power from the road had to be cut off by Hydro while the box was being switched off.

The farm ran on our generator for the day while this happened.

So thankful that this was caught and was fixed! 
It's good to document these things too.



And then!!.... the book arrrived.

When Herald Press called to say the book was being delivered we were so excited and even more so because it was already planned that the west coast girls would be seeing Charlotte who was out for a family reunion. 


Marg and her hubby invited us all to their place for a book reveal party. 


Judy helped her plan and made these darling little loaves for us to take home. 


They set the table to perfectly for theme of the book. 


It's just so precious to share  in the joy of another book with these amazing women who are such dear friends. 


We will launch the book on August 3rd and you will of course see the photos of that next month. 
We pray that it will touch the hearts and lives of many women and we pray that it will provide for many orphans and widows. 


On the 22nd we went to the party for Kanneloni Macaroni and Little OH.  

Every year, their mom does this great question and answer routine with them.
I just love to see how they change and grow.

I shared it with you last year and so here it is again.


This girl is just as sweet as you can imagine. 

My favorite part is the Holdy spirit.  It's not a typo.  Is that not precious?  


And these are his very serious answers.  =)
If you know him... you will just smile. 


We also celebrate this guy who shares the birthday with Little Oh!

He will do almost anything to bring a smile to the face of the littles. 
He's still a keeper!  


They do a traditional birthday photo together.

Born on the same day 53 years apart!



A day or two later, we invited siblings over to join us in the tent for a quiet dinner together. 

And that is how we winded down a very busy but very fun month of July!


Ok.. we are done!

If you are still here with me, thank you for sticking with the story of July in my world.

I hope you all have a most wonderful August.
Summer is half over and I'm still waiting for the lazy days of summer to begin.

I can see them on my calendar and will be thrilled to share them with you on September 1st!

Love to you all...