My Family

My Family
Here we all are!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer field trip!

I promised myself this summer I wouldn't let it slip by without taking advantage of all the fun free things there are to do. My plan is to find a new place to explore weekly and we thought it'd be fun to concentrate on the Mississippi River and all there is to see and do in, around and about it.

Today we went to Lilydale Regional Park - Jacob, Ella, Jill and I. We didn't park quite in the right place, so had a pretty long trek, but, that's not necessarily a bad thing. We started at "Bruce Vento's View". We saw a waterfall, Echo cave and a brick oven, went fossil hunting and walked to Pickeral lake. There were many signs along the way to learn about what we were seeing.

I'm so glad that, save a few exceptions, Ella and Jacob have a blast together. When we were raising the first batch of kids they had little need for friends, pre-teenage years, as they were content playing with each other. So far, that is usually the case for Ella and Jacob - they are really compatible and just have a blast together.

Mark has been uber-busy working on Shannon's new bathroom. It is a huge undertaking and as with every project in this old house has tons of bumps along the way - nothing is ever plumb. It is only 3 weeks until her surgery - spine fusion - a very serious surgery for the 60 degree curves, 2, in her back.

Next week Mark and I are going to Chicago to visit good friends for 3 days - a post-wedding/pre-surgery getaway if you will. We are greatly looking forward to it and trying not to get too ahead of ourselves thinking about the immense impact Shannon's surgery will forever have on our lives.

Today - we had lots of fun exploring!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It takes a village!

We did it! Our Melissa got married last Fri. to Curtis Fox. She is now Mrs. Fox! It was an eventful day for many reasons. We had a do-it-yourself type wedding. The biggest undertaking being preparing of food for 150, although I think we had closer to 125 guests. Conor, Shannan, her sister Lily an her boyfriend Derrell handled the grill - steaks and chicken which turned out very well. Shannan's other sister Kaysie chased Dominic so they could do what they did. Mark and his sister Jane spent a good chunk of Thurs. making potato salad. As soon as my Aunt Joanne got off the plane Thurs. she came over and helped make 2 more salads and fruit etc. was prepared as well.

Jonathan's wife Jill embroidered and bejeweled Melissa's sash, made her veil, decorated the arch they were married under, made pocket squares for the groomsmen and the groom etc. I made 6 little girls dresses and the table runners. Mark worked insanely hard painting, cleaning and in general preparing our house for company. Jonathan made homemade whipped cream for the fruit salad and set up the sound system with Shannan who also took Ella to her first hair appt. that week which was a good 7 hours out of her evening.

Christopher, with his friend Austin, cared for 4 of our kids and got them to Gale Woods Farm on time. Afterwards Austin led the way home in Chris' car with our brother-in-law following. Our brother-in-law Manny performed the ceremony and our Pastor Scott was there for back-up in case there was a travel disaster and Manny didn't make it.

To see your adult children pitch in so awesomely is very fulfilling. We have always had to do-it-yourself out of necessity. There has always been more time then money - so my kids are very resourceful. I am very proud of that and them. Several people commented on how the daughter-in-laws pitched in as well and I said to several mothers of boys - I highly recommend getting one of those - they're so very useful. My kids and DIL's just rock!

Paul and Linda prepared and brought Shannon and Lisa kept track of Christian and her husband Steve rescued Mark when the van broke down as well as helping with Chad during the wedding and dinner. Kara helped keep track of Callie and averted a near disaster when she ran full force towards the cake.Curtis' mother handled table decorations, flowers, lined up the photographer etc. His sister Kristen did a beautiful job on Melissa's make-up.

Several friends hopped up and helped get the salads on the table and others helped clear tables when I realized I hadn't planned for that. Hopefully, I haven't forgotten anyone on purpose and I know others helped in ways I don't even know.

My one nagging regret is not having Ella sing for the ceremony. She has a lovely voice, is very confident and has sang many times at church, For whatever reason it never occurred to any of us, so I'm reassuring myself that it simply wasn't meant to be.

We're still weary the whirlwind of the past few months. I don't think we ever sat down, but for an hour here and there, for the past month. We are not still twenty something and, although we are very energetic, we are pretty zapped right now.

The photographer did a fantastic job and the pictures we have seen so far are just gorgeous. There are still some boxes of decorations we have to go through, but they can wait. There are only 5 more days of school left, so I am planning for summer activities - a little late, but I was just a tad bit busy before.

Tomorrow Kaia will be here till Mon. night when mommy and daddy return from their honeymoon in Cancun. Her aunties and uncles will keep her from missing them too much I hope. We're so very glad Kaia's mom and dad are married and committed to her - we're excited about their future together.

I think this has been a lot of rambling, but my brain is still processing.