Golden Memories!

It was an amazing weekend!

As you know, my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year – and my siblings and I wanted to honor them.

But what do you do with a Mom who hates Open Houses, and a fun-loving crazy bunch of kids and grand-kids?

You create a Golden Event!

So all 34 of us met here – at my house – last weekend for a unique celebration full of food, laughter and memories.

Unique describes it well!

Family started coming in on Thursday – with Saturday being the day of the Event (which we kept a surprise from Mom and Dad.)

Okay – a word here about trying to surprise my mom – she has been known to open presents early and re-wrap them because she can’t stand the suspense! Mom quizzed one of my sisters so much that my sister finally had to say, “Mom – I am not a present for you to shake for information! And no fair shaking my children either!”  🙂

It may be hard to surprise Mom – but we pulled it off in a really big way!

After lunch the grand kids decorated the car before we all got “dressed up” in our fancy attire for the big Event which we dubbed “The Golden”.  Since playing with dress-up clothes has always been a favorite activity – we had a lot of fun with this.

We had everything from the glamorous to the outrageous! One of my nieces came as a cowgirl, one nephew wore a bright plaid suit coat with a pink tie and holey jeans while my brother wore plaid shorts, a striped t-shirt and a Hawaiian shirt!

My costume? I actually found an ecru (almost golden) lace dress at the thrift store for 10 cents. Score!

Why the fancy attire? We were heading to a “Red Carpet Premiere”!

That’s right! My brother – in his eye-numbing ensemble – led our caravan of vehicles to the newly renovated Princess Theater in town – which we rented for a few hours to show 3 amazing homemade videos.

My youngest sister made two of them.

The first showed Mom and Dad’s courtship, marriage and our growing up years. The second covered everything since then – including all the grandchildren.

Together they covered 50 years of memories.

Let’s just say that we went through a lot of Kleenex.

The third video was made by all the grandchildren – it was a crazy documentary full of family humor and inside jokes. We laughed so hard we cried!

Mom and Dad loved it!

Everybody loved it! I can’t tell you how amazing it was to sit in that darkened theater holding Jan’s hand and watching Mom and Dad’s love story play out on the big screen. Tears flowed as picture after picture reminded me of the rich heritage I have – a heritage of love and laughter.

The kids just thought it was pretty cool to see themselves on the screen in a real movie theater.  🙂

From the theater we went to the local REC where we had rented the community room for the evening. We sat the entire family around one extra – extra long table and served a nice meal (nothing fancy – just good home cooking!).

The rest of the evening was spent dancing, singing, playing games, eating, and reading mom and dad’s love letters (Dad will never win awards for his poetry – but  gets lots of points for being very romantical!)

It was such a special time – and so much fun!

I feel so blessed to be a part of this crazy bunch – to have grown up surrounded by all this love and support – to be able to call my siblings my best friends – to have parents who are still crazy about each other after being married for 50 years.

It was an amazing week-end.

Going Camping…

800px-SparklerIt’s that time once again – the weekend that my children look forward to all year – it’s time to go camping.

We’ve spent the last week finding things, packing them, unpacking and repacking them.

Sleeping bags were aired out, food prepared, camera batteries found.

Towels were selected – good enough so I wouldn’t be embarrassed that they were seen in public – but old enough to potentially get ruined or forgotten.

Lists were made, checked off, remade, and adjusted.

A million little details were taken care of.

All of this for 3 days.

Days full of hot dog roasts, creek wading, and playing Frisbee. These are long days and short nights with mosquito bites and sunburn.

But – we’ll spend those days with each other – no distractions – no i pods, mp3 players, computers, TV, or radio – there isn’t even cell phone reception!

We will eat way too much, laugh till we cry, and make some amazing memories.

Is it worth all the trouble, the time spent preparing, the 3 hour car drive, and the sunburns?

You bet!

I’m just as exciting as the kids are!

Have a wonderful July 4th weekend!

Luge

Luge I had to share this fun picture we took at my sister’s!

Her engineering husband has designed a luge that takes off from their patio.

Sledders start on a wooden platform and slide on sleds down a snow covered wooden ramp.

Then they slide on to a packed path that goes deep into the woods behind their house.

It’s extra fun when you hook you sleds together and go down as a “train”!

What a wet and fun afternoon!

And yes- I went down it, too, many times actually.  Even once with my sister, screaming and laughing all the way!

But those pictures will not be published! 😉

Lessons Learned on a Family Trip

Having just returned from a short two-day family trip, I am amazed at the life lessons learned!

  • Rides that continually go around in circles (like Merry-Go-Rounds) are not the same after age 30 and should avoided entirely after age 40.
  • Falling asleep in the sun while watching your children on a water slide will result in a sunburn.
  • Spending the next day in the sun at the state fair will only aggravate said sunburn.
  • The free fall on a roller coaster makes one feel like a teenager again.
  • The child who forgets her shoes at home will inevitably step off the merry-go-round in the first 15 minutes of your visit to the amusement park and break her flip flops. This will result in an emergency run to Wal-Mart to buy that child another pair of shoes to wear the rest of the trip. (Of course that child has ten perfectly good pairs at home already!)
  • It is amazingly fast and easy to travel through the State Fair with out a baby in a stroller!
  • The ability to laugh when things don’t go as planned on a trip makes the most amazing memories!
  • There is nothing as wonderful as shower and your own bed after a couple of days away!

This is My Father’s World

Purple Prairie CloverPart of our annual Family Camping Trip is a worship service that we hold outside. The entire family sits around on lawn chairs and blankets as we sing and share and pray.

Every year we sing one of my favorite songs, This is My Father’s World.

It’s especially meaningful when we sing it outside as the grass and leaves are rustling and the birds are singing.

This is my Father’s world,
and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings
the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world:
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
his hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world:
he shines in all that’s fair;
in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
he speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world:
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

Did you see that third verse? Doesn’t the wrong seem oh so strong today? Remember that God is the ruler yet!