Monday, October 02, 2017

Heritage Days and 15 years of Marriage!

Our Mabel-girl. She knows nothing about personal space. Whenever she joins us, she is on top of one of us.
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Check out this big mushroom that we found!
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Our town celebrated its 50th Annual Heritage Days. Our family went to a little show on the square and Andy became a part of the "Dr. Hope Medicine Show". Andy wanted to put on a little weight. All he needed to do was drink Dr. Hope's special elixir.
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It's magic! Look at all of the weight he put on! :P
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Graydon's buddy just wanted to be a little bit older.
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The kids competed in the tractor pull again this year. Bella came in first place in her class. She even beat out some boys! Curtis came in second and Graydon came in third. Looks like we have some strong kids!
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Sunday afternoon was the parade. Our church's elementary youth group had a float.
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Bella had to get one of her eye-teeth pulled to help with straightening her teeth. She's never had a cavity, so this was the first time getting a numbing shot in her mouth. It was a new experience for her.
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Later that week, Andy and I celebrated our FIFTEENTH anniversary!
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We all went out to dinner that night. Our real celebration will occur next week when we get away for a few days in Door County. We're excited!
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Also, we're a bit late to the party on this one, but we downloaded Pokemon Go on our phones so that our Pokemon-loving boys could hunt for Pokemon. Curtis even has a special outfit that he wears whenever he hunts!
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Just a few more days of school, and then it's Fall Break!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My birthday and beyond. . .

When we were up in Wisconsin for Lori's wedding, Bella and Auntie Kristen stole some time to go paddle boarding. Bella caught on pretty quickly.
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Breakfast with the fam on the morning of my birthday. Being with them on my birthday is a rare event, so this was a special treat for me.
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My birthday also happened to be the day of the solar eclipse. We tried to catch it on our trek from Wisconsin back to Indiana. We didn't buy the sunglasses, so we tried to not look directly at the sun. Instead, I took pics with my phone. I continued to be disappointed that we couldn't see anything. After the fact and feeling pretty bummed, I looked back at the pics and, instead of looking at the sun, I looked below and there was a little reflection.
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That little crescent wasn't in the sky, but my phone camera must have caught what my eyes couldn't see.
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So, I guess we kind of saw the eclipse. Apparently, there's supposed to be another one in seven years. Maybe we'll get a better view of that one.
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Andy spotted this huge moth on our porch light. We brought out a ruler and its wing span measured six inches! We've never seen one that big before.
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Bella had to draw a map of our neighborhood for a school assignment. I think she did a great job!
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Not the greatest photo of me, but look at that little ham!
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Since my actual birthday consisted of mostly travel, we went out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory that following Saturday night. And we splurged with appetizers, drinks, and cheesecake for dessert.
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Bella made me this candle holder. There is a battery-powered candle inside. She is so sweet and thoughtful.
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We went out with some friends to a winery one night. It was the winery's anniversary. There was food, live music, and free wine tasting. Plus, the weather was perfect. And Bella was our babysitter! We're starting to leave her in charge from time to time and it is awesome.
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The following night, some friends hosted their annual movie night on the barn. We watched 'Sing' - Graydon's absolute favorite movie these days.
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The Kilps family has a new golf cart! This is something that Andy has wanted for several years and I finally caved. Each of the kids contributed in its purchase and everyone is having a lot of fun with it. So far, I think I'm the only one who hasn't driven it!
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Even Salty is enjoying it.
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Curtis is a tough one to get up in the morning. And just as he rolls out of his bed, he makes his way across the hall to ours. But, if you'd ask him, he'd say, "I'm up!"
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Graydon and I spent some one-on-one time together last Saturday morning. We started off with shopping. He was looking for a specific toy that we didn't find in the three stores that we visited. Afterwards, we went to lunch at the restaurant of his choice: White Castle. This was the first time for both of us. I was a little grossed out, but Graydon loved it. He wanted to go bowling after lunch but when we arrived at the bowling alley, we discovered that there was a tournament going on all day and there weren't any available lanes. Graydon was really disappointed. I needed to think of something fast. I prayed and then turned to google and found this park in Columbus that we had never discovered before.
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Our family watches American Ninja Warrior a lot - the boys are really in to it. This was like a ninja warrior park!
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He declared it to be as good as bowling.
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Curtis wrote a sermon on the magna doodle. Some of his theological thoughts were hard for him to spell, but I have a video of him giving us his sermon.
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Then Graydon wanted to share a prayer that he wrote in his journal several months ago.
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I was pretty moved by both of their words. They are both developing a strong faith.

Curtis calls this outfit his 'fancy outfit'. He came out one day dressed almost exactly the same as Andy. He has also expressed a desire to attend some church meetings. Whenever he does something church related, this is the outfit he puts on.
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Yesterday, Hope hosted its annual Hope Ride. Bella participated by riding in a group from school. She was up bright and early for a Saturday.
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Her group rode for 13 miles. There were also 25, 50, and 100 mile routes. They were finished up a little after 10am and were treated to a delicious lunch on the Hope square.
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I made almond milk!
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Monday, September 04, 2017

Lori and Pat's Wedding!

We left Indiana around dinner time and arrived at my sister's house late on Thursday night. Friday morning, a bunch of our family met for breakfast and then it was on to the beginning of the wedding festivities!

The ladies got together to get our nails done. The bride-to-be was nice and relaxed!
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We were there for a while. Good thing Auntie Kristen came prepared with some coloring for the kids.
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Everyone came together for the rehearsal that evening. Aren't they a gorgeous couple?!!!!
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Standing at the spot where, 24 hours later, Lori and Pat would officially become husband and wife!
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Cousins!
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At the rehearsal dinner. . . Graydon - always the character!
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All of the cousins with the bride-to-be!
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~ Wedding Day: August 19th ~

Lori and Pat's planning paid off in a big way. Their wedding day was beautiful! And they are a great couple. It was such a special day to celebrate their love and their new life as husband and wife!

***

All of the girls stayed at a hotel on Friday evening so that we could be up bright early to start getting ready. 

In order to save some time for the hair stylists on Saturday morning, I decided to curl Bella's hair. I had to get my make-up done mid-way through the process, so Bella had to walk around like this for a little while!
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Just a couple of ladies getting ready for a very important and exciting day!
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Bella's turn to get her hair done.
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So pretty.
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The perfect style to go with the flower crown that she would be wearing.
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On the shuttle from the hotel to the country club. It's time for a wedding!
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Just Married!
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I think she should be in a magazine. Just gorgeous!
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I have so many photos of Bella. I just loved the dress and the flowers. So lovely.
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And the boys were super cute and handsome as well.
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With all of us so dressed up, I couldn't miss out on a family picture.
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Me and my mama!
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The Benetti Family. Andy took this photo. The photographer has the one of the entire family, including spouses and kids. I can't wait to see that one!
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My dad and brothers. Three good-looking guys!
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Me and Dad!
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Grandma and Grandpa with all seven grands!
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Beautiful Bella!
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There were so many pretty locations to take photos.
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Jodi was the matron of honor. Her speech was so cute and funny and filled with many memories. I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard!
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Time for a reception!
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Finding their seats.
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Bella and Sydney graduated from flower to junior attendant. They had the same dresses as the flower girls, but also got to wear these crowns. They walked individuals to their seats and also handed out programs.
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Curtis enjoyed the cocktail hour.
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These cousins got to spend a lot of time together.
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I love watching their friendships grow.
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There were so many beautiful details that Lori and Pat planned.
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I loved the vintage-y feel.
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Photo props!
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This guy had a great time dancing. He partnered up with one of Pat's cousins and then his mom! He was on the dance floor for most of the night. When it was time to leave, he was sad to leave his "new friend."
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After they finished eating, the kids went outside to play. They found a worker stacking chairs and helped out. Then we took some fun photos.
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Bridget and Brett had their baby girl, Evelyn, three days later!
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Throughout the night, I found myself a little reflective and sentimental. With a family as large as ours, it is really hard for all of us to be in the same place at the same time. On this evening, we were. And I felt moments of pure joy, for at this moment, everything was right. Everyone was here and healthy and happy. It was such a gift.
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Bella got in to the photo props.
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First dance as husband and wife!
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They had quite the party! The dance floor never slowed down!
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These light-up wands were a hit with kids AND adults!
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We finally got around to the photo booth.
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It was a busy weekend for the kids, and a late night. Ava and Nora were the first to pass out.
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Next came Bella. . .
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and Sydney.
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Then finally, these party animals left the dance floor in favor or a place to rest.
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Congratulations Pat and Lori! We love you!!!