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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Weekend Wedding

Our family met Nate and Jillian over 6 years ago when we hosted "Souper Sunday" for the college class from our church.  Right away we hit it off with this super fun couple.  They were always joking and laughing with each other.  Nate likes fast motorcycles and the Chicago Bears.  Jillian was a business major and loves professional baseball.  We instantly struck up a friendship that has continued and grown stronger over the years.  Through Reds vs Cardinals games and a roadtrip to St Louis, running 5K's, walks on the trails, late night talks, coffee house meetings, even having Jillian babysit all four of our kids last year while Noel and I went to a wedding... We have gotten to know both Nate and Jillian as individuals...and as an amazing couple.  They've had some rough patches.  Time apart.  Time back together.  But through it all, God had a plan and we have been so blessed to be witness to it all.
This past Saturday, they started their new life together as husband and wife and Melayna had the honor of being their flower girl!  And what a beautiful flower girl she was!!
She wore her hair down long to the wedding, but once we got there, she decided that she would love ot have her hair put up.  So thankful for Emma (the maid-of-honor) for taking time to do Laynie's hair.  The little ringlets were adorable, but Laynie wanted a "Frozen" hairstyle so badly...

...so an "Elsa" braid it was!!

Here she is, anxiously awaiting the start of the wedding!!

Morgan and Marissa were also able to take part as they passed out programs and birdseed and asked guests to sign the guest book. 

I didn't look near as cute as the girls, but I was also honored to play for the wedding.  (No matter how many weddings I play for, it never gets less nerve-wracking for me!!)

I LOVE these wedding guests!!

Congratulations to Nate and Jillian.  Have a great week away!!
Now it's time to head over to the reception and grab up some of the delicious cotton candy we keep hearing about!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Congratulations to Nathan and Jillian Kreamer!! 
We are SO excited for you today!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Oh. My. Goodness!!  I am so excited about "Throwback Thursday" today.  It would probably be better if I saved these for Veteran's Day, but I just couldn't wait that long.  These pictures of my dear father-in-law are just too good!!
My girls invited their grandparents to the Veteran's Day program that their school is putting on this year.  Part of the program is going to be a slideshow using pictures of the veterans who are related to any of the students at the school.  I asked Charlotte if she had any pictures of Dave that were lying around that we could use for the slideshow.  And voila!!  She found these from his days in the United States Air Force...

When Morgan saw the picture below, she said, "This looks just like Daddy!"
I agree with her.  I can see quite the resemblance, for sure!!
These are my favorite throwbacks!  I may just have to dig around for some more keepsakes just like these!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Nolan's Rice Pack

Nolan was too young to come pack boxes of rice packets with us this past weekend, but that doesn't stop him from playing in his own rice box during the day. 
Note:  Wearing your sister's necklace while playing is totally optional!!

FMSC Mobile Pack

Our family first heard about Feed My Starving Children over four years ago when a local company hosted a small mobile packing event in our town.  Several in our church decided to go as a group and after just 90 minutes of packing the rice packets, our family fell in love with this great organization and what they do in nearly 70 countries all over the world...one child at a time.

Since that day several years ago, we have been blessed to take part in packing food for FMSC six or seven different times. (Most recently we spent two days of spring break at one of their permanent locations in Shaumburg, IL). 
Then last spring, we heard the exciting news that FMSC would be returning to Warsaw. This time our town would attempt to do something that had never been done before by any town our size. Pack 1,000,000 meals!! Houston TX maybe. Chicago, IL maybe. But never a town of our little size. And so the planning began. And the praying. And more planning. There were pizza fundraisers in our community, and the school system held jar wars, and even our own family's Rice Challenge.  What started out as a dream between a few men in town turned into a huge community event that took place from Wednesday through Saturday of last week.  Noel was able to go over immediately after school on Wednesday as they unloaded the ingredients and supplies off of the semi trucks and then stay on to help pack those first meals on Wednesday night.  Our church jumped in on Friday night and Saturday morning.  And then the girls and I were invited to join Noel on Saturday as we tried to help in any way possible.  Once again, it was so much fun and definitely one of our favorite family activities!! 

And when the dust soy powder all cleared, the final numbers were nothing short of miraculous!!
$225,000 raised to pay for the food!
3,000 school students volunteered to pack!
4,900 community volunteers!
4 semi trailers packed full!
 1,003,104 meals packed and ready for delivery!
  2,748 kids will get a meal a day every for a year!
A community blessed beyond words!
God was miraculously working in our little town this past weekend and I am so blessed that we were allowed to be part of it!  
**If you want to partner with Feed My Starving Children, visit their website at www.FMSC.org to find out where you pack and how you can donate.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Another Elementary XC Run

Our two oldest had another oppportunity to run in an elementary XC event last night.  Unlike the one that all three ran in several weeks ago, this one was just for grades 3-6 and only for students in our school system.  (Laynie was disappointed that she wasn't old enough to run with the other girls yet this year, but she still came along and cheered them on with the rest of us.)  We couldn't have asked for a better night weather-wise.  It was absolutely gorgeous!!
With just one race, everyone lined up at the same time...   

...and it was a mad dash to start!!

Morgan and Marissa actually got to race against each other this time around.  Both girls are running together at this point just about half-way through the race.  (I don't know if you can see Marissa grimacing in this photo, but I think she was fighting through a sideache and it seemed like she was just going to let Morgan pass her by without too much of a fight).

Although Marissa had passed Morgan by the time they came back around to me, they both looked pretty tired and like they were ready to give up.  Nolan and I were both yelling for them to "Go, go!" and I was trying to encourage them that they only had one last stretch to go before it was over.  "Finish strong!  You can do it!!"

Something finally clicked with Marissa.  She seemed to get one last burst of energy, raced ahead of a few competitors, and despite a 7th place finish in the 3rd/4th grade division, she again ran her best time by nearly three seconds.  I'm happy for her for that! 

Morgan finished in 9th place.
(And maybe just a little disappointed that her "younger" sister outran her at the finish)

There were over 50 runners taking part in the run this year.
Way to go, Tiger runners!!

Warning: Stolen iPod / Alternately Titled: You Just Turn Your Back for ONE Minute!!!

Whether it's at home on the couch or in the car, apparently when you turn your back on your little iPod for just one minute, they turn it into a little "selfie-fest"!! 

Thank you, girls, for your fun smiling surprises!!
What a way to make your Mommy smile today when she found these!!!