Monday, June 30, 2014

Ward Family Tour Part IV (Finale!)

And last but not least, we wrapped up our Midwest tour with a suprise-to-us Ward family picnic/water fight. (I SO wish I had pictures from that!) Then we had a fun overnight with German practice, story-reading, frozen yogurt bars, and more with this special lady.  So nice to see her in her lovely new home!  It always warms my heart to see my girls with their Great-Grandma and her hospitality is top-notch.  We were as prepared as possible for long drive home.  Thanks to the beautiful states of Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin for a great introduction to summer!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ward Family Midwest Tour Part III

Just when we things had been winding down for us event-wise, it was time again to get things started.  On to Milwaukee!  The place that the Jonathan and Kaethe Ward family first called home!  So near and dear to us! And this wasn't just any visit--it was to celebrate our dear friend ("Aunt" to our girls) Hannah and her wedding to Matt.  Not that we'd even had an opportunity to meet the guy yet!

(Anyone reading this blog knows that photography is certainly not my strong suit. Thankfully, the wedding photographer was fantastic and took lots of amazing shots like these.)

Even before the actual big day, our time there was filled with a Big Bend picnic (gifts of fans for wanna-be flower girls), swimming, custard, WI beers, former co-workers, and wonderful catching up with Milwaukee residents. I still maintain I've never met kinder people.  Hannah and I even had the opportunity to run a few miles in perfect May weather the morning of the wedding.  Don't worry--our orange pedicures were well protected with our running shoes.

And the wedding itself was everything that Hannah and Matt deserved. A few shaky moments (literally!) but everyone there felt so blessed to be a part of their day and to watch their two families come together. They are off to minister together as pastor and wife/organist in lovely Arizona and we wish them nothing but happiness. Such an honor to be able to stand by their sides on their special day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Ward Family Midwest Tour Part II

We took off to America's Dairyland the day after Memorial Day to see familiar faces in a somewhat familiar place.  We just weren't used to the combination of the two together!  It was wonderful to see the Ryan family in their beautiful new home.  The house was perfectly situated for hosting two big and busy families and their land is jaw-dropping.  The sunsets!  The woods!  The chapel!  The cows!  (Seriously, they moo-ed at me during my morning run!).  We snacked on rhubarb bars and Spotted Cow and all was right in our parenting world again.

We even managed to squeeze some Madison sight-seeing into the trip with a glorious lunch on the picturesque Terrace of my alma-mater.  I love that place. The sweet potato curry made everything even more yummy.  The Madison Zoo was also a treat and we just keep soaking up the sun and good memroies. Our first stop of the day even included a bathroom back at Calvary Lutheran Chapel, where I had attended a Bible Study during my grad school days.  My first exposure to LCMS Campus ministry--no idea how much of a role it would play in our lives, including introducing us to Mike and Kellie!

The icing on the cake, so to speak, was celebrating Iris's fourth birthday with her with lots of balloons and cupcakes.  Anyone who has ever read this blog before knows that Kellie's a waaaay better  photographer than I am, so here's her link to even more lovely pictures of our time together.  Such a good hostess!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Five for the Weekend

I have so many pictures to sort through and post from our lovely past few weeks but before that happens, here's a few notes of the normal goings-on around here.

1).  A huge hug of congrats to our dear Grandma Sandy for her retirement!!!  Never again will she have to work a visit to Pittsburgh around her work schedule.  What a impact she had made on the many, many children she has taught over the years.

2)  Also an accomplishment to celebrate:  Amalia passed on all of her levels on her first session of beginning/intermediate gymnastics.  It was an excellent fit for her and we've never seen her work so devotedly on a skill.

3) Our big girls also wrapped up the school year with track and field day again this year and came home with some impressive medals.  At the general awards ceremony, Mali was also given the class "Bookworm Award, and Brinnly the "Fruits of the Spirit Award".
4) This just in--Brinnly has a new loose tooth. She's always pretty proud of the new sandals she bought with her own money yesterday.
5)  Laney would describe those sandals as "big".  She categorized everything these days as "big" or "little".  Usually, she prefers "big" things or things that are "Big like Daddy". Although she herself is "little".  Mali is "big", I am "little".  She labeled each and every public potty on our trip as "big" or "little".  Even if it gets a bit tedious, it's pretty darn cute. 

Ward Family Midwest Tour Part II

How better to honor Memorial Day than with a Bacon Congo Line and a "progressive dinner" of sorts that had more and more people ending up at the Shunkwilers'?  We even managed to squeeze in some lovely family pictures of both sides of our brood.

Family Dance Party

I picked up a new Barbie Dance Mix CD from the library yesterday just in time to make room cleaning a lot more fun. First track: It's always a good time."