Tuesday, September 30, 2014


About a month ago we had our family pictures taken.  Betsy Hany is a dear lady from church with a photography business. When I asked if she would capture our family, she was delighted! She insisted on taking our pictures as a welcome to CT gift.  So...many happy smiles later, we have a beautiful gift to remember the faces and places we were in September 2014!  I loved all of the 75 pictures she took, but these are our favorites!  Enjoy!




follow her blog at betsyjoblog.com


It has been just over a week now that we came and went from IL.  My little brother was getting married and I couldn't imagine not having been there for his special day.  The four kids and I left early Friday morning.  We left Lucas behind to work...The Barnyard was in the middle of the biggest event of the year, so he stayed as long as he could Friday and left for home again Sunday night to not miss too much work.  Thankfully they let him off to attend and participate in the wedding.  He was a groomsman. We had great flights again!  But I was a little more worried how everyone would do, because this time around I was flying with four kids by myself.  Shouldn't have worried...they were fabulous.  We arrived in Peoria around 10:30 and Mom picked us up.  We had a quick lunch, then had to do some running. Dad had bought a box of donuts that Mom was supposed to pick up on her way to get us from the airport.  That way my kids would be welcomed, with a sugar high, upon arrival to Illinois!  We grabbed those from Dad's truck and dropped his truck and big boys off at the field where Dad was helping my cousin Marv Wagenbach harvest.  The boys were thrilled to get some harvesting time in!  Mom, Halle, Dylan and I headed to get a few groceries.  As we walked the aisles, Halle would show Grandma the goodies she loved and Mom would say, "Ok!", as she put them in her cart!  I scolded Mom for getting Halle what she wanted, but she just smiled.  She can't do it everyday, and I think she may have been enjoying it!  Needless to say, my kids had donuts for breakfast nearly every morning while we were "home!"  I told them to enjoy it while they could because it doesn't happen at my house!
             Waiting to board...                           Dylan trying to escape!
Dad and Bryce
Marv and Collin
We enjoyed the most beautiful fall day, and later that afternoon Dad had some hay that needed baled before we could head up to Steven and Kari's for a weiner roast and Sept/Oct birthdays! Jen, her kids, and my boys helped dad bale.  They only had a small patch, got about 70 bales, but my boys sure thought it was neat! 
 Dylan getting a ride on the tractor with Grandpa
 The workers
 The supervisors...Bryce, Halle, Alli
And we had to snap a few pictures in the barn!
Dylan                                                   Halle
 Halle and Alli
 Halle, Dylan, Alli
 Alli and Halle
 Alli and Dylan found a pussypillar!
We hurried to get ready, then loaded up for the ride to Steven's new home in Princeville!  We enjoyed a lovely evening around the fire.  At 9:00 Dad and I left to go pick up Lucas and Heidi Beutel, who would be arriving at the airport about 10pm.  Their flight came in on time, we dropped Heidi with family, then headed home to bed!  

                          On the trampoline                                                        Dylan

The birthday people minus William
The cake
 Saturday was going to be a busy day...it was a bit overcast, and warm, but perfect for pictures.  We took pictures on an old closed bridge just down the road from Dad and Mom's. Then finished up at Dad's barn.  They turned out quite lovely.  Everyone was very cooperative and we got done in record time.  These are just my snapshots...not professional! After pictures we loafed at Mom and Dad's until it was time for the rehearsal dinner.   

 The New Couple

 Lucas and I's wedding was the last one in our family...11.5 years ago!  Lots has changed!
 Me and William
 My two brothers...William and Steven...quite handsome if I may say so myself!
 Lucas and William
 Brittany and William

 The wedding party
Mom and Dad and all us kids...
L-R  Marcia, Julie, Steven, William, Jennifer, Diana, Teresa
Our whole family-37 of us now!
Mom and Dad and their 21 grandkids
the boys, missing a few
Brittany and William at the rehearsal. Their rehearsal dinner was held at Fairview Farms, the same restaurant that Steven and Kari's and Mom and Dad's were held!
Me and Lucas
And finally Sunday came.  Their wedding day was beautiful.  Cool and sunny with a light breeze. Their wedding service was even more beautiful.  It was so special to watch the two of them as they promised  hearts to one another. They were so happy. So many smiles, and so much love. The whole weekend I just took it all in, relishing the moments with my whole family, celebrating our littlest brother's wedding. For so long he has just been Willie, but now he is Willie and Britt! And it makes me happy! If I think about it too much, my heart aches to think I am going to miss watching their relationship grow and blossom. But I am so incredibly happy for them! 

 Got milk!?
 My boy!
 All the granddaughters
 Uncle Willie, Halle and Chloe
 Finally they were ready to leave...after dodging popcorn and emptying the car of balloons! Happy Honeymoon!
After the reception was cleaned up, a few of us headed to Teresa and Landon's for pizza and to visit. We would leave Monday morning at 10:45 and wanted to spend as much time with everyone as we could.  Teresa is always willing to open her home! But, all good things must come to an end...and finally we headed back to Mom and Dad's to bed.  Monday morning Mom and Dad had breakfast plans with some dear friends who had come for the wedding, we said our goodbyes, and Teresa graciously offered to take us back to the airport. We got checked in and waited patiently to catch a glimpse of  William and Brittany.  Their flight was leaving soon after ours. We had just boarded when I got a text from William wondering where we were!  They were waiting at the gate next to ours, but we were already loaded up...I told him we would wave out the window! 
 Halle, Dylan and Bryce 
 The picture they texted us from their airplane! 
What I texted back...the faces are totally staged...but they did have reading homework they had taken along and I was making them finish up!
We made it home, unpacked, started the laundry, made some supper, paid bills...you know all the stuff that just doesn't go away because you have been on vacation! It was a fabulous trip!  I am so thankful we were able to be there.  I think I'd have cried for a month if I had missed it. Our next trip back will be Christmas.  So many trips home in our first year have made the move seem not quite so big...but we've flown each time.  I'll keep you posted on how we feel about it after we've driven back the first time!
Come visit!  We love company, after our whirlwind summer, our guest bed is beginning to feel neglected, ;) Clean and waiting!
Lots of love and hugs from CT!