Matt and Caitlin are now husband and wife!
We had the most wonderful time at Snow Mountain Ranch
celebrating these two love birds!
I didn't want to advertise that we were going to be away from home so I have been a bit hush hush about it-
I'll start at the beginning!
Packing for this crew was challenging- especially when it included
nicely pressed clothes for a wedding
and our everyday stuff!
Along with all the medical things we need!
I know with time we will get better and better at it!
We headed off to Colorado on Tuesday morning!
And hit something on the road in northern Iowa…
we felt the van shimmy and shake so we pulled over.
A piece of an old tire was stuck in our front grill and must have changed the aerodynamics of the vehicle (along with strong winds).
We quickly got back on our way and all was well!
Until our speakers to the TV stopped working…
Thank goodness for iPhones!
I was able to locate a repair person in Des Moines Iowa and he had is fixed in 20 minutes!
Once again we were on our way!
We arrived in Snow Mountain Ranch at 2:00 the next day (Wednesday)!
This was the first time the children saw the mountains!
They were in AWE!
We planned many fun activities including archery, putt putt golf and horseback riding.
That included a one hour trail ride with all 15 of us!
I did spend part of the time praying for safety as I saw our tiny little Luke, Joey and Madeline on huge, HUGE horses!
The setting was beautiful!
Mountains surrounded us!
It was breathtaking!
I am so sorry- I did not get pics of our activities…
we were having fun and there just wasn't a place to stash a camera…
That evening we had dinner around the campfire.
Some of the wedding guest we just arriving so they joined the two families!
It sure gets chilly in the mountains at night.
You wouldn't know this by looking at what our kids are wearing but just take my word for it!
The campfire kept us cozy!
It wasn't long until Sarah and Mia had Matt and Caitlin's friends doing a handstand contest!
Young men are competitive no matter what it is!
Some of them were quite good but the girls still beat them!
As a mom it did go through my head- it's late, it's cold maybe the kids should be in bed…
We had sooooooo much fun!
And even though I was chilly, they were sweating!
(Caitlin and Mia trying to lean on each other and get up together!)
The day of the grooms dinner was more low key.
The children did what children do best!
They played and played!
Do your kids love finding rocks as much as our kids do?
And each rock is a treasure to them (much like the shells from Florida)!
After a fun time of spinning around and around
three children came to me with tummy aches ;-)
Children from orphanages do not have developed core muscles.
Surprisingly, they are quite weak.
They also have never had the opportunity to do the monkey bars and develop strong upper arms to carry their body weight.
I feel a sense of victory when they can do this!
And good job Abby and Ellie!
The rehearsal went well!
Mark on the left was an usher and reader.
Billy on my right was the best man.
The children came to the rehearsal but they did not attend the grooms dinner.
Sometimes the Momma and the Daddy just need to talk to the adults and
have a little break from her treasures ;-)
It is so much fun to have these three back in the good ole USA!
Caitlin and her Aunts (her Dad's sisters)!
Uncle Mike- you made it on the blog ;-)
And you too, cousin Jimmy!
Auntie Mimi, too!
Barb and Kelly are regulars!
It was wonderful to meet Caitlin's extended family!
She has a small nuclear family and a huge extended family!
Caitlin's Dad(on the left) was the oldest of nine and her Mom has three sisters!
And all of them have kids… and they are having kids and, and, and!
Where as Hubby and I only had 7 members from our extended family come to the wedding
24 members of our nuclear family!
(which is now growing and growing and we are loving it!)
Both families are quite large but just in different generations!
We have been blessed through this wonderful marriage!
Both families feel so good about our two children… okay, adult children, getting married!
We couldn't have hand picked a better spouse!
Caitlin's Dad(Dan) is in the middle and her mom(Deb) is on the right!
(On the far left is her Uncle Tom… or is it Bob?)
Of course now I realize I should have gotten a pick of her with her Mom and Dad- thank goodness there was a real photographer at the wedding!
Plus Katie, my sister and my friends Karen and Kelsey were able to get photos too!
I will share some of my snapshots and then hopefully post again with the "good pics" from the photographers!
Emma and Ellie are our bookends!
They are usually at one end or another of the rows because we know they will always behave!
They have a quiet demeanor and are not chatty or overly curious.
Like Joey, Luke, Abby, Madeline, Anna, Sam and Mia(and sometime Sarah).
Sarah, Ava, Melissa and Ben are our other bookends ;-)
Karen and Kelsey(our sitter/friend and her daughter) sat in the middle if each row- I am guessing you can figure out exactly where they were ;-)
Yep! Right between Joey and Anna and Abby and Sam!
All the busy bodies were only an arms length away from them!
It's all about positioning for success in church, at weddings and every other place we go!
We are so happy to have Katie, Andrew and Emily "close by"!
(that means in the USA)
It was a delight to get some baby holding time this past weekend!
I think Emily likes her Nana and Papa!
Johnny has been studying in Chicago this summer. So glad he could take a short break and fly to Colorado!
The best man!
The reader and an other usher!
Lining up and preparing to get into their seats!
The guests are ready for the ceremony to start!
It was perfect weather!
Comfortable low 70's/ high 60/s, no humidity and a light breeze!
Taren is Caitlin's BFF and maid of Honor!
The wedding was WONDERFUL!
Caitlin was a beautiful bride and Matt was so handsome!
I did not bring my camera for the ceremony but I know we have lots of pics from the other photographers!
Matt and Caitlin wrote their own vows, they were lovely and from their hearts!
I love pics like this!
It tells the true story!
Luke is definitely going somewhere… not sure where and I am telling someone… something!
I'm certain it was very important!
Now we are ready!!
Love how God is adding more to this crew too!
Our precious little boys!
They are 8, 7, 5 and 5!
All four of the big girls are becoming lovely young ladies!
They are 11, 12, 13 and 14 (not in order).
Here's our baby girls that are growing up way too fast!
They are 7, 8, 8, 8 and 9 now…
My camera was blinking due to low battery.
Kelsey and Karen took these pics!
I am so thankful they were able to get these!
These two boys love pretty ladies!
Especially Billy's girlfriend Kelly!
Watch out Billy they may steal her away from you!
Caitlin and Taren planned ahead and had a treasure/scavenger hunt for the kids!
It was fantastic and the kids hunted and hunted for the items listed!
Stones in the shape of hearts, a feather, a seed, a flower and much more!
It was delightful to see them running about and finding the treasures listed!
Plus it allowed us to talk to the adults!
I love God's simple pleasures!
Sometimes I need to remind myself to open my eyes
and SEE THEM!
Praising God for this amazing time and celebrating our new son and daughter in love!
Here is the point that my camera turned off…
Bummed but I know the others got great pics!
Can't wait to see them and share them!
Some people have asked what camera I use.
It is a simple point and shoot but good quality.
I have a Canon S110!
It requires nothing of me- which is good because the children require a lot of me!
Caitlin's Dad, Billy and Taren gave awesome speeches and toasts!
(insert pics of children, Matt and Caitlin dancing ;-)
They had a blue grass band after the meal and the dancing was so much fun for all of us!
The children could have danced all night long!
There was SO MUCH JOY there!
(insert pic of Matt and Caitlin from the wedding ;-)
Katie can you do that?
Praising God for this young couple!
We are blessed to have a new daughter and our dear son is blessed to call her his wife!
Thank you Jesus!