Saturday, May 16, 2015

Shanna and Haley's Baptism & 8th Birthday!

Shanna and Haley turned 8!!!  I reminisced a little when they were born in a blog post here. We had such a great weekend with lots of family and both sets of parents!  What a special treat. 

We had some pre-party fun!  My sister Lena and her family were headed to Northern Virginia for business meetings for Mike and they swung by Elkton for a rest stop and snacks.  It was so fun seeing them, and it was such a fun surprise!!!

Lillie is Lena's youngest.  Isn't she a doll?  Lena is expecting her 8th baby this summer.  SO EXCITED!!!
April 27 2015 (2)

Two more of Lena's cuties, Alyssa and Kirsten.
April 27 2015 (3)

Me and Lena. Notice our dogs in the background?  Just kidding.  That is our neighbor's back yard.  We don't have much of a back yard...maybe 5, 6 feet?
April 27 2015 (4)

Keith is Lena's youngest boy. He and Elden have a great time together.  I should have taken pictures of her other three kids too! Next time!
April 27 2015

Before all the family arrived I took a day to bake and cook.  I did rolls, muffins, bbq'ed pork, fondant and cake. Busy day that day.
April 28 2015 (5)

April 29 2015 (2)

I must say, I am really glad I have two crockpots.  I don't use both of them at the same time very often.  But sometimes I do and it's handy to have an extra one on hand!
April 29 2015

That same night as the big cooking day, we attended Clark's spring concert.  Listening to the middle school bands is always interesting.  I could hear Clark though on the baritone and he sounded in tune!
April 29 2015 (9)

He really enjoyed band this year.  Lee and I are really happy about that!
April 29 2015 (11)

That night after the concert I stayed up way too late, but finished the girls' cakes. Thanks Lee for staying up super late too! He was awesome and cleaned up my HUGE mess.  After the cakes were pretty much done, I froze them, fondant and all because I wanted the cake to still be good that coming Saturday.  I might do this again, it worked out well!  When the fondant thawed it became shiny/wet looking because of the moisture.  Other than that, it worked out great.
April 30 2015

Random picture....the green light on in the picture--that is our cruise control.  So, our cruise control on our Honda mini-van stopped working a few months ago.  We didn't do anything about it because we figured it would be expensive to fix.  Right now we just want our van to run as along as possible with putting as little money into it as possible. (We'd love to put off buying another vehicle for at least two or more years!)  Lee is amazing, I just have to say.  After doing some research on YouTube (YAY for YouTube!) he found that he might be able to fix our cruise control if he fixed another problem.  I can't explain it well, but we had an on/off problem with the van shifting from park into drive.  Sometimes it wouldn't shift into drive, just staying stuck in park.  Not cool when you drop off kids in the car drop off line at school...and happen to wear pjs that morning driving your kids to school...and hope for dear life you don't have to walk into the school to make a call because your van is stuck...but then it finally shifted into drive after an eternal 2 minutes.  Not that I would know about that or anything!  Anyway, he tried to fix the part related to the park/drive problem and actually wrecked it.  He went to an auto parts store and found a brand new one for 8 bucks, installed it...and cruise control now works!!! I LOVE cruise control and am so glad to have it back.  I wasn't looking forward driving out to Nevada this summer without it. Our park/drive problem should be all fixed too!
April 29 2015 (12)

Just to document, I received some more fun cards from some 3rd graders.  I make copies for their teacher.  I love what they wrote...I definitely agree about the bright beautiful colors rather than the dark colors, ha ha.
April 30 2015 (4)

And flutter to their classroom?  So funny, cute and cheesy.
April 30 2015 (5)

I had the kids do their Saturday jobs early because of family being in town that weekend.  Clark was in charge of cleaning the upstairs bathroom that time around.  He walked into the kitchen like this and I had him stop for a picture. Growing up!  I think he'll pass me up height wise this summer. Which isn't too hard!
April 30 2015 (6)

Lee's parents started the fun weekend, and arrived that Thursday night.  The next day on Friday I let the kids do their "computer time" early.  With cousins visiting on Saturday I wanted them to have cousin time then. It was funny seeing almost everyone on a device. 
May 1 2015 (2)

May 1 2015 (3)

May 1 2015 (4)

Lee's mom joined in on the fun and pulled out her Kindle for the picture.
May 1 2015

Friday night more family arrived.  We met up with my parents and Daniel and his family at a local restaurant-Ciro's.  Lee's parents of course were with us too.
May 1 2015 (5)

The kids enjoyed ordering what they wanted. 
May 1 2015 (6)

May 1 2015 (7)

May 1 2015 (8)

May 1 2015 (9)

May 1 2015 (11)

That night a couple games were played, dessert enjoyed, then bedtime. 
May 1 2015 (10)

The day of their birthday arrived!  They were so excited for their birthday and baptism.  That morning I finished up their cakes, went running, and Lee and his mom helped prep food for lunch later that day. Thanks for cutting up a million apples Mom! Lee also decorated for the girls' birthday. Ila painted the girls' nails too.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (25)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (26)

It was so great having lots of family and friends at the baptism.  Five of us siblings were able to be together. 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (2)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (3)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (4)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism

We were glad Lee's parents could be here.  This is the first baptism they've been to for our kids, and in 2 years, Elden will be the last grandchild of theirs to be baptized. 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (5)

Our friends the Mongers, were able to come.  Lee rents his office from them.  They were also our realtors in buying our house. Such great people.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (6)

The girls with their dad.  Wow, I feel so grateful for this wonderful, special experience that we had.  I must say I was sort of feeling fearful/pressure (just slightly) when Clark was baptized.  Not sure how to quite explain it but I felt that his innocence (in a way) was ending and how in the world can I be the parent I need to be?  I felt more responsibility, I guess?  Clark was definitely a great kid, but now big things would be involved in his life like truly gaining a testimony and repenting and such.  Anyway, not sure I am articulating it well.  But when Shanna and Haley were preparing to be baptized, I definitely had a different attitude.  I was so happy that they were blessed to be able to make this covenant.  I wasn't fearing it--to put it loosely--(not that I did really with Clark) but I was embracing the beauty of my girls being able to make a covenant with Christ and Heavenly Father.  Clear as mud? Read a great explanation about baptism here at
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (7)

Our neighbor Elza came too!  I was glad that he could come.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (8)

Our friends Andrew and Mindy hung out with us that day.  We live close to each other and it's been great being able to celebrate life events with them. Andrew and Mindy helped out with pictures...Andrew below.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (74)

Picture time! 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (9)

Love this big group!  Wish the other five of my siblings could have been there.  Too bad we can't see Lee's siblings as often. 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (10)

My mom gave a talk about the Holy Ghost and told some stories about my grandma Ruth who was born May 1st.  The girls were born May 2nd.  My dad said the closing prayer. 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (11)

Lee's mom spoke about baptism and its importance.  Lee's dad said the opening prayer.  Thanks dads for praying.  I don't think we remembered to ask either of you! And while I'm at it, Daniel and Darrell were the witnesses for the baptism. Lois did the great programs. All the brothers and brother-in-law (Jeff), grand-dads and Andrew Franke joined in the circle when Lee gave the girls the gift of the Holy Ghost. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is a special priesthood ordinance that as the girls are worthy and keep the commandments, the Holy Ghost will always be with them to guide, teach, protect, and bless them. 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (75)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (12)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (14)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (15)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (16)

Haley's first grade teacher Bobbie Jo Kite also came.  She is such a fabulous lady.  I make copies for her and she is always so sweet to me.  I am hoping Elden will be in her class next year (or April Buckmaster's class!). Shanna and Haley also had Ms. Kite for their reading group in 1st grade. 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (28)

You took it Darrell.  I'm posting it. 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (32)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (33)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (34)

On the way home Kirsten and Shanna were singing songs in the back.  So cute.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (76)

We took more pictures before lunch of their cakes. Shanna wanted a temple with the angel Moroni on top.  We didn't do a great job with the Moroni.  He is blowing a trumpet...I am sure his nose isn't that long.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (20)

Haley wanted another lady bug.  Suits me fine...they are so easy.  This is her 4th lady bug cake!  See how the fondant is "shiny"?  It's from the fondant thawing out. Still looks good though!
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (21)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (19)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (22)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (35)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (39)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (36)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (37)

Shanna was so giddy when she saw these dresses for the first time.  It was so cute.  She was very excited too when she was baptized.  So sweet!
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (38)

Haley was very happy about her baptism and birthday. It's been great seeing these little ladies grow up.  Crazy that they're eight!
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (40)

We loaded up the food, cakes, ice cream and such and headed to the park.  Thankfully it was a great day and we spent several hours there. (Thanks Darrell, Stacie, Mom and Lee for all your help!)  After lunch we had their birthday party.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (41)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (43)

We had a hard time keeping the candles lit! Yes, we sing to each girl separately.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (45)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (47)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (49)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (50)

Opening presents!  The cake went fast too...
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (55)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (56)

The girls received balloons from Lee's parents.  I think Lee took this picture.  Love seeing the flag with the balloons.  Sometimes when I am out and about I am so grateful for the little things I enjoy.  Like being able to walk into a store with my purse insight, knowing that I will be safe (in most instances anyway!)  Or being able to go to a park on a Saturday afternoon just because we want to, and enjoy being with family and friends. Love this great country.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (57)

Kirsten, your hair color is so pretty!
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (58)

So for Shanna's "big" present she wanted a Lego set.  Lee told her she didn't have to keep this one and could exchange it for something else if she wanted.  Next time we don't think we'll do that!  I returned this Lego set, and that same night she looked and looked for another one.  After a little while, she decided to buy the exact same one again. HA. I was trying not to be a grumpy mom at that point! 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (61)

Haley received some Pokemon cards.  She loves them! The boy cousins were quite interested when she opened them!
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (63)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (65)

In addition to other fun gifts friends, Aunts, Uncles and grandparents gave, they each received their initial along with some paint to paint them with.  Such a cute idea Lois!
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (67)

Lee and I also gave the girls scriptures and some fun little things.  They wanted to switch scripture cases.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (69)

Again, such a great day at the park.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (78)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (79)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (80)

Lena drove down from Northern Virginia that morning and had to head back again to go to a banquet with Mike.  I wish they could have stayed longer! 
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (85)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (86)

I did a weird hairdo on Jessica that afternoon.....
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (87)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (88)

May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (89)

Lee brought glider planes to the park.  One got stuck in this tree.  They used a frisbee to try and get it out.  The frisbee got stuck.  They used a kick ball to get the glider plane out.  The kick ball got a hole in it.  And the glider plane was still stuck.
May 2 2015 Shanna & Haley's Baptism (91)

Thank you Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad, Darrell and Stacie, Daniel and Amy, Lena, Lois and Jeff and families for coming to the baptism!  Wish you could have been here Mike, and everyone else! Everyone came to church with us the next day and we filled up three benches.  That was awesome!  After church we had a fun lunch together and then people took off.  Lois and Jeff stayed the latest and we enjoyed a walk/drive together that evening along with a yummy dessert.

The next day while the kids were in school we had a fun outing with Lee's parents.  First up, we headed to Reddish Knob, an overlook about an hour from our house.  We were almost there when we ran into some smoke.  I guess the VA department of forestry (or something) was burning old stuff on the forest floor to promote new growth.  They still let us go to Reddish Knob, but we waited in a lot of smoke before we got to the top.  It stunk pretty bad!
May 4 2015 Reddish Knob (2)

As we drove by the fires I could feel the heat from the fires on the inside of our van.
May 4 2015 Reddish Knob (3)

We made it to the top!  A great overlook.  Almost a complete 360 view.  You can see Virginia and West Virginia just by turning your head to the left or to the right.
May 4 2015 Reddish Knob (4)

May 4 2015 Reddish Knob (5)

On the way back down...
May 4 2015 Reddish Knob (6)

My brother told me it looked like we were visiting Mordor.
May 4 2015 Reddish Knob

We had just been talking about horses and buggies in the area when we saw one!  I am one of those "Englischer" people that want to go to Lancaster County and gawk at the Amish. Can't wait to pick up more Beverly Lewis books this summer.  I read several last summer/fall. 
May 4 2015

After our smoky trip up to Reddish Knob, we headed to the Shenandoah Heritage Market.  We've never been there before.  It will be fun to go back!
May 4 2015 (2)

This kitchen store was so fun.
May 4 2015 (3)

May 4 2015 (4)

We enjoyed lunch at the Cinnamon Bear, then headed back to get the kids from school.

That night for family home evening we went to James Madison University, Memorial Hall.  Cal's art teacher chose one of his drawings to be displayed there.  Funny/bad parent story.  There was a ceremony/reception of sorts this past winter where each child was recognized for their drawing displayed at Memorial Hall.  I completely forgot about it.  I thought it would have been great to have the whole family go, and have Cal recognized for the work he did.  Thankfully Cal didn't know about the reception, but still.  I completely forgot!  Well, a few days later I told the art teacher that we saw Cal's drawing, and thanked her for selecting Cal's artwork.  She then told me that she was sad because the reception at Memorial Hall had been canceled because of bad weather.  I had no idea!  Now I don't have to feel guilty about that.  It never even happened anyway!

It was fun having Cal show us his picture.  He seemed to feel important and special that night (that was our point...and want him to always feel that way--humbly of course!).
May 4 2015 (5)

I also enjoyed his excitement in seeing what the other kids had drawn. 
May 4 2015 (6)

We stopped a local park on the way home to enjoy ice cream for our treat that night.  On the way out I noticed Lee had written on the park chalkboard. Cal added his name too.
May 4 2015 (7)

Lee's parents stayed till Tuesday morning and we had fun visiting with them for a little while before they took off that morning.  Thanks for coming! Thanks to everyone who came.  We love our family and are so richly blessed to be a part of their lives!  Happy birthday Shanna and Haley!  We are so proud of you girls! Your next white dress will be worn when you go to the temple!


Lois said...

Such a fun time. So happy we could be there. Thanks for showing everyone such a great time.

Nostrebor said...

Nice post! That picture of Elden spread out on the floor is pretty funny.

Nostrebor said... this is awesome!!!!!!