Monday, June 30, 2014

50 years of love

In the beginning of June, these two reached the 50 year mark of marriage:

(Are they not the cutest couple ever?)
Fifty years of marriage is a pretty big reason to celebrate.

So we did.

Every one of their nine kids came to town (six of us are local so that helped) and we had a whole weekend of all sorts of hoopla.  Each of the nine kids had particular tasks to help organize, and it was pretty fun to see it all come together.


We started out with "kid soup" at my brother and sister-in-law's house. 
I loved this circle of talking because they were reminiscing all the growing-up days.
Wish I had that recorded so much.  So many great memories of a great family.


I wish I had better pictures of this part.  It was basically a huge table set up at their house that they had catered.  We sat around and talked and talked.  Dave's brother threw out the question asking us to recall memories of their marriage and what makes it so great.  There were some awesome memories shared.

The next day was the FOLLIES
(a copy of "Aspen Follies" if anyone has been to Aspen Grove they will get that...)

We figured Dave's family likes nothing better than a good, clean competition (they crack me up how they can turn anything into one of those).  So Dave suggested we get all split up into different random groups (like we did for our Eyre "Real Life Relay" last summer explained in the middle of THIS post), and compete like nobody's business.  Julie, Dave's sister, set this one up and she did a wing-dinger of a great job.

And there's nothing better than having great neighbors who let you use their resort-like back yard to hold the festivities.  Thank you Daltons!!!

First we did a family picture with the t-shirts my sister-in-law Kara created.  (She's incredibly creative and talented.)
 I think there are 61 people all together up there.

Yowzas, that's what happens when you have nine kids!

Julie divided us up into groups and gave each one some colored bandanas so we could tell each other apart.

Unfortunately I only got three of the groups, but you get the idea.
These kids were pretty excited.

 We rotated from station to station to gather points doing all sorts of tasks:

In this one you had to slip-and-slide to a pogo horse to turn you around and get you dizzy...

Then throw frisbees into these things to get points:

In this one you had to fling as many soaked sponges to another spot and fill up a bucket with water in a certain amount of time:

This one was my favorite to watch:

You had to be linked by the feet in pairs and be guided by someone in your group to pick up items and return them to the middle.

In another station you had to walk on these boards across the tennis court to get puzzle pieces that needed to be put together (timed):

There was another one where you had to relay across the lap pool wearing water wings as fast as you could and another where you had to carry a bucket with holes in the bottom on your head from one spot to another transporting water.

It was fun to have everyone mixed up and working together.

Then we all utilized put that great pool of our neighbor's to great use.
 One of these kids is not like the others...

We had a couple videographers there who were there videoing almost every event.  I cannot wait to see their footage.  Here are all the kids checking out the drone flying around to capture their fun:

Julie did a couple serious dives (she was on the BYU dive team back in the day.)

Dave's parents even jumped off that thing.  It's kind of high, I tell you, but they did it.

I wish I had video of this, but this is everyone dancing.
Did I mention Dave's family are dancers?  Just checking.  They put other dancers to shame.

We had pizza and a little awards ceremony.  Of course Dave's team won...

That night was our turn to host.

We had promised long before that we would have that house of ours ready for a celebration by the beginning of June.

And boy oh boy did we work our tails off to get it that way.

It was crazy but also good to have a deadline.

We spent the couple days before setting up the scene:

We pasted hundreds of pictures of them through the years on the walls (which was perfect since we don't have much wall decor yet :)

This wall went from this:
to this:

Let's get a closer look at those pics...

There were some gems there I tell fun to look back.

We had so many pics. we did a heart in the other room too.

Grace called and interviewed Dave's mom to get some facts about their marriage we could put on the table and then typed them up for me.
 I wish I had more of the close-up pictures but you get the idea.

We set them up on the tables like this along with some of the pictures:

Dave's sister was in charge of ordering and getting the dinner there.  She did a fabulous job.

From there, everyone gathered and we loved seeing the house come together to be used exactly how we built it to be used: to gather big groups of people we love.
Since we don't have a whole lot of furniture yet it worked like a charm to fit all those tables in there to seat 61 people comfy as could be.

We still didn't have pictures up...ran out of time, but I don't think anyone cared :)

Our front porch is far from done, but it was done enough to do a whole slew of pictures out there shaded from the evening sun.

They hired a photographer but for some reason I cannot resist getting in there and taking a few myself.

Which is a good thing since I still wouldn't have these yet if I had sat back and put that darn camera down.

Dave's siblings are the best.

They have no problems posing in multiple ways for pictures.
Oh man I love them all.

Here they are with their great parents:

Just the girls:
Just the boys:

 So the in-laws decided we better get one too:

Not quite as good at the posing...

So grateful for the influence of each of these wonderful people in my life.

Have I mentioned Max is a little on the taller side?  This cute kid is a year younger but still...

I made them pose like this for a second:
 Because I'm kind of cheesy like that and like to make that boy of mine get out of his element a little.  Ha!

There we go, that's better.

I only got the teenagers before I decided to let go and just let the great photographer do her thing.  Can't wait to see the other groupings.  Here's our family.

 ...and a few others we did on the side-lines:

Everyone stayed out there for a long time soaking up that "photobooth" idea.  Loved watching it from afar.

 Then it was time for the program which Dave's oldest brother Bob put on:

Dave's parents each spoke a little about how they met and a couple siblings shared their sweet thoughts.

The grandkids sang a song.

Then it was on to the serious dance party.
More of that coming in the video the videographers are working on but I will tell you it was a hoot watching everyone jam out like crazy.

By then everyone was so tired the kids could hardly stand up.  Many of them ended up watching Turbo while the parents finished dancing and cleaning.

As we said our good-byes, I couldn't help just sitting in this spot for a bit with deep gratitude and respect for this home of ours.

The next day we all went to church together, filling up practically the whole chapel, had lunch and a little birthday celebration for Dave's great mother, and then filed out one-by-one, back into regular life after our goodbyes.
 How grateful I am to be armed with not only the deliberate love of the marriage we were celebrating, but all those other marriages of Dave's siblings who work hard and make a difference with how they treat each other and how they raise their children.

When I think of the legacy Dave's parents started all those fifty years ago I get a little teary becuase I think of the ripple effects.

There's this quote I love that says "Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world.  Indeed, that is the only thing that ever has."

In their own way, that small "group" of Dave's parents have changed the world around them.

As those two started out their marriage all those years ago, Dave's mom had lost her dad when she was 15 (but had a great mother and siblings to help her through) and Dave's dad had come from an alcoholic father who was grumpy all the time.  But those two started out on the right foot right then and there.  They loved eachother through thick and thin.  They worked so hard through ups and downs financially, with each baby that arrived to change things up, with each move, with each triumph and defeat.  They moved together through all that and clung to Heaven all the way through it.  And when I look at that family of theirs and all the others spinning off to make their own difference where they can I am overwhelmed wiht gratitude.

For families.

For the gospel and faith that helps weather every storm.

For good examples.

For prayer.

For God up above.

And that these two started of right and knew where to turn when the going got tough.

Love them forever.

As I write they are in Ghana for ten weeks helping families over there.
That was not easy to leave the comforts of home and go work their hearts out over there but they are there.  And they are loving every minute of it (well, almost :)  Their legacy of service keeps going.  We love you Bob and Marva!!


  1. Wonderful biographies of amazing people. What strikes me the most is how Bob was able to break the cycle of self destruction his own Father had shown. That takes some serious self awareness and a very conscious Soul.

  2. Our son's good friend is serving his mission in Ghana! We love to read his blog and see his photos.

    What a great tribute to a wonderful marriage!

  3. I am always inspired by reading and learning of these marriages that have stood the test of time. 50 Years is a wonderful example!(My parents just hit 45 years this month.) It looks like the fmaily could not have planned a better celebration.

    PS - Your house looks fantastic!

  4. You and David did a great job hosting and helping make it so great. Loved spending time with you. Great pictures.

  5. This is what I hope for for my young family...that we can leave a legacy like this and make the world a little better. So inspiring!

  6. Pure LOVE Shawni! I didn't grow up in a family like this, but I hope to create it. Beautiful post.

  7. What a wonderful celebration. It looks like so much fun. My parents served 3 missions to Ghana and I think they might love the people there more than they love us...haha.

  8. What a wonderful family you have! I love seeing all of the gatherings you get to be a part of. I have six boys and I hope I have reunions even half as fun as these. You are awesome! :)

  9. Honestly. How awesome! Your family is so loving and inclusive! :) What a wonderful celebration of love!!

  10. Cannot imagine the chaos but love all the pics! I always wonder where everyone sleeps??!!! What a great example of marriage! You are indeed blessed!

  11. I lived in the Pothier's ward when I was younger. Their family is amazing, and I have always admired Bob and Marva as a couple. Thanks for highlighting their relationship and for promoting strong families!

  12. Thank you so much, Shawni, this was a wonderful review of an amazing celebration. We couldn't be more grateful for each one of you and all the effort and talent you put into making such a fun 3 days. We are the most blessed people we know. Yes, we are loving every minute of our time in Ghana. Each day we literally can't believe we are able to have this experience. Thank you and Dave for making your home and neighbor's home available. That made such a difference! Love you, Mom

  13. I love this. Thanks for sharing!
    My husband's parents celebrated their 50th the year after we got married (he's the baaaby) and it IS such a blessing to see strong marriages and families in our lives!

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  16. I know this post was clearly a while ago, but I just love love love grace's striped shirt!! Do you know where it's from?


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