In the beginning of June, these two reached the 50 year mark of marriage:
Fifty years of marriage is a pretty big reason to celebrate.
So we did.
SWIMMING AND BBQ
We started out with "kid soup" at my brother and sister-in-law's house.
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.)
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.
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.
We had pizza and a little awards ceremony. Of course Dave's team won...
DINNER, PROGRAM and DANCE PARTY
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:
Let's get a closer look at those pics...
There were some gems there I tell you...so 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.
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.
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.
Here they are with their great parents:
Just the girls:
Just the boys:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 the gospel and faith that helps weather every storm.
For good examples.
For God up above.
And that these two started of right and knew where to turn when the going got tough.
Love them forever.