Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vacation, Part 1

Not being big on chronological order (numbers are so unwieldy), I will now go from the end of our vacation to the beginning.

I will attempt to be somewhat chronological from here on.  I only promise to attempt it, though.

We left Minnesota on Wednesday, August 3rd, just one day after New Song left us after a lovely weekend of singing and sweating (no a/c for any of their concerts here).

We planned to get as far as Toledo before stopping for the night.  By the time we got to Toledo, though, it seemed silly to stay when we were practically within reach of Beaver Falls.  So, I called Tom and said, "We're coming on through!"  We arrived at about 1:30 a.m. our time, 2:30 local time.

That way, the next morning, John got to sleep in and the kids saw "the cousins" even sooner!  Win/win.

Thursday night, we went into Pittsburgh to see our very own diva, Katie, er, Kathryn, star as the countess in The Marriage of Figaro.
 The opera was staged in a building just across the street from Heinz Chapel (above) and the Cathedral of Learning. 

Katie was brilliant, of course!  I had not heard her sing live for several years so it was extra special to hear how her voice has matured.  I was so proud, I wanted to tell the whole audience, "That's my sister!"

Friday and Saturday, we turned our time and attention back to the Shaw side of the family for the wedding of John's niece, Kirsten.  She married a great guy, Trevor, and we all enjoyed seeing them so happy.  John and I had the joy of doing pre-marital counseling with them (via Skype) and John got to to the wedding ceremony. 
I like the picture above because Val and Kirsten look so surprised and amused.  I don't know what was going on, but the looks on their faces here are great. 

The day was extra special because Johanna was the flower girl. 
The only "bummer" was the she had to walk back up the aisle with the ring-bearer.  Icky! 

All four brothers and all fourteen cousins were there as well as Grandpa and Grandma Shaw.  We were mostly well behaved, although the uncles (Jeff, John and Joel) got a little rowdy at the reception.  Not as rowdy as the swing dancers, though!  That was a lot of fun!

Coming soon: Part Deux

Grandpa's Birthday

 I'm starting from the end of our vacation, but this was probably the most important event of our trip: Grandpa Copeland's 90th birthday.

 Grandpa was born in 1921 on a farm near Idana, Kansas, the third of six children.  Other than a stint in the army during World War II, he has lived in Kansas, Nebraska, or Iowa all of his life.  He and my grandmother, Arvilla, raised three boys.  He now has grandchildren and great-grandchildren across the country and around the world (my uncle Stan is in Germany and cousin David is in Iraq).  
 Here are the six grandchildren who could make it to the party.  (This picture was actually taken the next day when we had dinner at Perkins.)  Only one of Grandpa's sons could make it (Stan in Germany; my dad still laid up from foot surgery) we still made a pretty big crowd of Copelands!

We had a lovely party with the folks at Shawnee RP Church; they've been Grandpa's church family for many years now and we were glad to share the celebration with them. 

Times like this remind me of the amazing, Godly heritage I've been given and I praise the Lord for his goodness and grace.  I pray that that heritage extends for every generation of our family and beyond until the Lord comes again.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Just in Case

Just in case you feel like you might melt from the heat...
 ...remember this!
And this!

It will come again before you know it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chaotic Gardener

As you might guess, I am not a "Constant Gardener" who insists on neat and orderly rows of vegetation. 

I thrive on the chaos theory.

 I love planting a bunch of stuff and waiting to see what comes up where. 

This year, I planted cantalope, watermelon and pumpkin beside the garage.  But not necessarily in that order.  I don't really know what I put where.
 So now we're watching all of these vines grow and blossom and guessing what each of them is.  It's like a lovely vegetable mystery.

 What's this?  We don't know, but isn't it pretty?  And I love the little curly-q vines that grow beside the blossoms.  So cute. 
This is my jungle of tomato plants.  Who knows what kinds are in there?! 

It is a mystery waiting to be revealed by time, sunshine and rain. 

Chaotic gardening is a niche just waiting to be filled on those gardening channels.  You know that, right?