What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, April 09, 2015

40th Anniversary Sneak Peek...aka...What Has Been Filling My Days...aka...MOM DON'T LOOK!

      40 years ago, under turbulent circumstances, my parents were married.  On that day, Mom, adorned in a pink and yellow gingham dress (which she has always loathed) and without even a bouquet to mark the occasion and Dad, in a blue suit, handed over a $10 bill to a Methodist minister and were married.  They had no friends or family present, the ministers' wife stood as a witness.  It wasn't the ideal situation and certainly not the most beautiful start to their marriage but the Lord has profoundly blessed their marriage since that day.  And a blessed and committed marriage is by far more beautiful and worthwhile than any one day that begins it.

     40 years of marriage doesn't happen all that often these days, to our generations' great sorrow and shame, so when it does, there should be great rejoicing!  We wanted to celebrate my parents' anniversary and their commitment to one another these 40 years but my sister and I longed to also be able to  replace some of the sad memories of that day with the joys of a proper wedding celebration.

    My sister Elizabeth and I are working together on it.  Elizabeth has taken charge of the feeding of nearly 100 people (no small feat) and the making of the 'wedding cake' and I am in charge of the decorating and details.

      I made the invites using a photo snapped on their wedding day and a photo snapped a few weeks ago. They age gracefully, don't they?  I just love seeing the younger them and the present day them set alongside one another.   I wonder if that young couple ever wondered where they would be 40 years from now...would they have expected all that came?

      One thing I was certain needed to be part of this reception was an abundance of flowers.  The woman who is sure to have at least three vases of fresh flowers every week in her home (one in the kitchen, one in the dining room and one, usually on the coffee table in the living room...now you know where my love of flowers comes from) and whose home and porch is always full of abundant and gorgeous house plants and hanging baskets was married without even a small bouquet of flowers.

Unfortunately for me, their anniversary isn't in the summer.  In that case, I could have had ample flowers at the ready from my own gardens.  Instead, I had to go flower shopping.

A friend and I went to Weis and the flowers were half dead.  Wegmans flowers were beautiful but pretty expensive and the only greenery they had were ferns- 2 ferns for $2.00.  (what?!?  SO not happening.) 

We heard Sam's Club has pretty flowers...but neither of us have a membership.  We went in anyway "just to see..." and sure enough, the prices were right, the flowers were beautiful...and we couldn't buy them.  I ended up asking a stranger if she might be willing to let me use her Sam's club card to buy the flowers.  (I have used my Mom's before and this is commonly done with friends and family.  Probably more rarely with strangers. hehehe)  I gave her the whole story about what the flowers were for.  She too was celebrating her 40th anniversary this year.  Like my parents, she and her husband had adopted a child.  Needless to say, she was the perfect person to ask!  I paid for the flowers and bought her a bouquet in thanks, and left with more flowers than I had anticipated being able to afford.  
I was very excited.

All greened up and ready for flowers.  I used cups and dishes I already had for the containers.
My friend Jeanette, who is a floral arranger on the side, came and gave me a few lessons on flower arranging (and taught me the joys of OASIS-the green foam stuff-) and helped me along.  We spent the afternoon arranging flowers....is there anything better one can do on a dreary, rainy April day than play with flowers for hours?

She is a master.  You can certainly tell which ones were done by her and which were done by me!  ;-)

Since Mom and Dad have no wedding photos other than the one on the invitation, and we have no current whole family photos, we are using this opportunity to get some good family photos! 

 Elizabeth and I suggested we stick with a color theme to make the photos coordinate somewhat.  Mom chose the theme of pinks, creams, burgundy and silver.  

Andrew would grab discarded stalks and leaves to make pretty cool jungles while we worked.
It has been an eye-opening experience to crack open drawers and cupboards to find enough junk to furnish an entire reception almost single-handedly.  I have so many tablecloths it is ridiculous.   I had no problem finding containers for flowers...we could have filled quite a few more in fact.  I have been gathering up christmas lights, piles of doilies- all that have their own spaces in drawers and cupboards- and being astonished at the amount of STUFF I have.

I ransacked my doilies and spent an hour or so starching and ironing.  It was surprisingly pleasant work, stretching out the intricate stitches and giving them the notice they deserve.  I do wonder if my obsession with handiwork is going too far at this point.
It poses the question- is it still TOO MUCH stuff even when put tidily away in its' proper places?  I think yes.  Although, in this case, the too much stuff has come in quite handy.  

I think I should wait to pose the philosophical questions until AFTER the party.  ;-)

Soap for favors- it smells wonderful with Red Clover Tea scent and such a lovely creamy color.
Several weeks ago, I made 70+ bars of soap using that soap recipe I told you about.  For those of you who asked about it- I have not forgotten, I've just not found the time to post it.  Give me another week, would you please?

Next on the agenda- wrapping those bars up with fabric and twine.

And about a million other little things... not the least of which is giving haircuts to the Misters of this household, big and little.  The poor things- they look like woodchucks.

I am pretty sure there is a no woodchuck policy at the reception.  ;-)


Bonnie said...

AWESOME!!!!!! I'm in the midst of planning too- but a bridal shower tea for my sister for 100+ people. Lots of work. I cannot WAIT to see you pictures of this glorious event! Congratulations to your mom and dad!

Emily Wilwerding said...

I just loved reading about how the Lord led you to the perfect woman at Sam's to assist you in buying the flowers! It is going to be a marvelous party. Can't wait to read all about it and see the beautiful pictures I know you'll take.

Leah T. said...

A very, very happy 40th anniversary to your mom and dad! Please share our joy for/with them in this exciting celebration. <3

Everything looks beautiful! You've done an amazing job!

Scott and I have finally gotten back to making soap. It has been so fun!

And speaking of cutting hair, do you have any tips for me on giving Samuel his first haircut? When the older boys needed their first haircut, I just buzzed it off but I can't bring myself to do that this time.

Marlene Bibby said...

It's all looking great. It will be a fun and memorable day for them. Thanks so much for doing this!

Julian said...

Oh wow! What a neat story about the flowers and you are doing such an awesome job with everything! I can wait to see the final result. Thankyou for sharing! Christina

Anonymous said...

It will be such a lovely party. My sister and I planned a 40th anniversary for our parents two years ago. It was a very special year as my father also retired and turned 65. We decided to do a three in one party and it was beautiful. It was kept completely secret and my parents reaction was priceless. We even had family fly in from across Canada and Michigan for the day. My mother still raves about how wonderful a surprise it was.

I hope your day is beautiful, as I am sure it will be.

Rebecca said...

Bonnie- isn't that just like us to even be entertaining the same way at the same time? I would not expect anything different! ;-) So that is why you've been blogging absent! You better share details too, Missy. I'm sure it will be amazing.

Emily- that is just exactly what I thought. The Lord chose the perfect person for me to ask!

Leah- thank you! I will! As for haircuts...my advice is to search on Pinterest for haircutting tutorials for boys. I wing it. I usually start with clippers , short and close, from neck up to temple and then use scissors (or the largest attachments) for the top of the head. That's about all I can muster. I usually use scissors on Judah's because it is so fine and because I like the color of his hair so much I prefer it longer but I don't know how to do keep a whole head of hair and have it look tidy. I think I will take my own advice and check Pinterest too. ;-)

Marlene- thanks! I am so excited that you are coming! Can't wait to see you all! Have a safe drive!

Christina- thanks so much!

Anon.- making it a surprise takes the whole thing up a notch! I can't believe you managed to organize that whole thing- even out of town guests- in secret! Well done! It sounds like it will not be soon forgotten!

Alyssa Corley said...

So beautiful! This is exactly the kind of homemade/simple/elegant type of renewing of vows I would like to have someday. You are pretty much amazing

Amanda said...

hanging on by a thread to see this party. Can't wait!!!!!

Abigail said...

Well done, Missus! These touches are gorgeous.

Leah-- My unsolicited advice on cutting a boy's hair (I know you've enjoyed seeing the myriad of ways in which I've butchered Zeke's thick mop) is this: grab some scissors, give him a leftover candy cane from Christmas, and snip away for 20 minutes while he wiggles and jerks and sniffles. Close your eyes if necessary. You might also want to keep your eyes closed for the following month while the hair grows back in. ;)