Saturday, July 8, 2017

Independence Day Party!

 We held our annual Independence Day Party on Tuesday. It was a lot of fun and I thought I would share some pictures from it.

   My girls and I love to decorate so the evening before found Megan and I working on a new patriotic bunting to use with our other decorations. It was so fun and simple to make. First of all though we were amazingly blessed to have things that worked perfectly for it. We had been given the blue shirt with white stars on it but the sleeves had been cut out of it and so it wasn't wearable or pass-onable either. So I figured it would work for a project. Then I had this strip of red and white striped fabric - perfect! I did also use some red and white polka-a-dotted fabric.
 We cut or tore strips to desired sizes and then tied them on a piece of twine.
I thought that the end result was pretty cute.
 We also used extra fabric strips for decorating elsewhere.
 The table where people were supposed to start. They could sign the guestbook, sign up for float decorating and canoe racing and check out the schedule.
 Ken's parents tried out their new kayak at the party.

 The babies from our "B" shower earlier this year along with their pretty mamas. These guys are growing up!
 They are working to get a float decorated. We enjoy having a parade with real floats at our party.
 Mara dressed up for her float.
 The parade is getting started.
 After the parade we enjoyed supper of hamburgers, hotdogs and brats and all sorts of other yummy food. Each family brought a dish to share.
 Then it was boat racing time! We had two different heats and then a final. I believe a fun time was had by all.

 We were blessed to have a lot of good friends and family come to our party. The people are who really make a party fun and special. We were totally blessed by all who came.
    We did have one set of guests that gave us a big and very fun surprise. Our very good friends who live in Louisiana came and "crashed" our party. Soon after the party had gotten started Ken and I were discussing the parking situation (our driveway can be a little tight but we had quite a bit of room down by the house and we were trying to figure out why people weren't parking there). As we were talking another vehicle that I didn't recognize was coming down the drive put looked like they were going to back up again so I went over to wave them on down so they would know that they could park by the house. I got them waved down but didn't clearly see through the window to see who it was. When they pulled in I saw the Louisiana license plate and was trying to make sense out of that when Michelle jumped out. I hadn't gotten to see them for several years and I got pretty excited. Anyway it was a super fun surprise to have them come. They had already been as far a Iowa for a wedding and decided to come up the rest of the way. They found out from a mutual friend that we were having a party and so they decided it would be fun to crash it. By the way, friends are welcome to crash our parties anytime.

    Jason and Michelle both come from Iowa and I got to know them first when I went to Bible camp down there as a teenager. Then Ken (who was from Nevada) and I (from MN) went down there to Bible college and Jason was also attending and Michelle did part time as well (and it was in her hometown). I have such fond memories of college days and all of the other students there. We were so blessed to be a part of a group of students who loved the Lord and encouraged one another in their walk with Jesus Christ. I was able to come away from college with no regrets but rather having grown in my knowledge of the Bible and made great friends with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

   After Jason and Michelle left I was thinking back on all the different memories we share, things like....

  • Michelle and I having a Bible study together. Just to grow in our understanding and to be better equipped to share God's word with others.
  • Jason and I working together at a Florist shop. We both like to talk and we would chatter away while working until sometimes our manager would want a little peace and quiet and would tell us to shut up for a while.
  • Sunday evenings going to a little church out in Albia, Iowa. On Sunday mornings many of us students would scatter all over helping out small congregations (I was in Abingdon along with my brother and some others, Ken went to Centerville - until we were engaged, Jason was in Albia and Michelle went with her parents in Ottumwa) but Sunday evening many of us students went to Albia. We loved singing and hanging out together. We helped with a youth outreach program for a while and we often went out to eat pizza together afterwards.
  • Going on canoe trips up here in MN. Dealing with rapids and with a swampy upper Mississippi where it was super easy to loose your way.
  • Long trips from Southern, Iowa to Northern, MN (beyond where we live now) to go to a weekend camp. We would drive through the night often to get there. We would stuff as many students as possible in each vehicle and away we would go.
  • Jason, Michelle, My brother Peter and I putting on a Christmas Concert one time when a church in Ottumwa asked if our college had a singing group that could come. They were going to send a boys quartet but not all the boys were available so Michelle and I ended up doing it with Jason and Peter. It went fine but I laugh every time I think of it because Michelle and I for some reason decided to put our hair up on curlers before the event and we end up with the most bushy hair ever. I wish I had a picture to look back on because my memory of it was that it didn't look to good. We also very carefully did a steam treatment so our voices would be in the best singing condition possible.
  • Singing around the piano - Southern Gospel, Old Hymns, Praise Songs, 4 part harmony. It was so much fun to praise God together and just enjoy music.
  • Going exploring out at a place near Ottumwa (I think it was called camp Arrowhead or something like that). It seemed like we tended to go when it was rainy or getting dark and so we have fun memories like getting badly stuck and having to walk for home but thank-fully Michelle (who hadn't been able to go along because she was working) had gotten concerned about us and so my dorm dad had gone to check on us and she and my dorm mom made supper for all of us. We were grateful for the ride as it would have been a long walk. Those were the days before any of us had cell phones. Another time out there when it was raining cats and dogs I found this perfect muddy hillside and I was wearing a rainsuit and thought it looked like fun to slide down. The guys along thought so too and we had a wonderful time sliding down the mud (Ken was not along that time - he had to miss out on a lot of evening outings as he worked then - and he was appalled later at my unladylikeness but I did have a lot of fun - and for the record we weren't even dating yet then). I believe Michelle and another friend Jessica were both also along on that outing but did not join in on the mud slide fun.
  • Michelle spending nights at the dorm (she lived at home with her parents) and we being the only morning people there. Most would drag out of bed in the morning but Michelle was always up early and very cheerful.
There are tons of other fun memories that we share but this post would get way to long. I am just so thankful to have had such good friends during some very formative years of my life and I am thankful to continue to be friends with such neat people. I also just want everybody to realize how much fun can be had doing what is right. Truly, life as a Christian is the best!!!


In The Potter's Hands said...

I loved being reminded of all these fun memories, we have had some great times together! You are such a huge blessing in my life! Thanks for sharing this. Your party was a lot of fun and I'm very glad we were able to show up. Some more great memories were made. ��

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

What an amazing day you put on Abbi! The float parade, the food, the bunting, the races, wow! So much fun, and the best part, your friends coming to surprise you! I enjoyed reading about all your special memories together, how wonderful the time spent together and enjoying catching up! Such a blessing for sure!

Abbi said...

Thanks to both of you for the encouragement you are in my life!


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