So many, many wonderful things

I haven’t blogged in way too long, and there are, as usual many blog posts in my head that have never gotten written, and probably never will be. This is sad.

However, the reason no blogging has occurred recently is that we have had many other wonderful things going on, the most momentous of which was Matthias and Jessica’s MARRIAGE on August 6!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here are some bullet points of my own unforgettables, so that if I or someone else ever reads this in the years to come, these events from mid-July to late August, 2016 will be remembered.

~ Jessica arrived on July 14, and there was much rejoicing! Scott, Josiah, Andrew, and I were at the airport to meet her, and hugging, smiles, and tears were involved.

~ Our house was appraised. This in order to facilitate our receipt of a home equity line of credit, and although Scott was somewhat disappointed at the appraisal amount, I was pretty impressed that it was 60% higher than what we had paid for it 20 years ago.

~ We registered Andrew for school. He’s attending Branson High School for 11th grade. The building is massive, and his class has 370 other juniors – as opposed to six other sophomores at TCA last year.

~ Many meetings, appointments, hang-outs, and wedding planning discussions occurred. The days leading up to Jessica’s wedding were full;  on our family wall calendar, one day in late July had 10 scheduled events.

~ Jessica preached at Lone Star Church (her wedding ceremony venue) on July 24. The small building was packed, and the congregation gave her an amazingly enormous offering!

~ Matthias arrived from Hong Kong! He greeted me with a hug and called me “Mom.” I was smitten. What a wonderful husband God has given Jessica. . . and we now get the blessing of a third son – with someone else having done all the parenting work for us.  = )

~ We camped at Buffalo Point for two nights. For old time’s sake, you know. Katie and Josiah were not with us (sadness), but a good time was had by all. Matthias likes kielbasa.

~ We discovered that mermaids cannot sit down in wedding dresses; thankfully a functional workaround for our local mermaid was developed.

~ Jessica made a truly insane amount of Chex Mix and an equally crazy number of Buffalo Chips. For thems as cares, the full reception menu was Meat (ham, summer sausage, smoked salmon) and  Cheese (cheddar, co-jack, Swiss) on Crackers (Club Multi-Grain, Flip Sides), Veggie Trays with Dips, Fruit Salad (cantaloupe and peaches from McKenna’s, green grapes, strawberries), Chex Mix, Cheesecake (only for the bride and groom), Cookies of Many Types for everyone else, lemonade, sweet tea (which Pastor Barb forgot to make!), and water.

~ People arrived from absolutely all over to celebrate and to help in many ways. Here are some of them.

Matt and Nikki from Pennsylvania

Grandma R, Kristy, Milt, Becky, Ian, Rachelle, Amanda, and Isabel from North Carolina

Josiah from Missouri

Lee from Hong Kong

Susie and Jon from Florida

Bettina from Switzerland

Jorge and Kristi from Kansas

Hannah from California

Kenny, Jennifer, Letitia, Natalie, and Shannon from Australia

Kevin, Elsa, and John from Texas

Grandma and Grandpa V from Arkansas

Katie from Virginia

~ Ah, Katie. Katie was the detail person. With the click of a mouse, she could tell you what time Lee would arrive, who was picking him up, and where he would sleep; the estimated cost of summer sausage to feed 100; who would do Jessica’s hair and makeup at 5:30 AM; call times for each round of pre-wedding pictures; and at any point in time, what still had to be done and by whom to make Matthias and Jessica’s entire wedding experience as wonderful as possible. Her spreadsheets were truly works of art, and we (I!) simply couldn’t have done this wedding without her calm expertise. And I won’t go into any detail about a certain bridesmaid dress. . .  = )

– The 3:00 PM rehearsal in a church with no AC was quite. . . well, warm, but we did it, and the cookout rehearsal dinner was fun. Matthias is exceedingly fond of cornhole, but even fonder of Jessica.

– The morning of the wedding was cloudy (perfect for pictures!) and significantly cooler than the 90+ degree temperatures we’d been having. The forecast rain did not occur; only a few light sprinkles as pictures were being completed.

– The 10 AM wedding ceremony was glorious in every way. Jessica was exquisitely lovely, and Matthias’ was incredibly handsome (kudos to Andrew on M’s hair), the worship was powerful, Pastor Barb said just the right things, their vows were perfect (I think nearly everyone cried happy tears along with the bride and groom!), and the married couple exited with joy to SCC’s “The Great Adventure.” It could not have been better.

– The reception was relaxed and delicious. Thank you, LaShell, Cheryl, and our exceptionally fine crew of church helpers.

– The Roberts and Varner contingents had a family cookout after the young marrieds departed, but I think all who were in attendance would agree that four hours is simply an insufficient amount of time to re-connect meaningfully with 19 other members of one’s extended family.

– Young bears visited the honeymoon cabin. . . twice! I’m sure Jess and Matthias will remember that for a while.  = )

I also want to note here some of the many amazing ways God provided for Matthias, Jessica, and our family in connection with this wedding. Scott’s job had ended in April, and since he is focusing on missions work, we have had no regular income since then. Jessica and Matthias paid many of the wedding expense themselves, other friends and family contributed time, money, expertise and willingness, and Scott and I covered the rest of it. That said with great appreciation, please REJOICE with us in the following:

– There was no charge for our use of Lone Star Church for the wedding ceremony. And the pastor invited Jessica to minister there, and the church gave her a HUGE offering.

– There was no charge for using our home church for the reception.

– The photographer donated her services as a wedding gift.

– Nikki and Bettina, with Matt, Lee, and others, did all the decorating, set-up, tear-down, and clean-up;at no cost to us.

– LaShell coordinated the food service for the reception and let us use lots of her “stuff” for serving and decorating, all at no charge.

– My pastor wanted to help me personally. She came to our house two days before the wedding, did a week’s worth of ironing for me, and cleaned two truly scuzzy bathrooms! She is always an enormous blessing.

– Jessica was absolutely gorgeous in her wedding dress. She had ordered it online in Hong Kong, and it cost. . . are you ready? . . .  $30. Yes, you read that correctly, thirty U.S. dollars!!!

Of course, it helped that Jessica’s priorities for her wedding were that it be fun, delicious, and stress-free. She didn’t want or care about elaborate clothing, decorations, flowers, music, or other wedding-y things, and that helped keep the cost manageable, but I was absolutely thrilled when she texted me while they were honeymooning to say that her wedding had been “perfect, just the way I wanted it.”

That made me smile and, as any good mother of the bride, cry, but my tears were tears of joy!

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1 Response to “So many, many wonderful things”


  1. 1 servantofthesecretfire August 28, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you for documenting these memories!


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