Monday, October 20, 2014

Pure Joy!

The house was full of toys, noise and little boys (and a couple of girls) this weekend. I wouldn't trade it for anything. The Noblesville grandkidlets arrived Friday early afternoon and headed home this afternoon. Their school system is on a balanced calendar so they had last week and this week off.

Ava and Rhys were thrilled that Nicholas, Blake and Alexis were coming. (They told me so.) The twins turned 1 month old last Wednesday and were ready to be held by their cousins. A month??? How did that happen so quickly?

Ava and Rhys
1 month old Rhys

1 month old Ava
Nicholas holding Ava
While holding Ava, Nicholas said:
"This feels awesome. I could do this all day."

Nicholas and Blake loving on their cousin.

Kendra was 'allowed' to hold Ava once in a while.

Blake has decided that the new cousins are almost as precious as his Legos!

"Aren't these babies wonderful!!!"
It doesn't get more wonderful than this!

Alexis the Angel
Love this little girl!!!
Kendra and Alexis

"Mommy, I kiss your head."
"I love you, Mommy."
"I think Rhys is soooo cute!"
This afternoon, Jen, the twins and I were invited to visit Layla's classroom. Mrs. Chapman LOVES babies and was very excited for the visit.
There was quite a squeal from Mrs. Chapman when we arrived.
She couldn't wait to get her hands on the babies.

Layla was so proud to show off her brother and sister.
It was so wonderful watching her be the center of attention.

The girls couldn't get enough of the twins.

Jen and Mrs. Chapman had fun visiting. Jen's mother, Barb Snell, just retired from teaching at this school. She would have been with us at Concord Intermediate School had she not just made a return trip to help her mother in Salem, Indiana.

I handed my phone camera to Layla and told her to take any pictures she wanted to.

This is the Fantastic Five (I can't remember what Layla said these 5 called each other but this sounds good) that eat lunch together every day.

There can never be too many silly pictures.
After leaving CIS, Jen suggested that we head to Hubbard Hill to see Mother. This was the twins 4th visit there. It takes a while to get down the halls and to Mother's room. We tend to get stopped along the way.
I had an incredible long weekend.
Life is soooo good!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fun In The Sun

Tom, Nila App, Katie App Benner and I were a little nervous when we went to the Hertz Rental place in Goshen Friday morning to pick up our mini-van for our trip to Florida and we were told that there was no van available. What??? But we have a confirmation number! What do you mean....a confirmation number doesn't mean anything? Are you really telling us that because many times, cars/vans that are reserved, aren't picked up and therefore you don't really reserve them??? And you're telling us that you never had a name or phone number or email address to inform us??? So the email that came yesterday to Nila to remind us to pick up our van really didn't reach her because you didn't have our address? I think that we won't be using Hertz ever again! We headed to Enterprise.
The Enterprise people were very nice and understanding. They came close to matching the price that Hertz charged us and offered us a Chevy Suburban which was far nicer than any mini-van. We were thrilled until we reached Birmingham, Alabama. We had spent the night in Franklin, Tennessee and headed out Saturday morning eager to reach Destin, Florida by afternoon. Thankfully, we were near an exit when the oil light came on. We were able to take the exit and get to a nearby gas station. I had taken out Enterprise's roadside insurance at the last minute (Thank You, God!) even though we figured we really wouldn't need it since the vehicle was nearly new.) Because of that, we called the Enterprise number. I was on hold for a while and we were finally told that it would be "safer and quicker if you drive to the Firestone store 3 1/2 miles away". Tom questioned this but since there was plenty of oil on the dip stick, I followed their suggestion. Firestone determined that it was an oil pump problem and we wouldn't be driving it anywhere. The Firestone people were so helpful and I was only on hold  off and on, on their phone for an hour!!! Ugh! Eventually, a tow truck came to take the Suburban to the airport to the Enterprise place. The driver waited with us as we waited for a cab (we were told it would be a van to take the 4 of us and luggage) to take us to the airport to pick up another Suburban. It was not a van that arrived but a small cab. The tow truck driver took the luggage and Tom with him and we three females road in the cab. After more waiting, we all met up and got another Suburban. It was 4 hours out of our lives. I ended up driving at night and we didn't get to the condo in Destin until about 10:30 central time. But we made it thank goodness!!! I'm so grateful that I was with 3 calm, patient, forgiving people which helped keep me calm. All the people that helped us along the way, were very, very nice. (The weekend Enterprise crew at the airport was rather clueless.)
We were thrilled to finally arrive! Sunday was our first full day in Destin and after some exploring, resting and reading, we are in love with Destin.
Nila and Katie are ready to check out Destin

Put those away Nila and Katie!!!
Mother/Daughter chat by the ocean

Maravilla condos


Perfect weather!

More perfection!

Sand as clean and soft as flour!

Travel companions
Where are my pictures of Tom? I will grab some tomorrow for sure. He has done his walking, reading, napping and football game watching on his own time schedule. Enough of that nonsense!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

1 Day Old

Ava and Rhys are now home and getting settled in. I am amazed at how contented they seem. Yes! I know what you're thinking: Just you wait! But so far, so good.

Ava and Rhys

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Not Quite Complete!

I labeled this photo "The Kattau Family". When Layla saw it, she told me that it wasn't the entire Kattau family because she and Marley weren't in it. She is absolutely correct!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Ava and Rhys

At 8:07 this morning (September 17, 2014), Ava Madeline was born. She weighed 6 lb. 12 oz. and was 20" long. At 8:10 a.m., Rhys Andrew was born, weighing in at 7 lb. 6 oz. and was 20 " long. They came into this world with an unexpected C-Section after Jen labored since Tuesday afternoon. After an exam, it was determined that the babies weren't going to get out without help. And the result:
View image.jpeg in slide show
I love that Ava and Rhys look like they're kissing!
I also love the expression of love on Jen's face!
This evening, Layla and Marley were able to meet their little sister as they looked through a glass.

The girls headed home with PopPop while I stayed for a little while. I loved holding the babies and getting to count fingers and toes.

This has been a wonderful day!
Welcome to the World
Grandkidlet # 6 and #7

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brent & Jen Kattau---A Perfect Day!

     Brent and Jen have known each other most of their lives.
The Snell family and the Kattau family were members of Central Christian Church dating back to the 1970's. Jen and her family, her grandparents, Dick and Jeanette Hart  and even her great-grandparents, Glen and Daisy Hart,  attended. Brent and Jen attended church and Sunday School and even sang their way through several youth group musicals.  Brent was a junior in high school and Jen was a freshman when they attended the school Christmas dance together. Who could have predicted that one day, they would be married and be expecting twins???
                                        The Engagement

Brent and Jen used the 50th Wedding anniversary diamond from  Grandma Daisy's ring as the center of Jen's engagement/wedding ring. Brent created a design that incorporated the look of a wave on the sides of the ring because of their love of the water. Of course, the pictures don't begin to show the beauty of the ring.
The evening that they became engaged, our families celebrated together with dinner at Corey Lake at the Snell lake cottage.
"We're engaged!"
Pre-Wedding Day
August 28th was a busy day at Barb and Jim Snell's home.
Barb has a green thumb and it showed in her gardens!

Carolyn and Don Holmes are Barb and Jim's dearest friends.

Wedding Day
August 29, 2014
Wedding Day arrived.
The weather was unpredictable: cloudy, rainy, sunny, repeat!
Tom and I picked up the girls after school, took them to their house to shower and we all returned to our house to get ready.
Layla and Marley were excited and ready for the wedding!
Barb had created this flower arrangement for the front door.

The flowers were just gorgeous!!!
Brent and Jen had found special
necklaces and earrings for the girls.

Carolyn managed to pin flowers on Brent.
The weather was rainy and we were sure that this was going to be an 'inside' wedding but.........
at 6:30.....
the rain stopped....
the clouds floated away...
the sun came out...
and the backyard became the setting for the wedding!
The guests arrived:
Paula and Ron Bowman
(My sister and BIL from Indianapolis)

Paula and Ron posed with Layla and Marley

Paula and Jen were happy to see each other!

Kendra, Jason, Nicholas, Blake and Alexis  arrived from Noblesville. Of course, they were thrilled to see Aunt Paula and Uncle Ron!!!

Alexis was so happy to see "Uncle Bwent"!


Chris and Jack from Valpo
Since the wedding was at 7:00 and dinner wasn't until 8:00, we decided that we would have fruit, veggies and cheese and crackers  ready for anyone who needed a snack prior to the wedding.

Guests could sign the book and
write a wish for the bride and groom.
While pictures were being taken in the front yard (Tom took these while staying out of the way of the photographer)...

.........the backyard was being transformed into a place
for a garden wedding:

(LOVE the look on Brent's face as Jen talks to her dad!)
Pre-wedding backyard photos:
I hit my zoom lens as I stood on the deck, held the camera out without aiming and got lucky!
 You can see Barb, Jen, Brent, and Jim!

Marley and her daddy

Layla and her daddy

Blake, Marley, Layla, Alexis, Nicholas

5 Silly Grandkidlets
It was finally time for the wedding:

Jim's mother, Joyce, is the lady in the background in pink.
She stayed on the deck on her walker where she felt safe.
I'm so sorry that I didn't get a close up of her!


Two sweet girls!

"I do!"

Marley and Layla signed as 'witnesses'.

"We love our daddy and Jen!"

Antonio's Italian Restaurant

The wedding being over, we all drove 5 minutes away to Antonio's restaurant where we had dinner. The food was waiting for us which was wonderful...both the food and that it was ready for us!
Here they come!

Mrs. Kattau and Carolyn

Everybody LOVES Brent!!!

Jen and Chris

"We can eat as soon as everyone arrives."

Alexis loved that she could 'ding' her glass and there was kissing!
"Everyone is here so....let's eat!"

"Do we HAVE to???"

Time to cut the cake

Jim gave a beautiful speech!
 He said, "I didn't lose a daughter. I gained a truck!"
(I guess he likes Brent's big black truck!)
He is a very funny man but he made two parents very proud as he spoke about how Brent is now part of their family and how our two families are now merged.
It had never occurred to me that Jim would do this. I wish that we had been as thoughtful!

Jason and Kendra will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary on
September 11th. Congratulations to them!

Layla and Kendra 'dance'.

I wonder if Kendra is now standing on Layla's feet!

Jason was playing music for the children to dance...thus
the blur!

86 year old Grandma Joyce
(My mother wasn't up to being at the wedding. She will certainly enjoy these pictures.)

Brent was so pleased that Paula and Ron came to the wedding.
It was a wonderful day! Tom and I are so happy for Brent and Jen. Layla and Marley love Jen and she loves them.
We are thrilled that Jen is now a 'Kattau'
and is an official part of our family.
It was a wonderful day.
May Brent and Jen be blessed with many years
full of joy, love and harmony!