Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grandma & Granddad's 59th

Happy Anniversary to Grandma & Granddad! 

They celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary tonight!

To do something special for them, a plan was hatched up to give them a nice meal and serve them a quiet (which is significant) table for two by the fire with some soft music playing in the background.

Meet the waiter and waitress!

Lisa was thrilled to get to wear Kimberly's pretty apron.

Don't you think Zachary looks pretty sharp when he dresses up like that?!


It was a festive restaurant.

Zach and Lisa did a pretty good job!
(I don't think there were even any casualties!)

They seemed to find it enjoyable.

Congratulations, Grandma & Granddad, and thank you for your 59 years of faithfulness to each other!

We love you!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Valerie's BIG News!

Announcing the engagement of our daughter/sister,

Valerie, to Adam Waller!

The Happy Couple

The Precious Stone

(on an even more precious person's finger ;-) )

The big event was Saturday afternoon, November 5th, 2011.

They are tentatively planning a March 2012 wedding.

For those of you who like more details....

Since I (Heidi) am the one posting, I decided to give you a historical account from my own perspective as a sibling of one of the main characters. :-) I'll let Adam & Valerie share more of the background and how they saw God's hand so clearly bringing them together as they post their story on Adam's family's website in days to come. (You can click on the Adam & Valerie category on the side of the home page.)

August 29th, 2011
"Mom & Dad" took Valerie out to dinner "to encourage her". We believed it as we knew there was reason for her to need encouraging. Well, they returned home rather late, but many of us were still up. Valerie came and told us all about it, happily surprising all of us. They had gone out for dinner and putt-putt golfing with Adam Waller, who was interested in beginning a courtship relationship with Valerie. ADAM WALLER! We could hardly believe it! He was such a Godly man and we all highly respected him, but it had never crossed my mind that he was a possibility! (Well, he was. ;-) )

Well, she also revealed that she had known about it for several days without us getting a hint. Dad had told her the Thursday beforehand, so she kept it a secret for the good part of a week. We were clueless! Adam had called and talked with Dad for the first time on August 18th.

September 3rd, 2011
Adam & Valerie and Mom & Dad went to Cantigny (a neat place not too far away with a museum, an old mansion to tour, and beautiful gardens, particularly beautiful rose gardens; the place where Jared and Becca got engaged) and walked and talked for hours. :-)

"You can stand right here like this. How's that sound?"

"Sure I can smile when she/he is by my side!" ;-)

"I've never enjoyed talking to a girl/guy this much!" ;-)

Chaperoning is such a strenuous task. :-)

September 10th, 2011
Heidi, David, and HollyBeth took a nice bike ride of 48.4 miles with our cousin Rob. When we returned home we were updated on what had occurred during our absence.

Adam had arrived with flowers, a picture of them together, and a handwritten letter asking Valerie if he could enter into a courtship relationship with her with the intention of marriage as God continues to lead. She responded that she would be delighted.

Thus began their official courtship.

Well, Adam came and went a lot, the advantages of having him in town.

Adam was very sweet to make a special point to spend time with all of the family and get to know each one. He even learned and played Broomball (a game thoroughly enjoyed by little Muellers) with the younger ones.

All decked out and watching to see how it was done

Adam's got the ball!

There were many games of Ping-Pong as a family.

We played several games of Croquet (Poison Ball, to be specific) on the weekends, before it started getting really chilly.

"Who should I go after?"

"Yeah...I think I'll go poison them...."

There were many, many conversations... (Would you believe it?! ;-) )

...Many were in these chairs in the parlour.

Some were outside.

When he speaks, she gives him her full attention.

(This is a good thing, particularly when trying

to build a lifelong relationship.)

He likewise gives his full attention when she speaks.
(Sorry it's blurry. That particular photographer only takes
single - no pun intended - shots, so I didn't have multiple
options to choose from.)

As I've stated before, we feel that a wonderful way to get to

know a person is to do the dishes together. Of course, those who

were scheduled to do the dishes that night didn't mind it one bit! ;-)

He plays the accordian and we had some good times

playing all our instruments together.

He was even kind enough to let us (all who were interested,

that is) try it and show us how it works.

They went out to dinner with these love-birds

who were even holding hands!

"This is so much fun!"

"I think you're pretty special."

October 10th, 2011
It had been a month since they'd started courting. Valerie had that very much on her mind. I kept trying to get her to remember that it was Canadian Thanksgiving, but all she could remember was that it was their one-month anniversary of courting.

It came time for dinner and I asked how many place settings were needed, if we were expecting any extras. Valerie was cooking and responded that she didn't think so. I continued setting the table and shortly turned around to see Adam standing in the entrance of the kitchen saying (to Valerie, of course, as she was standing across the kitchen), "Happy One-Month Anniversary!" and holding a bouquet of flowers. Valerie was very surprised...even still hours later she couldn't seem to get over it. She really didn't think he'd show up that night as he had already made acknowledgements by others means of the specialness of the day. (She hadn't even done her hair! - to which Julie gave these words of wisdom, "When your fella is in town you should always do your hair...just in case.") I quickly volunteered to set another place at the table - thought he might appreciate getting some dinner.

Very pleased, but very surprised

October 16-19th, 2011
There were several conversations over these few days between Valerie's siblings and Adam. The weekend prior he had picked out and purchased the diamond and it was being sent to a place to get set. Plans for the proposal were being discussed, including talking about some of her tastes and when and where would be best. He felt like he had a good idea as to how he was going to do it, so he didn't really talk to us much about that, but he was interested in some input otherwise.

We kept in touch.

Have you seen this couple before?

October 27th, 2011
Adam picked up the ring.

We had given our input for him to consider, but he hadn't really revealed what he had decided on. When is he going to do it? Will he tell us beforehand? Or does he want it to be a complete surprise to all? Well, in continued conversations he explained that he really would like the day to be a surprise to Valerie, but he wanted her to have a little bit of an idea that it was coming so he wouldn't surprise her so badly that she couldn't fully enjoy it.

Adam, the oldest of ten himself, enjoyed getting to know his

niece-to-be, Savannah, while we all visited the Barta Bunch.

(Sorry it's so dark)

November 4th, 2011
Mom pulled Heidi, Kimberly, David, and HollyBeth aside and told us that Saturday was going to be the big day. (At least some of us had kind of picked up on that...but it was nice to have it confirmed. Adam was very considerate to keep us all clued in a bit.)

I e-mailed Adam to let him know that I was praying for the events of the next day and that they'd both get a good night's rest so they would be able to enjoy it to the fullest. In his response he asked me to help encourage her to eat a good breakfast since lunch would be rather late (but she didn't know that yet). I replied that I would get up and make crepes (a favorite from our time in Canada) as an attempt to tempt her appetite without having to find the right words to get her to eat without arousing suspicion. He thought that was a good idea.

November 5th, 2011
I had a hard time getting up, but I did because I reminded myself of what I'd told Adam. (I had a hard time sleeping....I guess I was too concerned that Valerie got a good night's sleep.)

The crepes turned out to be as delicious as ever (if I may say so myself)! (Sorry - There are no pictures of them.)

That was the l-o-n-g-e-s-t morning! I thought Adam would n-e-v-e-r show up, but I knew he wasn't supposed to arrive before 1:30 or so! I was doing everything I could to keep from pacing. I felt like I was avoiding Valerie like crazy...but she was oblivious.

Finally, Adam arrived, bringing a purple (Valerie's favorite color) rose. I just kept busy and engrossed in my music. Before long, Mom & Dad and Adam & Valerie left to go out for their late lunch. Everything was gladly put aside and we got to work on a few celebratory preparations. Zachary and Lisa were told what was happening - loud were their exclamations!

(At The Resturant)

Preparations are nearly complete. Dad texts that they are eating v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.
Come on! The restaurant is only five minutes away! Surely it doesn't take that long to enjoy even a nice dinner!

(back at the resturant - A Gift to Open)

(At Home)
Surprise! Joe & Mary Jane with two of her sisters, Kate & Emma, arrived unannounced for the special day. (Mom had clued them in.)

Kate Emma


(back at the resturant again)

Adam had prepared a nice long letter for Valerie.

Here he waits and watches while she reads.

The letter ended with a written proposal of marriage.

When she looked up, he was down on one knee and asking her in person.

Text: "The ring is on her finger."


I Love You!

Thank You, Heavenly Father!

You're So Wonderful!

"Smile for a picture!"

(like you have to ask for it)

Now that's some letter!

It didn't take long then for them to come back home where they were surrounded by congratulations and everybody who was here.

A Hug From Big Little Brother

The Roses

Text (after text, after text, after text...): "Congratulations!"

Some time with Joe (& Mary Jane)

"Well, what about me?"

After a little bit, ice cream was brought inside and Adam, standing beside Valerie with ice cream scoop in hand, announced, "My fiancée and I would be delighted to serve you all some ice cream!" (His delight in being able to use the term fiancée being quite obvious.) We were glad to oblige. :-)

Dinner was a family favorite - Chicken Goop (otherwise known as Curly Noodle Chicken Casserole). Two of Adam's brothers, Derrick & David, were able to join us shortly before dinner.

The table is prepared.

A fire is started in the fireplace,

giving a nice warm atmosphere.

Derrick David

Dessert was a wonderful cake that Kimberly made and a rich brownie pie made by HollyBeth.

I'm not entirely sure which shone brighter that evening - the beautiful ring on Valerie's finger, or the countenances of the new fiancé(e)s! :-) They are truly a very happy couple!

May God bless their relationship now and as the years go by. May it be ever growing richer and deeper, and may He bless them as they make their plans for their wedding in the early months of 2012.

Please keep them in your prayers!

I'll end with the letter (which some of you may have already seen) that Valerie sent out. She entitled it, "A Glimpse of God's Love for Me".

Dear Friends and Family,

Many of you have already heard but some have not and those who have heard have been patiently awaiting this e-mail with more details and pictures. Thank you for your patience with me! It has been a full couple of days but absolutely wonderful. :-)

"Heard what?" you say? I suppose I should start with that detail. :-P On Saturday afternoon, November 5th, Adam Waller officially asked me to be his wife and I very delightedly answered, "Yes!" :-) Attached to this e-mail, you should find two pictures - one of the two of us just minutes after he proposed (Dad and Mom were nearby taking pictures for us) and a close-up of the beautiful ring Adam gave me. I am just in awe of the love of my God for me in giving me such a sweet treasure in Adam! :-)

For those of you who would like a few more details, here's the story in a nutshell. :-)

Adam asked if he could take me (and Dad and Mom) out to a late lunch on Saturday which I thought was a great idea. He had chosen a restaurant near us called Stonefire and they had gone all out assisting him in making the day really special for me...for both of us really. It was during their quiet hours when they usually have their main dining room closed and just use one of the smaller ones so they allowed us to have the whole main dining room all to ourselves, they turned on the fire in the fireplace just for us, and they even changed the music to some very quiet classical music. They really bent over backwards in everything. The assistant manager personally waited on us and gave us just the perfect blend of service and privacy. She was great!

Adam had gone over earlier to prepare some things before he came to the house to get me so, when we walked in, I saw before me this quiet table set and waiting for us before the fireplace and another close by it with a bouquet of beautiful red roses, a gift bag, Adam's camera, and his Bible sitting on it. I was instantly overwhelmed and literally couldn't find any words besides "Wow." to express what I was feeling for several minutes. My God is so good and my Adam knows me so well! :-)

We ordered our lunch and kind of picked at our food (neither of us was especially hungry at this point) while we talked and particularly while Adam recounted how the Lord had been directing him to me over the last seven years or so. What an incredible story of God's love and direction for each of us! What a precious time we had just sharing of what the Lord has been doing in our lives to bring us together.

We finally decided to clear our dishes off the table to another one nearby and Adam pulled out his Bible and read to me from Psalm 27, a passage that has become very precious to both of us these past several months. He then brought the flowers over to our table and gave me the gift bag to open. Inside, I found a beautifully written letter just for me (he knows how much I love to get hand-written letters) with a written proposal and looked up from it to find him on bended knee, officially asking me to be his wife. Without any hesitation at all, I gladly answered, "Yes! I'd be delighted to be your wife!" and he presented me with a beautiful ring, explaining to me the significance of the crown design he had chosen just for me.

We spent a few minutes in grateful prayer to our wonderful, loving Heavenly Father and then Dad and Mom came over to congratulate us and take some official, posed pictures (in addition to the candid ones they had been taking for some time already). It was a wonderful afternoon! The weather outside was even gorgeous...especially for November in Chicago. :-)

When we got home, we were delighted to find that Joe and Mary Jane, as well as a couple of her sisters, had surprised us and come down to celebrate with us for the evening. Two of Adam's brothers were also able to come join us for a special dinner together at home as a family. I am just overwhelmed by the goodness and love of my God and for His wonderful gift to me in giving me Adam to be my husband. :-)

While plans are still in the early stages, we are checking calendars and tentatively planning for a March wedding. We will be sure to let you know once the date is confirmed. Oh, and keep an eye on both the Mueller family blog (
www.muellermice.blogspot.com) and the Waller family website (www.visionserve.org) for announcement posts later this week. Who knows what additional details and/or pictures may be included therein?! :-)

Thank you so much to all of you for your part in our story by praying for me and encouraging me over the years. God has abundantly answered your prayers beyond anything I could have ever asked or thought! He is trustworthy and deserves all the glory and praise for it has been HIS work in our lives. Glory to His name! :-)

Joyfully in His service,
Valerie & Adam :-) :-)