Thursday, February 14, 2013

Our Valentine's Day

So, we did something a little different this year.  Some of us kids decided we were going to dress up and wear some of the formal attire we had acquired for/because of/through the weddings in which we've been involved.  Well, we also kinda decided to surprise Mom & Dad with it, but be sure something was prepared for them in case they were interested in joining us.

Well, the day came and Kimberly got busy preparing an extra special dinner and a dessert to go with it.  We held off on the whole dress-up idea until Mom left just after 4:00 to go pick up Dad.  They'd be home sometime between 6 and 7.  We suddenly kicked into high gear with finalizing our outfit selections, ironing them, fixing our hair, adding special accents to the table decorations, finishing dinner, etc.

In the end, they returned home just a little after 6 and found most of us all ready for a formal evening.  Upon hearing that Dad's shirt was already pressed and Mom had options available, they didn't take long to join us.  It wasn't long, then, before dinner was ready.

We actually managed to represent each of our siblings' weddings in our outfit choices!  We texted them each a picture of their representative(s) with a Valentine's Day greeting.  (This would explain the low, phone camera quality of the images.)

Disclaimer: Not only were many of the photos to follow taken on a phone camera, but pretty much nobody was very photogenic tonight.  We really were enjoying ourselves even though our smiles, when present, seem cheesy.

Lisa was the representative of Jared & Becca's wedding.  Having been a full 6 years, there was no way she was going to fit into her adorable flower girl dress...but HollyBeth's bridesmaid outfit worked out quite nicely!

Zachary wore his vest and tie from Brian & Julie's wedding.  He might have worn more of the outfit...except he has already outgrown it!

David wore his best man outfit from Joe & Mary's wedding.  I wasn't sure what the boys would think of the whole dress-up idea and wearing a suit for "no good reason", but David actually got into this enough that he even buffed up his shoes for the occasion!

Kimberly wore her bridesmaid dress from Adam & Valerie's wedding.

Heidi wore her bridesmaid dress from Brian & Julie's wedding.

I didn't get pictures of just the two of them (ironic, since it is Valentine's Day), but Mom was wearing her dress from Joe & Mary's wedding, and Dad was wearing his tie from Jared & Becca's wedding.

 This picture wouldn't rotate, but these are some chocolates Kimberly made for us.

 The chef in her element

 The table is prepared!

 The spread - green beans, cooked carrots, cheesy (as in having cheese - not silly or weird) twice-baked potatoes, and bacon-wrapped pork chops!

The cute dessert Kimberly prepared for us - red velvet cupcakes!

After finishing dinner, we adjourned to the family room and enjoyed some old family films...that is, old films of our family!  Many great memories were enjoyed and some of the younger ones heard/saw new stories from before they were around.

At the request of one of my married sisters, we took ourselves an all-dressed-up photo via the camera on top of a good stack of items and set on time delay.  It didn't turn out so great...but we did it anyway - just because she asked!
 Picture with the best lighting

Picture with the best expressions

Cool picture - Looks like it was in a newspaper or something

I hope your day was as special as ours!

Valentine's Day

As I begin working on this post, I am reminded of a bouquet of roses that Kimberly made several years ago out of some gum drops.  Thus, I have dug up a couple pictures to show you (These were actually in an old blog post in my Draft folder that never got completed, so you've never seen them...but I was planning to show them to you.).

Here's the full bouquet.

 A close-up of one of the roses

OK - On to pictures of people!

Daddy & Mommy on their wedding day
 - The Founding of the Bill Mueller Family - 

 Daddy & Mommy in more recent days
 - Still in love...though their lives are completely
different now than when they first got married -


The Bill Mueller Family Originals before any in-laws were added

 A much more up-to-date photo of the Bill Mueller Family Originals

 The Bill Mueller Family extended

The Bill Mueller Family remnant   :-)

Adam & Valerie on their wedding day
- The Founding of the Adam Waller Family - 


 Jared & Becca on their wedding day
- The Founding of the Jared Barta Family -

 A slightly more current photo, though even this one is over a year old already

 The Jared Barta Family
 Brian & Julie on their wedding day
 - The Founding of the Brian Knox Family -

 Joe & Mary on their wedding day
 - The Founding of the Joe Mueller Family - 


The Joe Mueller Family

 All of the thus-far-ly-married folks in the family (and happily married at that!  :-)  )

Oh - and that mushy kissing stuff they all seem to delight in....  ;-)

Ah - A beautiful rose!  I am so glad that God created roses!

It's Valentine's Day, and I have a challenge for you (and me too).

So, to you who are married, the challenge is to make an extra special effort to show your love to your spouse today and to consider what changes you could make to improve your daily communication so that "I love you" comes across more frequently in the days to come.

To those who are not married (and this would apply to those who are married as well, though I Corinthians 7:32-34 speaks of things being a little bit different once you're married), the challenge it to put your focus on living your life for the Lord and giving yourself wholly to Him.  Now, the Bible says that God loves the whole world (John 3:16) - That's unconditional, and it includes you!  It also specifically states that He loves those who love Him.  (Proverbs 8:17)  Now, I'm not Bible scholar, but I like to think that this means that He has a special love for, or takes a special delight in those who love Him.

I know God is not just like we are, but here's what comes to my mind.  Have you ever loved somebody who didn't seem to love you back?  Perhaps they didn't not love you...they just didn't show that they did love you.  The picture of a child comes to my mind.  What about that day when, seemingly out of the blue, they expressed love for you?  Maybe they gave you a hug.  Maybe they came running across the room to greet you as soon as they saw you.  Didn't that just thrill you?!  Did you love the child before?  Do you love them more now?  Wasn't there just something so wonderful and delightful about that expression of their love?!

Well, let's get back to that promise.  God says, "I love them that love me" - That promise, that special love and delight, is conditional.  Do you love Him?  Do you show it?  Christ says, "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).  How's that coming?  Perhaps we also need to be reminded of how much we have been forgiven.  Remember the woman in the latter part of Luke 7?  Remember Christ's parable?  Is the reason we don't love God wholeheartedly because we don't realize/remember how much He has forgiven us?

The challenge is basically over now - Let's finish off this post with delighting in the promises and love of our God!

"...whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."  - Proverbs 3:12

"I love them that love Me..."  - Proverbs 8:17

"...God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  - John 3:16

"As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love."  - John 15:9

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for His friends."  - John 15:13

"...the Father Himself loveth you..."  - John 16:27

"...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."  - Romans 5:5

"...Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  - Romans 5:6-8

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  - Romans 8:35-39

"...God loveth a cheerful giver."  - II Corinthians 9:7

The Son of God "...loved me, and gave Himself for me."  - Galatians 2:20

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."  - Ephesians 2:4-7

"...the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge..."  - Ephesians 3:19

Christ has loved us and "...hath given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."  - Ephesians 5:2

"...our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace..."  - II Thessalonians 2:16

"...whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth..."  - Hebrews 12:6

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God..." - I John 3:1

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us..."  - I John 3:16

"...God is love.  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."  - I John 4:8-10

"We love Him, because He first loved us."  - I John 4:19

Jesus Christ "...loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God..."  - Revelations 1:5-6

"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:  be zealous therefore, and repent."  - Revelation 3:19

I'm about finished now. :-) I know I covered a lot of ground today, but my hope is that you have found it to be an encouragement.

Delight yourself in God's love for you!  Love Him back!  Love those around you!  These are His commandments - Do we love Him enough to obey them?

Have a great and happy Valentine's Day, folks!


Friday, February 1, 2013

January Birthdays

-January 16th-
Granddad's 86th birthday.

(It was also Willie's 5th birthday.
{my nephew} )

-January 19th-
Grandma's 84th birthday.
(It was also Karis's actual day of birth.
{my niece} )

 -January 31st-
Zachary's 12th birthday.

We celebrated Granddad & Grandma's birthdays together on the 15th as the birth of Karis was imminent and we were planning to head up to meet her upon her arrival.

Adam & Valerie were able to join us for the celebration.

They ordered lasagna for their birthday meal this year.

Bring on the cake!

Time for some cards & gifts

We celebrated Zachary's on his actual birthday - the 31st.

He got to have some of his friends over for the afternoon and evening as part of his special day.

Though not in these pictures, Adam & Valerie were able to join us again for his birthday celebration.

Some of his siblings decorated the house a bit for him.

As Zachary has shown a lot of interest in football of late, Kimberly made him this wonderful football cake!  (Very yummy, by the way!)

The three buddies - Jeshua, Zachary, Josiah