Friday, August 30, 2013

Cuts+Colds+Bleached Knees||Personal

my life has been a whirlwind since my last post.
its absolutely unbelievable, the things that can happen when BOTH one's parents are visionarys. 
seriously, it is a most energetic combination.
but it really is a great life.
just the preparation stage in getting ready for all the big events can be a little crazy!
The above verse is my lifeline right now. 
That, and Galations 6:23
"And let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not."
It's been very much in the "well-doing" season.
I am {greatly} anticipating the "due season" time. =)
To just give a little rundown since the last time I posted..
We've had a camp planning meeting and our church had a missions conference and my five youngest siblings competed in the local Bible Bee.
I was busy with all three. 
They happened to all be the same wkend.
After all that was over and behind me...
this week was the last week before the upcoming Turning Hearts Celebration here, on Labor Day.
Due to several different factors in this year's celebration, we requested people to rsvp if possible.
I went from being a secretary to being a SECRETARY. 
answering dozens upon dozens upon dozens of emails.
talking on the phone and listening to voicemails everyday. 
Registering people coming from random places like Ontario, Manitoba, Kansas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee...etc.
That was the one part of life.
The other part has been the "fall-cleaning" process of getting the farm ready.
Its sorta hard to explain, but fall-cleaning a farm is totally different than fall-cleaning a house.
There's equipment to move/rearrange, numerous barns to clean out, ?? windows to wash, and a million other things that have to be done.
we use the basement/garage for food during the Turning Hearts Celebration, so those areas had to be cleaning and organized from top to bottom, too.
and then there was the mammoth shopping trip, on which sister and I succeeded once again in being the broccoli sensation in Costco.
The more items we put in our cart, the more odd glances we got.
I totally knew what was coming once we got to the checkout.
cashier guy begins to scan each bag of broccoli.
I observe his eyebrows raising as he keeps scanning.
finally at bag #14 he says "so, um...whats up with all the broccoli?"
I hasten to assure him that I do not love broccoli THIS much.
and then I add "Its just to put in pasta salad...for 1,000 people".
Cashier guy's head jerks.
"One Thousand People?"
me: "yes, sir".
him: "wow. thats a lot of people!"
his parting comment to us as we left was,
"Well, enjoy your party". 
oh yes, we shall. =)
We actually had to make two trips into Costco, since we could each only push one cart at a time.
two carts the first time..and then back in again to find and purchase the remaining items in another cart. 
All in all it was quite the adventure, as always.
we had a concert scheduled for Sunday. 
my dear friend Hannah goes to the church we sang at so we had a stellar several hours of talking nonstop during the afternoon. 
love connecting with all these beautiful Iowa people again! 
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*random note to self:
 observe the difference between the two above pictures? That, my friends, is the dramatic difference between the camera on my phone, and the camera on Hannah's smartphone. 
Smartphone, I want to own one of you someday, please! 
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For whatever reason, this has been the week of physical calamities for me. 
It is most unusual.
First it was a ridiculous cold that appeared out of nowhere while I was sitting in a church service last week.
I went from being totally normal to sniffling almost uncontrollably. 
It progressed into a headache over the weekend 
and now everything has culminated in a very red and a very sore nose. 
Secondly was earlier this week when I was deep cleaning our basement can room where we store all of our canned produce. 
I wasn't thinking at all and instead of wearing knee-covering clothing to protect my knees I was wearing a shorter skirt that did not protect my knees. 
I didn't think of it at the time but three separate buckets of bleaching and scrubbing later
I realized that what I had done was not such a brilliant idea.
Now I not only had a sore nose, but I had ruby red, aching knees. 
aching, my friends.
I will not be repeating that procedure on bare knees again.
And thirdly, yesterday I was in a huge hurry searching in our catch-all-crowded-messy workroom and trying to find the appropriate colors of paint needed for a sign. 
I stumbled/ran past a shelf and felt a very painful stab into my leg but I was in such a rush that I ignored it until one minute later when the same thing happened again as I was again rushing past. 
this time I investigated and discovered a large piece of jagged glass that was sticking out from the shelf.
so now I have two very evenly placed cuts running across my lower leg and bleeding profusely. 
more battle scars...
As I was getting ready for bed last night, I found myself frustrated over the cuts that were super painful and tender.
upset at all of my physical ailments.
and then it was like God just set me back on track with a flash-back to a picture I saw last week at our church's missions conference.
a picture of a leper.
one of the missionaries that came was a missionary to the leper colonies in .
He showed a slideshow of pictures of his "leper church" there. 
People who were more deformed that you could imagine.
people who were missing legs, arms, eyes...so many things that some barely resembled a person.
I was duly humbled and ashamed.
how quick I am to complain about my little and insignificant problems.
if anybody should be complaining about their physical ailments, you'd think it would be these lepers.
instead, in every picture, they were just beaming.
they were so thankful for the people who were teaching and sharing the gospel with them.
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thats a little update on life of late.
I'm thankful for all God's doing and thrilled for Monday to be here!
After 6:30pm on Monday night I will finally be able to breath and relax.
Because by then I will know if I estimated and made the correct amount of pasta salad for 1,100 people. =)

Happy weekending, people!
-Chels

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cousins||Weddings

This past Saturday part of my fam & I traveled to Indiana
to attend the wedding of one of my cousins.
I wasn't the photographer, but I did take many pictures.
It was SO beautiful-how could I NOT?
I'm thinking I can safely say that the day could not have been more
 perfect if it had been pre-ordered.
Not too hot, not too cold, no rain...just beautiful sun filtering in amongst the trees.
The reception was the MOST beautiful one I've ever been to.
All in all it was just an amazing evening and so lovely.
{and all the cousins that were there were just an added bonus of wonderfulness!}
My uncle (who is an amazing guitarist) provided the prelude music on his guitar.
I loved the organic, simple sound of solo guitar picking wafting through the woods.
The little people were just charming.
love the carriage idea
check out those eyes!
the little curly haired heart-throbber kept the girls moving. 
observe the "gentle" push. =)
groomsmen
some of the bridesmaids
my uncle wrote a song and sang it to them during the ceremony.
feet washing
{I couldn't get a very clear shot from where I sat but it was so beautiful that it deserves mentioning}
Alli & I did hair for the younger cousins prior to the wedding. 
This cousin was sitting in front of me and I had to get a shot of her updo. 
So gorgeous!
My grandpa & grandma-one of the sweetest couples I know.
THE RECEPTION
I really don't know where to start and stop.
There was so much simple beauty.
The whole place was kind of like a fairyland.
the servers wore khaki & white-so simple and classy.
the tables were decorated with wildflowers, vintage cameras, old books, candles, and lace.
handsome cousins.
{cousin on the far right was the pianist for the ceremony and did a fabulous job. For the recessional he played "All of Me", by the Piano Guys, and it was SO beautiful. I could've listened forever!}
 my mom (2nd from right) with six of her eight siblings.
{we greatly missed the sister and brother that weren't there}
Alli & I w/ two of our cousins
part of the bridal party
I hadn't been to a wedding in ages where they actually smeared fed the cake the "right way". 
They did. =)
My cousins (brothers of the bride) sang this hilarious song for them-
something about Jason being peanut butter & Kendra being the jelly.
It was priceless. =)
the dessert was ice-cream cones
and so the evening went on with much celebrating and joy..
two of the bridesmaids wrote and sang a song
{complete with dramatic expression}
 about how Jason & Kendra met. =)
saying goodbye...
sending off chinese latterns
sister liz & cousins sending off a lattern
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Most of us (except for the guy cousins) stayed at the same house Saturday night. 
With multiple cousins, a tribe of little girls, AND a tribe of older girls, certain people who wanted to sleep had difficulty doing so. =)
The above is a little crazy..but self-timer and a-too-small-couch-for-five-people and 12:00am don't mix so well always. =)

It was the best ending to a beautiful day.
staying up late and solving life's issues.
it is rather hard to realize that two of our Stoltzfus girl cousinhood are already married.
The rest of us came to the rather startling conclusion that
since the two of the girls that now are married are our ages....
this wedding business could have the potential of a domino effect.
And that would mean that our late night cousinhood times could be coming to an end.
The decision was made that we must quickly plan a girls reunion before anyone else gets married.
So we had a grand time brainstorming location/details/times/etc/etc.
And thus the 2014 Cousinhood Bash has been born. Or something like that. =)
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Thus ended a most lovely day, full of love and life and celebrating what God had done.