There were two big highlights this month and any that include a big event always means narrowing pictures is hard. If you like extra pictures you can always head over to see Jordan's blog as some of our time overlaps (link to the side --->)
First, a pic of Jonas meeting Pa!
The first big highlight was the wedding of Nathan Daher to Hannah Braniger.
The boys arrived with fuel for those who wanted an energy boost.
Hair and makeup commences...
Looking sharp there, gents!
All the pretty ladies taking pictures before the ceremony.
Such excited anticipation!
I was tempted to write the quote from Princess Bride, "Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam." but I'll spare you the cliche.
I was so thankful for how this shot turned out... I held Jonas for the ending part of the ceremony and he started getting fussy just before they came down the isle. I stood in the back calming him and managed to capture this with one hand in between his squirms.
The next two I know to get married...
I think these pictures show their personalities well... fun and crazy as well as tender and kind.
It was hard narrowing down which pictures I should post and have linked to more pictures of the day for those who like all different angles at The Art Of Everyday
While the Bride and Groom were getting their formal pictures taken the rest of the bridal party came up with picture set ups and poses. It was such fun taking pictures of such an animated, happy group!
Me and my newly found kindred spirit.
Snuck a picture of the cute couple from a different angle than the official photographer.
The evening ended with dancing. One dance was just for the married couples and they slowly had couples sit down that were married 1 year, 5 years, 10, 20, 25... until the longest married couple on the floor was left dancing and then they had them offer advise to the newlyweds. Yup... that was Pa and Mom at 37 years.
The next morning Emma and I were joined by all the Littles.
Smiling faces, but it's always hard to say goodbye to family and dear friends... I kept trying to delay our leaving and Jonas falling asleep in my arms was a grand excuse to spend a little more time together.
Back in Oklahoma to everyday life... okay, as you can see it's not quite "everyday" cleaning I was doing here. Our oven hadn't been cleaned in awhile, BUT it wasn't as bad as it usually would be because of Norwex. The oven cleaner, scrub thing, and cloth is INCREDIBLE! It was the most I'd enjoyed cleaning an oven because it was fun seeing the transformation. If anyone is interested leave a comment and I can connect you with my sister on getting these super helpful cleaners.
This was a first for me... I was a week by myself for the first time, and went to church by myself where I didn't know anyone for the first time then went to a park to read... and be distracted by the beauty around me (I can't include those geese in that statement... I abhor geese after having a bunch of them put a damper on our barefoot fun at one of the houses we lived at :-P )
It was also the first time having guests over by myself. It was such a fun time having you ladies over and went by WAY to fast!
This is what happens when I get hungry and there's no bread product around to eat. I think 12 dozen biscuits should last a bit.
Taking a ride to see the sunset. Grass fed meat, fresh produce from the garden, adorable kids to play with, conversations that go from one controversial or health nut topic to the next, and a movie all add up to an incredibly fun day. Thank you, Ahlgrens!
So why was I in Oklahoma by myself? Pa has been studying hard and the culmination was one last week of learning, tests, and board exams in Vegas. His hard work paid off... look at that tag! "Dr. Mark Thomas"! He is now officially, Mark Thomas, ND
We were so excited to plan an Independence Day Celebration amidst our busy schedules, but alas the weather didn't cooperate. We waited to see if the percentage of rain would change, but it was only increasing. It was especially difficult to know to cancel or not as the day before was perfect, sunny weather! Not wanting to risk the above 80% chance rain, we canceled. We heard there was a celebration the historic town of St. Charles was hosting, so with a few other friends we dressed up in our 18th century attire and walked the town.
Emma's dress came out so lovely!
Looks like they stepped back in time! It was such a fun way to share history with people when they would come up and ask why we were dressed up. It's rather sad when some people don't even know what or why they celebrate the 4th of July.
"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature." Benjamin Franklin
Off to Niednagel land!
Setting off some fireworks on the actual 4th
"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding
Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be
commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to
God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews,
Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of
this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well
aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to
maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet
through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I
can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that
Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not." John Adams
Set and ready for baby N to arrive!
Welcome Jonas Archer Niednagel!
He's their biggest baby yet weighing just over 10 pounds!
Making his rounds to those present at his arrival.
He's their most relaxed, quiet baby yet!
The way he fell asleep with his legs crossed reminded me of this picture when William was a baby
The other children often ask if they can hold him
Deja vu to a similiar pose from Philip. You can tell Jonas was about 2.5 pounds bigger than Philip was when born by how full his face is.
He sleeps in so many different positions that at times look posed and others you wonder how he got into such a contortion.
Meet Gru. Taralyn found a tomato with a nose in Melissa's garden and built it a little chapeau and peppercorn eyes.
The uncles come to meet Jonas
Marian LOVES dancing. One of her favorite songs to play is "Better when I'm Dancing" and as long as there's someone to dance with she keeps playing it over!
Picnic breakfast out on a "sand"/rock bar at the creek. Totally normal.
Philip loves frogs... a lot! So much so that even when it was raining he sat by the van cause he saw a bigger frog that was just out of reach.
His patience was rewarded! The frogs seem to love him too. Some days he would have a frog sit on his hand for long periods of time while he'd play different games.
I loved being able to spend a month helping out. Times like this were definitely a highlight and what I call fun work... cuddle time with Jonas so Melissa could sleep while also getting to read!
*Side note: I would highly recommend the book I'm reading here: Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson. I was talking about relationships with Melissa once (or rather one time in particular, I should say, since it's a common topic :-P) and she said I might find this book helpful. It was excellent and is already back on my list of books to read again!
Not only does Philip love frogs but all sort of insects. He found this beautiful butterfly that wasn't flying, brought it in, gave it some sugar water and after sitting on his hand for a while, crawling and slowly opening and closing it's wings he freed it when it started flying. He caught a number of butterflies that day, that wold sit on his hand for awhile letting us enjoy their beauty.