Dusty Penguin

Child of God and in love with my Lord. Wife of a wonderful man. Mother of a young adult, two teens, and a miscellaneous menagerie of furry and finned creatures. Work full-time outside of home and as little as possible at home:)

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Location: Cedarville, Ohio

Friday, June 27, 2008

Graduation Pictures

The graduates present roses to their loved ones. Here is Jeremiah giving me mine and Alesha's. He gave one to his grandmother (Duane's mom), the one for his other grandmother who wasn't able to be there he gave to Heather, and he gave one to Erika. He's a sweet boy.

The graduation video I posted separately, so here we are after graduation--the family.

After wondering up to the last minute whether or not Jeremiah would graduate, you can imagine our surprise when he received 2 awards!! He has them right now, so I can't tell you the full names of them, but one was given to the 3 seniors with the most community service hours, and that one was a $100 gift. The other was for the student who had made a significant contribution to the music program of the school, and that was a $25.00 gift. So we were very proud of him, and thankful that there are some non-academic awards being given.

Jeremiah is crouched down in this picture, so he would be closer to Heather's height. She just got her hair cut and layered, and it really makes her look different. After graduation they went with a bunch of other senior friends to supper at a Chinese restaurant. (She is not a senior and goes to a different school).
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Jeremiah's Graduation

June 27, 2008. Jeremiah graduating from Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School. He was 3rd from the end (out of 76 graduates.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bethie's party, Part 2

I tried in these two posts to get a picture of each family member.
Here is Johnny 5 heating up the sloppy joe sauce.

And this is the graduate herself.
And this is David.
And this is the youngest, Timmy.
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Bethie's Grad Party, Part 1

The Coulters are very special best friends of ours--we met when I was pregnant with Erika and Arlene was pregnant with David. This year their daughter, Laura Beth, graduated from high school (a year early). She's fun, cute, smart, talented.. I went over to their house Friday night and stayed over, then Saturday helped with the graduation party. Actually, I mostly just took pictures for them, but I did some work in the kitchen, too.
This is my best friend, Arlene.

This is the whole Coulter family, plus Mellie, Peter's girlfriend on the far right.

From left to right: David (Oxman), Laura Beth (Bethie), John (Johnny 5), Timmy, Arlene (Leney), Peter, and Mellie. A mutual friend, Patty, did several beautiful bulletin boards with pictures of Bethie.

Here's the four kids acting normal.

This is Peter and Mellie. They got in about 2 or 2:30 a.m. on the party day! Mellie's a sweetheart and I really enjoyed visiting with her.
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Father's Day, cont.

This is Heather's twin, Christina, and the back of Erika's head.

Duane, playing with the kids.

Heather, Jeremiah's girlfriend.

Erika, Kelli, and Crystal (Heather's younger sister).
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Father's Day

On Father's Day Duane, his dad, and Jeremiah went out for several hours. They went to a place about 40 minutes away where a bridge is being constructed over a pretty deep gorge. They went to see the gigantic crane that is being used, but when they got there it had been dismantled to be moved to the other side of the construction site. But they looked at what had been done so far on the bridge, then went to Tim Hortons for some lunch. Then they went to our house so Duane's dad could catch up on the work we've done on our house. Then they took him home.
Meanwhile, the girls and I went to a little lake. Girls you may say? Only Erika is home. Well, usually every Sunday we have a house full of girls. Kelli, a 22 year-old from church, Heather (Jeremiah's girlfriend), Crystal (Heather's sister), and Christina (Heather's twin sister), plus Erika and myself. So, we packed up swimsuits, beachtowels, lawn chairs, coolers with picnic and pop, and about everything else we could think of. We had a wonderful afternoon and eventually Jeremiah and Duane joined us.
The dog loved swimming in the lake. We'd throw the frisbee out into the lake and she'd go after it and bring it back--again and again. The kids all had fun swimming, playing, eating, relaxing. It was a great day.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

My Family is SO Normal...Not

Otherwise titled: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous, or The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Enjoy our crazy family.

New Back Deck

A couple of Saturdays ago, Duane decided to use wood that was on the burn pile to build a little deck by our back door. These wide boards were on the floor in the attic, so were probably original to the house. That would make them 150+ years old, and if the tree were already that big in 1846, that makes those boards really, really old. We like putting things from the house/property back into the house. We've used a lot of lumber from the big tree we had taken down in front several years ago. So, a lot of sweat equity from Duane, and a little "here, hold this" for my share, voila, back deck. Nice. We've enjoyed it already. First meal, charred chicken. Just ask Ethan about it. And thanks, mom and dad, for the blue chairs. Now we've got to get our house trim painted to match!

Last high school concert for us!

Sweet sorrow--we'll miss the school concerts, but on to bigger and better things. Jeremiah started on the trombone in 7th grade, then they asked him to switch to the tuba, as they were losing their highschool tuba players. So, up until this year, he has been the best and the worst--the only tuba player in our school. This year we were so pleased that he was chosen to go to All-State (he's gone to All-County every year I think), and he got first chair. He also had the opportunity to go to a Music Showcase event for highschoolers from all over the U.S. which was held at Cedarville College. He also got first chair there, and the Cedarville orchestra/band director was trying to recruit Jeremiah. He hopes to continue to play tuba in some kind of a music group at college, but he doesn't own a tuba, so will have to borrow/rent from the college. We are proud of his musical achievements, just as we were with Erika's flute and Alesha with voice. Praise God for the gifts and talents He has given to the children. In the photos you'll see cousin Ethan on saxophone, and Jeremiah with band director, Mr. Wilder. We wanted to get a picture of him with the other band director, Mr. Maguda, but he was nowhere to be found. Both men have been great mentors for Jeremiah, and he has spent most of his high school free time in the band room. There is also, of course, another photo with Heather.

Jeremiah's 18th birthday

Jeremiah and his cousin Ethan's birthdays are only a few days apart, so they usually celebrate their birthdays together. We went over to Ethan's house this time for the party. Their friend Wes is in a couple of pictures, and Jeremiah's girlfriend, Heather, is in a picture as well. You'll see from the pictures that they both have McJobs (McDonald's jobs), Jeremiah loves Monster and Mountain Dew. Ethan got mostly money to make payments on the used Beemer (BMW) he just bought--great deal!

Wedding Slideshow

The wedding began at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 18, 2008. First, Daphne and I went up front and lit the mother's candles by the unity candle while the song "Find Your Wings" was playing. When that song was over, Pachebel's Canon began, and the bridesmaids entered. Then, Duane and Alesha appeared at the top of the steps, and I must admit, that was the moment that brought tears to my eyes--my beloved and our precious daughter, coming to meet her beloved and pledge herself to him. After Duane gave Alesha to Nathan, the pastor had some very, very good words to say. He then said some things to which they said, I do. Then they said their vows to each other which they had written, then they exchanged rings. I don't remember at which point they lit the unity candle, but that was to Steve Green's "'Til the End of Time". Then my dad, Alesha's grandpa did a blessing (not a prayer) for the bride and groom. It was excellent. First, he explained the bibical history and use of blessings and the importance/meaning of them. Then he pronounced 8 blessings on Nathan and Alesha. He had wanted them to kneel to be blessed with his hands on their heads, but there wasn't space and we didn't have a kneeler. Then Duane did a communion for Nathan and Alesha. First, he explained to everyone present what the communion service meant, then he said he was going to talk just to Nathan and Alesha. It was special just for them. During communion the song "How Beautiful" by Twila Paris was playing. I don't remember what else was after that. They marched out to the electric guitar version of Pachabel's Canon.
After taking pictures, everyone gathered in the reception hall. Alesha told about how they met, and Nathan told the story of their engagement. I'll let Alesha catch up her own blog and tell you that! Oh, the reception began with a powerpoint of Alesha and Nathan's pictures set to music, put together by Erika, myself, and our friends Laura Beth and Arlene. Then were the bride and groom dance, the father-daughter dance, good food, cutting the cake, and karaoke to end the evening.
Beautiful wedding, great weather, wonderful reception. Wish you could have been there. Enjoy the photos!

Reception Area, A&M Gardens

The rest of the morning was spent running around doing last minute errands. At about 3:00 p.m., we headed over to the gardens to begin getting ready for the wedding. Alesha had a girl come to do everyone's hair, and in between taking pictures of that, I was taking pictures around the empty reception hall, knowing that I probably wouldn't have time to take many pictures later!

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Pics from the Wedding Photographer

Just before the wedding, Duane and I gave Alesha her wedding present--a white gold and diamond necklace--and I read a poem "Perfect Daughter, Perfect Bride."

No peeking before the wedding!

Both families and the wedding party.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

April 18, Wedding morning events

I should have said on the first post that I have hundreds of photos, so it is hard to choose just a few to post here.

On the morning of the wedding, we females got up bright and early--well probably not too bright after a late night! We managed to get the 4 of us through showers and dressed (myself, Erika, Alesha, and Leah). We left the house about 8:30 and went to Azle (Alesha lives in Haltom City which is in Fort Worth) to pick up Daphne and Andrea (Nathan's mom and sister) and his great-aunt Shirley, who did a lot of the stuff with us. We headed out to some mall, where Alesha had arranged for us to have our makeup done at Macy's.

This is Andrea, Nathan's sister, one of the bridesmaids.

This is myself and Nathan's Aunt Shirley.

Nathan's mom, Daphne.

Leah, another bridesmaid.

Erika, maid of honor.

And of course, the beautiful bride, Alesha.

April 17, Rehearsal Dinner

After the rehearsal, we went to a nice Mexican restaurant in Azle (in the middle of a huge Texas thunderstorm). Here are the boys being boys.

Duane and I enjoying the evening.

Alesha gave her bridesmaids matching necklaces and earrings to wear with their bridesmaid dresses. This bridesmaid is Leah, the M.K. from Gambia who traveled down to TX with us.

Erika opening her gift from Alesha. The lady to Erika's left is Nathan's mom, Daphne, and the guy to Erika's right is Nathan's sister's boyfriend.

And, I wanted everyone to see how good my meal was--chimichanga, rice, refried beans.

At the end, I presented Alesha with the Bible that was carried by my mother, Betty, in her wedding over 50 years ago, and was carried by myself in my wedding 24 years ago. Alesha was the third generation to carry this Bible down the aisle. I read to her an inscription I had written in front of the Bible. Nathan was given his grandfather's pocket watch (maybe it was his great-grandfather's) to carry in the wedding and begin as a tradition for the boys of their family.

Alesha and Nathan looking forward to the following day!