Saturday, July 9

All Sorts of Celebrations

Well goodness, where do I begin?

Rebekah & Andrew's wedding was just gorgeous! She was a truly majestic and blushing bride. She had a massive smile on her face the entire day. The ceremony took place in a beautiful church adorned with some floral arrangements, candles, and white and pink tulle. Simply beautiful!

The reception took place on a family friend's ranch property, which was absolutely stunning. They had a big white tent beautifully decorated next to an antique green barn. We were surrounded by 400 ish of their friends and family members!

God's hand was completely in the ceremony and reception for there was a fabulous cloud cover over the sky which cooled the temperature down from the projected 100+ degrees. I didn't even sweat! ;) The couple was absolutely extravagant as they drove a way in Andrew's highly decorated car! So much fun!

Jordan's 21st birthday was first celebrated back in Texas before the wedding with my parents. We went out to eat at Macaroni Grill with my parents, Greg, Tyler, and Hayley. (Sheila was already in Kansas for the wedding) It was delightful. We came home and opened his "Texas" themed presents and finished off the night by hot tubbing!

His second celebration took place in Wichita on his actual birthday where we went to Abuelos mexican restaurant with the family. It was fabulous! They had some really good chips and dips. We got three different types of dip including "Queso Diablo," "Chile con Queso," and "Avocado Cream." They were excellent!

Thunder & Juno cuddled up in the car
My parents picked us in in Kansas on July 4th, along with the two dogs, and then we all headed  north to Iowa. We got in to Grandma and Grandpa's house in the small town of Dayton at about 8:30 pm. My uncle Jim, Uncle Steve, Aunt Kathy, and Cousin Joey were all there when we arrived so we got to visit for a while!  I took Jordan on a tour around Dayton on Tuesday, which took all of 5 minutes. He got to see a lot of my grandparent's previous homes in Dayton - as they have moved 51 times in 56 years of marriage. I have only been alive for 5 of the various moves! They have slowed down in the past 21 years. We even stopped in at the local Casey's, which might possibly one of my favorite things about Iowa. They have great donuts and fabulous pizza! We had the pizza for lunch one day; including my favorite Taco pizza!
Taco Pizza - Baked with refried beans, salsa, beef, and Casey's pizza cheese. After baking, it's topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and Doritos nacho chips. 
Grandma and Grandpa had a good portion of the family over plus some friends in honor of Grandpa's 80th birthday. There were about 30 of us there. We had some great fried chicken and pork loin. (Papa doesn't eat chicken or turkey...) We had a blast. It was great for Jordan to be able to actually meet and converse with my family since he only briefly met them at our wedding events.

This is 1977 John Deer 8430 in incredible condition
Jordan had a real Iowan experience as he got to explore the family farms. Two of my uncles are farmers in Iowa! Uncle Randy and Aunt Cindy live just outside of Dayton on a farm surrounded by corn fields. Jordan's grandpa, Dean, had an old farmhouse and farm land but he never really got to see it in true working condition so this was a special treat for Jordan. Uncle Randy took him through all his barns and showed off his countless number of tractors. Jordan drove two different ones around the property!

One of Randy's barns
The next day we got to see Uncle Steve and Aunt Kathy's farm land in Eldora, Iowa. They live in the town of Eldora but have farm land just outside the city. My Uncle Steve just recently bought some new property that we hadn't seen yet so it was a treat to be able to explore with him. The new property has a farmhouse, several barns for livestock and tractors, and a little workshop. Steve is also in the cattle business; he just got his registered brand under "Balvanz Cattle." We got to see the pastures that his cows live on and his other properties that he has.

We also stayed around for the Hardin County parade that is in Eldora. Steve was the Grand Marshall this year so all the family met up to watch! There were several tractors, horses, and floats in the parade. Candy, ice pops, and frisbees were thrown!

Llama getting a bath
The next night we went back to Eldora for the Eldora Rodeo and fair. It was a quaint rodeo but it was super fun! We walked around the fairgrounds and checked out all the animals submitted for showing. There were cows, pigs, llamas, bunnies, chickens, ducks, calfs, goats, and sheep. My cousin's daughter Drue showed a lamb in the fair whose name is "Teddi."

We ate fair food for dinner. I had a chicken kabob with funnel cake fries. Mom, Dad, Kathy, and Steve grilled pork loin sandwiches. Jordan had a turkey leg! He was craving it all day - we were lucky that they had it! Then we settled down into our seats for the big rodeo show. It was super fun! There was calf roping, wild horse riding, and bull riding!

One of the most exciting parts about the night is that Libby & Isaac drove in to Eldora to watch the rodeo with us! They live just over an hour outside of Eldora so it was a huge blessing to be able to see their wonderful faces for the evening! I was super excited to be able to catch up with Lib while Jordan and Isaac conversed the entire night!

We then headed home to Texas the next morning with a thirteen hour drive. It's always good to go and always good to come back. 


  1. Looks like summer is packed full of fun!

    It's so nice to "e-meet" you Lindsay Anne! I'm your newest follower! :)

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!


  2. AnonymousJuly 15, 2011

    it was so fun having you all here!
    we can hardly wait until your next visit!
    aunt kathy