taylor gets a new last name

Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Colten Josoff

So, it’s the last day of 2016. And…I’ve procrastinated in getting my posts written until now. So, be prepared. Today will be a writing marathon for me just so my thoughts and pictures can be included in our 2016 book. Just remember…I forewarned you.

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meeting a love story face to face

1237066_10100299663010020_1663191947_nWe had visitors in Jordan the other day. Before our “chance” visit, I knew Jenny (aka @jenlynndewey) and Mark (aka @sunflowerfarmer) only through social media…Twitter, Facebook and Jenny’s blog,  jldphotographblog.com.  Who would have guessed my simple question, “Coming through Jordan?” on a Facebook status would result in meeting a love story face to face?

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Spring? or Summer?

It’s 2 degrees short of being HOT today in Eastern NE. The past three days the temp has reached at or near 90 degrees. Although I am loving this heat, the flowers that I have waited for a year to return are not. When it’s spring, the flowers like the cool weather so much better. With the past three days of heat and wind, the flowers are suffering. The crabapple trees, cherry tree, apple tree and the redbuds are nearly done gracing us with their beauty. There’s been previous years where the flowers last quite some time before drying up and blowing away.

 A few of my most favorite flowers are beginning to “pop” – the iris. The miniature guys are first to show their beauty and the intermediate are beginning to sprout their bloom stocks.

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I get by with a little help from my friends…

Well, the party of the century is over and all the guests are home.

What a wonderful time we had! I had people here to help me pull this thing off and I’m so very appreciative of all of them! It took so many days to put this together and like so many events, it’s over before you know it! The evening was perfect! I can’t even think of one thing I would have changed – except to clone myself about 10 times. My brother, Matt, referred to me as a firefly. He’d see me in one spot and then look back and I’d be somewhere else. Just so many people and not enough time. I’m guessing there were at least 350 people throughout the night. Jamie and Curt should feel pretty good about the turn out. I believe it was after 2:00 a.m. before we left the building. The food was AWESOME, the band was amazing (and was local) and the crowd of people who came was unbelievable!

I can’t thank my helpers enough and won’t even attempt to thank them by name because I’d surely leave someone out. What would I do without the friends I have in my life? How could anyone get through life without them? We had people come as far away as Jordan and Billings, MT to spend the evening with us – over 1,000 miles they travelled. I honestly believe the number of friends we have is a measure of our blessings – we are truly blessed!

I will share with you the pictures I took but I’m hoping that someone else got more and got better pictures than I did. The stress of the past several weeks certainly paid off!

The meat began its tastey journey in this black bag. It was hand rubbed and marinated over night before it was placed on the smoker.

Mark & his helper, Brook.

Mark’s preparing his world-famous beans.

Brook took this picture of the guest book table.

Thanks, Matt, for helping Mark while I took off to do something else!

And the party begins…

My childhood next-door-neighbor and best buddy, Robin!! It was sooo good to see you!

Manley neighbors and great friends! We were missing one.

The wedding party, minus one. We missed you, Bekah!

We tried gathering our out-of-town guests the next morning for a farewell breakfast before they had to take off. Jamie & Curt also opened their gifts.

Linda telling one of her many funny stories – of harvest, I’m sure!

Her audience is loving it!

And the clean up begins…

I think we wore Rich out! Sorry, Rich!

Jenna looks like she’s having way more fun than she should have been 🙂

After the building was cleaned up and the naps were taken, Mark & Candi had us all over for supper at their house.

This is the only picture I have to show you the cakes that took me so long to put together. This was one of three flavors built.

After returning home from Mark’s we hung out in the kitchen way too late!! I don’t think anyone wanted the weekend to come to an end.

Collette apparently thought the kitchen sink was fun to sit in. 🙂

It’s been an eventful week!

It began just a week ago today. Callie celebrated her 14th birthday. We were hoping for a little bit of rain for the day so we could ALL celebrate. If it didn’t rain, that would mean Jim would have to be in the field. It also happened to be Elmwood/Murdock’s Homecoming dance and Taylor would be going to that later that afternoon. So, we went to Plan B. Plan B was taking Callie’s favorite meal (roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn casserole and homemade rolls) to the field. Jamie and Jenna offered to make the mashed potatoes, corn casserole and the birthday cake. I think I had the better part of that deal!

Jim called before noon and said we could eat in Russell’s (the farmer) garage because the wind was blowing so hard. They were cutting very close to the house and we decided to take them up on that idea! We were able to set up a buffet, eat and open presents without the wind trying to carry everything to the next county. The only “whoops” for the event was Jamie forgot the special birthday cake at home. What made it special? The two of them put some extra special love and time into that cake! It wasn’t just a cake, it was a very colorful cake. One that took some time and effort to create. They mixed food coloring with the white cake mix and blended the colors so that when it was cut, it was like opening up a rainbow.

I think by the look on her face, it was a successful party!

Taylor took off before the party was over so she could go get ready for the dance. She was so excited and had been planning this evening for at least a month. She had created her perfect outfit and was excited to spend the evening with her friends. We happened to get home before she left to go take pictures with her friends. So, we were able to get a few pictures of her and with her.

Jamie helped her with her flower and as Jamie usually does, she had to see if it smelled good.

The sisters.

She even let me get a picture with her.

The following week was spent finishing the cakes that I had spent most of the previous week baking. I had schedules and goals set in my mind and it seemed like there was something constantly trying to set me back. This week, the one of the bus drivers fell and hurt his throttle leg. They needed a substitute driver nearly every day. So…you begin to fall back on that faith that everything will be worked together and will be ok. Which it was! I even had enough spare time one morning to can 11 quarts of tomatoes. I would almost stop anything to can tomatoes! That’s a treat to have – especially if you don’t have a garden. Our friends from Montana and Wyoming were scheduled to be here Thursday night. Maybe I should say Friday morning – which they were. This brings us to today…the day of Curt and Jamie’s wedding party. We spent most of yesterday tying up loose ends and decorating the building. I think you’ll see by the following pictures that all the thinking and working paid off – so far.

The pile of gathered decorations.

157 miniature pumpkins for the tables.

The room, prior to beginning anything.

So the story is this: the candelabra was bent a little. I thought, well, I’ll just bend it back and this is what happened. Guess I should have left well enough alone!

The helpers needed a supper break. Thanks, Matt, for agreeing to stop and purchase 15 pizzas for us!

Bug Juice…

The head table is beginning to take some sort of form!

Mark taking a couple of minutes to visit with old friends from Jordan, MT. Thanks for coming all this way to celebrate with us, Tom and Shelley!

Jim – either trying to figure out what it all cost or offering suggestions, I’m sure.

The last time Jim and Tom were together for a wedding party would have been 15 years ago. We celebrated Tom’s daughter’s wedding. At that time, the third Amigo was still alive and center of attention – Charlie. We’ll certainly be thinking about you tonight!

The girls were awesome help and wanted to do whatever Jamie asked them to do.

Couldn’t have done this without the help of Jake and Rich!

The “H” – can you see it? Made with love from two ropes brought all the way from Lusk, WY (thanks Johnny!!)

The head table – COMPLETE!

Now, we’re putting up the lights outlining the dance floor.

Decorating is nearly done and time to relax and visit!

Thank you, friends, for coming to my rescue today! We pulled it off!! So, today will be last minute detail gatherings and food preparation day. Mark’s got that handled, for the most part. It’s a beautiful day! Tonight will be as perfect as it can be. I’m looking so forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in quite a while. The day will go fast and I’ll be wishing I could relive it all over again soon. It’s one of those days that I’ll be wishing I could have stored in my time travel bank!