Monday, August 16, 2010

On to Texas

After our delightful detours in Kansas, we drove on to northern Texas to join in the graduation celebration of my sister and brother-in-law's oldest child, Amanda. She was born just 15 days before our twins, Joe and Lissie, and has been an important part of our lives ever since. Amanda and her three siblings are dear friends to our kids.

Amanda's family waited until mid August to celebrate her high school graduation because they have been in the middle of construction on a new home.

Amanda's family helped us with many of the last minute details in our celebration of Joe and Lissie's graduation in May (see Multiple Milestones for a Dynamic Duo), so when we arrived we were eager to bless them in a similar way. Tessa helped with the baking, which, of course, is a familiar role from home.

Joe and Speedy, on the other hand, got to try their hand at something new.

We also helped put some of the finishing details on the new house so that it would be ready for the big dinner on Saturday night. 

Each of the three days we were in Texas the thermometer read 108 degrees--a bit overwhelming for those of us from the upper midwest!

By Saturday afternoon, we were ready to celebrate. First, we went to a local dude ranch for an afternoon of English Country Dancing -- Amanda's all-time favorite way to spend time with friends. Amanda was blessed with a large turnout of her friends and their siblings, making the event great fun.

The event's caller, Tiffany, is in the center of the photo below. Tiffany learned the skill in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she and her family have vacationed for several years. 

In addition to traditional English Country Dancing, the groups did some line dancing. In the video below they're learning "Cotton-Eyed Joe." This dance turned out to be the afternoon's favorite, and the dancers requested it two more times before the close of the event.

(You'll want to mute our blog's music on the sidebar before viewing the video.)

The day culminated in a dinner in the new home. Although not completely finished as hoped, the house was still a perfect venue for the fellowship of a great meal.

The gathering of family and friends was the "christening" of a home that has been a dream for many years. About five years ago, Amanda's parents sold their home in northern Texas and the ten acres it sat on to buy a larger piece of land. They prayed and waited for the right time to begin construction of a home while living in a small, temporary dwelling that had been a hunting lodge for the previous owner. Even Hurricane Katrina played a role in the timing of their construction, as the price of building materials rose sharply in the south after that historic storm.

Our family was honored to be present for the event that served both to celebrate Amanda's graduation and to acknowledge the Lord's goodness in giving her family a beautiful place to live.

~Mrs. Beaver

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