We had a party this last weekend for my grandparents.
We called it their 250th party.
This year they have been married 70 (that's right SEVENTY) years and both turn 90 this year (i.e. 70+90+90 = 250).
They wanted one party instead of three...can you blame them?
So, we did it big.
My aunts and dad put together a big party (like 100ish people) at their church in the fellowship hall. There was a TON of very detailed planning and cooperation from everyone to make this happen and everyone stepped it up.
Mom and I were in charge of centerpieces and the slideshow. We pretty much copied the centerpieces from Ben & I's rehearsal dinner and took old about 12 old pictures of Inie & Bull and printed them on paper to wrap around a box. We took the boxes to East Texas and put flower vases inside for each table.
And the slideshow....oh the slideshow. I am not very technically savvy so it was a big task for us. Many people spent lots of time and effort scanning, gathering, emailing, and bringing over pictures to us and it still took us hours to compile this thing. We ended up having over 300 pictures and it was a solid 28 minutes long.
It played on repeat during lunch.
We had music from the 1940s as the background music and I think it turned out awesome. Each family is getting a copy of the DVD to keep.
When the weekend finally came, it was so special how everyone made such an effort to be sure to be at the party and come in town to celebrate.
We all met on Friday night before the party at Bull's ranch. David & Kristy provided pulled pork sandwiches and chips for everyone who could come and we all set up camp with babies in tow. We brought bounce houses and power wheels and four-wheelers.
It was such a very fun and very dirty night.
Those kids were covered head to toe in dirt.
No better way to be.
They were loving "riding fast" on the four-wheelers and they had no shortage of daddy drivers.
Ty was obsessed with the cows. He could not stop pointing, naming, shouting about every single cow he saw.
Isn't the ranch just gorgeous. Ben is pretty much in heaven each time we go.
Camila and I braved a ride in the back of a truck with about 10 kids for a while to drive around the ranch and it was a blast.
Saturday morning we all got up and went to the church and family pictures commenced before the party. Our centerpieces turned out great and there were lots of framed pictures of my grandparents over their lifetime.
How gorgeous are Inie and Bull?
Kinley was in anticipation about what Inie would wear for her party and she did not disappoint. She looked so beautiful in her blue sparkly top.
Families in order from oldest to youngest of my dad's siblings:
Lois - Knowles Family
Linda - Harden Family
Helen - Carter/Holmes Family
Cary & Chris were the ONLY people in the entire family who couldn't make the party because their sweet baby boy Noah is in the NICU. They skyped the and watched the entire party and it was so special that technology could allow them to be there without being away from the baby.
Helen and Phil got to bring Austin and we were so glad they could come.
And we attempted a few times to get pics of all the great-grandkids but I don't think we ever pulled off one with everyone in it. There are currently 13 great-grandkids and 3 more on the way.
All 5 and under.
It makes for an exciting time.
My dad was the emcee of the party and he did a fantastic job communicating the program and keeping things flowing.
Sean began the program with a presentation of a letter to Inie and Bull from United States Senator from Texas, John Cornyn. It was a great letter thanking them for their legacy of marriage and family for the next generations.
They loved it so much.
After lunch and the slideshow the great-grandkids (who would participate) all stood up to sing "Jesus Loves Me" and "Old Mc Howe Had a Farm." Bull's name is Mc Howe and he is a farmer...so there is no such "Old McDonald" song in our family.
They did amazing.
It was such a hit.
Ty was up there singing his heart out but wouldn't exactly stand by everyone. He just stood in front of them and sang in their direction.
I love this pic of Inie standing up smiling looking at the kids :)
The adults also had a couple songs to sing and although participation was strong, that was about all. It was so fun and hilarious. I don't have a single picture of that though.
There were multiple toasts and comments and remarks. All their kids spoke and their spouses and there was at least one grandkid from each family that spoke and represented the family (thanks Bart!) It was such a neat time of reflection and memories and thanks.
Inie and Bull both spoke and each of them were fantastic. They are 90 years old and still so "with it" and clever and funny and their minds and memories are so sharp.
They spoke about how they got married in three days while Bull had a 5 day leave from the Navy.
They spoke of old memories and what they were thankful for.
Bull finished with tears in his eyes by saying he always dreamed of a big family and he has not been disappointed.
Oh how special they are to us all.
What an amazing legacy of marriage and family and what matters most in life.
They have taught us all so much.
The whole party was a memory I will never forget and am so thankful we got to all have together.
All the boys wore their Flying H Stock Farm belt buckles.
These girls are inseparable. It's so cute.
Happy 250th Inie & Bull! We love you so much!