We had a lot of fun yesterday as my siblings gathered to host an open house for our dad who celebrates his 80th birthday this coming Tuesday. Dad’s brother, Bud, traveled to Des Moines with his entire brood. Friends past and present joined us in the community room at the folk’s apartment to enjoy a bite of cake and share in celebrating our dad. Thanks to everyone for coming out and making it a special day.
My folks. Dean and Jeanne Vander Well
Mom enjoyed seeing lots of old friends.
Love this lady
Dean and Jeanne Vander Well
Those of our crew who could make it.
Brothers, Dean and Bud (Herman) Vander Well
The Sibs (L-R) Tim, Terry, Jody, Tom
You don’t have to be crazy to be a Vander Well, but it helps.
Bud in his element, regaling people with his jokes and stories.
Today is our daughter Maddy Kate’s 24th Birthday!! I have to send a shout out to her. Madison has diligently focused her life on graduating from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in December. Between school and flying the friendly skies, she’s been such a busy girl. We’re so proud of her and can’t wait to see where God leads her in her impending new stage of life. 🙂
It seems like I’ve been unusually haphazard with posting the last couple of weeks. To be honest, the switch back to regular time from Daylight Savings Time has thrown my body off more than usual this year. I’ve always been a morning person, but I’ve been having a hard time pulling myself out of bed in the mornings and so I’ve missed a few mornings.
Wendy and I enjoyed celebrating her brother, Lucas’ Birthday at Hickory Park in Ames. We also had the opportunity to meet his fiancé, Brooke, for the first time. After dinner we got a tour of the Greek Orthodox Church that he is helping to fix up in Ames and the parsonage where he lives with a couple of other guys from Iowa State.
My friend, Matthew Burch, and I were scheduled to present our More Than Conqueror’s men’s conference at Westview Church in Waukee on Nov 13-14, but it was rescheduled due to a tragic death in the Westview family and the funeral that had to be scheduled that Saturday. We’re looking at a date in January or February. Stay tuned.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to be a judge for Pella’s Tulip Queen. We got to meet each of the 13 ladies for a brief personal interview. We then judged their presentation before the Tulip Queen and her court were announced at the end of the evening. It was a great experience, and I was amazed at the amazing group of capable young ladies. Any one of them would have represented our community well. It was hard having to see eight of them be disappointed, but so proud of our 2016 Hollandse Magdz.
Speaking of Pella, a shout out to the boys’ football team who won their second State Championship in a row on Thursday night. Wendy and I had to record the game, but we stayed up late to cheer them on. Well done, boys!
Even though the men’s conference got cancelled, I had plenty of opportunities to speak this past week. I gave the morning message in the Auditorium at Third Church last week. On Monday I left at 4:30 a.m. to make the four hour drive to Sioux Center where I presented two training sessions for a client. Then drove home. Long day. Then on Wednesday evening I spoke to the high school group at Third.
We headed to Theatre Central’s production of Lion in Winter on Thursday evening. A few of the cast members were in Ah, Wilderness! with me back in 2013 and it was fun to see them on stage.
On Friday night Wendy and I had our Open House and Stock the Bar party here at VW Manor. Murphy’s Law struck and Iowa got pounded with our first snow storm of the season. We forged ahead with our party and were pleased at the number of hardy souls who braved the elements to join us. We got the chance to meet several of our neighbors whom we had yet to meet. Our house was packed, and the bar definitely got broken in. Of course, Wendy had an amazing spread of snacks and desserts and everyone had a good time!
For me, summer is always the season between Memorial Day and Labor Day. At the lake, the two three-day weekends are the bookends of the busy season. This past winter was brutally long, cold, and snowy. I have been really looking forward to Memorial Day weekend this year and, with it, the unofficial start of summer.
It was a busy weekend for the Vander Wells. Saturday was Suzanna’s high school graduation open house. Wendy was in high gear last week baking and making preparations. I spent a lot of time at the end of the week getting the yard and patio cleaned up and ready for the throng of guests. It was a gorgeous day on Saturday. Mom and Dad Hall came down from Boone to help with the festivities. Mom and Dad Vander Well also came down from Des Moines along with Taylor. We also had sister-in-law Bonnie and the kids make the long trek from Arizona to celebrate Suzanna. Suzanna was, indeed, celebrated. The last of the seven Hall kids to finish high school and head off on life’s road.
By the time Wendy and I got things picked up and cleaned up it was about 9:30 Saturday evening and we passed out on the couch. The plans was to head to the lake on Sunday to meet the VLs who had headed down to the lake on Friday evening. Wendy and I went to church and took the morning and early afternoon to get things packed. We finally headed out mid-afternoon and arrived at the lake in the early evening hours. The wonderful VLs had the lawn mowed, the house prepped, wine poured, and a steak dinner ready for us! Talk about spoiled! 🙂 After getting the kiddos to bed, the adults sat and talked late into the night.
Memorial Day morning was spent with coffee and conversation on the deck, playing with the kids, and taking a little walk. Wendy and I headed into town mid-day to run some errands and catch a matinee of the new X-Men movie (it’s good, btw). By the time we returned it was supper time and the VL crew had vacated the premises to head to their time share down on Table Rock Lake. Wendy and I grilled some salmon and concluded Memorial Day on the couch in front of the final few episodes of the second season of Homeland.
We’re working remotely from the lake this week and looking forward to having the Roose’s here with us next weekend!