June 3rd and 4th were such wonderful days! My younger (10 years younger, 6 inches taller) brother Bryce walked down an aisle to the sounds of Pomp & Circumstance to receive his high school diploma as we all watched! And the following day was a great day of celebrating with friends and family during his open house at my Mom and Dad's home. What a special and exciting time in his life- the start of something new and a little unfamiliar...we know he's going to SHINE! Bryce is planning to study electrical engineering maybe this fall, and maybe at Cedarville University. There are so many "maybe's " during that stage of life....but then again, there are so many "maybe's" at every stage of life aren't there? I'm so glad we serve a faithful God who knows the answers to all of life's "maybe's"! Congratulations Bryce! We are SO proud of your accomplishments, love you tons, and can't wait to see what God uses you to do!
~Bryce is right in the middle~
~Our niece, Addisyn, giving Bryce a big hug!~
~Josh, Bryce, and Me~
The Zoo (and Other Fun Places!)
The week following Bryce's graduation was such an awesome week! I know I've mentioned before the fact that 2 of my sisters and their husbands/families live out of state....but this week they were ALL here in Michigan! (insert happy dance here)
We made the most of our time together by taking several "day trips" including a drive down towards Kalamazoo to visit a bird sanctuary, a morning at a local park with a Splash Pad-which was great for the 90 degree weather we had-, and a day at the John Ball Zoo.
My niece Addisyn has helped us create a tradition that I think everyone has come to look forward to when summer arrives. We always manage to squeeze in a trip out to Holland and the grand shores of Lake Michigan to watch the sunset. It is by far one of the best things to do in this area, and has made for lots of precious memories and sweet times! Josh and I got engaged right out there on the sand dunes even =)
After the beach, Captain Sundae gets a visit from 10-15 Thiel/Gathard/Polderman/Russ ice cream eaters! This cute little ice cream spot has become our stopping place before heading home, and we LOVE to sit in the big wooden ship or the benches by Captain Sundae himself!
~Papa, Gramma, and some of their grandkids with Captain Sundae~
~Josh and Blake~
~Me and Colleen~
~Jack Ryan, Blake, Sam, Jack, and Addie~
A few last thoughts.....first: No, I did not finish this entire post in the 20 minutes it took to let the hair dye kick in. In fact, if I'd left it in as long as it's taken me to finish this post, I might resemble Raggedy Ann or Mary Jane from the Spiderman movies right about now!
Second: I will never get used to not having all of my siblings and their families living nearby. But at the same time, I am so blessed by the times where we find ourselves all together. It seems like such a short time ago that my sisters and I were borrowing clothes out of eachother's closets or I was taking Bryce and Bren on Christmas shopping excursions...and while we have grown up and our lives have changed, I think we will always cherish the sweet times we've had and the sweet times that are still to come!