Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Thoughts About That Double Wedding!

 

Every once in a great while there are things so perfect and beautiful that they absolutely take your breath away, and I just need to say....the wedding on Friday was one of those!!
 
 As Mother of the Brides, I was prepared for tears, but I had no idea there would be so many happy ones. I had no idea we would all feel so incredibly loved, or that when we practiced last week (stand still, exit with grace!), every other moment would be so magnificently choreographed by the Lord, too.

On Saturday morning I woke up with this gigantic need to preserve it ALL! Several notebook pages and leftover napkins full of tears later I realized writing down every mental snapshot was humanly impossible! But I am glad the Lord allowed me to try. :) 

Here are a few thoughts, as our new blog tech Carver continues to gather pictures. 

Friday, around 4:10 pm. Picture this: 
Twenty two reasonably sane people assemble in the dining room to ask the Lord's blessing one more time when someone suddenly realizes it is ABOUT THAT TIME and we need to GET downstairs!! 
Great clattering of heels and cowboy boots begins on the wooden stairs amidst reminders to smile and not fall DOWN those stairs. All momentum halts in unison as we land in the garage and realize we're not late yet. But we do have just enough time for a darling bridesmaid to announce she's lost her bouquet, several young groomsmen to make a dash to the bathroom, and one loving brother who's really getting teary eyed to be comforted. In and out of the garage door go heads and theories about what time it actually is amidst reminders to not be LOUD because over 800 people may be listening. But at 4:18....the first note plays and Grandma Bontrager starts down the aisle. And OH! We are blessed indeed. God is so good. 

As Mother of the Brides, I was given the best seat in the house, which reminded me.... 
I have ALWAYS had the best seat in the house! The privilege of being up close for the precious scenes of life was given to me 22 years ago.

I was stunned by the overwhelming beauty of purity. These dear Brides and Grooms chose to not even hold hands until the wedding. I loved their hearts in wanting to save every delightful thing for this day. 

I also loved the purpose and meaning behind each decision. Not one thing stayed in the works simply because of tradition. 

Nineteen siblings standing together for the wedding of their best lifelong friends was unforgettable. When I think of the immeasurable ways God preserved our families for this moment, I am reduced to a puddle of tears! Every time. 

I never knew until now how much I needed to be a mother in law! The Lord just gave me two brand new sons...incredibly loved their whole lives, amazingly wise beyond their years, and in every way the answer to so many, many prayers. I adore and miss THEM! Not just the girls. :)

In the category of "Blessings all mine...with ten thousand beside":

The most perfect weather we could imagine.
So much peace!
Safety for all travelers.
The wedding colors that came together so amazingly! Hallelujah!!
Praying with my dear friend Becky in her room. Sweet tears.
Happy houseful of family chatting and waiting together.
Energy balls! Coffee! Just what we needed! Or maybe not. :) 
Aunt Pandy...unflappable and faithful sister and friend, especially when it comes to weddings.
Advice requested on the proper way to administer a first kiss. LOVE this one. 
Bridesmaids all at the window watching the groomsmen photos. Priceless. 
The Grandmas meeting each other.
Friends who worked tirelessly to make things so beautiful, timely and delicious.
So much LOVE! Wow! Some of us have decided honeymoons sound pretty great. Ha!

Thank you for your prayers and we look forward to sharing pictures very soon. God did FAR more than we could have asked or even imagined and 
WE PRAISE HIM!

With Love,
Lauren for the Bowers


P.S. If you attended the wedding and took pictures, we would LOVE them! 
Please email them to Carver at:
 bowers1989@live.com
Huge thanks!









  





  




Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wedding Live Stream 4pm CST!


Live stream of the Double Wedding tomorrow starts at 4pm CST!
The link will be posted at: The Bontrager Family Blog

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tuesday!

Rehearsal! Gathering the (highly energetic and incredibly creative) wedding party for instructions.
Marvelous Grooms and their very sweet Grandmother!
Littles, littles, littles. Love them all!!
Details. There are JUST a few! Ha!
The perfect place for everything is out there somewhere!! :)
Getting ready to practice with Daddy. 
Mothers' scheduled time to CRY keeps getting put on the next list but the tissues are ready!
Graceful exits. Very important! :)
Lindsay...still baking wedding cakes in the kitchen!
Can you smell this? Amazing. Wonderful. Samples accepted. :) 
So happy to have our Grandparents in town! 
They made the trek from Berlin and got in last night in time for ANOTHER delightful brunch. 
Love their missionary stories and sweet fellowship.
Aunt Pandy's Box of Essential Goodies for Every Floral Opportunity.  
Tags. You can never have enough tags?!
Our new favorite baking girl.
Bowers boys absolutely adore Aunt Pandy!
Some call it Kleenex. We call it a NECESSITY  for every purse and pocket!
Counting the hugs and kisses, walks and talks, coffee stops and HOURS!
Incredibly thankful for time together, singing and praying together, and for all the Lord is doing. :) 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Favorites from Sunday and Monday


Sunday morning this nice guy just showed up for breakfast. :)
Gathered our families after church to discuss wedding details and practice singing together. 
So many opinions. So little time! Ha!
Very adorable groomsmen discussing the order of events.
Love our church and our Pastor and the FRONT ROW! Very good for listening skills. 
The Lord sent our dear friend Lindsay to town to cook, keep the lists going
and keep the brides smiling! 
Loved and encouraged by notes from across the country.
Daddy and Chapman beautifying the great outdoors one table at a time.
Love our meals together here and look forward
 to family arriving from 'round the globe on Tuesday! 
Charlie's tomatoes are amazing! Chicken on the grill by Carver.
Trying to improve these life skills as we give away our
our lovely and faithful kitchen managers. 
The beauty of having a mechanic in the family is that ovens get fixed, too! Blessed indeed.
Crosby's Happy Bag assembly line.
Protein, chocolate and other goodies help EVERYONE smile more sweetly. 
Glorious day of making granola, listening to Daddy's stories,
fantastic leafy greens, Bible time, brunch menus, chocolate,
shopping lists, orders on Amazon and praising the
Lord for so many sweet blessings.
If all goes well we hope to send pictures tomorrow. :)     

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Countdown to the Double!

One year ago we had no idea THIS would be our current family project!
It has been so very sweet to walk with our dear ones through this amazing season of life.
These are little snapshots from the past week or two of preparations. 
 
Beautifying and painting at the Bontrager Farm.  Brothers are prime recruits. :)
Green smoothies by the half gallon. Any guesses who can drink this entire thing?
Blessings and thank you notes abound! Amazed by the kindness of so many sweet friends.
Somewhere between wedding list, reception list, home and car and honeymoon and vows and guests and flowers and menu lists, Charlie volunteered as chauffeur and squeezed in a charming sibling lunch! 
Crosby Virginia gets the award for Most Adorable Toothless Maid of Honor.
Lord willing, we get to keep one girl here for a few more years. Whew!
Fine tuning those cooking skills. Nice to have an assistant. :) 
Love is in the air AND in the concrete!! Carson made this for Lina. 
This Sunday lunch thing is serious business. :)
 Note the pristine watermelon center and the rather wild coleslaw corner. Ha!
We may be single handedly keeping Amazon in business.
When you live way out in the country, PRIME means a lot! :) 
Dashed in the store after a dress fitting with Carolina and ran into Cassidy who was doing her own errands! We all ended up converging for a conference in the very cute dish section. 
 40 cases of water bottles heading home for de-labeling and ICE.
Every once in awhile you just gotta show up at church in the same thing! 
Scene by the front door these days: collection of boxes, bags, purses, samples and STUFF!
'Tis a brave soul! Daddy has been our family barber for years and rarely misses.
 Ha. No pressure. :)
Our brides! For those of you who may not know, Joshua and Carson's older brother Mitchell is getting married one day later. This is Mitchell's beautiful Bryn, and a shower for the three Mrs. Bontrager's was a hoot. :)  
Very fun shower hosted by the Bontrager Aunties.  
Cassidy's noteworthy assistant was quite thrilled to help in exchange for this!
God has been so faithful to send Cass and Lina fantastic finds at
consignment and thrift stores. This day there was practically
a whole house on the floor! 
Shower hosted by the dear ladies from church. Pink tool kits! SOOOOO much fun!
Sisters and love and joyful things for happy homes!
Bridesmaids practicing hair on the way to church. :)
One more marvelous thing about adding new sons to the mix is double dates.
So much fun to visit over dinner, lunch, breakfast or coffee!
One of Daddy's highlights has been "talking breakfasts" with
Josh and Carson MANY early mornings this year.
Thankful for our house and especially the PORCH!
 It has been our gathering place all summer for meals and fellowship.
 Sometimes that love in your heart just overflows! 
Oh boy. Sometimes the fridge does, too!
Chap and Campbell in the removal and restoration business.  
2 brides plus 2 grooms equals fabulous executive meetings on the fly.
This is not you average boardroom. :)
Thankfully they have been working out details together for years.
Everybody in the same place for a family brunch, family workday and a family walk and bike ride.
Wahoo! So happy to be together as this is a LITTLE hard to come by these days! 
 Decided we better also grab a family picture.
 These are the times that try men's souls?! 
If we could just all fit on the swing!!
The duck paddling wildly under the water while trying be calm on top HAS come to mind lately, but the Lord was good and it only took us 1 hour instead of 5! Ha. Improving as the years go by. 
Thankful, thankful, thankful for God's faithfulness to each of us.
Praying for the many details of the next few days.
Would love for you to join us in asking the Lord for peace, rest, order, good weather and stretched time.
May God be glorified every step of the way.