Friday, December 21, 2007

The Vieths...

Andy and Rachel are bro and sis and are very dear friends of mine and I actually photographed them a few months back....right before Andy moved to florida and Rach was headed back to florida. Andy we all have been missing you like crazy and can't wait to see you over Christmas. Rachel it's always so great to see you again. I love how whenever we do get to see each other or hang's almost like no time has passed and we just pick up on converstation so easily.

I love you both and wish you a safe flight home :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Conner Christmas....

I have a few family events to post (I hope I can get to them all, I only scheduled myself a day to get caught up on my own personal photography and it looks like I need 4 days to get caught up) The first Saturday of December every year The Conners (my mom's extended family) always gets together. Many many years ago before this family grew, they actually got together every Christmas Eve (as my mom has told me) There are some tradtitions that have stayed the same....lots of food, a children's gift exchange, children's story (usually a story about baby Jesus) and of course just quality time with the family. There are a few traditions that have finally come to an end..... Singing Christmas Carols (yes we really did for many many years, it sounds silly, but it was pretty fun) The grown ups gift exchange (this one we decided a few years ago that we should adopt a family in need each holiday season instead of giving each other gifts, this new tradition is one of my favorites....this year we raised over $1,200....GO US!!!...and adopted over three families in need) My cousin Kelly started a new idea this year for the kids which was making gingerbread houses (ha ha a lot of us big kids totally joined in on this too)....IT WAS SO FUN! I'd never made a gingerbread house before and I LOVED IT!

To all my Conner family out there.... I"m so blessed to be able to call you my family and enjoy spending time w/ you (I wish it could be more often) Okay on with the pictures......
The Aunts...

First cousins (my mom's generation)

Second cousins (my generation)

Third cousins

Our family tree.....

My (Andy helped too) gingerbread house......

EDIT: Any Conner's that would like the full res files (the ones above are not print quality) to the group photos, please just e-mail me and I will get them to you :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Surprise 60th Birthday Party...

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we threw Janice (aka Mom-in-law) a surprise birthday party! Andy and I's job was to provide the invitations (designed by yours truly), BBQ pulled pork (one of our specialties), and baked beans Well the the only thing was we had invited over 200 people to her open house and weren't exactly sure how many people to expect. So I went and bought a case of pork shoulder (have you ever bought a case of meet before??? This was my first experience and when the butcher dropped it into my cart....I didn't realize I would have to be the one to put it in my car and get it into my house....ALL 68 lbs of it!!! YIKES!) I also bought LOTS of baked beans (5 large cans...see below) Anyhoo..... 5 croc pots later and many hours of slow roasting (and shredding) we had over 50 lbs of bbq pulled pork for the party. (btw...the other siblings had their hands full w/ countless amounts of all other kinds of food! This was definietly a team effort)
This is just a few picts of what our kitchen was filled with:

The decor:

So I volunteered to be the one to get her there. (which meant I had to lie to her) So I came up with a story that went something like this..... The Sommer girls were planning on having lunch (which she knew about) So I asked her if I could pick her up early and if she would stop w/ me at her church and she could show me around...since I "have" a wedding coming up there in March (that's the lie) and am not to familiar with the church.

Well she had an idea that there was something planned for her birthday (like a surprise lunch w/ her siblings or immediate family) but she had no idea we had rented out the banquet hall at the church and that we had invited over 200 of her family and friends. :) So the surprise was a success!!!
Here some picts of her walking in (clever me brought my camera in to have a "look" around the church)

The main crew behind it all: