Sunday, May 31, 2015

Michigan Retirement Celebration

We were excited to travel to Michigan for part of our spring break (yes, almost three months ago! Haha!) to celebrate with Matt's parents. Matt's dad was retiring from the pastoral ministry, and we got to be there for his last Sunday of preaching as well as for his official retirement celebration.

Our boys counted down the days to our trip for weeks beforehand. They were excited to be able to board the plane, and all three boys traveled well on both legs of the trip there.

The pilots even invited the older boys to come into the cockpit.

After a relatively easy day of travel, we arrived in Grand Rapids. Both boys were hoping to see snow. God provided! It had snowed over a week before our trip, and, though a bit crunchy, it was still on the ground! We played in the white stuff a few different times on our trip, including within just a few minutes of our arrival. The boys liked making snowballs, making snow angels, making a snowman, making tracks in the snow, climbing onto snow hills, and even trying to use a sled. It was cute to see our boys all bundled up!

with Jaden and Cody and Aunt Amy

This "hill" was so short, but the boys were SO excited to try sledding that we used it a few times to attempt to sled.

Sunday afternoon was the retirement celebration for Matt's dad. Members of his current and previous congregations were in attendance. It's obvious that Matt's parents were (and are) well-loved based on the number of people who were in attendance. Matt and his siblings were able to share their memories from each location their dad served. Those in attendance could share stories as well -- some funny and some poignant. Ian and Ryan, along with nephews Jaden and Cody sang Grandma and Grandpa "Jesus Loves Me."

Soon afterward, we big kids and big-kids-in-law sang Matt's parents a song. Jason (Matt's brother) had done a great job of personalizing the words of "Let Us Ever Walk with Jesus." Those present were able to join in some of the singing, too.

Jonathan (Matt's youngest brother) and Chelsea were present via Skype since their baby was due anyday. Here's our family picture with Jon and Chelsea pictured on the TV screen.

Ryan and Ian loved talking with Uncle Jon and Aunt Chelsea on the big screen! :)

There was a nice reception following the program.

We were able to visit with many of the friends and family who came a distance to celebrate with Matt's parents.

After a while, the boys tired of visiting and eating yummy food, so they enjoyed the fun toys in the church nursery.

What a wonderfully fun celebration!

We stayed in town a few more days following the special celebration. We enjoyed relaxing with family. The cousins did a good job of playing together.
Jaden and Nathan

Cody and Ryan lining up their cars

Cody and Nathan


Jaden and Cody took a special interest in baby Nathan and were very sweet and gentle with him.

cousin matching game

One morning, the boys enjoyed swimming in a hotel pool together.

 After swimming, good family friend Bath provided deep dish Chicago style pizza for the group. Yummy!

Another morning, Grandpa and Grandma treated the boys to Crazy Bounce, a local bounce house with many inflatables. The kids thought this place was amazing!

We had fun competing against each other in this inflatable.

Matt and his siblings also spent some time helping their dad pack up his office contents. They worked together well and got some laughs in along the way.

Overall, we had a wonderful time just being together as a family and thanking God for the blessing that Matt's parents were to many as pastor and pastor's wife.

Nathan with Grandma
Nathan and Uncle Andy

playing cars together

Grandma was good at getting Nathan to sleep!

Aunt Beth had the magic touch, too!

Ian and Uncle Jason play a game

Nathan has an audience while getting his diaper changed

Aunt Amy reads to the boys

sleeping in Grandpa's arms

Nathan with Aunt Amy

Aunt Amy and Aunt Beth knew just how to get Nathan to laugh ... and they got some great pics of him too!

with Jaden

with Uncle Jason

Our trip back got a little more complicated, with a stomach bug for Ian, a missed connection due to fog, an unexpected 6-hour layover, and an extra connection through Panama City, FL. We were glad we had packed some balloons in our carry-on so we could help the boys get some wiggles out.

It was fun to celebrate you, Mom and Dad Schleicher! We are thankful for all of the lives you have touched with God's love ... including ours!