50th Anniversary Celebration

A few weeks ago, on July 21, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. On the next day (July 22), my siblings, spouses and other family hosted an open house in Fort Wayne. It was fun to stand back and watch as numerous friends came by and offered their congratulations to our parents…and there were a number of people who stopped by.

We moved to Fort Wayne when I began elementary school and lived in the same house until I graduated high school. We were members of the same church throughout that time and our family was pretty involved: youth group, Sunday School, children’s musicals, adult choir, Christmas and Easter pageants, various roles in church leadership and probably a few others not listed. Many of the relationships we had were through our church family. So, when the 50th celebration came around, many who attended were from the church.

I saw former Sunday School teachers, youth group leaders, friends of my parents and past choir members. I wish I could say I remembered everyone’s name (I didn’t) or even recognized everyone who came through. It was apparent that many of those friendships ran deep as many conversations were going and many lasted for a while.

Several family members were there which also made the day special.

A 50th Anniversary is definitely worth celebrating and it was cool to see the ripple effect of my parents’ marriage. Not only were children, grandchildren, a great-grandson, a brother, a niece and cousin present, there were countless relationships and friendships represented. It’s hard to quantify the influence they have had on people in Indiana, Oklahoma, all the places they have traveled plus the places their family members have lived.

It was a good day and a couple worth celebrating.

Here are a few pics from the day.

Mom & Dad, Uncle John & Aunt Ginny, Niece Emilee and Cousin Janet

My siblings

Just a few of the people that came

A not-so-great family selfie at dinner following Open House

#BrackemyreBonanza

Sat Jul 16 2016 20-58-25 GMT-0400This was a pretty significant weekend in our family as our oldest child got married! It was a great weekend of family and friends coming together to celebrate the happy couple. They chose the hashtag #BrackemyreBonanza. I looked up the definition of “bonanza” and one definition is “a large amount of something desirable.” We did have a large amount of fun and celebration so the hashtag fit.

The groom is from Ohio and the bride is from New York, so the wedding drew people from several states including Oregon, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, New York, Illinois, Virginia and others. We were grateful for all those that came in and the relationships that were started due to this bonanza.

It’s always good to get families together, especially when it means we get to eat, laugh and even dance together. It was definitely a family affair as one dad gave the bride away, the other dad performed the wedding, the youngest sibling served as ring bearer, sisters were part of the bridal party and both sides of the family showed up in force.

We have many good memories of the weekend and can’t wait to see the moments the photographer captured. Here’s some pretty good candid shots from the day.

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Groom Dancing with his Grandmother

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Groom and His Sister

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Bride and Groom

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Little Brother & Ring Bearer

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Bride & Father before walking her down the aisle

Honoring the Class of 2016

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate graduation.  One of our county schools has already hosted commencement exercises and more will take place this weekend.  This past Sunday we honored our seniors during our two morning services. As we’ve done the last few years, we put together a brief video highlighting the members of the graduating class.  Here is this year’s class of seniors.

Congratulations to the class of 2016!

Max is 1!

IMG_4374This was a big weekend for our family. Max is a year old! It’s always fun to put the cake (with icing, of course) in front of the birthday boy and watch him go to town. He didn’t really hesitate and, as you can see, had cake and icing all over his face, hands and a few other places.

For most parents, it seems the first year goes by quickly. You feel like you bring your baby home from the hospital and before you know it, he is sitting up, then crawling, then starting to walk and you are putting the first candle on the cake.

We had two celebrations this weekend with Max. The first was on his birthday (Saturday) and he got his very own pancake. We went to one of our favorite breakfast restaurants and our server brought out a candle and sang and everything. It was a fun morning.

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Then on Sunday, we got together with Max’s birth mom (Mommy Kate), Grandma Terie, Aunt Sissy and some other special friends and family to celebrate. It was a fun afternoon and just highlighted what a blessing Max has been to both our family and to his birth family. I don’t think my wife and I imagined celebrating Max’s birthday this way when we first adopted him, but I don’t think we would change a thing.

We are so thankful to have Max as part of our family and look forward to many more birthdays with him.

60th Anniversary Celebration Oct. 5, 2014

In just a couple of weeks, the Wilmington Church of Christ will celebrate her 60th anniversary.  I have been associated with the church for fourteen of those years and am grateful to those who had the vision to start the church, the energy and faith to build it and for those who have contributed to her growth and influence in the lives of so many people.

If you are from Wilmington or have any connection with WCC, we’d love to see you attend our 60th celebration service.

Check out the video invitation::

Joe Turns 21 Today!

Joe senior 59On this day, a mere 21 years ago, Joe showed up! He was born in Defiance (the name of the city, not his state of being) Ohio and much has transpired since then. We have lived in three different states (Ohio to Kentucky to Indiana and back to Ohio) and a sister joined the group a few years after his arrival.

Kind of hard to believe that he hits 21 years today. I was thinking this morning that I remember when I turned 21 and find it somewhat disconcerting that I now have a son that is 21.

He’s played football and basketball, performed in many band concerts, traveled numerous miles with Solid Rock, marched on many a football field, participated in several musicals, graduated high school and is making his way through college. A stroke darkened the picture for a little while in junior high, but he still managed to go visit Uruguay while in elementary school, take a trip to Southeast Asia with his grandfather and cousin and go to Ireland with a crew from college. Not a bad itinerary for the first 21 years of life.

I know God has good things in store for Joe and look forward to what He will do through him. So, Happy 21st Birthday!! Here’s a “cup of Joe” to help celebrate. (Hitting pf changs later in the day for a good birthday meal)

Cup of Joe (Brackemyre)

A Life Well Lived

The past week has been a rough one for our church family. We have had several members pass away and three funerals will occur in our building over a span of about 5 days.

I was honored to be a part of Pete’s funeral on Friday. I knew Pete for a little over 12 years, but there who so many who knew him for 20, 30 or 40+ years. His funeral was both easy and difficult. It was easy because his was a life well lived. He loved God, loved his church, loved his family and loved others. So many people attested to that by their presence at the visitation and funeral service. It was difficult because he was so loved and will be missed by many. His passing came suddenly and so was a surprise to his family and friends. His funeral was more of a celebration of his life and his relationship with God than it was a time of mourning. His wife said it well when she said that is what he would have wanted – a celebration.

Probably the most powerful moment for me came the Sunday after Pete’s funeral. I have the privilege to lead worship at our church and so was on the platform Sunday morning. Pete’s wife and family were present for church. As we started singing the song, “How Great is our God,” Pete’s wife and daughter stood in honor of the One who they were worshipping. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, they put their trust, confidence and hope in God. What an example of how we should spend the time we’ve been given.