Sunday, March 24, 2013

Adam & Chantelle

This will be a little out of character for me, but I am going to review a wedding we attended last night. It was for my cousin's son. We were honored to be invited since I have a different connection with Adam than most. Until he was born I was the youngest male Batie descendant of Kit and Anna Batie. Us Batie boys have had a great propensity for having daughters, not sons. Adam still holds that title, although there is a young boy with the first name of Batie in the family.

I don't know if they used a wedding planner or not, but I 'm guessing they did. If they did not use a planner my respect for Chantelle and her mother moves up several notches as everything seemed to move very smoothly and promptly from our perspective. (Edit: I have since learned they did NOT use a planner, Chantelle did most of this herself. All I can say is Wow.)

I will only touch on the highlights from my perspective. The bride's gown was beautiful, but then aren't they all. Bridesmaid's dresses were classy gold dresses that could actually be worn again for a nice dinner. Nice touch was the groom seating his future mother-in-law. Mother of the bride had surveyed some friends and family about their thoughts on love and organized it into a nice reading.

The scripture they chose for their wedding message was projected on a screen for the duration of the wedding and was very classy and nice. The minister was great, very relaxed and had a good message for them and us.

After the unity candle was lit by the new couple, they shared the light with all of us attending. We were given the standard white church candles, such as you get at Christmas, when entering. We passed the light down the pews and when all were lit, we raised the candles high. It looked great. At the end we were to say a silent prayer for the couple as we extinguished the candles. Neat idea.

Now on to the reception. The Younnes Center in Kearney was tastefully decorated in silver, gold and black. There were all sorts of activities for us to do while the wedding party traveled around town in a church bus before arriving.

In one corner there were coloring books and crayons for the little ones. Next was a table of river rock that had been painted in silver, gold and black along with silver, gold and black markers. The idea was to write a message to the couple about marriage and put it into a vase for them.

Across the room was a candy bar with all the candy in, you guessed it, silver, gold and black. There were even little silver sacks for you to fill to take back to the table to munch on. In another corner was the beverage bar, which was well attended. On the backdrop behind the wedding party's raised platform were numerous pictures of Adam and Chantelle, all framed in silver, gold and black.

While we were gathering they had a man singing with his guitar for background music. I've been to several wedding where we wondered if the wedding party had gotten lost on the way to the reception. Not the case here. They entered after all had arrived, but not abnormally late.

The meal was wonderful, as I have come to expect from the Younnes Center. The guitar and singing continued while we ate. The DJ made sure we all knew what was happening all along the way from cake cutting to toasts. Again nothing was drug out or hurried, but seemed to flow right along.

Highlight of the reception was a wedding video. This was professionally done and was great. It started out with Adam singing with his guitar, interspersed with clips taking their wedding pictures earlier in the day. Then they spliced in interviews with Chantelle and Adam each talking about how they met, their friendship, first kiss, dating and finally the proposal. Then they inserted clips from the wedding itself. Best of all was the three part screen of the vows. This will be a great keepsake for them for years to come.

Best wishes to Adam and Chantelle. May your marriage be full of love and fun. And may you have lots of boys. :-)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy Ag Day

Happy Ag Day to all of you. While this holiday is not celebrated as widely as most other holidays, few  are as important. National Ag Day is celebrated on the first day of spring each year, somewhere around March 20, this year it was on March 19.

We celebrate Ag Day to recognize how important farms and farmers are to our nation. While only 2% of the U.S. population lives on a farm, all of us are fed, clothed and use agriculture products every day. I don't know about you, but I don't want to go a day without eating.

In Nebraska the economic impact of agriculture cannot be overlooked. One out of every three jobs in Nebraska is created by agriculture, some on farms, some in processing plants, some in transportation, etc.

The last couple of years have been very profitable for agriculture across the state and that impact shows up in our mainstreets and the state budget. Most Nebraska towns have not had the economic downturn most of the nation has had, mostly due to agriculture. Nebraska is also among few states without a state budget problem.

So as you bite into that juicy hamburger, or pull on those cotton jeans, thank the farmer who worked to raise the crops and animals for you to enjoy every day of the year.