Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tuesday’s Tell All and Wednesday’s Homemaking Tip

Last week our family gathered in Colorado Springs, Colorado to attend Ty’s graduation from the United States Air Force Academy on Wednesday, and Michelle and Ty’s wedding on Friday.  In short, it was wonderful.

If you want length, well . . . I can deliver that as well.  Here are the details . . . 

It’s a given that the highlight of the week was the wedding.  It’s also a given that it’s the event we have the fewest pictures of – mostly because we depended upon the photographer.  But while we wait for professional photos, I want to paint one picture from the event:
It looked beautiful, it felt beautiful.  Michelle and Ty were surrounded in the temple by family and friends that love them and helped them to become who they are.  As Michelle knelt across the alter from Ty and they made covenants that would bind them for eternity, her eyes were intently focused on Ty.  First her lips began to tremble, then her nostrils.  Her eyes filled to the brim with tears, all while her nose and lips continued to quiver.  She had such love, devotion, and respect in her eyes.  She was on the brink of crying.  I sat there and thought of what blessed parents Calvin and I are to have someone so incredible love Ty so completely, so generously.  It was a sacred, beautiful sight.

On the other side of the alter, though I could not see his face, I could see Ty’s shoulders.  They were squared. First he looked at the officiator, next to Michelle, then back to the officiator, then back to Michelle.  He has been ready and excited to accept his new, important role as her husband.  He loves Michelle with all his heart. It is exciting to think of Ty and Michelle's future.  We're so grateful they found each other.

That night the Pages’ hosted a fun and beautiful reception.  The colors matched Michelle’s personality completely – happy and lively.  It was fun to meet the people and hear their connections to Ty and Michelle and Michelle’s family.  They served gelato, chocolate dipped strawberries, cookies, and cupcakes.  What a fun party.

Rachel said, “I enjoyed watching Michelle's lip quiver during the sealing ceremony” and Bert said, “One of my favorite parts of the week was witnessing the sealing of Ty and Michelle in the temple.”  Joe and Ande mentioned how much they loved watching Ty and Michelle enter the sealing room together.  It was truly the frosting on the cake of a wonderful week.                                                                             

As for the cake . . .

My sister Chris came with her family for the graduation.  My brother Lee and his family joined us for the wedding.  My sister Rachel and her family came for both events.  I asked our kids and Rachel’s family to tell me what their favorite events were.  Here are the answers in no order of importance or chronology – just a look at our time together.  


Werewolves . . .

…..the game we played every night until midnight no matter how tired we were.  This is the first night, first game.   The game is still in play so some of the eyes are closed and there is no talking going on, just looking and pointing.  By the second night, another half dozen players were in the game. ~Jane

I liked playing Werewolves with everybody. ~Calder

My favorite memory was playing Werewolf and being the wolf with mom and her falling asleep and me having to wake her up so she could help me kill people in the game. The real kicker:  true to Janey Payney style, she still won the game even while sleeping through it. ~ Cali

My favorite part of the week was playing Werewolves with all the cousins.  ~ Abe

We enjoyed playing werewolf with EVERYONE, especially when Pal would plead his case ~Ande and Joe

Cards . . .

I liked playing card games.  ~Calder

Kickball . . .

Ande and Abe arguing whether or not Ande is safe.

It came to our attention that Jesse had the most
consistent percentage of being on base.

Michelle came 'this' close to getting a black eye the night before their wedding.

I liked playing kickball and winning. ~ Calder

I enjoyed playing kickball and games at the church. ~Cache

I enjoyed watching Bruce, Bert, Michelle, and Calvin slide into base during kickball. ~Rachel

My favorite has to be the many games of kick ball, family rivalries are always the best. ~Jesse

We liked playing kickball with everyone – especially when Uncle Bert would steal bases. ~Ande and Joe

I really liked playing kickball at the church. ~ Maddie

The weather was unpredictable and cool, so our plans changed from swimming/hiking/etc. to playing kickball at the church.  We not only played once.  We not only played twice.  We played kickball three different times and still more was requested.  Not only did we play, we kept score.  We argued whether or not Tate’s runs and outs should count and he’s only seven.  The homerun rules changed a couple of times and it got an “edgy twist” more than once, but as Jesse says, “Family rivalries are always the best.” ~Jane

Lie-brary . . .

We enjoyed playing Lie-brary with the Ellsworths. ~Ande and Joe

I enjoyed playing Lie-brary with Ande and Joe. ~Rachel

Games for the moment . . .

I liked playing games with my cousins. ~ Pal

I liked all of the games. ~ Calvin

It doesn’t matter whether we were trying to climb 72 steps at 6,500 ft elevation without taking a breath, or waiting for Ty and Michelle’s wedding, if there were Ellsworth or Payne kids, there was a game. ~Jane


Cali and Ray

I enjoyed poking Cali's belly trying to get her baby to play with me. ~Rachel


I liked showing off how many pull-ups I can do. ~Calder

I liked eating twisty fries that Aunt Chris bought for us during the graduation. ~Calder

I liked breakfast.  ~Calder

I enjoyed listening to Calvin instruct Pal on how to cure his new raccoon hide with the brains of the raccoon, and tasting the Pemmican he made for Calder. ~Rachel

I liked seeing all the mountains.  ~ Pal

Hydn and Calvin
Nothing like being at a place where it's politically correct to have a gun.  

Hydn and Grace

Ray and Hy

Hydn and Bert

I adored the constant 24 hour attention. ~Hy
Hydn filled in all the lulls. He was the best toy. ~Jane

I enjoyed Abe and Grace letting us clutter and fill every room in their house -never once complaining.  ~Aunt Rachel

I liked sleeping on the huge bed.  ~Maddie

Abe and Grace have a large sectional.  They put an air mattress in the middle of it so everyone could fit.  (And that is your homemaking tip for the post.) ~Jane

I loved being able to visit with all of the girls in the mornings and evenings. ~Ande

Owen and Pal

I enjoyed watching Pal find a new friend/cousin and watching them both cry when they had to leave each other.  ~Rachel

This was a common sight – Pal with Owen.  Tate, Owen’s brother, was usually close by, but these two were inseparable and went with each other in every car, every time.  I was standing in line at the reception when Pal and Owen came up to me and Pal said, “Aunt Jane do you believe in ghosts.”  I said, “No.”  He said, “What about Aunt Chris’ ghost?”  I said, “You’re right.  I do believe in ghosts.”  Pal turned to Owen and said, “See.  There are such things as ghosts.  You just have to rescover them on your own like I did.”  Rachel told Krista and Lee they would probably need to do damage control after the kids were separated because those little boys talked constantly. It was fun to see these cousins meet and instantly become friends. ~ Jane

Cousins, Jesse and Jake.  (We filled a cooler and took it with us several of the days.) 

I enjoyed Jake's contagious grin and him coming to sit by me.  ~Rachel



I enjoyed Chris surprising me with a new academy pin for my collection right after she gave me a tight hug. ~ Rachel

Lydia, Eliza, Zoey, Lee, Krista, Abby
Owen and Tate

We enjoyed getting to talk with Calder, Cache, and Zoe in our car.  ~ Ande and Joe

We enjoyed giving riddles to Tate, Owen, and Pal while driving in the car.  ~Ande and Joe

I really enjoyed meeting Michelle and the Chadwick family. ~Maddie

I enjoyed Lee and Krista and their girls -especially when Lydia beat Cache at arm wrestling. ~Rachel

Chris, Rachel, and I tried to take a sisters picture.  Ray was not about to be left out.

I enjoyed seeing Jane so excited to see everyone.  ~Calvin

We enjoyed Abe's presentation.  ~Ande and Joe

Cali had asked Abe if he’d tell us what he’d done during his deployment to Iraq when we came.  He prepared a power point presentation and showed it one night to everyone.  It was really interesting and good to see details of where he’d been, the terrain, who he’d served with, and what they’d done. ~Jane  

Preparing cobblers for the dinner the night before the wedding.

I especially enjoyed the kids as they commented that they are related to the greatest people ever. ~Rachel


I enjoyed taking pictures with Joe's camera. ~Maddie


Joe and Maddie were our official photographers.  Four-fifths of the photos are theirs.  It was so nice just smiling and pointing to something you’d like a picture taken of.  ~Jane

Ty and me

I enjoyed watching the precise planning that Jane always carried through with a smile (personal snack sacks for the ride to the temple, getting twenty five people to scheduled events acres apart, etc..) while she tried to hold back tears of nostalgia. ~Rachel

The Choir Concert

Calvin, Grandpa Greg, and Abe during "The Army Goes Rolling Along," the Army song.

Ty during "Wild Blue Yonder," the Air Force song

One of my favorite events of graduation week is the under-publicized choir concert.  The selections are inspiring, and it always amazes me they can pull so many good voices together out of a student population of 4,000, especially because the cadets have so many time demands and I don't know how they add one more elective club to their schedule.  Nonetheless, the choir is always inspirational.  The crowd favorites are the patriotic songs, especially the Armed Forces medley where each branch's song is played and those who served in that branch stand and sing.  It's quite moving.  Calvin never even tries to wipe his eyes during the choir concert.  There's no need because the next song will just make you cry again. ~Jane

Air Force Academy Tour

Michelle, Ty, Cali, Calvin, Abe, Grace at the indoor track.  Ty said sometimes the oxygen level is
so low it causes some of the cadets to pass out, at least get sick, after a 600 meter run.
But . . . the murals are sure cool.

I enjoyed the tour of the campus and seeing the gym. ~Calder

I really liked Ty giving us a tour of the Air Force academy. ~ Pal

I enjoyed everybody laughing as they shivered and walked in the rain/sleet to tour the campus. ~Rachel

The Reception and Ball

Ty's cheering squad
I liked the ice sculptures. ~Pal

I liked watching people dance at the ball.  ~Pal

I enjoyed watching Charlie dance at the ball.  ~Rachel

There was a formal reception and ball the night before graduation.  The food was wonderful – three kinds of shrimp, fresh fruit, desserts and pastries, Mexican, Chinese, and meat carving stations.  It was beautifully displayed and tasted really good as well.  Our large group is covering one of the large ice sculptures on displayed.  Sculptures included a horse, the Air Force chapel, and hmmmm . . . I don’t remember what else;  I was at the shrimp bowl.  It was a fun evening tasting and trying all of the foods while dressed up. ~Jane

The Commissioning

This rainy picture (taken right before the reception and commissioning) came at the price of flat hair
for the rest of the night.  It was worth it.

Abe - Ty

Abe, Michelle, Ty, me, Calvin

I enjoyed watching the adoration in my boys' eyes when handsome, uniformed Abe commissioned handsome, uniformed Ty at the Superintendent’s house -while we ate dainty snacks. ~Rachel

Ty’s AOC officer, Colonel Patterson said that when he saw Abe commission his brother he almost cried.  It was humbling to hear Abe administer the oath to Ty to ". . . protect the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic" of his own volition and to realize that both are now men willing to serve their country at sacrifice to themselves.  Right before Abe began the oath he asked Ty if he still wanted to go through with it, adding, “It’s not too late to join the army.” ~Jane

The Graduation & Awards

I enjoyed watching the ceremonies of the graduation. ~Cache

I enjoyed the graduation ceremony, especially seeing the look in Michelle’s eyes when they called Ty’s name.  They filled with tears and you could tell she was so proud of him.  ~Calvin

I enjoyed feeling extremely honored to be related to Ty as they announced his name for the top 2% in his class and his multiple awards. ~Rachel

We enjoyed getting to clap for Ty being in the top of his class. ~Ande and Joe

It was an incredible event.  Ty was one of 16 that graduated with military, academic, and athletic honors.  He did very well.  Someone asked me if I was proud.  I’m not so much proud as I am relieved.  Where much is given, much is required and Ty has been given many talents.  I am grateful he utilized them as he tried to help other cadets reach their potential. ~Jane

The Hat Toss


I really liked all the hats going up. ~Pal

We enjoyed watching the hats get thrown in the air.  ~Ande and Joe

The Academies have a tradition of the cadets or midshipmen putting a note and some money in the pocket of their hats.  Upon the announcement that they have graduated, the hats are tossed into the air and little children run on to the field and collect the hats.  At the same time, thunderbird jets are flying over the stadium with a mighty roar.  It is one chaotic and wonderful moment.  I couldn’t help but think, “There is $20,000 right there for the taking” as most of the 1000 cadets put at least $20.11 in their hats. ~Jane

The Airshow


I really liked the airplanes flying over the stadium.  ~Pal

I really liked the graduation’s fly over. ~Maddie

I liked the jet power.  I liked the pilots' formations.  I liked the noise.  I liked the air show.  ~Ray

On cue, an air show begins as the cadets toss their hats into the air.  You don’t see the jets coming, suddenly they are just flying over you and you hear a loud roar.  It’s incredible.  Patriotic music plays as the pilots show various maneuvers.  It’s thrilling.  You can’t leave the stadium once the show begins because the jets are flying too low to the ground for the public’s safety.  Hearing all the car alarms go off only adds to the pandemonium and energy.  It’s incredible. ~Jane

I loved it all.  Every day was enjoyable and it's hard to choose just one or two things, although I did enjoy Jane's gasps when she kept thinking the two planes would collide in the flyovers.  ~Bert

It’s true.  It was worse than a scary movie watching them maneuver, because it was real.  What if they lost count, or one pilot said, “one mississippi, two mississippi” faster than the other one? ~Jane

The Dinners

Ty sitting by himself during the family graduation dinner

Ty's host family, Mike, Whitney, and Eliza.

Michelle's grandparents Gladys and Grant

I enjoyed the graduation dinner where we told Ty why we appreciated him.  ~Cache

We enjoyed Ty and Michelle's appreciations to everyone and everyone's appreciations to Ty. ~ Ande and Joe

After Ty’s graduation, friends and family gathered at the church.  Cali and Ray provided pizza for everyone and Ty sat in the center.  Everyone in the room told Ty why they loved and appreciated him.  There were some wonderful stories told and the kindest sentiments.  More than one person choked on their words.  Ty has made a difference in the lives of the people he knows. ~Jane

Ty has been Justin's hometeacher for many years.  Once Justin found out that both he and Ty have A+ blood,
no one could convince him they were just friends.  No sir.  They were brothers.
Here Ray is helping Justin give his sibling toast to Ty and Michelle.  It was the sweetest.

Michelle and Ty

I enjoyed the wedding dinner when Ty and Michelle introduced all of us and told why they appreciated us.  ~Cache

The next night family and friends gathered at the church for a wedding dinner (that church building was a God-send).  This time Michelle and Ty introduced each one of their guests and told us why they appreciated us.  It was a sweet way for them to let everyone know that they are important and loved.  The siblings each gave a toast to Ty and Michelle.  I suppose Dallin’s expressed the group’s sentiments best, “Here’s to kissing in Maryland.”  Ty and Michelle are kissers.  In fact, I had them bring 30 gold dollar coins.  Anybody that caught them kissing could collect a dollar.  Michelle is frugal, Ty is a tightwad (so says Abe), but they were out of coins in no time.  The sweetest thing of the evening was when Michelle sang a song to Ty.  ~Jane

The Finale

Ty hugging Greg, Michelle's grandpa

Ty hugging LTC Phipps, a friend, mentor, and first host family

Cali congratulating Ty

Michelle and Ty

Michelle's family.  Grandpa Greg and Grandma Carol, Grandpa Grant, Ty, Michelle,
Michelle's dad Brian, and brother Dallin, Michelle's mom Kathy and sister Jayna

Friend Matt and Ty

Ty's host family, The Greens.  Mike and Whitney, Jake, Eliza, and Cole.   Whitney set Ty and Michelle up.

The Ellsworths
Cache, Bert, Rachel
Jesse, Hydn
Calder, Maddie, Pal
(Justin is missing because he's in Italy serving a mission.)

The Billingtons
Jake, Bruce, Charlie, Chris

The pun in me wants to say, "Brothers in Arms," the uncheesy side of me says let the photo say it's own thing.

I loved seeing the family rally to support Ty.  It was great to see cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and Michelle’s family show such respect for his journey.  It was neat that they all came to support him. ~Ray

I think Ray's comment sums it all up.  We had a wonderful time.

Thanks to Abe and Grace who hosted us, went shopping and had all of the food ready, the activities organized, and got us where we needed to be when we needed to be.  (One morning we left fifteen minutes late.  Abe said, "I'm only going to tell you once.  This is unacceptable.  Tomorrow we will get up 15 minutes earlier.  We will not be late this week."  It was wonderful having him in charge, and we weren't late again.  We cut it close a time or two maneuvering 30 people from place to place with a convoy of up to seven cars, but we were never late.)  Abe also arranged for some to stay in the military hotel so that we could be by each other.

Thanks to Page's for a barbecue, wonderful visiting time, and for coming to everything.  We have such good times with them.

Thanks to the Greens for being Ty's host family and making the story between Ty and Michelle happen.  Thanks to the Phipps for being his first host family and finding the Greens for him so that the story could happen (the Phipps moved on assignment to Norway for three years).

Thanks to the Ellsworths, Chadwicks, Billingtons, Follets, and Nehilas for the effort and sacrifice to be a part of this last week.

And thanks to Ty and Michelle for a reason to get together and making it such a great week.

It was one great journey. 


Anonymous said...

Wonderful pictures!! They really tell a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Loye

Kay Scott said...

What a beautiful post, Jane. What an amazing week. You have the most wonderful family. I hope you are still basking in the glow. Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

What an amazing time! Congrats to all of you Jane!

Tiffany Fackrell said...

I LOVED every word of this post!! thanks for sharing your life with us. What a fun time with tons of family and friends!

Michelle said...

Ok now I have tears in my eyes - what a wonderful post! But you have to share how to play Werewolf and Lie-brary with those of us who don't know how. Hugs Jane I miss seeing you!

Lucy said...

You really have a beautiful family. Congratulations to Ty on his graduation and exciting future and, of course, congrats on adding another wonderful person to your fabulous family. What a post to treasure!

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

How wonderful. You are so amazing at taking pictures.
I have about three posts waiting for me. I doubt I have 5 pictures from each event. I get to excited and forget all about it.

I am so glad it all went off without a hitch (or at least you make it look seamless)!

Ryan and Haley Krumblis said...

Oh my goodness! Of course I read the whole thing, I'm now waiting for Chapter 2!!!! It looks like SO much fun it makes me sad we couldn't be there! What a great experience. I love all the sentiments of Michelle and Ty and the love that they show for each other. It made me tear up just reading it. How great for Ty, congrats on all of the accomplishments! And a bride to boot! Hooray! Hooray that the wedding day finally arrived! I can't wait to see everyone this weekend!

mommar said...

Love you guys to pieces!I cried through the entire wish I could have been there!
Love, Charlotte

Alisa said...

This was such a treat to read. I love to read the chapters of your life's book.

Mama Tales said...

What a wonderful time for a wonderful family!!!!

Levi said...

I've been checking every day to know how it went. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

melanie said...

You really held back the tears of nostalgia?? I'm sitting here crying wondering how in the world you did that. I love this post. Every photo, story, game and smile. I knew it would be perfect and it is.

Jill said...

Wow, what a post!!! I know I always say this, but your family is absolutely amazing! The support shown for these big events is unreal. What a fantastic way for Ty and Michelle to start their life together.

Congratulations on raising such remarkable people!

Leigh said...

Do you know what I loved best about reading this post?

That it is clear through both the words and pictures that none of you take for granted that you are part of an extended family unit that most of the rest of the world only dreams about's idyllic really. And a testament to all who are a part of it.

Marie said...

What a marathon of a post! Amazing from start to finish. I love how much fun your family has when they all get together. No drama, no bickering, just good times.

The wedding photos were obviously my fav, but of all the rest, I'd have to say that all the cousins sleeping together with their sleeping bags fitting together like puzzle pieces.

Deidra said...

So much I could say, but I'll leave it at "this makes
my heart happy." So much goodness in this post.

Cali said...

I have SOOOO many comments to say about this post. However, the thought that is most prominent in my mind right this minute is a very vain one... can you believe those bags under my eyes in every picture. Good to know I look as worn out as I feel.

That was an INCREDIBLE blog mom. I loved reading it. I even read it twice. Thank you for being such a great historian for our family.


Deanna/Mimi said...

I am in awe of the wonderful Payne all are remarkable people. I praise you dear Jane for the wonderful job you did of mothering, teaching, loving and caring for your children. The work you put forth is showing up in wonderous ways. God is pleased. Congratulations.

JJ said...

Congrats, that was awesome. Love the pictures and you are the best story teller.

Whidget said...

Now THAT was a blog post. Haha. What fun!! It took me a while to read it, so I can only imagine how long it took to blog it! I need to blog Emerald's birth. Sheesh.

I love the quotes. So cute. And can I say your daughter is absolutely, disgustingly cute for a pregnant lady. I blow up like a blowfish and can't bring myself to even look for cute outfits but she just glows. When is that baby due?? So exciting!

Brenda Goodrich said...


Clark said...

we love it jsne your bigger picuter is good for you
ty he good man form me
and ty my skpe form me for your

michelle said...

Wow, wow. What a post! What a week! Unbelievable, all the people who gathered to support Ty and Michelle. Unbelievable, all the orchestrating that this required!

I love Abe saying that the lateness was unacceptable, and everyone listening.

I love the commissioning. What a moment for your family.

I love Michelle's reaction at the altar and your thoughts on being grateful for a woman who loves your son so completely. We should all be so blessed!

I don't know that I'd have any tears left after all of this.

p.s. Calvin makes pemmican?! I am SO curious.

Emma J said...

Wow! Great pictures, great achievement. I'm so happy for all of you!