Category Archives: Wedding

Westie goes to Sarah’s wedding

Yesterday Sarah married Wayne Wilson. Laura and I went to church for the ceremony.

Trish and Erin looked beautiful.

Westie attended the reception, but found the music a little loud.

Aunt Trish held him.

Sarah also held him.

We had pics taken in the photo both.

A fun day for all of us.

More wedding pics

Here are a few more of my favorite pics from our trip to Canada.
My kids with Grandma Halk, and the wedding topper on the cake from her wedding 59 years ago.

Us girls with my niece Stephanie

My family, without Jonathan

My great nephew Riley and Weston who is 6 weeks older. It will be fun to watch them grow up together.

Uncle Matt, Weston, Great grandpa Halk, Laura

My nephew Jason with Weston

Laura, Aunt Trishi, and Weston


All the great grand kids, 5 boys and 1 girl. Looks like we need a few more girls.

Great aunt Pattie dancing with Weston

Weston’s first dance was with great aunt Theresa

Lots of relatives with Stephanie

Tom hanging out with grandp and grandma Halk

We all had a great time in Canada.
Me and my mom


Stephanie and Jose got married

We had a wonderful time at Stephanie and Jose’s wedding.

Steph and Jose with Grandpa and Grandma Halk

Four generation picture with my family

Weston got tired out from all the dancing.

I had a wonderful time with all my siblings at the reception


Happy Anniversary

Happy 2 year anniversary Trish and Tom. It was so nice to spend time with both of you on our Asian trip. So wonderful for me to see you both so happy.
The Internet is down so I am unable to show some of your wedding pics. I liked this one from the Summer Palace on my phone.
I wish you an eternity of happiness.


Happy 1st Anniversary

Happy Anniversary Laura and Jonathan on the anniversary of being married one year. It is wonderful to see you both so happy and hoping for an exciting year ahead.

Love mom

Trip to Canada

Laura and I had a wonderful time in Canada visiting with family and friends for many special occasions.
Great to see mom on her “smooth ride chair.”


Laura felt like going for a ride.

I enjoyed visiting with my cute little grand niece and nephews.


Also nice to visit with Michelle and Mason.


We had a great time at Dennis and Mellisa’s wedding.


My first time to a Portuguese/Polish wedding.


I was told that the food would be amazing!! After a 6 course meal for dinner the seafood buffet followed at midnight. The lobster, crab, mussels, shrimp, chicken legs, pierogi, fresh fruit, and all the dessert you could imagine.


My mom and dad will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary on June 26th. A mass was said in their honor on Father’s Day. A real celebration to have their 6 children attend.


A lunch to follow with family and friends.

Jamie, Pattie, Joan, Mary, Theresa, Joe

Anna, Donald

mom 2

My three sisters and me.


I wish my mom and dad many many more years of happiness.


Johannesburg has a population of 3.2 million people (South African 2001 census), half of which live in Soweto and adjacent suburbs. The majority of the population is formed by South Africa’s black residents who mostly live in Soweto, while white residents amount to 500,000 (although the number is likely to be higher). There are also around 300,000 residents of other descent. Unlike other South African cities, no language group dominates, although English is the established lingua franca.

The city is the economic hub of South Africa, and increasingly for the rest of Africa. Although estimates vary, about 10% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP is generated in Johannesburg. Yet the city’s wealth is unequally distributed among its inhabitants causing the city to have, within its own borders, living conditions varying from first world standards to third world conditions. The contrast between rich and poor has led to one of the highest crime rates in the world. The more affluent tend to live in houses with a high level of security by western standards, whilst the less affluent live in less desirable housing conditions. Don’t avoid Johannesburg because of its crime however, since it is perfectly possible to have a safe and enjoyable stay if precautions are taken. Many South Africans choose to live here over other, safer parts of the country.

There are many things that are unique to Johannesburg. It features a distinct street entrepreneurship, and motorists can buy things from vendors selling goods at traffic lights, as in many other developing-world cities. This includes food, umbrellas, soccer balls, cellular phone accessories and many other goods. Barber shops consisting of nothing but a chair and an enthusiastic barber can be found on the sides of roads, although they tend to specialize in African rather than Caucasian hair. Mine dumps can also been seen throughout the city and are a reminder of the city’s legacy of gold mining. These dumps are fast disappearing as new gold extraction techniques have made it profitable for mining companies to reprocess these dumps.

With around 6 million trees, Johannesburg is most likely the world’s largest man-made urban forest. The city is certainly one of the greenest in the world, considering that the natural landscape is savannah.

The weather is generally regarded as excellent; temperatures reach the mid-30s Celsius (95°F) in the summer months (Dec-Feb) with little to no wind and with occasional, spectacular afternoon thunderstorms. Temperatures in winter can drop into single digits but snow is extremely rare.

(Taken from Wikitravel)

I enjoyed touring around Johannesburg and Witbank (a mining town), but I did notice all the security, and everyone has guard dogs.


We were able to visit with a wife of one of Mark’s co-workers in China. A beautiful home with security, dogs, and bars on the windows.


The poorer homes along the freeway.


I was surprised to see the gold waste dumps surrounding the city. I learned gold mining put Johannesburg on the map.


The shops on the streets in Witbank.




I was fascinated to watch the women walking along the street with their packages on the top of their heads.



Also surprised to see John Deere everywhere.


We noticed all the people selling items at the traffic lights, so John opened his window and purchased some sun glasses.

I enjoyed my trip to South Africa, and would love to visit the country again.

Pictures from the wedding

Mark and I had a wonderful time at Leandra’s and Hakkie’s wedding.

It was held out doors on a beautiful, breezy, sunny day.



The ceremony lasted about 30 minutes, and was very nice for Mark and I as it was conducted in English, by a Christian minister.


The flower girl, and ring bearer


Debbie (bride’s mom) Hakkie, Leandra, John (bride’s father, Mark’s co-worker)


Louie (bride’s younger brother, John’s son) Leandra, John


After the ceremony we entered the building, to wait for the reception to start. What surprised Mark and I was that the dancing started before the dinner. The music started at 6:00 along with speeches, which continued until 8:00 when the dinner was served.


The traditional speeches took place from the father of the bride and the best man. I was wondering what was going on when all the men picked up and moved their chairs to the front of the room for Hakkie’s speech. Tradition holds that the men heckle him during his speech, so he got louder but it was still difficult to hear him.


Not the best picture of Leandra, but you can see the beautiful beading on her dress.


Here the men are gathered around the groom.


Father and daughter dance


John and friend Krista


Louie, John’s son is quite the dancer and singer, so he dedicated this Afrikaans’s song to Mark and I. We just loved listening to this song, even though we did not understand the words, we loved the rhythm of the music.

The most memorial part from this wedding was the dancing at the reception. I learned that South African men LOVE to dance. Most weddings that I have attended have the women up on the dance floor for the evening. Here couples danced together every song, with a jazzy type of ballroom dance. It was never just all the women on the floor dancing to the fast songs. I loved just sitting and watching them gracefully move around the dance floor, for every song. The music was a great combination of English songs from the 70’s and 80’s, and Afrikaans songs. I should add that Mark and I also did a little dancing.

Sorry the video is a little dark of Louie singing, but you can hear the Afrikaans’s words and see the style of dancing.

Mark and I had a wonderful time, and one experience we will remember forever.


I just wanted to let you know that I added more pictures to my previous blog, on our luxury tent. You will actually get to see the comfy bed, and see why the tent camping was fine with me.

South Africa, here I come!

Mark and I will soon be packing to come home, but on the way we are going to stop in Johannesburg, South Africa for a wedding. Mark has worked with John at one of the rural mines in China for the last 6 years.  His only daughter is getting married, so I am thrilled to be gong to a wedding.

The invitation looked to be handmade, on paper with velvet trim.


I was surprised when I opened the invitation and found out it was written in Afrikaans.


South Africa has 11 official languages, and scores of unofficial ones besides. English is the most commonly spoken language in official and commercial public life, but only the sixth most spoken home language.

According to the 2001 census, Afrikaans is the third most popular language in South Africa, with 13 % of the population speaking it.

Tonight we will take the newly started direct flight from Beijing to Johannesburg, and it is only 16 hours!!

This will be my first time to visit South Africa and to be able to attend a wedding makes the trip very special. I am looking forward to sharing my adventures with all of you.

After the wedding we will be going to Zambia for a couple days to do some sightseeing. We only found out last week that we must get the yellow fever vaccine to enter the country, so after a few calls we found an office that had the vaccine. In my Chinese class I had just learned about going to the doctor, so I was quite proud of myself to understand some of what I was being told. The needle was quite painless, and no side effects, so we are good to go.

The reception, let the dancing begin!

Everyone enjoyed the reception which started with a delicious meal, emotional speeches, super fun dancing with a terrific DJ, and a sparkly exit for Laura and Jonathan.


Jonathan’s groom’s cake, his favorite snow board


I love this photo of the happy faces! (perhaps a joke by Matt)


Little sister gave a great speech


A speech filled with lots of emotion


The first dance of Mr. and Mrs. Miller

R035CC blog dancing

Simon learned all about wedding dances


Grandma Halk and Matt shook up the dance floor


Laura and her bridesmaids show their true colors in the photo booth.


The sparkly exit.