The Last Dance / The Ship's Cook


A Ball of a Month
June 2, 2015

Welcome back, Niedbloggers! Was a truly a full month for us here in Niednageland! Did you attend our ball? We have some great pictures from it, as well as from a little vacation we took and a bridal shower Melissa attended.

But first, 417 Magazine here in Springfield is running a "Most Beautiful" event where they highlight women in Springfield who are the most beautiful inside and out for their magazine. I entered Melissa and she made it to the top 20! Now we need your vote! Simply visit by clicking the picture below, if you would be so kind, so we can win and donate to the charity of our choice (The Rapha House)! Be sure to catch Melissa's interview as well! Thank you!

Thanks for stopping by!

Video Blog - May, 2015


And here we go ...

This is a bird's eye view of me enjoying a vacation by myself. I just rented a cabin in Branson for the weekend. No kids, and no responsibilities. Just me time.

Wait, how did this Shirley Temple clone get here!?

Ok, the family came too, as well as Jeremy's. It was to celebrate his birthday again, and he and mom treated us to a delightful weekend in Branson (you'll recall we did this last year)! Lots of mouths to feed!

Happy birthday, bearded wonder! You don't look a day over 50!

Time to catch "Jonah" at the Sight and Sound theater. It was really, really fantastic!

Please, just stand still for 2.5 seconds. I'm talking about Jeremy.

"Jade, get your grubby hands off me before I ..."

Show time!

Brad Steele finally gets some time alone to hit the links for a quick 18.

"Oh please, just give me some privacy!!!"

Jeremy may have kicked my can last year, but today he's going down!

Meanwhile, the kids enjoyed the local, freezing pool.

Almost needed to use the Friendly Family Filter for this one.

Turning into a fine swimmer.

This photo is a keeper!

William took this one. Kid's got an eye!

Hitting some range balls before the big day. No, I didn't beat Jeremy. Let's move on ...

So for the entire weekend we just let the kids watch TV on the couch.

Dinner doesn't get much better than this!

Out for a lovely stroll by the lake.

The whole time you just make sure you don't see any bobbing kids in the lake.

Aww ... I love thee.

Warning: A few cutie pictures here.

Judging from the hair color, you'd think Marian was adopted.

A time to relax and reflect.

Ok, I'll cut the slop and move on here. BUT JUST LOOK HOW CUTE SHE IS!!!!!

Sorry, one more picture. It was such a lovely evening and lovely place.

Time for a birthday party! Andrew's got his cone hat on and is ready for a big bash!

We're at the Bechard's home to celebrate Nathan's 6th or 7th birthday (I can't remember). Fun time!

Hello, Katie and Dan! These two love birds are engaged and are to be wed the following Saturday!

We jump ahead in time now to celebrate William's 6th birthday! Chocolate pie and some kind of banana jello! It was actually really weird! Like, not a good idea! Don't try it anytime soon!

Not sure what I like better ... mom's overly shocked face or Jer's dopey impersonation.

Yes!!! More stuff I can lose by next year!!!

Now these are actually awesome. They're called "Magna-Tiles," and you can build stuff with them (they stick together). Seriously, I recommend them to all parents out there. You're welcome.

You're a fine young man, Will. We love you!

K&D. Hmmm ... what does that stand for.

We jump ahead again to Katie's bridal shower! I wasn't there but I'm sure it was great!

Melissa and Kara Isker.

"Oh, a clock! Now we'll be able to tell time!"

All the ladies enjoying chit chat in the Frazier's lovely home.

"Oh, another clock! Now we'll really be able to tell time!"

"Dang that's a nice clock."

With the mother and mother-in-law.

Meredith and Katie.

I need to please my wife, so here's another photo of some girls. Thanks for your understanding.

Meliss and Katie.

Congratulations, you guys! Can't wait for the big day!

"Hey Dad, can I be on the blog again?"

My wife is becoming quite the rose connoisseur. Literally, you can't look out a window from our home right now without seeing a rose.

Uh oh, this looks to be perhaps another ball like last year? Are you guys a glutton for punishment? Yes. Yes we are.

But unlike last year, it's a masquerade ball! Get ready for some great photos from a crazy night!

The Cook family looking amazing.

The boys, as always, looking amazing. French revolutionaries.

And ... the host and hostess of the event.

I'm telling you, some of the outfits were just awesome. I almost bought this exact same leather vest ... until I saw the price. Yes, to best determine a bachelor from a married man, simply ask how much he spent on his outfit.

This would truly be an historic moment. Sir Thomas More meets the Phantom of the Opera.

Hannah!? What are you doing here!? The girls came down from St. Louis to surprise us. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

"I apologize for not mentioning we will be charging double for attending."

The phantom is not pleased with the presence of this shoeless bandito.

The phantom descends into the basement. "This bandito must vanamos."

Happy friends with happy faces.

A surprise birthday cake for Micaiah and Melanie.

The Thomases continue their disgusting tradition in the presence of hundreds of horrified guests.

Back to the dancing! Thank you, Melanie, for your excellent dance-calling!

"So like, could you show us how to do that again?"

Jessica's "mask" was amazing.

Evening falls, and the ambience turns magical.

Friends become lovers ...

Commoners become legends ...

The phantom's mere presence stops attendees as he passes.

A lovely time is to be had by all (thank you so much for these great pictures, Smithe family!).

Erik and Amber make a most handsome couple indeed.

The phantom and his "Christine" dance the night away.

Truly, Kalea was looking quite regal that evening.

More dances are taught and learned.

We again find graceful Hannah being graceful as she graces the floor with such grace.

I admit that balls are not particularly my thing. Yet, when you get out there, and the music is playing, and everything starts falling into place, it all really is quite ethereal.

Aha! Even Jeremy dressed for the occasion! Save this picture onto your hard drive, folks!

"I could have danced all night ... I could have danced all night ..."

A few final pictures from the month. We revisit with our little Shirley Temple.

We had a dozer guy doze a path to a small spring on our property. Quite cool!

Best friends.

Check out that watch on Jadrian's hand. It's shaped like a toilet. Yep ... every 20 minutes it goes off to remind him to go potty. Genius, huh? I could use one of those.

Philip has a knack for catching critters.

Just a quick pic of mom at a tea party. Whatever she's talking about seems terribly interesting.

Grandma and the munchkins. They sure do love her.

And that's it! Did you have a ball at our ball? If so, leave us a comment! Thanks so much for stopping by, and may the Lord bless your month!