Our reason for traveling to America was to help celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday. We had been thinking about this for a year already; at first, I was hoping to be able to come with just a few children. When we were given a lot of money after Seth died, however, we started thinking it would be possible to all come, and we’re so glad we were able to. All eight of my mother’s children and their spouses, and 22 of the living grandchildren (one step-grandchild was missing) were there, for a total of 38 people. What fun! We spent about 4 1/2 days together, getting to know each other again and enjoying watching the children play. Most of the time, we were at my one brother’s house; it’s a large house with a huge lawn and a pond that the children played in part of the time. Here is Mr. Sweetie helping Little Miss ride the toy fire truck on the deck. I’m just putting in a few of the many pictures we took, mainly of my children, because I didn’t get permission from the other parents.
Mr. Sweetie and Mr. Imagination playing with a cousin.
Decorating Grandma’s cake.
The matriarch with all her gifts.
Gayle catching up on some emails.
Remarkably, it didn’t take too much time to feed so many people; we didn’t really do any planning ahead for meals, but things fell into place and every had plenty to eat, on time, every time.
Two of my brothers and a brother-in-law getting the evening fire going.
Little Miss and a baby cousin.
My boys with some uncles, an aunt, and on of my cousins.
Ready to leave for church at my brother’s, the same place we had the family gathering. See Little Miss’s hair? She leaves it that way for a few minutes at a time!
The day after most of the family left, a few of us went canoeing. Included were our family, my sister, and one of my cousins who had come to see the family. The river was billed as quiet and calm, very safe for little children. Well, it had been raining, and was in flood, and we didn’t realize till we started out how fast and strong the current was, or how many trees were fallen down across it. It was not easy, and not safe. We all made it safely to the other end, though, thankful for God’s protection and that we all wore life jackets—and I was very glad I didn’t take my camera along! This was as we were getting ready to start out, when everything and everyone were still clean and dry and excited about the trip.