Together Again!

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It has been one year since my brother wed his bride in a beautiful country chapel in Texas…

And one year since we were all together as a family.

I have been blessed with an awesome family. I recognize that the connection we feel and the enjoyment we get from spending time together isn’t always a given in familial relationships. I feel blessed to call these people not only my family but my closest and most cherished friends.

My only complaint is: We don’t see nearly enough of each other!

With my sister and her family tucked away in Northern Michigan, my parents planted in rural Ohio, and my brother and sister-in-love calling west Texas home, our paths don’t often cross…

but when  they do we enjoy a collision of fun!

Saturday was one of those rare occurrences. Kelly and her kids drove down from Michigan for the weekend. Travis and Krista flew in from Texas for a visit with Krista’s sister, Anna, and then the three of them drove out to the Homestead for a visit, and we managed to squeeze in time for a visit between the conclusion of youth conference and leaving for Virginia the following morning.

We didn’t have nearly as much time together as we would have liked but we were grateful for the short time we did have and made the most of our 1 day “Real Reunion” at the Homestead.

Kelly was already there with her 5 kids when we pulled in at 3:45. Oh, the delight among the kids when they caught sight of their cousins. I LOVE that Kelly’s and my kiddos are so connected and attached despite the infrequency of visits and the miles that separate our homes. When we finally do see each other, after months apart, the kids pick up again like it was just yesterday.

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Cousin Fun!

Travis, Krista and Anna pulled in 15 minutes after us.

Mom and Dad left to pick up KFC for our barn picnic while the kids played and the rest of us caught up on each other’s lives.

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Following lunch it was time for the birthday celebration!

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The following day was Dad’s birthday so our “Real Reunion” served the dual purpose of celebrating the head of this awesome tribe of people. What a delight it was to gather as siblings to celebrate our father’s birthday together. I can’t remember the last time we were all together for his special day.

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While together we also celebrated the other birthdays of summer. Because our get-togethers have become more infrequent (due to widening proximity and busier lives) we have taken to celebrating birthdays quarterly. On Saturday we celebrated all of our June, July and August birthdays…

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The remainder of the day was spent soaking up every last bit of love, laughter, and fun memories from our day together.

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We played games:

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Some enjoyed a dip in the pool:

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Everyone spent time socializing with the animals of the Homestead:

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And much fun was had with the bubble gloves we brought for each of the kids:

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At 9:00pm we headed home. We had a very busy week ahead of us. Toby held down the fort at home while the girls headed straight to Aunt Beth’s house for a week of house sitting, and the boys and I left for Virginia. Rusty was taking part in a week-long computer programing camp at George Mason University.

It wasn’t a long visit with our favorite people, but perhaps the rarity of treasured time only adds to its value. If nothing else, it certainly makes us appreciate the minutes we do have together all the more!

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