We spent this weekend in Branson with my entire family (minus Andy who was away on a guys' weekend). My brother and Michele are very gracious in accommodating 17 (sometimes 18) people at once.
On Saturday, we headed to the home of the family who were our best friends when we were growing up. This is Chris and Brenda, with my Mom and Dad.
They have two daughters who are each one year apart in age as my sisters. We spent a lot of time with them when we were younger. Oldest to youngest...Matt, Me, Amber, Cary, Tara, and Tracy...why are we posing like this, you might be asking?
It's just what we do. We have taken a few other "train" pictures over the years. This was the original one, when we were actually still stair-stepped. Matt was even wearing his conductor hat to complete the look. I don't know if we just happened to be dressed in matching order coincidentally. Or if Matt always tucked his t-shirts into his sweatpants.
4 little boys, playing with sticks and toy guns, under the pool deck...innocent and fun orneriness just waiting to happen
That's Tornado, smiling, as Winnie is running to the "playground." I wrote about our last year's visit HERE. Looks like it was a little chillier that time.
Tara's son, Waylon, and Grace
Dash, playing football with Brady...that is, I'm pretty sure that's Brady...
There was a lot of game playing going on, as you can see.Pierson likes to walk around with his hand stuck into the top of his pants, which I find adorable.
I'm a terrible mother, I'm sure, for posting this, but hopefully she will forgive me one day. I told Sissy to let me take her picture. She was not in the mood. I took it anyway, which made her really mad. She let out this strangled squeal, "Don't put it on your blog!"
I just think it's humorous because I never said anything about my blog. She just knows where the photos end up. Maybe it will help if I post a picture she does approve of.
I don't know how legal it would be for Ryan to take Chris's semi for a little spin down the driveway, so let's just say he may or may not have. And let's say if he had done that, I'm sure he would have really enjoyed it. And was making plans for early retirement to become a truck driver.
The kids enjoyed piling into the cab, as well. How cool is it to see a truck that has a bed in it? My siblings and I were always mesmerized by my aunt and uncle's travel trailer. We called it the "dollhouse," and it was always a special treat to get to climb through it and look around. I'm sure that's what this was like for them.
He was NOT amused, however, by the repeated blare of the truck horn. The kids enjoyed taking turns pulling it. Rush kept this look on his face for quite awhile, just staring at it.
My Grandfather and his wife live in the neighboring town so after a great lunch and day of visiting, we drove over there next. My aunt Judy and uncle Gary happened to be there, as well.
I was surprised that Rush was letting Grandpa hold him. My kids are always a little hesitant around older relatives they don't see very often. Cary said he always loves to cuddle with Grandpa.
I'm, once again, joining the ladies at the Gratitude Community. This is an attempt to make life all about "worship and counting your blessings." I'm adding #281-331
Today I am thankful for:
Grandpa, Winnie, Judy, Gary, Rush, Winnie, Cary, Grace, Owen, Pierson, Clara, Matt, Michele, Tracy, Mom, Dad, Chris, Brenda, Amber, Aaron, Brady, Bryant, Aidan, Tara, Perry Mae, Lorene, Waylon
(that's not my entire family - these are just the ones I saw this weekend).
Rush, putting a smile on Grandpa's face
everyone who ever helps make Grandpa's life easier for him
trees to climb
that my daughter has other little girls to hug
Chris and Amber, making it to dinner...they know what I mean
older kids playing patiently with younger kids
the imagination that turns a stick into so many different things
the cookies Cary made for us
Grace, giving up her bed for us
my mom's late night trip to Wal-Mart for us
hospitality, someone sharing their home
the generosity of people for allowing our dogs to come with us
Matt heard Sissy crying in the middle of the night, so he cuddled with her to give her comfort.
my niece asked Jesus to come into her heart
a fun day at Silver Dollar City on Sunday
I know Dash would say he was thankful for the video games he got to play with Owen. We don't really have video games at our house...yet. A funny thing he said recently: I was talking to him in the car, but he clearly wasn't listening. I asked him what he was daydreaming about. He very simply said, "Video games." How I envy the life and mind of a young person.