Henry eats the first peas from a pod
Then we piled all the stuff in the car and off we drove. Henry was a very good traveler and he was happy to watch videos on my iPad or reading with his mom but he was happy to get up and eat blackberry pancakes at the Cracker Barrel, Eeyore never far from him!
Luckily, Kennedys have a large countertop...see Jocelyn, Marissa, Dawn, and Susan
As you can tell, it was gonna be a picture-taking moment at every corner! Here's Steve snapping me, snapping him.
The kids as well as the adults were always in and out of the pool...temps ranged up to 108 degrees.
Ken and Jocelyn
Marissa and Jordan
Ken and Jordan start the crust and Jordan, having worked at Tommy's in Columbus was an ol' hand at this.
But Ken soon showed us his skills at tossing and spinning the crusts.
Cara fries up the sausage
Dawn and Susan chop the veggies
Marissa begins the homemade sauce (above) and Jordan starts his crust while Rob and Hillary look on (below).
Ella begins kneading the last of the dough. The kids were called in to assemble the pizzas.
The next day was Ella's 13th birthday. Nothing like having the whole family show up for her breakfast in bed, singing as much as we could...13! Another teen! And such a lovely one. She had previously asked me to use my Cricut to cut out the YW values so she could have them on her bedroom wall. It's pretty special when a young woman could be firm enough in her beliefs to have them on her wall. My friend, Diane Pepin, suggested I take my Cricut and laptop down to the reunion because using the transfer paper only really works on the spot...such perfect advice.
Waiting at the dock for the pontoon to return for the 2nd group.
Jordan, Peter and Lily.
Hillary, Cara, Kipp and Cody
Robert, Evan, Sam
We decided to eat while we waited...here's Dawn with her sandwich
Hillary and Rob
Peter, Evan and Dawn on the banana boat.
Peter, Evan, Dawn, Kipp and Sam
Aboard the pontoon..Jordan, Lily, Cody
Wheeeeee...look ma, no hands.
Sam steers the pontoon, and so similar in good looks as his dad. Can you see the resemblence?
Scarlett, Ella, Lily, Kipp, Sam
Robert tows the banana himself.
Give Lily and shovel and sand and she's all set!
Cara, Steve, Autumn, Scarlett, Jocelyn, Guy
Susan on the banana boat, just doens't understand why the kids must throw themselves off. I was worried I'd have to get off and get them and then would not be able to get back on.
Marissa and Henry, enjoying the speed of the pontoon. Not too fast but it was nice! Henry also loved the sand and the shovel.
Coming back to Cara's was hot again, and their lovely pool awaited us. It was now time for wonderful hamburgers and hot hogs and all the fixins for dinner. And always, throughout the days together there was prayer...aloud, and in our hearts. Nah, this was not posed and no, I probably wasn't very reverent in taking this picture but as I peeked through my eyelids at my assembled family, I noticed Cara and Jacob closest to me and just gave in to the urge. These two provided their home and their food and their knowledge to pull this together. Oh, I was grateful!
At night Jocelyn and Steve provided everyone with the glow sticks. They all had SO much fun in the darkening night to see the lights illuminating the pool fun. I don't have a big fancy camera so these pictures are not going to be worth much, except to me.
someone made bunny ears for Jordan
guy, autumn, jocelyn, scarlett
One of Cara's Seminary Students came out early on Friday morning and took family photos of us all, in all kinds of configurations. She own several high end cameras with several lenses and in looking at photos she's already taken of weddings and engagement, I must say that for at 15 year old, she has the EYE for photography. Am really looking forward to seeing more of her work, especially the family photos. It was so very hot on Friday (OK, let's face it. It was hot every day) and we nearly melted during the shoot. Dawn kept insisting that if she turned much redder she was not going to have her picture taken. But we accomplished it all and were happy to return to Cara's for a chill moment. Look at Robert, sleeping and snuggling with Mousey
Dinner was tacos and then we held the Hatch Family Feud game. Totally enjoyable. And fun that for the most part we all agreed on the same answers. There was one more night of swimming altho the boys were pretty insistent that Lazer Tag which had been on the agenda for the previous afternoon (til we ran out of steam) still be played. So one group of men/boys went there..ER, WITH ADELLE! The report back was the lazer tag lasted for 15 minutes and the rest of the time was spent with arcade games. It was a perfectly lovely reunion.
We gathered the next morning at Cara and Jacob's home. A number of years ago, I had started outlining the family hands on a table cloth and then embroidered them. Dawn reminded me of the cloth and suggested I bring it down and we add the many hands that have since joined our family. That was the last activity. Ending with a prayer and tearful goodbyes. I never know why there are tears at the end of family reunions. But we all cried to some degree. The cousins had a blast together and for the most part never remembered they had parents to bug. They just ran off and enjoyed each other. I am hoping we are all to young to worry about dying but death is and always will loom on the horizon for each of us. Perhaps it's that longing for the days when they were young and loving each other, being silly together, making memories together and not just remembering the memories that bring on the tears. I just know that I am grateful that I turned this event over to the next generation.
I can be happy to allow them to take charge. Some families have their reunions every year which would be so nice but for now I will be happy to have one every two years. This gives us all time to save up for whatever the future ones will hold.
To all my children and grands...thank you for a wonderful week. I love you all and sure hope you know this. Life is too short to remember unhappy things. And reunions such as this, reminds us to look forward to happy days and reunions here and hereafter.
Here are just some odds and ends; pictures I do not want to lose, memories I want to keep!
Evan and Peter and pingpong
Guy and Kipp and the iPod touch games
Adorable and Handsome Sam
Cutie Autumn, Lovely and pregnant Jocelyn and always Mousey
Here I am giving Rob sips of water from the very small cap of a water bottle.
Here I am giving Rob his first taste of real bananas. Actually I think Hillary allowed this so I didn't give him any ice cream from the Banana Splits.
Jacob found this perfect picture of a Corvette, vintage btw...now he needs one for real.
The backyard from the upper balcony/patio.
I am guessing the basketball standard is for the kids, the golfing area is for Jacob.
Here Cara polices the area around the pool. It was the best addition to their home since the kids came. And the surrounding 'green'? All astroturf! How cool is this?
Lovely terrace, wouldn't you agree?