A Weekend With the Family

I had a busy weekend. I worked from 6:40 am to 5:10 pm on Friday. I got home and shortly after that, my adult kids and grandkids started arriving.

A wonderful man in our area passed away and I wanted to go to the wake. My adult sons, Karl and Buck, wanted to go as well. We couldn’t find a babysitter for the kids so I sent the boys and stayed home with the kids. I will send a card later. The boys explained my absence.

Then Kalissa’s boys came. Kalissa a commitment she needed to go to so now I was up to six grandkids.

Shortly after that, Kayla and Spence came with Jasper. I was up to seven grandkids now. I was happy Kayla and Spencer were there as I was pooped and happily joined in the idea of ordering pizza.

Here is Gannon hanging out.

We hung out that evening. Lilly wanted to stitch.

Of course, I loved that idea too.

I had to bust out laughing. My son Karl came back and Lilly ran up to my cross-stitch wall and yelled, “Look Uncle Karl. I stitched that one.” It was my Heaven and Nature Sing cross-stitch piece with the huge red house in the middle. She actually helped with the big red house on Pet all the Dogs. She is happy to stitch. I hope someday I see her stitch something herself…and that she’s still interested in it.

The next day we had family pictures slated. Oh my. What a mess with 19 people in one photo with 10 of them being between the ages of 8 and 18 months. We had planned pictures last Fall and then people got sick. So we rescheduled them two times after that. This time is finally worked but our clothes are all more Fallish. But that’s okay. I didn’t want everyone buying new clothes.

Here the kids are hanging out waiting for the photographer. It’s Anders, Eli, and Jasper.

I was so happy to be getting family pictures and so sad at the same time. Family pictures are so hard when you’re a widow. There is always someone missing. The partner you had that made all of these people happen, isn’t there. I am so blessed to have good kids and good grandkids. The only person in the world who could appreciate them all exactly as I do isn’t there.

After events like this my husband and I would always talk about how the kids have grown, remind each other of old stories of the kids and marvel how we ever got them all out of diapers, let along on their own with kids!! I miss that so much. Having my husband to talk to about the kids is in the top five things I miss most. We are the only two that shared that family history in the same capacity.

My biggest wish when I found out that my cancer had returned was to get family pictures without me looking sickly. One of my biggest regrets about my husband passing is that we didn’t take family pictures before he was sickly and in a neck brace. I wanted so badly for the pictures to have him look normal and like himself.

So…I got my wish this day. I’m hoping I might be around for a few more years and we might make a tradition of getting them taken at least every other year…just no formal pictures once I’m sickly…snapshots, I don’t care but that’s where I draw the line.

Being we had all the kids we didn’t want to travel to take pictures. There are some nice places down near the park where we took the pictures. Here’s the tribe at the park waiting for the photographer.

We have a river that runs through town. Along the river was where all the pictures were taken. Keeping Eli and Emmett away from the river was a monumental task. Thankfully they got interested in rocks.

Here we all are walking back to my house.

We had some AMAZING food. Craig smoked a pork shoulder for pulled pork. I made potato salad. Karl made the best mac and cheese. I am going to pin him down and share the recipe there. I am not a big mac and cheese fan, this, I love! Kelli made orange fluff salad and dip. Other things got filled in by the rest of the family.

Gradually some of the family left. By supper time on Saturday night, I had Buck’s kids. Karl and Buck had gone to see the Civil War movie at the theater. The kids and I became couch potatoes…but not before Lilly cornered me again and had me cross-stitching again. I’ll tell you more about that in the cross-stitch update.

That evening Lucy had gone to let the dogs outside and yelled, “Grandma Jo! You have to come and see this!” She loved the sunset. I let her take a picture to send to her Dad. She was so impressed and kept loving saying, “now we’ll have the picture forever so we can remember it.”

Speaking of Lucy…here is her card tower.

Sunday Buck and I took the kids to the park and went over to Kalissa’s house so we could return some stuff from the day before. The kids played again…oh, those kids love playing together.

Here is a picture I snapped at the park. It’s Buck and Scotty with their dog Spot.

I’m super thankful that the kids took the time to make family pictures work. It meant a lot to me. I’m kind of hoping before the summer is over that I can coral them all up again and have a work day at my house. I would love to do some more downsizing. Especially in the garage. Really it’s only the guys in the family that can do some of that. So fingers crossed we can make that happen.

I do know one thing for sure…I’m gonna have the same food menu again…Craig on pulled pork, me on potato salad, and Karl on mac and cheese duty. It was so good!! Even the kiddos ate it!!

I had a wonderful weekend…a little bittersweet but mostly sweet.

15 thoughts on “A Weekend With the Family”

  1. I’m so happy you had a chance to take photos with the whole family. That’s so important. The older I get, the more important they become. I understand your feelings regarding missing your husband. My husband passed in October of last year and I still find myself wanting to tell him something only to find he’s not here. There are some things that only have meaning between a husband and wife. I just hold onto the memories of those things and smile when I think of them. I love Mac N Cheese. Please have Karl share his recipe. I can’t wait to see how he makes it. Hugs to you!

  2. How wonderful that you could get those family pictures taken, it cant be easy with so many members. Love how everyone comes to your home to gather, you are blessed. I imagine that Kramer is looking down on you all and smiling. Looking forward to the recipe from Karl.

  3. Jo, such a joyful bittersweet time with family! So many memories that I wish I could share with my husband. There’s such an empty place in my heart without him. Praying for you and your health concerns. You are an inspiration to many!

  4. Jo, it’s fun to hear about your fun family ! When I taught preschool we had the kids “sew” with a piece of burlap in a hoop then used plastic needles and let them put yarn in their creation ! Lucy might like that too . The hardest thing is putting the yarn back in on the side you just can out of
    Thanks again for the updates., prayers for all continue.,Jeanne Bugg

  5. Beryl in Owatonna

    What a special weekend with your special family! You are so blessed!! The pictures are so special!! I love the sunset! Kids don’t usually respond to a sunset.
    Keep doing these things, they all will remember as the years go by.
    I am praying for you and everyone else too.

    1. That is great news. So happy for your w/e. We will be taking family photos this w/e and we are missing a grandson. So this is hard being the first time.

  6. Judith Fairchild

    Oh what a weekend!!!! Memories for everyone to treasure. Loved seeing the family together. As to family pictures with a loved one gone on. One of my uncles family had lost a child to a car accident. They kept a photo of her in every family picture for remembrance of her.

  7. Such lovely memories for you all. I’m glad you finally managed to get your family photos taken. It must have been lovely to have everyone together for the weekend. It’s so nice for Lily to want to stitch with you – this is a great foundation for her future hobbies!

  8. Barbara Firesheets

    Sounds like a perfect weekend with the kids and grandkids! So fun to hear that Lucy loves to cross stitch with you. She will remember these times. My Great Grandmother (Grannie is what we called her) would come out to California from Arkansas to visit us. She taught me how to crochet. I still have fond memories of us crocheting together. She was also a quilter. Now that I quilt, I wish we could have quilted (or pieced) something together. My parents had a Grandmother’s Flower Garden on their bed she hand pieced. It’s still one of my favorite quilts.

  9. What a wonderful time. Makes me smile and teary-eyed at the same time. There’s nothing like family photos. How blessed you were able to get everyone there!
    And the food sounds delish – can’t wait to see the recipe for the mac and cheese.
    I love that Lucy is getting into cross stitching. I have a grand daughter that loves it too, as well as her Mom.
    Love and prayers

  10. I’m so glad you got to have some family pictures taken. Great memories for sure. You are so blessed to have your kids and grandkids close. You have a beautiful family. Hugs to you and yours!

  11. Joy in NW Iowa

    I am happy you were able to do family pictures! Cannot wait to see the antics your little ones could do with a family picture. But, to me that is part of the fun!
    Take care!

  12. Hearing about your gr’kid weekends always makes me smile. I don’t live close to my “littles” and I enjoy haring about yours. I was thinking about Lily and her interest in needlework. When my daughter was small I helped her learn the concept of counting squares with Chicken Scratch stitching. It may be something you and Lily could try with some success. It is done with gingham fabric.

  13. I am so happy you finally were able to get the family photos taken. They will be priceless in years to come. What a bunch, but oh so much fun. I remember some of those days when family was closer and we all had young ones. You are so fortunate to have them nearby! I can hardly wait to see those pictures. So cute you and Lily stitching. What a little sweetheart and Lucy is so cute, as are the boys. Oh my so much fun!! You are making good memories for your grandkids and those are priceless (as they say on TV).

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