After spending 4 days in NY with family, I was reminded again of the blessing of a large family. I am so thankful for parents who embraced the vision of receiving with joy the blessing of 7 daughters and 2 sons. Now that 8 of us are married and have been blessed with children of our own, their blessing has multiplied to a grand total of 71(which includes 3 great grandchildren)!! Since my parents, 4 of my sisters, 21 of the grandchildren, and 2 of the great grandchildren live in NY, our time there is always busy with so many enjoyable family activities. Following is a chronicle in pictures of some of the happy memories we made.

Some of the cousins made memories by playing a rather noisy game of "I Doubt It".
Becca and Elizabeth could have won a prize for getting the dirtiest at the park!

Uncle Joe, a great horseman, gave our children the privilege of horseback riding on "Buck".
My sister, Sarah, hosted a lovely lunch for the ladies (both young and old).

There were 5 girl cousins born within a year and a half. Those 5 delightful blessings: Brianna, Becca, Elise, Elizabeth, and Sarah Elizabeth spent many happy hours together playing dolls, etc.

My father, who loves birds, showed Denver and Hudson how to feed bluebirds.

A rich treasure...........storytime with Grandpa for Taylor and Elizabeth.

As I thought about the rich Christian heritage my parents have given to their descendants, I was reminded of Psalm 127:
"Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."


We made it!

After 14 hours traveling, we are finally here at one of our favorite
vacation spots on earth! We arrived at Grandpa's yesturday
evening in time for one of Grandma's delicious meals. (now, I know
I'm the grandaughter, but my grandma's are the best cooks there
are!! seriously. :D)
This morning we got to pick the strawberries for Grandma, and
then we went over to the Haiti Benefit Auction in Penn Yan. It was so
fun to see all our NY friends & cousins, as well as several Kalona
people who had come up for the auction.
After that Mom & we 5 oldest children went over to the Windmill
(a local flea market type of place) where Mom used to work when
she in NY. It was so much fun to browse thru the buildings, take
a pony cart ride with grandpa's cousin)and even
meet some old acquaintances of Mom's!
Tonight we are planning to just be here at Grandpa's. Mom is
making pizza, & we're probably going to eat out on the deck
overlooking the lake.
What precious memories we are making!
We love you, Grandpa & Grandma!


"This train is headed east...."

Yes, that's right~we're New York bound!! Our family is SOOO excited! No, we're not going to New York City. We are going to the (in my opinion) most beautiful spot in all of New York. Mom's parents live on a hill overlooking a gorgeous lake. The view is incredible. But the view is nothing compared to the wonderful time we are going to spend with our cousins, uncles, aunts, & grandparents!!
Stay posted......we'll have photos in a week or two!
And for now, "this train is leaving in just 1 hour..........!!" :D


Mulching the garden...

Denver, Hudson, & Taylor....totally drenched!
The last several days have been especially busy ones for our family as we've been preparing for company this wk end. Lots of gardening, mowing, cleaning.....at times like these it is especially fun to be in a large family! Just imagine how much work you can get done when 11 people are helping!! (yes, even Hudson was carrying buckets of mulch to Mom....and having a blast!) We make so many memories on our work days, and usually get alot done.

This morning the project was mulching the new flower bed in front of the house, & also the one down by the shop. We started in a big hurry, because it was quite obvious that "rain was in the air", and our "weather reporter" informed us as we started that the rain was just a few counties away. Our "relay team" got started, and in no time mulch was flying. (literally, unfortunately...) 2 people in the pickup bed, loading mulch into 5 gallon buckets, 4 people carrying buckets back & forth, & 2 people dumping & spreading.....yes, we had quite a crew...and that wasn't even everybody! The weather man kept us informed and unfortunately the news kept getting worse. Here's a sample of the dialogue: "Come on guys!! You're doing great! Keep it up!! The rain is only 1 county away!!" Well, the "counties" kept getting smaller and smaller ( and the rain kept getting closer and closer) until, yes you guessed it, about 20 minutes near done, the downpour hit. We were too close to done to quit, so we kept going ....and got quite wet too! We got done though, and had so much fun!:D