Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Weekend with Family

This past weekend we were able to enjoy an early Thanksgiving with some of my Dad's side of the family which was so enjoyable! Saturday our kitchen was busy in preparation as my Mom made cookies and apple pies and I made a bunch of rolls.

Then early Sunday morning (as in, 4:00 in the morning early!) found us up and getting ready to make the trek to Nebraska. The entire drive was through dreary skies and also rain much of the way, though the miles and hours seemed to go by quickly. 

Crossing the Elkhorn River

We were some of the first ones to arrive at my aunt and uncle's house (who were hosting), and it was so nice to see them again as well as my Grandma and another aunt who were already there.

Grandma with Uncle Jim behind her, Mom, Aunt Marci and Dad

Before long, everyone else that was going to be able to come had arrived (save for one aunt who came later.) All in all, it was us four, my grandma, four aunts, two uncles, and two of my cousins and their families. It was wonderful seeing everyone again!

Aunt Linda with her two granddaughters

In the kitchen visiting and finishing the meal preparations

Some of the desserts plus rolls and salads

She really wanted Shiloh (the dog) to play with her, and Dad was trying to get him to come out! He wasn't too keen on the idea right at that time. :)

Aunt Judy, Mom, and Aunt Linda working on meal preparations

Tonya (our cousin) holding her son, Mom, Leah, Aunt Linda and Aunt Judy

Leah, Melinda (our cousin) and Grandma visiting . . . we had many wonderful conversations together!

I loved spending time with both of these special girls!
(Photo by Leah)

In the background: Leah, Melinda and Grandma
In the foreground: Aunt Marci, Dad, Uncle Pat, and Byron 

The day was wonderfully filled with much visiting, laughter, reminiscing and telling family stories, working in the kitchen together, enjoying a delicious meal of so many different dishes that people had brought, and more.

Ethan giving me one of his more mischievous smiles.

 Aunt Linda, Aunt Judy and my Mom . . . it was fun listening to them!

Dad with his brother Pat and one of Uncle Pat's granddaughters

Leah and one of our cousins' sweet girls enjoying time together

Aunt Linda and her grandson . . . he was such a smiley, fun little boy!

Dad and his older sister Marci visiting

Me with the sweet little daughter of one of my cousins
(photo by Leah)  

Grandma with both of her sons

Aunt Monica with one of her granddaughters

Dad and Grandma visiting
(photo by Aunt Judy)  

Some of the highlights for me were having a special talk with my Grandma about faith and trusting God in all things, visiting with my cousins including about natural/organic foods, gardening, etc. (we have quite a bit in common in our thoughts on those things!), having one of my cousins' little girls (the one in the below photo) run straight to me to give me a hug as soon as she came in the door (and then wanting to be close to either Leah or I so much during the day), playing a bit with my cousins' children, talking with everyone, and then simply seeing my family together, hearing them laugh, and just enjoying being there with them.

Family is such a blessing, and I am so thankful for all of mine!

Me and little cuddlebug :) . . . it was really nice to see her again!
(photo by Aunt Judy) 

The hours passed all too quickly and eventually it was time for goodbyes to be said, and the rest of the family headed for home. 

Grandma saying goodbye to Tonya and two of her children
(photo by Aunt Judy)  

A precious moment . . . I love seeing how much the great-grandchildren love Grandma and in turn, her all of us. She has such a big and loving heart, and I am so glad she's my grandma!

Andrew with his sleepy son and Uncle Jim
(photo by Aunt Judy)  

More hugs!
(photo by Aunt Judy) 

The remainder of the day found Uncle Jim, Aunt Judy, Aunt Monica, my parents, Leah and I visiting into the night. It was a fun and special time! And one I am thankful for.

The next morning we had intended to leave fairly early, but that didn't exactly happen. :) We instead sat around the dining room table with cups of hot chocolate and coffee and talked and talked and talked . . . until finally we had to pull ourselves away and begin the drive home.

On our drive up, I had noticed this impressive barn, house and outbuildings , so was prepared to photograph them on the way home . . . .

Isn't the barn amazing? And what a beautiful setting with the large trees and the fence. As always my curiosity was aroused, wondering how old it was, who had lived there, etc. etc.

Another old barn on the drive home

It was so windy on Monday that we were about blown home. :) We pulled into our driveway just a bit before dark so were able to do the animal chores in the remaining light.

I am so thankful that everything came together for us to take this trip and to enjoy this special and memorable time with family!


  1. Aw, how fun to have such a big family get-together for Thanksgiving! Your cousin Tonya's children are so adorable! It looks like you all had a wonderful time!


  2. Dear Sarah, the trip has been worth it, is it wonderful be able to assemble to the family and speak, laugh, be happy. Later as the years went by this recollection will last between all. An embrace. Mari Carmen

  3. It was, Jessi! They are, aren't they? And just as sweet as they are adorable!

  4. It was indeed, Mari Carmen! I am so thankful that we had this time together . . . and yes, years down the road we'll have all of the special memories.

  5. Looks like a great trip, Sarah. I love the pics of the barns. Wouldn't it be fun to gather a collection of photos of old barns and make some kind of picture collage to hang in your house?


  6. It was, Betsy! That is a neat idea . . . I hadn't thought of something like that!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)