Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Memories

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Summer is in full swing ... the 4th of July has come and gone, and nearly thirty family members have enjoyed a week together at our home this past week, and have now left for their homes. I have been going through the rooms of our home in the few days since they have left, cleaning up after the fun of nine grandkids and two nieces, and a full house of family. And I am reliving memories in my heart, thanking God for blessing our days together in so many ways, giving us a week that was even beyond my expectations. And as I refocus on what comes next, I want to pause and listen ...

"I speak softly to you, in the depths of your being. 
Ask My Spirit to quiet your mind 
so that you can think My thoughts. 
Sit quietly in My Presence, 
letting My thoughts reprogram your thinking."
(Jesus Calling)

Quieting my heart, and thanking Him for all His gifts this past week:

~ my youngest brother and his wife arriving first, the day before the 4th ... and a special noon meal together the next day at the retirement community where our father lives.

~ picking up my other two brothers and sisters-in-law, along with two nieces, later that day at the airport, and driving to our home for a very memorable evening together on the 4th ... so happy to all be together again, coming from the east coast and the west coast to the center, where we live.

~ filled with joy to be together again ... much laughter as we shared stories from the past together later in the evening, as the fireworks were going off in our neighborhood (sounds of celebration, for our freedoms, and also adding to the feeling of celebration we felt in our hearts to all be together again).

~ the arrival of a daughter and her four children the next day, and nearly 30 family members gathering at Mahoney Lodge that evening to celebrate the 90th birthday of our father and grandfather ... the three big tables surrounded by the sweetest people in the world. (more photos here)

~ the next evening we all gathered at our home for a barbecue to celebrate eight June and July birthdays ... a granddaughter turning 4 that very day, my husband's and a son's late June birthdays, three of our brothers' July birthdays, and two nieces turning 12 later this month. (more photos of our big family birthday party here)

~ thankful for the sounds of children everywhere during our week together, nine grandchildren and two nieces ... our two oldest granddaughters and our two nieces helping out with the younger ones throughout the week.

~ a very special lunch together at Wheatfield's in the Old Market area, a gift for my husband and me from my brothers and sisters-in-law, as a thank-you to us.

~ and our last evening together on Thursday, a very special treat - our four daughters and two sons treating my husband and me, and also my older brother and his wife to a very memorable 40th Anniversary celebration. They made an amazing picnic meal, and after a very fun "not-so-newlywed" game, served each of us couples beautiful anniversary cakes. (more photos of the wonderful evening here)

~ later that evening, time to view photos of my older brother & sister-in-law's new home in Oregon, and also more photos from a recent trip to Japan by some family members.

~ so thankful to God for His incredible blessings of our week together with family ... our hearts are overflowing with memories of our time together, and with thanks for the gift of family.

Thank You, Lord, for all these blessings, packed into a week of celebrations, and now, held in my heart to treasure in the coming weeks and months. Thank You for the great blessing of family ... and thank You that You are always with us, filling us to overflowing in the good times, and holding us up in the hard times. May I always, everyday, quiet my heart and take time to listen and learn from You, giving You all the praise for Your many gifts.

" ... let God transform you into a new person
by changing the way you think. 
Then you will learn to know God's will for you,
 which is good and pleasing and perfect."
(Romans 12:2)

(One Thousand Gifts #524-533)

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  1. Love seeing so many pictures of family around tables! Obviously happy family times. I know they're even more precious when people have to make the effort to travel to enjoy being together.

  2. Beautiful thoughts, verses, prayers, and pictures. You have a very lovely family.

  3. How fun to have so many family members around. Our families live 750 miles away now, so we do not get to see them but maybe once a year. Wish they could all live next door! :)
    Families are such a blessing!
    Thank you for sharing them with us here:)
    (visiting from Ann's place)

  4. What a beautiful family you have! Full of many blessings I'm sure!