We finally had some rain while Rachel was home.
Our kids are sorta’ like their Mama. If there is rain to be had, it is a wonderful day!
Christina and Rachel getting soaking wet in an afternoon shower.
Unfortunately, we took almost no pictures on the weekend.
And Raph and Gina left on Sunday afternoon —
After which I realized that I hadn’t gotten a single picture of them.
This was a serious grief to this mother’s heart.
Sunday Evening, we had a Yoder family cookout.
We’ve had so many people in our pavilion for a number of different things
but I’ve never had my family. It was time to remedy the situation.
When they agreed to gather at Shady Acres instead of Sweet Mama’s house
I was one tickled pink daughter/sister/auntie/momma/wife.
My sister, Sarah. She and my younger sister, Alma, are my best friends.
When no one else understands me, and it feels like no one else cares,
Sarah and Alma are a place where I can crash with my tears and with my angst.
They don’t always agree with me, but they always love me.
I have so little time with them. Maybe that is why they can still love me!
Queena and Ethan, our Wycliffe team of the family.
They are raising support for their assignment in Asia.
We hope to have them around until next spring.
Sweet Mama and my youngest brother, Mark, Jr.
Yes, Markie, it is good to wipe your mouth after such big bites!
Here is my oldest brother, Clint, and his wife, Frieda.
They recently sold their home and are relocating to South Carolina.
It occurs to me that the times we have to be together like we’ve been
for all these years is fast coming to an end.
I believe that men need to follow God, and I believe that is what Clint
is doing . . . but I almost cannot stand to see them go.
This is Dorie — Ethan and Queena’s girlie. She lights up our lives.
If you want to know what a three year old thinks, just have a little talk
with this young lady!
This is James, Dorie’s little brother.
I cannot look at this little fellow without a feeling
of extreme gratitude rising in my heart.
Because of a traumatic birth, and some unfortunate
happenings, the doctor told his family that he would probably
never be “normal”
The outlook was the grimmest of the grim.
But God . . .
And that says it all.
Our family is blessed with an abundance of young people.
Maria (Slaubaugh) Swartentruber, Tim Yoder, Carmen Heatwole,
Rachel Yutzy, Holly Yoder.
These five have always been “best buddies” with Tim never acting
at all like he minded being the thorn among the roses.
What a great time they had together this weekend with Rachel just home.
Carey and Maria, My beloved Certain Man (It was his birthday!)
and the side of Gabe Heatwole.
I even got in on some of the conversations.
Our daughter in law, Jessica, Gabe Heatwole, Joe Slaubaugh and Yours Truly.
Our son, Lem, his wife, Jessica and Gabe.
Jessica, Gabe and Joe.
And there was even a feisty game of rook going at one of the tables!
Daniel (though he wasn’t a part of it) Josh Slaubaugh (Though he is completely hidden!)
Mark Jr., Polly Yoder, and Lawina Slaubaugh.
Whether chomping on a big old carrot from Grandpa’s garden or spooning down the redi-whip on a plastic spoon,
She’s still the only grandbaby we got, and we think she’s wonderful!
And then on Monday evening, those of our immediate family that could make it, went to Olive Garden.
Missing were Raph and Gina and Deborah (who had to work).
Rachel’s friend, Lara Shenk was along.
Rachel and her Daddy.
When we met her at the Rosedale International Center on Friday,
she hugged her Daddy like she would never let go.
“I’ve been waiting for this hug for nine months,” she said.
“There just was no man in Thailand that I could really hug,
and I just needed my Daddy!”
Daniel and two of his girls.
He would have been even happier if only Deborah would have been there!
There was lots of playing going on while we waited for a table.
Keeping Charis entertained was important.
But even so, the time got really long for a little girlie.
Charis and her Uncle Lem really have some good times!
Rach and her Brother, Lem with Lem’s wife, Jessica.
Lem’s educational expertise and his success since he is out of school
has been an incredible blessing to Rachel. She called me on Monday night
nearly in tears from the wonder of it all.
“Mom,” she said with her voice full of emotion, “There is nothing like having
a big brother pave the way for you!”
These two always have plenty to talk about.
As do these two.
Daniel thought it was a pretty good place to wait —
between two pretty, young women.
(That was okay by me.
I was busy chasing our grandbaby.
There are few things I enjoy more.)
. . . and there you have it!
Just a few glimpses into our too short weekend.