June 25, 2010


My sister, Manda, lives "far far away" in Indiana. Each summer she comes to visit. We are missing Adam this year, but when Manda is in town, our family GATHERS. That is just what we do - We usually aren't doing anything special - just sitting around.

Josh can be found surrounded by all the teenagers and his board game.

Jenn has her feet tucked up underneath her, trying desperately to keep her eyes open - she's been up since 4:30 am and has already taught 2 or 3 fitness classes.

Ash & I are bouncing twins. We smell like baby formula (aka: barf) but are enjoying the occasional giggles Ben and Colin are giving up.

Ashley can also be seen writing on the back of an envelop with her cell phone attached to her ear, because Horse Show people are calling with questions or registration information.

And Manda is usually helping a small child that wants her to hold him/her or is cleaning up someone who has either made it to the bathroom ... or not... :(

There are tons of grand kids running around, sharing, not sharing, laughing, crying, snacking, or sleeping.

We have made Mom's homemade jam, ran to get pizza or happy meals, and gone to the "Icky Mexican" restaurant to celebrate Manda's birthday. We have had a Father's Day party, swam at the pool, and have enjoyed gourmet cupcakes. Manda's at the movies, right now, with Dad. We'll hit the lake tomorrow, sew on Monday, and visit Lagoon on Tuesday!

We've stayed up late laughing, crying, venting, and discussing what we are doing in our own lives. We depend, listen, learn, trust, and support on another. Sometimes we can't fix it - but we validate each other.

As I was wiping off my counter one night - the kids were all sleeping soundly in their beds. Aaron was reading his book. Manda was possibly on her phone saying "Goodnight" to her husband who is still "far far away" - I stopped and sent a message heavenward...

We still gather.
Everything we have done, we used to do with you.
We miss you and wish you were here.
If you can, please peek down.
I'm sure you'd smile.

Then, I rinsed the rag, turned off the lights, and climbed into bed next to the sweet man who knows how much I love it when my family gathers.


Shauna said...

What a sweet post. Family is the best!

Debbie said...

Family can be heaven on earth. Don't we wish those in heaven could join us!!

jenn said...

She is close. She would never miss a gathering. So fun to have Manda and "my babies" here. Love just hanging, and always stepping in to help one another out...mom would be so proud of her sweet little family. We've done good!

amanda said...

That is why I can't resist the 24 hour drive every year. I love gathering with my family. I LOVE MY FAMILY!! Every night when Jane says the prayer she thanks Heavenly Father for her family (and she means all of you). Thank you for filling in as the "glue". Mom would be proud of all of us, esp. YOU!!! - Manda