In the spring, we always take a few trips to the barn to see the new lambs, enjoy an evening out with the siblings/spouses (sans children, of course), and go on at least one special outing together (like a museum or zoo or something).
In the summer, we always go swimming, eat lots of homemade ice cream (actually, ice cream is pretty much associated with each season, no matter how cold or hot it is), watch the kids ride co-carts and generally get covered in dust and dirt and sweat as they play outside, go on a hayride, light sparklers and fireworks and, again, go on at least one fun family outing to a park or wedding or parade or whatever happens to be the source of entertainment for the weekend.
In the fall, the kids always fight over who gets the next combine ride and since the weather is often a bit cooler, we almost always do some kind of craft project and, of course, spend a lot of time running around outside. I should clarify that often outside activities also include lawn chairs for the adults to park themselves in.
Winter corresponds with our family Christmas so there are presents to open and Christmas goodies to fatten ourselves on. Usually the siblings and spouses go out for a nice dinner as our gift to each other and there is almost always at least a little bit of time spent playing outside in between board games and construction of gingerbread houses.
I love that each visit is unique but also tied together with ongoing activities like special outings, sleepovers for some of the kids, books with the grandparents, good food and good conversations.
This past weekend was our "summer weekend" and, as expected, it was hot and busy and fun. We took the kids to the pool and the parade, went on a hayride, lit sparklers, took loooong naps, went on a picnic in the park, played outside, took our annual family picture (which seems to grow by at least one child every single year), and ate lots of good food. My brother and I also celebrated being one year older by attending our 15-year class reunion.
And with 10 grandchildren, 8 of whom are 8 and under, we didn't even need to take a trip to the zoo this year....instead, I think we could have charged the zoo to come see us!
And, I wouldn't have it any other way.
|Waiting for candy at the parade.|
|The sirens are always too loud.|
|They took such a nice picture with daddy...|
|And this is what I got.|
|One more try|
|Ready to go on the hayride with grandpa|
|Believe it or not, this was the best family|
picture we got all weekend.
|A perfect night for a hayride|
|Poor little Ryan. It was his first hayride|
and all he could do was fall asleep.
|This is taken at the very edge of my parents' land.|
Their farm is the one on the left.
|I love the shadow in this one. |
A tractor and a wagon full of family.
|Abby is such a good sport; |
not just anyone would allow themselves to be attacked
by a bunch of crazy little kids.
|All ready for sparklers|
|Her first one!|
|Sure, chew on the box kid. |
I'm sure it's fine.
(don't worry, it was empty)
|I wanted a nice picture of these two.|
At least Ryan was mature about it.