In June we went down to my dad and stepmom’s place in southern Oregon for a family reunion on my stepmom’s side. There was a large group there, and some of us hadn’t seen each other in a long time. That might have set the record for how many people they had staying at their house at one time. Looking through the pictures I took while I was there, it was fun to look back on some of the things we did.
One of the highlights for Bracken, was gold panning! He has had gold fever for quite some time, and when he made his holiday wish list last year he said he wanted a gold pan. I thought that was a really creative idea and passed it along to Grandpa and Grandma, who gave him one for Christmas. They picked up a gold panning kit (a great idea) and Bracken did some gold panning with his Grandpa in the yard. I think the whole family was quite entertained and got a kick out of it. Bracken proudly brought home some flecks of gold. I’m sure there will be more gold panning in our future, and possibly in the river by Grandma and Grandpa’s.
We like to make it down to the farm every summer. There is so much to do at Grandpa and Grandma’s farm and the three grand kids, all boys, are always busy the whole time they are there. There are frogs to find, alpacas to visit, chickens to feed, small cars to drive, a pool to splash in, a play house to play in, lizards to catch, and …endless outdoor fun. Everyone, including the great grandparents, got a kick out of watching the boys enjoy themselves. All the cherries on a small cherry tree were covered with bird netting and saved for the grand kids to pick. They were very much enjoyed! A fire at night under the stars always makes me feel like it is officially summer.
On the last day, before we left, we came across the most magical thing- a small bird in the grass. It had fallen out of it’s nest. My first inclination was to pick it up and return it safely to it’s home, but the nest was out of sight in a very tall tree. Instead, I took a quick picture, and then stood back so mama bird wouldn’t be too nervous. We watched with awe as the mama came down again and again, bringing food to her baby. It was so sweet, and something I felt grateful to witness myself, and grateful for the children to see. I worried how the little bird would fare on the ground, but was glad to see the mama there checking constantly.
Now we’re getting ready to leave for a family reunion on my dad’s side. Two family reunions in one summer is a record! I loved our family reunions when I was growing up, and I carry so many memories of the family time shared and the new places explored. It warms my heart to think of all the children that will be on this trip, and all the experiences that will become such an important part of their own childhood memories!