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Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Another Year Passing

Every year, when we arrive at our reunion, it seems as if it were only yesterday when we packed up and left it the year before. However, at the same time, it is amazing to see how much the little ones have changed...grown...matured. It seems a miracle to see babies who weren't yet born the year before or moms-to-be carrying children who will be part of our gathering next year. This reunion consists of Jeff's mom, her three sisters, and all of their families, as well as the families of their sister who was lost to cancer. During our big meal, where all of the families gather outside of one of the cabins and eat together, I looked around at all of the individual families and thought of how one day they could all have their own reunions just as we have this one. A family of five could one day grow into the large, wonderful extended family that we are all a part of today...a part of because of my mother-in-law and her sisters...because of their mother and father. It's almost too much to think of to imagine so many members of one family all gathered in one place with Jeff and me at the center of it all.....Madison, Patrick, and Carter branching out from us, instead of clinging to us, with families of their own. It's hard to imagine and wonderful to think of all at the same time. It puts in perspective for me my respect for Jeff's mom and her sisters and for the men they built their lives with. I wish my mother-in-law's parents, Clemmie and Waylon, were still here. I know they would be proud of what they have given to this world. When you have family, life on this earth doesn't end for you when you are gone. Life is so much more than what you do while you are here....it is also what you leave behind when you go.
Grandmother Clemmie and her family

Grandfather Waylon and his family
Watson family reunion 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

Packing Again

It's that time of the summer....family reunion at the lake! I look forward to this reunion more every year. I think it has to do with our kids getting older and more independent. I look forward to a couple of lazy days in the sun(though it may end up raining all weekend), fishing, tubing with the kids, and just being lazy with my book on the back porch of the cabin. I love sunsets over the evening water............and games with the kids.Carter is looking forward to......of course................
Madison just loves hanging out with all of the other little girls...playing once again with those she only gets to see during this reunion. Patrick enjoys the things that only Patrick understands............ And of course, we are all looking forward to this...............

But before any fun weekend, there is PACKING! Packing the suitcases. Packing the car. Packing the boat. Packing the food. Packing Packing Packing
It's a good thing it will all be worth it!!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Things They Do

To entertain themselves!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

How Sweet!!!

I don't know what is sweeter...the lizard or Carter's fascination with it!

He played with it for a minute, but then wanted to put it in the grass so it would be safe.

That's Carter!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Feeling Pretty

After A Day At The Groomers

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Grabbing A Moment In The Sun

It is a rare moment lately for the kids to be in the pool without rain falling on them. It has rained some every day since the 4th of this month. We have seen very little sun, so the pool is really cold. Of course, five minutes after I snapped these pictures, it was pouring rain with loud thunder popping....to rough to stay out in it. I'm all for a little rain in the summer time, but this is getting old. I had plans to invite friends over a couple of days this week, but hate to do it without knowing if the kids will be able to play outside. For now, the rain is still coming down, but is accompanied by a little sunshine. The thunder has moved on, so the kids are on their way back out. Hopefully they will be able to stay out for longer than ten minutes this time!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ratatouille, Tomato Soup, and Cake

Madison, Patrick, and Carter have been asking to cook dinner for us one night. They even went as far as getting the cookbook out to pick out their dishes. Madison decided to cook the main dish, Ratatouille. They couldn't believe that it was actually in the cookbook and wanted to try it out. Patrick wanted to make tomato soup and found a recipe for it. Carter took the easy way out and picked out a yummy looking boxed cake.
We finally went for the ingredients today. Even though they would be doing the cooking, I knew it would take an effort on my part to pull it together. Tonight, I was ready for the challenge...so were they!

First, I set everything out for each one of them and hung their recipes up at their cooking stations. Just having all of the ingredients and cooking supplies out made it so much easier.

The big challenge was keeping everything moving at a pace that would ensure that everything was ready at the same time. It was also a challenge for me to step back and let them have it. I basically tried to be there to supervise the cutting up of the vegetables and to monitor the stove/oven use. I also helped them to understand the recipes...talked them through some of the harder parts. One highlight for me was when Madison helped Carter make his cake. I started out helping Patrick cut his vegetables up, so Madison supervised/helped Carter do the cake until I could help her. They did it completely on their own until it was time to put it into the oven. I was so proud of them.

Of course, they had to have a little taste here and there!!!

Finally, everything was ready and simmering at the same time. Carter waited until after we ate to finish his cake, so it would have time to cool. I threw some bread in as my contribution, then we were ready to set the table!

Everything tasted GREAT! I was really surprised that I liked the tomato soup. I was even more surprised that the kids ate the ratatouille. It had egg plant and squash in it, as well as tomatoes, which Carter doesn't normally want to eat. I think if I would have cooked the meal on my own and called them to eat it, they would not have been very excited about it. However, having cooked the meal themselves, they were willing to give it a try....and actually liked it! Jeff loved all of it as well.

After the dishes were done and our tummies were settled, we cut the cake. I had given Carter the tube of icing with the tip on it and let him decorate exactly how he wanted. Of course, he asked for the slice with the most decorating icing on it...and got it.

This was a great experience for all of us. The whole idea started when I read them a story one day during school about some children who were made to cook an entire meal on their own because they kept complaining of the meals that their Mother prepared for them. Of course, in the story the children were completely on their own and soon learned that there was a lot more to cooking a meal than they thought. I hope that, even though I helped them, that my kids learned the same lesson. Even more so, I hope they had as great a time as I did!