It was over a month ago already that we gathered in the southern part of Colorado, at our church's campground in the mountains above Colorado Springs. We've looked forward to and planned (well, my sister did most of the planning) for over a year. There are 55 of us now, but 15 were unable to make it. We gathered with 22 adults and 18 kiddoes from age 10 months to 10 years. We came from all over the world - some of us were privileged to just hop in our cars and drive three hours down Interstate 25 to the turn-off to camp. We had others from Idaho; Washington; London and Manchester, England; and Peru. We missed those from Oklahoma, some more from Idaho, from Maine, and those in the Army in Georgia and possibly South Carolina at that time (I can't keep up with their training schedule!)
We were privileged to have this beautiful chalet with 10 bedrooms and two kitchens. This campground is one of my favorite places in the world. When I arrive there, a feeling of peace washes over me, and the blue skies, fresh pine scent, and mountain vistas take me away from the cares of the world.
I am certain that all family gatherings are like ours in many ways, especially in the amount of eating that goes on. Our tradition has worked well - each family unit is in charge of its own breakfast and lunch. Each family group then is responsible for one evening meal. Since neither of my kids was there, we joined with Mom and Dad for our spaghetti dinner. One of the most fun things for me was in the morning, when we got up early, as is our habit, and the young parents would be still sleeping when their little ones would wander out of their rooms. They'd end up at our breakfast time, asking for food. The parents were mortified when they got up and around and realized their kids had already eaten our food - but it was so much fun.
There were s'mores each night under the gorgeous starry sky.
There was lots of laughter, especially after getting the kids to bed - the young parents laughed so hard at this game that I was afraid all their kids were going to wake up and come join the fun again.
There was a gaggle of girls --
There was a gymnastics show --
I brought along this bubble machine, and it turned out to be a very good idea - can you see the huge bubbles?
One of the highlights of the week-end was when we gathered for Sunday morning worship --
The kids led us in a rousing chorus -- and then my brother (in the background) led us in "Great Is thy Faithfulness."
Chad and Amanda shared with us about their mission work in Puno, Peru. (There was a reason for the Superman shirts - long story!)
We celebrated Mom and Dad's 65th anniversary during this time -- the ones who started it all!
What a blessing it was to be together. We missed those who weren't with us. It is difficult to get that many people together who are so far flung in distance apart. But we savored every moment and look forward to the next time.