Sunday, July 7, 2013

~Family Summer Times~

A few weeks ago, we met my sister, Wendy, and her family "half-way" in Indianapolis.
We met Saturday morning at the Indy Zoo! :)
 7 cousins ready to see the animals
 What I find funny about the photo above, is that a stranger is leaning in for our group photo.
See him at the top, left?  haha! :)
Amber, Antonin & Makaela wanted to get wet during the dolphin show, so they sat near the front. They were disappointed when the large splashes missed them.
The day was hot & steamy, and we were grateful for a (mostly) shady zoo!!
After the Zoo ...
We made our way to Penny & Jason's house in a small town west of Indy- Kirklin, Indiana.
[Penny is a first cousin on my Dad's side of the family]
Recently, Penny's husband, Jason, became a Wesleyan pastor in the state of Maine!!
A family farewell and "send off " snowballed into a family reunion, so I was able to see cousins I hadn't seen in well over ten years.

Though I'm excited, and blessed to see God working in their lives, I will miss seeing Penny's sweet family during our Indiana trips.
 [I should have taken a photo of their family!!!]

 Me & Wendy with Penny- thinking back on our childhood, when we visited Kirklin each Thanksgiving & Memorial Day!
 Wendy, Aunt Ruth, and me
My little family & I returned to Illinois, thinking how God is faithful to guide and direct our lives.  God works "behind the scenes", orchestrating events or changes we don't always fully understand until later. We can trust Him!!   :)
One weekend later ... I was wanting to get away and camp out with the family, without the "camp-prep" work.
We decided to camp out in our backyard- what FUN!!!   :)
 First, we played Croquet in the side yard ...
 ... then set up the tent!
 The kids loved roasting marshmallows, and asked me why I wanted to sit and look at the fire. I love non-thinking moments when I can simply stare into a crackling fire... and not think!
The next morning, we explored an area in Southern Illinois near Valmeyer.
We had fun hiking an area that had once been a quarry- Salt Lick Trails.

 We could see for miles!
 We found wild berries growing along the trail ...
and saw a lizard in a tree!!
Ashlyn's favorite flower!
After the hike, we stopped in Valmeyer for a Watermelon snack

Since the weather was cooler than normal, it was a perfect day for lying in the grass and watching the clouds!!
 Of course, cloud watching isn't for active kids who love playground equipment!
[remember these old slides?]
~Good, fun, Summer Times~ :)

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