A lot of my posts are my ponderings, what goes on inside my brain, and what I am reading and so consequently I have very few pictures on my posts. You wouldn't want to see my brain insides or ponderings in photography so that is something to be thankful for :) I come to you today with a post full of pictures. Now, I'm no photographer. Most of these were taken by Kelly and my cousin Melanie. Kelly did the editing so most of these photo credits go to them.
I present to you:
from Australia, Arkansas,Turkey, Georgia, Florida
My uncle Jason and his wife Melody, and their youngest five children, came back to the U.S. recently for a short vacation and to attend a family wedding. They live half way around the world in Australia so their visits are far apart and very precious. We stay in touch via email and etc but there's just nothing like being together in person. We dearly missed their girls and the spice they add to our reunions. There are five girls, then four boys, and then God decided to add some icing to the cake in the form of another baby girl. Charis (Greek word for grace) is 14 month old and was not intimidated at all by her position of only little girl at our get together. Quite the contrary, she enjoyed lots of cuddles and love.
We missed others as well and the circle was far from complete. David and Toni couldn't make it from Florida, Doug is in nursing school in AR and couldn't come, and Kenneth is in Turkey. We missed everyone and yet understand that as life moves on, it will be harder and harder to make things like this work for everyone.
We rented a beautiful house in the north GA mountains from Friday through Sunday morning. This place happened to have a heated pool that was enjoyed all weekend.
When Kauffmans get together there is often a good bit of reminiscing from the siblings of things that were done in their childhoods and there is much ensuing laughter. What's as funny to us grandchildren is watching them laugh. They laugh almost silently, faces all contorted as they gasp and hold their sides.
We also enjoyed games, mini-golf, discussions of various and sundry subjects, eating and a fun ladies' time in the hot tub. The children kept the pool occupied every chance they got.
We had to be out of the house on Sunday by 11:00 so after breakfast and a worship service we headed over to a nearby state park for a picnic lunch before heading to our various destinations.
We wanted some pictures of the little boys, who were a big part of the group. What's with boys and pictures? Is it like girls and snakes? There is a very real distaste for it so the biggest deal that can be made out of it is certainly the best, even though it takes twice as long as it would have needed to thanks to this:
Alex is going for the cool four year old snoot while Christopher looks on in patronizing amusement and Josiah pretends to not be related.
Meanwhile Matthew is seeing how many cameras he can see with crossed eyes and Jeremy looks on in disturbed consternation. Matthias is rubbing his eyes with the tired hand of an 11 year old remembering what it means to be six and woefully immature.
Jeremy's cuteness merits it's own snapshot and we then notice Matthew has ditched the crossed eyes and is beaming benevolently at the world.
And after forty eleventy two pictures, we end us with this and call it good enough:
And then we add a beautiful baby girl to the picture, just because we can. Precious little thing, her! And to these boys' credit; they are a great bunch of little gentleman. I loved to see how careful they were with the baby and how they liked to hold her and take care of her. They are going to be amazing dads one day, once they outgrow the snoots and crossed eyes. Bless them all!
"And I'm just like, what's going on? I've barely known these girls two days and they are all six inches from my face making these stupid kissing sounds. Dumb Americans!"
There is a good chance we spoiled her in those two days. She got lots of cuddles, was followed around by her ever present picture taking cousins which meant we got a ton of cute ones:
Photo- bombing uncles. RuthAnne had no idea until I showed it to her :)
This sums it up well:
I love my family and can't be thankful enough for them. In a world of pain and broken relationships, hurt feelings and rejection, healthy families are a gift. I'm reminded of that when I see pain first hand, or when I see the homeless man who wanders the streets, or read stories of little children who don't know what love looks like. I am blessed beyond measure and am also accountable for this gift. Am I making the load a bit lighter when I can, to some struggling soul who needs help? Do I begrudge my time to those less fortunate, or even look down my nose at them?
On a lighter note, it's been a good Saturday. The house is clean, I caught up on my sleep, and my stomach is full of a good, home-cooked meal of Swedish meatballs and baked potatoes. What more could a girl want? :)