This crazy crew traveled from Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey to meet here in North Carolina for a weekend together. This is most of Grady's extended family, and they make an effort to gather all the families together every two years.
Since families were travelling from opposite ends of the East Coast, meeting in the middle in North Carolina made sense. And, since that's home for us, we didn't complain!
With four other little boys to run around with, my boys were ecstatic to have other mini-men to play with. They forged trails in the woods. They made log piles that became jails for the bad guys. They played endless rounds of "net ball."
And, most assuredly, they got very dirty and very sweaty together! All signs of little boy fun. Two clean outfits a day were hardly enough to keep up with the fun of playing in the mountains together.
Annalyse was happy to play with Baby Jace - and even though Jace gave willing smiles and coos, I'm not sure he was as excited about the smothering he received from her. When Jace wasn't around to entertain her, Annalyse was happy in the lap of her Nana or Aunt Becky. Or "riding" a stick like a horse. Or eating from the buffet of homemade cookies. Or rdsing on Daddy's shoulders while we walked different trails.
We enjoyed beautiful weather all weekend, with only a three hour pocket of rain showers. And, the rain came during a time when little ones were napping and everyone else was happy to play cards, board games, or the highly-acclaimed "net ball."
What's net ball? Nothing more than Dollar Tree nets coupled with a Dollar Tree soccer ball. An adult shouts out a point value and tosses the ball in the air, while a gaggle of yelling kids races around the room to catch the ball in his or her net. Simple fun, but I assure you this was the hightlight for some very competitive kids.
Lots of walking in the woods. Lots of talking and catching up on life since our last visit two years ago. Lots of good snacks. Lots of not-good cafeteria food that we pretended was good because we knew someone else cooked for our large group and we didn't have to. Lots of cards and board games. Lots of soccer and volleyball and mini-golf. All this made for lots of fun for lots of family.
So, until Summer of 2015, we're all back in our respective states doing our different things. For some, school begins in early August; for some new jobs are on the horizon; for some new homes are a possibility; and for some, new babies are on the way. Oh, the stories we'll all share when we meet again in two years!