|Stained glass window at the Abbey|
Two families showed up and overlapped in their visits to Missouri. Our oldest daughter, Tara, brought her five children from North Carolina (her husband Eric had to work).
Our second oldest daughter, Trista, her husband Darin and their family arrived from Utah bringing four children and leaving two behind – (other obligations). So far that makes a total of twelve (9 grandchildren).
In St. Louis we have ourselves, our third daughter Tassa, her husband Geoff and five children and our fifth daughter Tawny and Brian and their five children. If you are adding up, that makes three homes in St. Louis, nine adults and 19 grandchildren out of a possible 14 adults and 27 grandchildren.
It was fun. It was work. It was more than a little chaotic. We survived! We sent our visitors off yesterday and we are finally alone in our peaceful house. We created a whole lot of treasured memories.
|Mother/Daughters luncheon at a Thai restaurant|
Despite the distances, we manage to develop lifelong, loving and supportive relationships – in-laws, grandparents with grandchildren, cousins with cousins, aunts and uncles with nieces and nephews.
It was well worth the effort and time we spent. -- some of which involved logistics like herding cats (figuratively speaking) and supplying a hungry army of 28 on the move and with minds and wills of their own.
Besides the food, family dinners, accommodations, birthday parties, children’s baseball games, church meetings, we managed to do the following activities: Six Flags, the St. Louis Zoo, the Arch, the City Museum (absolute craziness), nature hikes,
the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Elephant Rocks, Johnson’s
Shut-ins, an overnight stay at a delightful bed and breakfast – The Abbey, and
a visit to Geoff’s new employment, the Missouri School for the Blind.
|Our hike on the Rockwood Reservations Kiln trail|
We also sandwiched in multiple visits to our swimming pool, visits to Tassa and Geoff’s home they are refurbishing for sale, ferrying children to band camps and practices, dog sitting and finally a bonfire in our commons area burning the natural wood refuse and honeysuckle bushes I had collected from the hillsides surrounding our home.
I am probably forgetting (repressing) something important but you get the idea.
Here are some pictures from our time together.
Missouri Botanical Gardens
Missouri Botanical Gardens
|This is one of our favorite spots in St. Louis|
|Feeding the Japanese Koi fish|
|Calvin and Mitchell sit in awe of the botanical gardens|
Missouri School for the Blind
Geoff is the new superentendent of the Missouri School for the Blind located near the Botanical Gardens. He took us on a tour of the school.
|One playground is equipped with instruments to make sound.|
|The School for the Blind is a colorful place. Mariah fits right in.|
|Evidently class change is a traumatic event|
Elephant Rocks or is it Elephants Rock?
|Just kdding! This is not Elephants Rock.|
|How many people people does it take to get an Elephant Rock to move?|
|Look up "Shut-ins" in the dictionary. It will describe something like this.|
|Nonny with Aubree and Annalisa|
Our good friends, Darwin and Katherine Rouse have restored the Abbey, a former Catholic girl's boarding school in Arcadia, Missouri into a Bed and Breakfast, a bakery, an ice creamery and a number of other businesses. Their location is convenient to Elephant Rocks and Johnson's Shut-Ins.
We rented five rooms and had an absolutely marvelous time.
|Tassa, Tara and Tawny with Annalisa, Calvin and Aubree on their laps|
|The grandchildren - front and center stage|