On a recent Saturday my wife and I traveled two hours to visit family in Knoxville. Our first stop was our oldest son and his brood. Here he stands, in fact, with his youngest of seven. During the visit we enjoyed a big meal. The children were so well behaved and content. It so heartening to see.
I have purposely arranged the photos in reverse birth order. Since we moved last year, we have seen them more. This means that these little guys recognize and acknowledge us more. That means lots of smiles. Some of the children are all grins and giggles while others are more serious and diligent. There is no doubt about which category this little guy falls into:
And number five is Little Miss Gregarious. I have seen her go up to complete strangers in a park, sit down, and talk away. Of course, this is always done under Dad and Mom's watchful eyes.
This guy is all boy, always ready to play hard. He is heavy as lead and way off the growth charts for his age. He does have an uncle who is 6' 4". It will be interesting to see how his oldest brother and he grow. Though rough and tumble, he also has a very warm side that I enjoy.
Coming in at number three is Miss Diligence and second mother. It doesn't seem as though her and her sister could be any more different. She is also quite articulate.
The two oldest brothers are only 19 months apart, but their difference in size suggests several years separation. Their father had taken them to three Revolutionary battlefields in SC and NC the weekend before. So now they are all about reenacting. Big brother led a drill with muskets; they showed off their colonial accoutrements and did several period demonstrations. Later we had a family wide race to see who could pick the most violet blooms in one minute for use in a salad later on.
Number two child is a detail guy. He sews and uses hand tools and even plants flowers.
In late afternoon we drove across town to meet three of my wife's sisters for a visit and celebration of her younger sister's birthday. Here is the birthday girl at the Mexican Restuarant. Her son is barely in the picture.
My wife always perks up when she gets around her sisters.
There are five sisters and three brothers in the family. Here is the fourth born and sister number two.
The second born and oldest sister is still hanging in there. It is amazing that all eight siblings are still alive. The youngest sister's boyfriend is in the background.
I don't name people on my blog, so third person identification of relatives is a little awkward. But I can say without equivocation that I am thankful to God for family. I am still praying for the salvation of some, but I am thankful for them all.
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