The main goal of the weekend was just to visit, and we certainly did. We got in late afternoon Thursday and visited with mom and dad. Friday afternoon my brother and his fiance (!!) got in from the DC area; my sister and her three kids drove out late Friday afternoon as did my sister-in-law and their three kids; my youngest sister and her husband came in early evening. Loud, chaotic, energetic, and fun.
Saturday we enjoyed the farm and puttered around. We had debated throwing a huge party--rented hall, DJ, buffet line, and all--but it wasn't what my parents wanted. In the end, we opted to just have a "small" family gathering for dinner (see below. Our "small" family requires a whole lot of space) and then have some friends and family over. About 50 people stopped by the house to toast my parents.
In the middle of all of that, I set up the camera and twisted a few arms to get a family portrait. The most recent full-family photo was from my sister's wedding just over two years ago. It's really beautiful, but (a) features gowns and tuxedos (b) the three youngest boys are all under 1 year old then (c) my brother's fiance was not in the group pictures. Since we were all there and the weather was decent, we did an updated photo.
Yep, nothing like a quiet family get together with the pitter-patter of little grandkid feet. Seriously, it's nothing like that.
The kids are a little scrambled out of their sibling groups here. I should have swapped the two girls in the back both in order to see little Madison better and to group the sibs better. Oh well. That's 3 girls (8, 7, and 4) and 6 boys. Six Boys. Ages (heaven help us) 6, 6, 6, 3, 2, 2. LOUD.
Not that my parents aren't used to a lot of noise. They raised these six.
Love you, mom and dad! Happy 40th Anniversary! (Here's looking at you!)