We had planned to spend this weekend at the farm, knowing that Karen would be heading back overseas soon and Kathy, Matt, and girls (sister from Atlanta), Brad and Emily (from Portland), et al, would be in to see her. It turned out that we all came together for my sister-in-law's funeral this weekend, which was somewhat expected from illness, but still a lot to deal with. I have to say, however, that in spite of the sad events we attended, we made the best of the weekend and had a great time with all the cousins together for the first time in 3 years! It was great to have all the kids together and to have my nephews distracted with some fun activities.
Abigail is almost 8 and has been taking violin lessons since she was four. We had an impromptu concert on the deck that was fabulous. Her younger sisters, Lindsey and Rachel, are turning 5 soon, and have started the viola and cello as well. They performed along with Anna.
Another shot of the audience.
Lindsey and Rachel getting ready to show off what they have learned in 1 or 2 lessons! Man, those miniature instruments are so cute!
Abby had learned some Irish jigs, and we couldn't keep ourselves from stomping and clapping along... finally, a group of them just had to get up and dance to several of the songs!
Thomas and Anna were performing at church the next morning. Thomas played the piano and Anna sang. Here, Anna is giving us an a cappella version of "My Favorite Things." We certainly have some talent in this family, eh?
I just liked this shot. The evenings, although still warm, were gorgeous.
Grandma is definitely a grandma-- she got her hands on a snowcone maker for the evening snack. Of course, the kids (BIG and small!) just loved it.
All the cousins, minus Logan, who was at the county fair taking care of his cow.
The Atlanta bunch had brought along their Polly Pocket dolls and accessories. This is what I found-- Uncle Brad, Aunt Emily, Uncle Pat, and Grandma all playing with the Polly Pockets after the kids had gone to bed. It was a riot!
Showing off their dolls!
And, of course, there's no "long-weekend-trip-to-the-farm" complete without taking up Amy Billich on her offer to use her pool. We spent an awesome evening out there, tiring out the kids (again, BIG and small!). This is Brad and Karen, nice brother-sister shot! The water was perfect.
Elliot swam (well, played, but he's getting really good at kicking around in his floaty star!) the entire time. He would take little breaks and then be right back in. We had to force all kids to stop and eat. Elliot had been a major grump all day after having his naps shortened (the day before I came upstairs to a few cousins saying, "He was awake when I went into the room already!") and being a few hours short on sleep each night. He spent all of church basically crying in the nursery, throwing toys all afternoon, but both of my sisters said at the pool party, "I haven't seen him this happy all day!" It seems he's really in his element in the water.
And, today, upon driving into Chicago around 6pm, the first thing Elliot says after waking up is, "Pool?" We did end up walking to the lake to get in for a quick dip.
Because of those grumps, we chose to skip the fair trip on Sunday with everyone, but we all trucked back out there on Monday morning before leaving to see Logan show his cow for his 1st year of 4-H. It was hot, dusty, and we had all stayed up yapping until 4am the night before, but the animals were a hit.
The crew waiting for the show to begin.
We had rushed out the door, so afraid we were going to miss Logan's show, only to get there and have to wait about 1 1/2 hours afterall. Pat and I took some of the kids around to see the pigs, sheep, and goats while we waited. Everyone was a trooper.
In the goat barn, there was an empty pen. We threatened to leave all the kids in it and take off for a bit! The people there were really nice and almost willing...
Little cousin RJ climbed inside this loader but Elliot refused to pose with him for a photo. There were so many tractors and farm machinery; Elliot could have stayed there climbing on it all day long. Every time we passed any of it, it was, "Sit! Sit!" And every time we weren't around it, it was, "Outside! Outside!" I got worried when he was in a loader and something started beeping repeatedly, but Pat assured me the key was out...?
There was a little tent with a petting zoo inside. These are baby potbelly pigs, just Elliot's size!