It has been quiet here at the Shoe and for good reason. We had quite a bit of company for a couple weeks in June!
My mother and father, Mike and Donna Wray, were the first to stop in on their way to the Dunkard Brethren Conference in Oregon. We picked them up at the train station and kept them for a night before they began their trek to Oregon.
Then they stopped back in on their way home from Oregon. My mother then stayed almost another week and was a superb help with feeding the rest of the company!
My younger sister, Krista, and her husband, Nelson, drove the 2,000 miles from Indiana to come visit us – along with their six children.
So for five days we had twelve kids here, ages 13 and down!
It was a riot, to be sure!
We took them fishing on Saturday, although Lowell had to work that day – so the rest of us adults got to help bait hooks and untangle fishing lines.
It had been almost fifteen years since I had to bait a hook with a wiggly worm. Lowell was usually the one to do that and had taught the boys how to bait their hooks from little up. Now Miss Megan needed her hook baited and my thirteen-year-old stood there looking at me mischievously. Would Mom be brave enough to touch a squishy worm?
I could see that to keep my respectful position as She-Who-Is-Mom-of-So-Many-Boys . . . I would have to bait that hook. Without Dad. And by touching a worm.
But first, the boys told me you had to tear the worm in half to keep from wasting so many worms! WHAT!!
I can’t describe to you all the shivers that careened up and down my spine as I gripped one slimy worm and proceeded to pull it apart. It simply stretched longer! I almost felt like throwing up.
Patiently, one of the boys pointed out, “No, Mom! You have to use your fingernails!” Oh gag. My stomach hurts just remembering it . . .
Let’s cut this story short and simply tell you that I was able to keep my respectable position as She-Who-Is-Mom-of-So-Many-Boys since I baited that hook. Oh the things we will do for the sake of our pride.
It was actually a rather dangerous place to be. Several of us came pretty close to getting hooks in various body parts.
Now that is the way I like to fish. No worms. Just chewy chocolate chip cookies and fat, squishy cheeks.
You will probably notice from these pictures that my sister had one set of twin girls – Nicole and Natalie. I’m sure I wore them out by constantly asking “Which one are you?”
Fish must not have been biting just then . . .
Destiny caught the first fish from our tribe!
Derek caught the second.
That evening, we took them all to the zipline at our bishop’s place. It is the same place where we have our church campout (which started the day after all of our company left).
This is the sweet gang that had fun swimming, playing badminton, Legos, trucks, fishing, flying on the zipline, climbing at the park, and mega sleepovers in the living room!
Surprisingly, they all got along really well for that many kids so close in age.
If you can’t see the little kitten that Wyatt is holding, look closer. That little kitty got so loved and manhandled for five days that it probably breathed a sigh of relief every night the kids all went to bed! It has been the most playful, lovable kitten we’ve ever had and the kids adored him. The girls even tried to dress him up one afternoon – which he firmly protested against.
Oh how we love some girly laughter, softer voices, and sweet goodnight hugs!
This auntie was getting her fill of a little pink for a few days.
Don’t they just ooze orneriness? Sweet orneriness, that is.
Once they would start getting too rowdy, we’d send them outside – armed with some of the 200 popsicles we had previously stashed in the freezer.
My sister’s sweet family!
I am so glad they got to come see us for a bit and will treasure the memories that we made.
It’s not over yet, folks . . . tomorrow is round two.