We were able to share in a couple of really fun activities. First, we went camping with her cousins and two of her uncles. We were in the Cherokee National Forest from Sunday morning until Monday morning. I am pretty sure it dropped to below 20 degrees that night. But all returned safe and ready for some Barberitos. Delicious!
The greatest joy of the trip was seeing the family together. This doesn't happen all that much because the family is spread throughout the world (Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, and Kenya). So Bethany and I jumped on the opportunity to get photographs of all the grandkids and then to get a few family portraits. Here is some of what we came up with.
It was so good to see Anna and the rest of the Tolan Family. Uncle Dan came camping with us and showed us proper form while cutting down a tree. Sarabeth and Charlie helped up rediscover our passion for the outdoors (and Mahoney's didn't hurt that, either!). Charlie is starting up a small construction outfit. Its run locally out of the Johnson City/Elizabethton (Hayes Insulation & Construction). Email me if you want his information. It was great to hang out with them.
The Josephs were able to make it all the way from Fort Wayne, IN. Not only did they brave the cold weather, they also made the trip happen with frequent potty breaks. And thank goodness that they did, because their energy kept the games going and the fun from stopping. Sophie keeps growing up and Josiah gets to be more and more of a man with each visit we have with him. Christine gets more and more beautiful (just like her mother!) every time we see her. Uncle AJ and Aunt Debbie were up to their usual tricks (providing us with wonderful food!!) and fortunately for me, were not able to give me heartburn from Hades. No emergency trips to Wal-Mart's pharmacy department late at night! Thank goodness.
Up til this vacation, I had not been able to meet the other Steury Family. Uncle Nate and his wife Aunt Elinda live in Florida where he is a pastor at St. Mark's UMC. They have four children; David, Kristen, Mark, and Lindsey. I had a great time with them. David and I got to go to a shooting range with Charlie and David showed me that when it came to pistol shooting, he is talented. Mark was incredibly prepared for our camping trip. He had everything from salt and pepper to spatulas. He's a great hiking partner. Kristen helped us when it came to setting up our poses for these shots. And Lindsey was wonderful with Christopher. I think she and Sophie babysat him the entire weekend. It was impressive to watch.
And I know what you are all wondering...where are the pictures of Ben and Brenden. Have no fear.
We have so much fun with these guys. This weekend was no different. The laughter we share with Ben and Brenden is unmatched and we are so thankful for them. As their Brother-in-Law, I know I am blessed. There are too many stories to put in this post about them so I will hold it to this. We love them very much.
Thanks for reading. Until next time....