not your average picnic at the park

As of today September is more than half way over.  Gracious the first few weeks of school both fly by and last forever. Our afternoons are filled with reading, riding bikes in the cul de sac (now that the weather is getting cooler), soccer and swimming practices and more games of Uno than I ever played as a kid.  Right now though the little one is quietly napping upstairs and while the apple zucchini bread is baking, I'll venture back into our fast paced but delightful summer.

The third weekend of summer vacation (last weekend in June) found us on a journey to our nation's capital. We told the kids that we'd be headed up to visit with Uncle Josh and his girlfriend Bethany for most of the weekend, but that first day we were headed to a park.  Ian and I were a bit vague about our plans for that first evening and the kids were a bit mystified when after nearly five hours of driving we showed up (early for once) at playground not much different than the one here in our neighborhood.

They shrugged their shoulders and began to play, confused about driving so far to a playground but happy to be out of the van and stretching their legs.

And then one by one, families that we know and love began to show up...

First to arrive was Darcy's "China sister" E.  Nearly two years in age separate these two, but aside from the size difference, you'd never know it.  They love each other dearly and it took just seconds for them to rejoice in seeing one another unexpectedly.

Shortly after E arrived, the kids were thrilled to see our precious friend Hannah (the Hannah who walked alongside us last year the week we met Natalie) and her amazing brother Jeremy.  Daniel and Jeremy go back to the days just after our peanut had his heart surgery when Jeremy would play with him at the foster home.

Not too much longer after that, the Fabulous F family of 14 poured out of their van.

Both Darcy and Daniel claim one of the F boys, Kevin, as their China brother...we met the F family in China when we adopted Darcy (and they adopted Kevin) but he and Daniel lived at New Day together for a time.

And then the party got started...

I'm not sure how many large pizzas were consumed that evening, but it was a LOT.

Even I got a fun surprise as Meredith (a former New Day intern and now sibling of a ND graduate ) showed up just days before her trip to Rwanda with Noonday Style for Justice to join our evening of fellowship.

It was a simple meal of pizza, chips and Kool-Aid pouches for the kids.

A LOT of pizza.  Like around 16 larges...

Oh.  And Popsicles.  Who can forget...or resist...that brightly colored summer treat?

We ate pizza, potato chips and Popsicles.  The grown-ups caught up on months that we'd been apart while the children chased fireflies. And then all too soon it was time to part ways.  The evening was short, but what a blessing to slow down for one evening and focus on friendships that run deep.

Hannah gave each family the chance to be photographed together which is a rare treat.  While the seven of us spend a lot of time together, there are very few pictures to prove it.
It never ceases to amaze me how relationships anchored in the love of our Heavenly Father carry on despite distance.  We are so thankful for these special families in our lives!


Laurie said...

LOVE the family picture!!! :)

Ashley said...

Such fund and LOVE the family photo - that is definitely one to be blown up!!