This Saturday night was a very special night for us. We had a house full of company, both friends and family. There were faces old and new, and lots of introductions. My Aunt Irene, on the left, is my paternal grandmother’s sister. She lives in Oklahoma and I had not seen her since my grandmother’s funeral in 1997; she had never met most of my kids (although she’s made quilts for them!). Pictured with her is a distant cousin, Carl, whom we met for the first time. Also in attendance were my dad and his friend Frankie; Aunt Linda and Laura; and our oldest son, Jacob, and his girlfriend Kathryn. Altogether there were 17 of us!

We had a huge potluck supper complete with barbeque, Mexican goulash, hot dogs from the grill, strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler, and hot cinnamon apples with ice cream. Afterward, we settled in for a family concert, with my dad playing guitar and singing and everyone joining in. My kids have experienced these concerts a few times, but this was a regular occurance during my childhood and one of my fondest memories. I even got my dad to sing “Just a Pig I Used to Know,” which is the crazy take of “Just a (Girl?) I Used to Know” that I always requested as a child. I’m not even positive what the real title is, but I always got a kick out of the “pig” part; I’m sure our version is much more entertaining than the original. “Brown Eyed Girl” is another crowd-pleaser, and my all-time favorite song.

Everyone had such an awesome time. Sabra showed off her quilting; Lily showed off by standing alone and attempting to walk; Christian showed off his new pet guinea pig, Joe Cool. The kids wanted Laura to photograph them riding their bikes; I thought Clayton was going to wipe out because he was trying so hard to ride while looking back and smiling at the camera.
A big highlight for me was the free cosmetics! Laura works for a pricey cosmetic company and gifts me with samples when she comes to visit. As a mother of 8, I don’t have a lot of disposable income – well actually I don’t have any income – so this is such a treat for me. Thank you, Laura!
I made it clear before the evening began that I wanted lots of pictures, so I’m really grateful to Bryan and Hayden for the photography. Hayden even took video clips of the singing, too. This is an evening I’ll always treasure!

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