29 October, 2006
Lots of Company!
The big weekend has come and gone. What a fun and precious time it was. The news on my nephew is that his unit got bumped on the timetable and flight home by a unit with a higher ranking officer. So he has still not left Baghdad, as far as we know. Family travelled to our area to stay overnight on the way to Ft. Hood for Greg's homecoming. We got the news after everyone had taken time off of work and made their reservations for accomodations near Ft. Hood. Think of how many hundreds of people had to cancel reservations and wait to make new ones? How does the army justify that? I realize that it is minor compared to other things they do...this is just a small piece of straw on the camel's back, but it doesn't mean it's not important.
So, while my brother and his family were here on their way to go see their son's /brother's/uncle's homecoming, we had a little family reunion and brunch out here at our home. One of the neatest things about our little reunion this time was that our sister got to be with us. She has always missed out on our little 4th of July celebrations, family parties for nephews while on leave or about to go back to Iraq, etc., because of her own family needs, obligations, and the fact that she lived so far from most of us.
My sister surprised me this week by coming into town with a friend who needed a driving companion for the long trip. The young friend of my niece had never been out of their small town, and did not want to travel alone. My sister arrived Wednesday night and just left this morning, around 8:30. She so needed this break, as she and her husband, a full-time minister, are helping their daughter raise their toddler twins, since their dad walked out on them and got himself a girlfriend before the twins were born. Recently, my sis and her family were able to move to west Texas, now she lives a lot closer geographically than she has in years.
We had a great time doing a lot of catching up. We have not seen each other for a year and a half, since our grandmother's 90th birthday party in the summer of 2005. She has not been able to visit us at our home in about 10 years, so this was a treat. She was able to read and to rest easy, knowing that her grandbabies and daughter were safe and well-taken care of.
We took a few pictures at our family brunch yesterday. I'll have to post one of all my siblings here. It is on my husband's desktop and not mine, so it will need to be transferred. (Sheila, you will enjoy seeing everyone!)
A couple of my other great-"niephces" came this time, ones I haven't seen since last Thanksgiving. My nephew's sweet daughter saw that her picture was up on my frig and said to me, wide-eyed, "you remembered us??" and I said "You better believe it!!" She was my friend all day long! What a doll. Being and aunt is pretty awesome. Being a Great-Auntie is even better!! I have 15 great-"niephces" and one on the way! We are a pretty close family, even if we don't all live close. Two of my brothers and some of their kids live near us. The oldest one of us lives a state away, as all most of his kids/grandkids. His son Greg is returning from Iraq and they have just moved back at Ft. Hood. My sis lives only 5 or so hours away, now.
The snack treat of the weekend: Chocolate No-Bake Cookies and cold milk or strong coffee.
This was a family staple when we were all young. Brings back good memories.
All together, we had 21 of our family members here yesterday. That still leaves 26 that weren't here with us :-), which doesn't include our Mom and Dad, who started it all!! Several of my kids' friends visited during the day. Two of my 24-ish yo nephews went out and played airsoft gun battles in the fields with some of my kiddos and their friends. They had a terrific time of it! We sustained two broken chairs, one broken porch swing, a few cuts and scuffs from the airsoft battle around an old, abandoned house, and two shy kitties who hid in the back room all day :-).
Later in the afternoon, I took the gals shopping at a sample outlet. By evening, I was driving my sister to the opposite side of the city to pick up a transitional bed for one of her grandbabies. Everyone else went to hear my brother's band play about 40 minutes away.
At the store, I got to practice my Spanish several times. I found a wonderful 12' x 12' hardback copy of a Christmas Book en español called Cuentos y Cantos de Navidad for only $7.90!
It was a full day, and a fulfilling weekend! Yes, I am sooooo tired, and I ~DID~ get a great nap today.
Keep praying that Greg and his unit make it safely home, and all of you have a wonderful, blessed week.