My mother (who lives in Washington state) flew to San Diego to visit my sister and her family. Soon after arriving, my brother-in-law, George, received news from his dad that George's mother had passed away. Devastating. The memorial service was to be held in Oklahoma where Darla's family is from and within a day, the whole family loaded in the 15 passenger van and headed East, making a stop for a few days in Texas. We had 9 precious visitors and loved, loved, loved getting to be together.
I admire the heck out of my sister, Crystal, and her husband George. They live in love, joy and they make each day count, impacting lives through their relationships and sharing Jesus in the most down to earth, real way I've seen. I will never forget Crystal checking out at the Dollar store and asking the clerk who she had made friends with about how his siblings were doing, etc. They know how to love people -and we are blessed to get to be some of those folks.
They arrived on Saturday night and we settled everyone in on makeshift beds and got up bright and early on Sunday. Brian actually never went to sleep. He was prepping for a marathon he decided to do on a whim and left waaaaay before sunrise, winning 2nd in his age group. Yeah, that's my man!
We went to church, came home -the rest of the day is a blur to me, I think we went to the store- and trotted on over to Dukes for some BBQ and a chance for the kids to muck about. And it was documented. Oh! And we had a nail painting party in the driveway. All children (except 12 year old Zaccai) and Crystal and I participated. Wish I had pictures, but instead of snapping away, I decided to enjoy the moment. Sometimes you have to resist the urge to document and just let life happen.
Kaeli and Hannah
Mom and Zaccai
Waiting and drooling.
Timmy and Wilder
Hannah and Waverley. So stinkin' sweet.
Timmy and Crystal. This mother, I tell ya what. She knows how to love her kiddos. Makes me tear up thinking about it.
Criming, as Wilder would say.
Timmy, Wilder and Wesley.
Miss Aravis dancing on the picnic table in the sunset.
Pretty little feet.
She was told to smile for the camera.
Grandmama and her grandkids. Hey, life is real.
The Kings are Party Central.
And a mix of both.
Zaccai hoisting Timmy, Hannah looking beautiful as usual.
Love, love, love.
Wesley and George. Actually it's George Wesley King and George K. King. So, it's the Georges. Or is it Georgi?
The Men: George, Zaccai, Wesley and Timothy
Crystal and George are high school sweethearts, married at 18 and the best example of a healthy, happy marriage I've yet to run across. Through the 14 years they've been man and wife -and the previous 3 that they dated- it has been an honor seeing them bind together, create such a beautiful, unique family and see God's hand in their lives. It's been AMAZING, and I love them to pieces.
Wilder would not leave his beloved dirt pit and Timmy has no idea why.
Kaeli = Spunky. She is full of life, a natural thespian, enjoys instructing others and, well, basically lives on full-blast. She's one of a kind, a precious little lady and -watch out world!
We found this homeless boy wandering around. My kid will be dirty for at least the next 10 years, bet my bottom dollar.
Don't you just love boys and their attraction to sharp, pointy objects?
My Viking and the Cling-On. Waverley has been, oh, let's just say "attached." She loves being held lately. Now if only she'd let me take a nap with her, that'd be something. I miss those snuggle times -she was such an angel baby. But we're done -no reading "I wish I had more kids" into that statement. We're good. We're good.
Oh, I forgot to tell you! Wilder requested that for his birthday (Monday, the 24th) he wanted to have the Christmas tree up with presents under it. So, we put the tree up before the family came and treated each day like it was Christmas. We came home after dinner to watch "Home Alone" and play cards. That's how we roll. Christmas in October. I mean, really, why wait? We were all together, let's make the most of it!