Sunday morning after the classic continental breakfast, we met my uncle Andy, aunt Nancy and cousin Laura in the church parking lot before going inside together. Inside we met my Grandmom's brother and sister-in-law (Uncle Joe & Aunt Jane). The service was definitely different than what we were used to. It was very informal, and I was pretty embarrassed when the pastor called out a few different people during his sermon. I really love my church, and I'm ready to change the subject.
I counted 39 of us together that met in Uncle Joe and Aunt Jane's backyard for the semi-annual Ford reunion in small-town Rosewood, Ohio (click HERE to see how small-town!) By the end of the evening, I knew everyone by name, and that is about as familiar as I am with at least 30 of my kin.
This year after our late lunch, Uncle Joe had a little bit of structure and I soon realized everyone (with the exception of a few kids) was sitting in a circle and we were going to tell stories! By "we" and by "stories" I mean that there are 7 of us cousins who had traveled the world during the summer, and our supporters wanted to hear our testimonies.
Below: Amos [who is a son of my mom's cousin; & wife Amy] sharing about their time in Turkey. To the right of Amy is Peter [son of Mom's cousin; http://wiggipe.wordpress.com/], who just returned from 1 year in Bolivia, and is returning again next week. Peter's story is a little different because he is the director of a youth orchestra and choir program at a Jesuit Mission School.
And here is Abigail telling us about living and teaching in China. Next to Abigail is Mom's cousin (Uncle Dan), who has 11 children. Eleven; 6 biological and 5 adopted. On either side of his son David is Patrick and Betsy, adopted as young babies from Haiti. I remember when they were itsy-bitsy and were afraid of walking on grass because they had never seen it before!
This couple in the distance is Uncle Andy and Aunt Nancy, my mom's brother and wife. I was glad they brought a cousin, because we are Grandmom's only grandchildren and the other 20 in our generation are Joe & Jane's grandchildren, and unfamiliar with our side of the family.
Here's my sista Jessie, next to Aunt Jane and Uncle Joe:
And last: My dear Grandmom [w/ Mexican blanket] and her younger sister Wilma.