Monday, November 9, 2015

Celebrating with our COUSINS!!! Quadville Sunday AND Monday Football!!!

The last few days have been jam packed with all kinds of good gatherings and activities!

This year my siblings and I started a tradition of gathering together to celebrate life and encourage one another and simply enjoy each other's company WITHOUT it being a funeral, wedding or some other special ocassion. We reached out to our cousins in the spring, sharing with them the hidden stories of our childhood as we searched for some answers and knowledge. They were so gracious to add their memories to ours and we slowly began to form a better idea of the events that happened during the formative years of our childhoods - roughly 1948 to 1965.

When we were growing up our cousins were a little bit older than we and we seldom got to see them other than a few times a year. We didn't really know each other until this year!
It is never too late to form close family relationships!

Let me tell you, we have had the BEST times together this year and we are discovering how wonderful it is to HAVE cousins!!!
Joyce is in blue and and her daughter, Pam, is standing next to me.
Gay is in purple and is Toni Sue's mother who is right in front of her.
Nita and Deanie you already know.
Can you tell we had a good time??
Everyone is laughing and smiling!

Everything was all ready and the candles were lit!
I brewed up some black currant tea and mixed up a pitcher of Blueberry Lavender Mojitos and we were ready to PARTY!!

Louis Dean held court in the gazebo and then sat in the living room with some of us!

We were scattered all over the house!

Here's Mike and Charlie - Nita and Deanie's husbands.
Our floor plan is a good one for mingling. As you come in the foyer you can go left into the den or right into the living room. The flow of traffic forms a figure 8 as you pass through the kitchen and into the living room - moving on into the dining room and then you are back in the kitchen. All teh bedrooms and bathrooms are in the back of the house.

We had a GREAT meal!!
Everyone brought something to go with the main dish of Taco Soup which I had simmering on the stove.

Charro Beans and Mexican Cornbread from Deanie and Tamales from Nita.....

Tortilla roll ups from Deanie and the BEST brownies from Gay!
Salad. cheese tray, crackers, chips, salsa and guacamole rounded out the meal!

We served ourselves buffet style......

and since we were family - I was totally relaxed about spooning the sour cream straight out of the carton and the shredded cheese straight from the bag!!!

This is Anthony who is ultimately responsible for bringing us all together.
Every October he - along with his daughter, Toni Sue -  put together the Whitfield Family Reunion.
We all decided it would be nice to see each other more than just once a year!

See how the traffic flows easily into the dining room?
We had 13 for dinner so 7 of us sat in there.

Pam and Nick were playing around!!!

Pam is the mother of our sweet brave Danna, who is fighting a dreadful cancer.
Danna is the same age as my Amber and Danna's son is just a day older than the quads.

Charlie and Mike discovered the table for two in the kitchen.
Mike LOVES sweets so that was a good place to keep the brownies!

Seating for 4 in the den! 
We all lingered long at the table - the sign of a really good party!!!
Most of us ended up in the dining room with Louis Dean and Mike and Charlie lounging around in the living room. Those three had already heard the funny stories we were sharing!

The afternoon was all too short and before we knew it we were saying goodbye - 
but NOT before we thought to take a group picture!

Now THIS is a bunch of handsome guys!!
GOOD men, every single one!!!

It was a good day!
Louis Dean was whispering sweet nothings but I kissed him goodbye anyway and drove over to spend the night in Quadville!

Miss Kailey was excited to see me - AND my iPad!!!
Amber does NOT promote a lot of techy things like this but she does allow Kailey to look at the 'pishers' on it!! She's really good at it, too!!

That guest room bed felt really good Saturday night!!!!

Sunday morning Amber and I loaded the kids up and made it to church BEFORE the preacher had started preaching! 

Amber needed to buy a few groceries after church and was planning on going to Kroger.....
until the girls persuaded her to go to TARGET instead!
That's their favorite store!!

They just could NOT believe that MeeMaw doesn't shop there often!!!
Well, THAT has changed now!!

I tell you - this Quad Mom Daughter of Mine has got her act TOGETHER!!!!

She knows how to do this and does this every single week with all four ALL BY HERSELF!!!
That's FOUR 3 year olds!! Actually they are nearly 3 1/2!
She brings them snacks or buys two bags of popcorn and divides that among four bags. 
She goes there so often they automatically do this for her as soon as they see her coming!
They have either cups of water from Starbucks - where she gets HER beverage - or she brings water bottles.

After they snack, it's usually a time for potty breaks and then she goes through the refrigerated section last before checking out. She whips out the marker books while she does this last bit of shopping. Smart girl, huh? Since I was with her - and seeing her in action for the very first time! - I took three of the quads to the snack bar to wait.
That's when a dear friend from way back when heard my voice!

What a dear sweet couple!!!
Jo Ann and Roy came to our wedding and then we lost touch! It had been 10 years since I've seen them and what a delight it was to catch up!!
Turns out, Roy WORKS at Target and Amber sees him every week but didn't recognize him!
10 years ago that white hair was NOT white!!

Oh, what FUN!!!
JoAnn and I have the BEST memories of some really good times while we share some other memories that were pretty sad. Sad about situations but not anything between us!
That's the beauty of Friends!!

That's the kind of friend JoAnn has been to me!!

Amber was delighted to have run into this special couple.
She has fond memories of them when she was a little girl.

After we unloaded groceries, prepared and served lunch and put the kids down for a nap......

we watched Casino Royale!!!
This set the stage for seeing the NEW Bond movie!!!
Granddad came over to help Jo Jo and Uncle Ben (family friends) keep the quads.
Amber had dinner all prepped and we headed out the door to catch the 7:45 showing!

We got there in time to snap a pic before it started!
LOVED that movie!!! LOVED spending time with my daughter and son in law even MORE!!!
LOVE the fact they WANTED me to go with them!!! All three of us love a good movie!
Louis Dean THANKED me for not making him go!!!
Do you see why I was so excited to see this film with people who WANTED to see it??

This brings me to Monday - finally!!!
I won't bore you with the details of this day except to say I am now the owner of a new phone!
An iPhone 6 and a mini iPad! AND my bill will be $50 LESS each month than it has been!!!
I told the young man who helped me at the AT&T store I would do for him what I did for the fellow who helped me two years ago. He asked me what that might be.
"I will say a prayer for you and bake you a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies."
I promised to deliver them on Friday!

Louis Dean and I had a late lunch/early dinner at Saltgrass Steak House.
We have been trying to use a gift card we had since September!
FINALLY! It was delicious! This is one of our favorite places! We came here when we were dating, on our wedding night and nearly every anniversary!

I got home just in time for Amber to pick me up to go to my first born grandchild's last football game of the season.

This is my first born son, Jesse!
See Levi peeking thought there?

It was a perfect evening for it!

This was a big deal as it was the quads' very first football game!

I was so glad to see Levi!!!
He told me he had just asked his dad this very afternoon, "Dad, do you ever see your mom any more?"

Levi and Faith!

It was a blast to all be together for Sam's last game.
Next year I hope to keep a higher profile with the older grands!
Levi informs me he starts basket ball in Januray!!

I close this monster of a journal entry with the reason we were at the game in the first place!

I'm getting in just under midnight so I am going to quit talking now - even though I have much more to SAY!!! Haha!! Spellcheck may or may not be working and I haven't time to proof it all so here it goes as is!!


Linda said...

IPhone 6 may be the best purchase I'll make in my lifetime. I love it! I also have a mini iPad but do almost everything on the iPhone 6.

Doreen@househoneys said...

You have the most amazing,fun family Linda, and wow, is Levi cute or what?!

Not sure if I mentioned in my last comment, butI love your new header :).

Kathy said...

I wondered what happened to you the last few days but now I see that you were busy! What a great weekend you had. So glad you got to spend time with your older grandchildren and Jesse and to see Sam play. How big he's gotten! He's going to be a heartbreaker with the girls -- so handsome.

You are right about the cousins. Seems the only time we get together is at a funeral. i am just reconnecting with my dad's side and it's fun getting to meet all of them.

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

What a great gathering. Smiling faces and lots of good food. You really are a busy bee The quads are all darling and growing up fast. I hope amber tries the Shrimp, it is yummy.

Arlene said...

Loved catching up with you Linda! What a good time you had with your cousins. All of mine are in Georgia and when we get our little house built there I hope to host some parties just like yours. And Amber is amazing...I would never tackle the grocery store with my three little ones! Loved seeing pictures of Jesse and your older grands...a good looking crew for sure.

Deanie W said...

You did a great job of getting all that has been going on in your blog. Good job girl ❤️

Debbie said...

Good morning! I SOO enjoyed catching up with you....loved hearing about ALL your happenings. You are such a busy gal. I just know if we knew each other in person we'd be great friends as you seem to enjoy all the same things I do in just the same way, lol. Great idea about getting together with cousins. Even getting together with sibblings takes purpose. It just seems those years in there when we are all soo busy raising our families and working etc. it's easy to just kind of drift apart. It's so worth it to make the effort to stay close. My daughter doesn't have quads of course, but you should see her with her 3 little ones under 4, haha. Shopping is a real challenge. How I wish I lived closer so I could help her out the way you do your daughter, plus ALL that time with the little ones would be soo good. I get you on time with the older grands too. I've got them working and living on their own already [one of them anyway] and they are all soo busy. i am going to make more of an effort there too. Have a good rest of your week Linda!

Deanna Rabe said...

What a fun post! I am so glad you have reunited with your cousins! You all have a lot of fun together.

Those quads are adorable and so well behaved.

Your son is handsome, and you are blessed to have so many delightful grandkids!


Changes in the wind said...

What a fun time for all and love the picture of you and your was the best.

Susie said...

Linda, Wow I am wore out. LOL. You have the best times. Yes, everyone looked fabulous. Your kids are all so cute. Sam is going to be one handsome boy. So you are surrounded by pretty people. I love that you met your old friends at the store. They will know Amber now. The quads are so well behaved. I can't begin to tell you how much that means to me. I love seeing children raised right. Glad you and your main sweetheart in your life, that charming LD, got to go to dinner in a special place. Blessings to all, love you, Susie

Vee said...

I wandered off in the middle of it, but I came back and read every word! You have the most beautiful grands, the big ones and the little ones! Sounds as if you need to set an intention and get all those kids and grands together at the same place and time one week soon. Not easy. I only have two kids and two grands and it still isn't easy. I always love the glimpses into your family life. (I would love to have some time with my cousins...they are among my most favorite people.)

Cheapchick said...

If your days must be filled to the brim like they always seem - at least you are surrounded by family and friends and look like you are having FUN!

Jill said...

That food look amazing! What a wonderful family get together! A blessed life indeed ;-)


NanaDiana said...

I love that your family is such an integral part of your lives. Those are all great pictures. Love that sAmber didn't recognize him because of the white hair. lol Hair really can change the way we look!
Hope you had another great day! xo Diana

Angie said...

What a whirlwind of a few days you had there lady! I'm so glad your enjoying cousin time. I have some awesome cousins who live nearby and I rarely see them. I really need to put in more effort to spend time with them. They are all truly my best friends. Our family is very close but somehow us cousins don't keep close like we should until something happens in the family. Then we all pile in together!

Amber is a machine! I cannot imagine taking four kids to Target. I cringe at the idea of taking two most days. She's one amazing lady.

Sam is a hunk! He will be beating the girls off of him with a ball bat!

Say What? said...

I wish I was your cousin. ;) I love family gatherings.

Penny said...

Loving your energy as always Linda, wish I could just have sneaked in the back door and listened to those family stories along with all your family X

Carla said...

I don't have to be a cousin but wish I lived closer to have fun with you once in a while. You always have the best gatherings. Man Levi and Faith are becoming young adults thru your blog.
Amber does better with 4 than I did with 1. ;o)