this is a drawing that i did of jerry, my husband, from a picture taken late in the summer. while he might look like he's in deep thought, he's really just checking out the flower garden right below the front porch. he was leaned there on the railing taking a break from playing w/ the children (22, 22 & 26) and the grandchildren (5, 3, 3, 16 months and 4 months) in the front yard. after a good deal of kickball/soccor, tag, chase, ride/pull the wagon, and ride the lawnmower (or in the lawnmower wagon) -- it's exhausting for everyone!!!
we specifically keep sundays open for family time, with an open invitation to whomever in the family wants to come to our house and eat/play/hangout to be there. almost every week, we have a house-full of kids and grandkids, enjoying each other's company and doing special activities or just playing in the yard/garden/pool -- depending upon what time of year it is.
of course, we spend as much time throughout the week with our families as possible, but sundays are definitely family days and our kids and grandkids can all spend time together, too. it really is something special about little kids that just attracts more little kids. the nice thing about our kids/grandkids is that they are so comfortable being around each other that an outsider would have a hard time telling which kids belong to which parents. when a little one needs something, whomever is closest at that point takes care of it. it really makes for great times.
add that amount of kids (both young and older) to the fact that we have a big front yard and that leads to running, chasing, tickling, tagging, laughing, playing ball, and blowing bubbles. summer and lucas were both running around the yard with the kids at the time that jacob was chilling on the porch holding little riahna. it gives everyone a chance to have a break, too! all the little ones play very well together, but joey has a hard time keeping up w/ the bigger ones and riahna doesn't know that she's supposed to be trying to keep up!
about the time that everyone is completely worn out, it's time for dinner. many nights we just order a stack pizzas and other times we grill "burgers and dogs". something quick and simple because everyone is tired and hungry. after the kids have run a few laps through the house, someone grabs a handful of popsicles and sends them out to the porch to have a little snack while waiting on dinner. it keeps them busy and helps sustain our sanity a little longer -- or at least as much as we have left at that point.
if the popsicles aren't enough to keep them entertained for too long -- then grandpa jerry gets the lawnmower and yard wagon and takes them on a wonderful ride around the yard, over to the trees/meadow across the road, and around the pond. i bet he could drive for 20 miles w/ them in the lawnmower wagon and they would still be having a great time and think they were on a wonderful adventure.
while you can't see it here in the picture, little joey is sitting in grandpa jerry's lap, helping to drive the lawnmower. i guess he figured that was much safer than putting the little guy in the wagon w/ the 2 little demons. it doesn't take a rocket-scientist to figure out what would happen in that scenario!