For the past 20 years, our family has travelled to Oregon to spend Thanksgiving at the Christian Renewal Center ... a WONDERFUL Christian Family Camp ... in the mountains an hour from Portland ... in the woods. It is a BEAUTIFUL place ... a QUIET place (until the Big D. family arrives) ... a place filled with LOVE and LAUGHTER and MEMORIES.
While we greatly missed Carissa (in Argentina) and Gregg (in Louisiana) this year, we were BLESSED to be joined by both of our soon-to-be daughters-in-laws (Hannah & Ashleigh), Vicky (1 of our Adopted Big Kids), and Dean (Cassie's "main man"). So, there were 16 of us together for the long weekend (which we actually started on Tuesday).
We LAUGHED ... we ate ... we played cards ... we ate ... we took naps ... we laughed some more ... we ate some more ... we worshipped together ... we listened to a GREAT speaker (5 sessions in 3 days) ... we PLAYED in the SNOW. Oh my! What FUN we had!!!
While Hannah has been "a part of the family" for several years, Ashleigh and Dean haven't spent much time with the family. On the first night, Josh was "on a roll", cracking jokes for about 2 hours straight. While the rest of us laughed hysterically, seriously rolling on the floor and with tears in our eyes ... Dean sat quietly, just kind of staring at us. I don't think he had ever met a family quite like ours. By the 2nd night, though, we had him laughing along with us.
However, that 2nd night we pulled out 12 decks of cards for a Hand & Foot Tournament and we surprised Dean by how competitive some of our young adults can get (it's a loving and friendly competition, for the most part, but competitive none the less). He enjoyed the game, though, and asked to play again the next night.
Many more pics and stories to come, but I thought I'd just share 1 fun pic tonight. Here a a few of us, after a hike in the snow. (Ashleigh, Jeremiah, and Vicky hadn't arrived yet, Ben had run off ahead of us, and Mama was behind the camera.)
Dean, Cassie, Papa, Hannah, Josh, Lindsey, Hosanna
Josiah, Elijah, Rachel, Sarah