July 7, 2008

At Home in Oregon

This past week I was in Oregon, celebrating the 4th of July with my family. It was wonderful because all of us (42 including everyone) were there. Here are a few photos of home.

I stepped into the street and took this photo facing east on Main Street in Vale. Sometimes I forget just how small of a town I grew up in.

I love the 4th of July! It is so important to remember that the freedom we have in this country was fought for and that it is necessary to continue to defend that freedom today.

It is my favorite holiday and also represents a time for the family to get together. We have a tradition that each July 4th the kids over 12 yrs of age (those who can drag themselves out of bed by 6:30am - actually Mom wakes us up or we would never make it!) climb the silo and raise the flag at the top. Quite a few of us made it this year, but you can tell we didn't get enough sleep :)

Clockwise from center front: Alena, Jill, Monica, Eric, Denise, Sheryl, Matt
Monica, Alena, Sheryl, Jill, Brenda, Denise A corn field Potatoes in Mom's garden
One of my favorite things was seeing the grand kid's have so much fun together - - - it is awesome to see the families of my siblings mix when we get together. And I am amazed that they remember one another even though they are unable to see each other very often. I love it when they talk about their "cousins".

Harold and Conner
John and Gage
Savannah and Coby
Karadyn and Caleb
Getting a tractor ride! When there are too many to fit with Grandpa (Dad) on the tractor seat, the loader certainly comes in handy.
At our house we love to play a game of baseball. All ages are welcome and strikes generally aren't counted - some of us are not known for our batting skills and others are barely old enough to give it a good swing. As children, we would play in the barnyard with my Grandpa Saunders, so I am happy to see the tradition carried forward. Plus, it is tons of fun and laughter to play with this group!
Conner up to bat getting some instruction from dad (Kevin)
Kali got a hit, hopefully she can outrun Uncle Kevin!
Waiting for a turn to bat
Anna at bat
Savannah getting a little help from dad (Richard)
Yes, I took my turn. And amazed Cory when I hit it past the tree!
Playing in the front yard
Our favorite place to congregate is the kitchen. Meals are one of the best parts of our get-together's and trust me, the food coming out of Mom's kitchen is pretty amazing!
After meals also happens to be the best time for conversation
Mom's kitchen is the best - - - 5 cooks and still room for more!
More talking
I love spending time with my nieces and nephews - holding Adelaide, talking to Caleb
I found it amusing that when one of the boys mentioned going and shooting clay pigeons, not a single girl moved but every male in the house was headed out the door before another word could be said!
The four-wheelers made great seats for those waiting for a turn
Matt, Greg and Kevin
The silo's at night
An annual tradition for the Vale Wards is to have a breakfast on July 4th with both wards. It is always a high-light of the holiday and this year's exceeded expectations - pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, and potatoes - a true breakfast!
My Mother's family had a reunion on the 5th and there were probably around 200 people in attendance. It was great to see my cousins and uncles and aunts!
In January, my Grandpa, John L. Wagstaff, passed away at the age of 96. As the weather was very bad, all family members that were not close to home were encouraged not to come for the funeral, and it was decided that there would be a memorial during the reunion. It was nice to remember Grandpa and the things that were most important to him: the gospel, family, and hard work.
During his lifetime, Grandpa served 4 missions, served in various church callings, married in the temple (Ruth), had 7 children with his first wife (Ruth passed away when he was in his forties), remarried in the temple (Ileen, who we all know as Grandma), farmed in Utah and Idaho, had 62 grandchildren, and the number of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren has surpassed the number of grandchildren and continues to grow. He is missed by those here, but I am grateful to know that we will be together again when our work is done because we are part of an eternal family.
Me and Grandma Wagstaff
It is always wonderful to go home. Just looking out the windows or standing in the yard is so comforting.
Looking east, towards the farm
And sunsets in Vale are always gorgeous!
I love home. I love my family.



Brenda, quality post! Good job taking pictures of everything! Isn't home so great?! With your mom's kitchen, no wonder you felt crowded at college! (Bragger!) And invisble swear words so you know I haven't changed. :)

Benannie05 said...

Nice pictures. Erika, Why only invisible swear words?

Ashley said...

I can't wait to visit the farm!!! :)

Karli said...

I can't believe how big your "little" siblings are getting. Matt and Alena always surprise me.

Umm only a Saunders would take pictures of the breakfast. I must agree though, the food this year was much better than years past.

I miss the view in Vale. Especially the sunsets. Not enough that I will ever move back mind you, but I need to find somewhere else with sunsets like that.

It was good to see you. I've been writing an email to you in my head for a week now. We'll see if I actually ever get it sent. =)

Denisse said...

Beautiful pictures!!!! Loved looking at all of them!!!! I especially loved the picture of the grandkids getting a tractor ride!!! That's awesome!!!!!

lambini said...

I love this. Reminds me of home...paper plates, corn field, and shot guns in all. awesome. How alike we really are. :D