Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Four Years Later

Kyley, Maddie Lu and Lucy.  The White Swan Hotel, Ghuanzhou, China (December, 2009).

"It is by chance that we met,
By choice that we became friends."
Henri Nouwen

We have tried over the years.

Emails and correspondence.

Discussion and attempts.

Trying to get these three "sisters" back together.   

For one reason or another, it never happened.

Until last weekend....

Maddie Lu, Kyley and Lucy... almost four years later.
And just like that, it was as though 4 years had never passed.

Kyley brought these Dora dolls for the girls.  They were a huge hit!

We are so grateful for Lucy's China sisters. 

They were her first friends.

They knew her before we did. 

They share similar stories.

Someday, they may share similar heartaches.

We hope they will always remain friends.

If we have anything to do with it...they will.

Friday, August 16, 2013

God is a Verb

Recently, I saw this quote in a book I was reading (The Shack, for anyone interested).   When I read it, that "God is a verb,"  it got me thinking.  What does this mean, really?  I have always thought of God as a noun, a person, a being, a spirit,  a someone.    But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the truth behind this quote.  God is so much in the doing of our lives... in the activities and relationships.  In the sharing.   Even in the beauty that surrounds us- in the sunrises and sunsets and shooting stars.  In the actions and happenings-- verbs if you will.  What an insightful and challenging way to think about God. And I think a perfect way to encapsulate all of the activity that surrounded us this past weekend at the (40th!) annual Barnes' reunion in western NY.  Our weekend was filled with so much joy and fellowship and fun and laughter and remembrance and beauty. Who else could have commissioned all this activity, in this way, other than God?

As usual, lots of pictures...too many wonderful people and moments that just had to be captured.  Enjoy!

The weather was absolutely perfect the entire weekend.  We enjoyed one of our first days taking a walk down Hodge Road (it runs parallel to Brian's parents' property).   Soooo enjoyable.

On Saturday, before the reunion, we had a beautiful burial of Wally's cremains.  Cousin Joe impressed us (as usual) with his beautiful rendition of "Ave Maria,"  and some wonderful thoughts were shared about Wally and his time here on earth. 
 Rest in Peace, Wally.

There is a great story behind Wally's urn...just ask me if you want to know!

Let the party begin!

Cousin Brandon, who was so sweet and attentive to Lucy... alllll weekend.

Ditto for cousin Claire,...and all Lucy's cousins for that matter!

The youngest addition to the Barnes' family, (I think!), Baby Lena.

Cousin Liam and Lucy were attached at the hip.  (photo courtesy of Liam's mom, Rachel.)

This child would live on a swing, if she could.  (photographer extraordinaire:  Rachel)

Almost everyone....a few missing.   (photo:  Rachel)

See what I mean?

Ranger rides on the farm were a big hit...all weekend long.

Brian's brother Kevin hit it out of the park, borrowing this wagon from a neighboring farmer.

This was the beginning of our "sunset wagon ride."

The sky looked like it was on fire.

When am I going to get my new/better camera?????


Watching the sunset.


More ranger rides.

Later in the night we had a great bonfire...

accompanied by shooting stars every 5 minutes or so.  we were captivated....

Sunday at Aunt Mary Anne's.  Let the good times continue....

First cousins (although not inclusive of all that were here this weekend).


We love Aunt Bridgey.

This was Wally's hat. Other than this moment here, it remained on Brian's head all day Sunday.

Aunt Mary Anne, and our special cousins Bernie and Kathleen.

photo courtesy of  Rachel

photo courtesy of Rachel

All good things must come to an end.   Moments before departure...

I love you Mamaw.

Saying good bye is so hard.   (ps, Lucy gives the BEST hugs)

Thanks to all the family, all 50+ members who were in attendance!   We had a wonderful time, with sooo many special memories.   Counting down the days until next year!