Monday, April 06, 2015

Countless Good Things

Before I sweep, or put away dishes, before I eat one more jelly bean... I had to sort just a few pictures, wonderful moments from a very good Easter gathering, and share them... to keep the memories, to remind ourselves of life's simple pleasures, to connect and reconnect with each other. {Warning: There are a lot of pictures, and my heart is bursting with lots to say. I cannot help myself.}

The day was one good thing after another...
Dominic and Marissa, with Antonia, their Bisabuela... 95 year old great-grandmother.

With Lisa and her camera there, I felt a tremendous relief and gratitude, because I knew I could let her work her magic taking good family pictures. I hope everyone will be sharing all of their pictures!

Bill and Alison, their children, and our Abuela.

Our grandmother lives for family, for her faith, for extending her love and blessings on everyone. I am sure each of us grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, has a myriad of good memories of her, and the loving things she has said and done for us.

Abuela never fails to make us feel loved.

Between the delicious potluck foods, the gorgeous weather, the Viking tent, goats, chickens, and fun-loving guests... it was impossible for it to not be a good day. We were missing some (many in our considerably sized family,) and I think this only serves to inspire us to get together again.

Goats and chickens always amuse me, but it's even more fun to share them! All the cousins were such enthused and gentle farmers. Someone (Kyle or Keaton? Maybe Landon?) brought me a whole clutch of eggs that the hens had been hiding in a shrub! Then Dom brought an egg, and Marissa another, and they breathlessly proclaimed them to be very fresh eggs that they saw being laid! The eggs were warm and my nephew and niece were glowing with the thrill of their finds. It never gets old for me, finding the eggs, and seeing Dom and Marissa enjoy the wonder of it makes me giddy.

Our Abuela took us on some of the longest and most adventurous hikes of my childhood... to canyons, and rivers, up mesas, to distant places that are magical to recall. She seemed tireless, on the trail, and in her patience and affection. Today, it was the great grandchildren, and nasturtiums that lured her into the garden.

Marissa, and Maria, and Emma's sweet selfie skills.

Priscilla, if you only get one picture, it's awesome that it's as good as this one!

Alex and Bambi were the waffle masters, and Lisa was with me and helping, every step of the way from start to finish. Look at Alison's scrumptious fruit salad. And I adore that happy gaze from Dominic. A bit later, I was perched at the corner of the table, enjoying one of Tim's cinnamon roll, and a bit of everything else, and looking around the kitchen, I felt joy... joy at the sight of cousins, and siblings, and friends, and the flurry and buzz of a busy home. The best... a bustling home, full, and engaged.

A teachable moment... with tips and suggestions from just about everyone around the table, Maria advised Emma about how to use the whipped cream dispenser.

Success... another vital life skill mastered!

My dear cousin Priscilla made this visit possible. We were both marveling at how sometimes life lets you be spontaneous, how things can work out, even better than imagined or hoped for.

Dom, Maria, Marissa, and Emma

Once again proving that cousins make the best friends. Simple, and darling.

Lisa, Priscilla, Natalie, and Emma

Proving, once again, that even when they've grown up, and the visits are less frequent, cousins can still make the best friends.

Bisabuela Antonia, and her first great-grandchild, William. Good people, good souls.

Dom, Kyle, Keaton, Marissa, Landon

We weren't about to skip the egg hunt, but the day was so full, the children so easy to entertain themselves, that it was nearly overlooked. Lisa came well-stocked with eggs, and we had some here, too. Bill, Lisa, and I covered the yard with treasure, while the chickens looked on, puzzled. Inside, the children were amusing themselves with magic and sleight of hand games... something that we all enjoyed for most of the rest of the day!

I think everyone found good things in the garden.

The happy hunters! Dom, Maria, Marissa, Keaton with Landon, and Kyle beside Emma

I still remember the spring smell of fresh grass, sun, and chocolates, and the fun of swapping, sorting, and carrying a basketful of goodies. It was a fun to see their pleasure in the day.

Bill, you have your equipment. You know what to do. And remember, I am an investor, so when you fill your gold pan, don't forget your favorite sister.

Good chocolates... those ones in the white wrappers... just saying.

I love being an aunt.

I love that Lisa and Tim took so many pictures, that they're sharing. I love that their boys enjoyed the goats and chickens, that they were happy to play.

Keaton, Lisa, and Alison

My brothers are dear to me, in ways I cannot find words for. My abuela, too... and this picture is a treasure.

We simply could not pass the day without the Eggbot; our robo contribution to many celebrations and gatherings never disappoints.

Besides finding eggs, real and candy-filled, besides feasting merrily, we became deeply immersed in games... magic, illusion, stunts, pranks, clever tricks, and funny talents. I am glad I had some cards on hand.

Both Bill and Keaton have skills with sleight of hand.

The entertainment was ongoing, and good natured.

Maria and Marissa left the room, and returned to guess which state we picked, while Bill rattled off geographical places (seemingly at random?) With Kyle's help, Maria was able to teach the secret of the game to Marissa, and now they are both master illusionists.

Bill, Tim, Keaton, Kyle, and the deck of cards... magical.

William and Geoff, and the magical EggBot.

Tim, Dom, and Landon

Dom, you are awfully lucky to have such a fun daddy!

Yup, I do love a full house.

Maria's turn to be the master magician. She'll tell you in which hand you're holding a jelly bean. Mind power!

Good laughs, good tricks.

Good eggs.

Countless good things.


Anonymous said...

I love chicken blog!!! :D It makes me so happy! (This is Maria speaking ;D)

Anonymous said...

Maria, Natalie, I too love Chicken Blog; a happy heart time reading and viewing the great photos. (This is Oregon Coast Grannie. ��)

Janece said...

I'm enjoying these memories and photos, Natalie. Countless good things is a perfect title for this. Charming, endearing smiles, twinkling eyes, family hugs, playful laughter, sweet moments, a full kitchen with plates full of delicious foods, magic tricks, easter baskets, treats, and countless more good things! <3