Sunday, July 20, 2014

Family Reunion

We had a family reunion this weekend,
for my mom's siblings' families.
My grandpa would've been 100 this year.
Grandma's 98th birthday passed last week.
Nearly all of my mom's siblings are great-grandparents.
So the 100 people we had here
were really just a tiny fraction of my grandparents' descendants.
My mom was the baby of 7,
so most of my first cousins are closer to her age
than to mine.
It was fun to spend a little time this weekend
getting to know them better
as an adult.
I'm lucky to be related to a lot of really cool people.

This is my favorite shot of the weekend:
This is my mom's oldest brother, Leonard (76 years old)
and her youngest uncle, Harold (92 years old).
They've spent a lot of years working together.
Their faces float through a fair amount
of my childhood memories.
They both look so much like my grandma,
especially when they smile or laugh.
Watching them both laugh so hard they could hardly catch their breath,
while my oldest brother told a tall tale
(that happened to involve this particular uncle)
made my heart dance.

I love knowing where I come from,
and seeing little pieces of the people we love,
in all these other people who love them.
I love my family.
And I should.
I got a good one.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dylan's Baptism

February isn't a great time for get togethers and traveling, so we decided to wait for summer to get Dylan baptized.

He was baptized by Doug, in St. Ignatius, MT, on July 5th.

The meeting was conducted by his Grandpa, Chuck Winter.
Aunt Christina West played the music, and great-Grandma Elda Joy was the chorister.
Papa Umpy gave the talk on baptism.
Papa Umpy and Papa Chuck were the witnesses.
His dad performed the confirmation,
with Michael L. Umphrey, Michael K. Umphrey, Charles Winter, Paul West
and Bishop Alan Mikkelsen standing in.
I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost.
Grandmas Valerie Umphrey and Katy Winter
gave the opening and closing prayers.
A few family members didn't make it,
either due to illness or distance,
but we remembered them, too,
and were grateful all over again
on Dylan's special day
that he has such a large and amazing support system around him. 
There was an amazing Spirit present,
and I think Dylan will remember it.

He is known and loved
by some pretty remarkable people,
and most of all by a Heavenly Father who cherishes him.
In the confirmation blessing,
he was reminded that Heavenly Father knows his challenges
and his strength,
and if he pays attention to the Spirit,
the wonderful new gift of constant companionship,
he'll help him navigate life.
Which can be a pretty tricky thing to do.

These little monkeys are my favorite things in the whole wide world.
It was good to be reminded of that.