On Labor Day Weekend, there was a family reunion planned in Indiana and we knew we just had to be there!! It's been years since all of the Brinker boys were together and we spent weeks looking forward to it! On Friday afternoon, Wade, Jen, and I packed up all 7 kids, loaded them up between 2 cars, and made the 10-1/2 hour trek. We were stocked with fruit snacks, grapes, Cheeze-its, and Powerades and believe it or not, the trip there was wonderful! The babies did great and Callie and Andrew discussed life... while the 3 oldest girls got to ride with Grammie and Pops. While snacking on celery sticks and carrot juice. Yuuuuummm. :)) We made it to Illinios at midnight and were only scolded once by the hotel employees for being too loud. What can I say??
Old habits die hard.. am I right, Cottingham D-Wing?! :))
Here are the big girls, riding out to the car for a day of fun on the farm!
First, we had to go pick up Grandpa! He was waiting at the door for us, ready to meet Andrew, Grant, and Jude in person for the first time!
"Hello, little lady!" - Paw Paw Fred
We got to soak up some uninterrupted talks with Grandpa...
...before it was time to get down to some serious snuggling.
Here is "Paw Paw Fred" with 7 of his 11 Brinker great-grandbabies!
Jenny & Jude!
Upon arriving at the farm, we discovered Grandpa's apple and pear trees in full bloom! We immediately went to apple-picking and snacking on these Red Delicious apples! This is as organic as it gets, folks.
Each and every apple was like a hidden treasure that you couldn't wait to pluck off its stem and hold in your hand! It was pure bliss!
Now this is country living!
The beautiful farm.. it's always picture-perfect.
Playing in the hayloft at the top of the barn..
This was a whole new world.. and they enjoyed every minute of it.
Picking Grandpa's corn and shucking it...
What an experience!
Wouldn't want to be picking corn with anyone else in the world!
two lovebirds in the cornstalks. ;)
Enjoying the ripest, freshest, juiciest pear of his life!
simple, carefree, relaxing days at the farm.
Sitting under the shade tree..
I couldn't get enough pictures..
it's such a classic beauty that holds so many memories from summers past.
In that grove of trees was a pond where we would bring the horses for a drink before breaking out the fishing rods to catch catfish, sit by the bonfire, and eat hot dogs and smores with Grandma and Grandpa. After a full day of working the farm, like getting the mail and riding on the tractor, of course.
Looking down into one of the wells!
Grammie loves being at the farm!
Showing Wade where we would feed hay to the horses..
I love walking down memory lane with my little family!
Grandpa holding sweet Baby Grant..
The house, the smokehouse, the shed, the gas tank..
they never change.
We used to put lawn chairs on this bushhog and ride around on it as Grandpa drove it all over the farm! Talk about fuuun!!
Grandpa with his great-granddaughter!
This is the stuff life is made of.