9 Down; 6 To Go

Family Weekend is an event that’s added to our list of “to do’s” each year. In the past we’ve always met at the lake for this event, but since that is now home, it seemed like a good idea to take Family Weekend on the road.


This year our designated first weekend in August also coincided with Sarah’s graduation from the University of North Florida where she received her Masters in Health Administration, so it was only natural to look for a location near Jacksonville for this year’s get-together.


We spent the weekend in a five bedroom house on the St. John’s River less than 30 minutes from the UNF campus. A place where we could swim


go boating


play games


go to the beach


relax and enjoy one another.


It was also a great location to observe the blue moon and watch the ships moving in and out of the port in Jacksonville.


I think we’ve forever modified our plans for Family Weekend. This will be a good excuse to find new places to visit for our yearly reunion.


Preparing for Family Weekend

The first weekend in August has been designated as “Family Weekend” or as John calls it, “Mandatory Family Fun”.

This is the fifth year of gathering for a weekend of time together and the first year we’ll be meeting at a location other than the lake. Since Sarah graduates this weekend from UNF earning an MHA (Master of Health Administration), our reunion was moved to Jacksonville.


Shopping completed. Boat and fishing gear readied. Bags packed. Bicycles loaded. And the most important job: food prepared. We’re hoping to reduce the amount of time spent cooking by doing some advance preparation.

Ham baked. Lasagna. Mac and cheese. Three types of salsa ready for evenings on the patio overlooking the river.


We’re all looking forward to plenty of good food and drink as well as time in the pool, playing games, watching movies, soaking in the sun, fishing, walking, bike riding, and relaxing. But best of all…spending time together for some family fun.


10 Down; 4 To Go

Family Weekend is another yearly event that’s we’ve included on our list of 14 in 14.

Usually celebrated the first weekend of August, Family Weekend is a time for all three girls, two husbands and one fiance’ to join us at the lake for boating, swimming, games, food, and fun.

This year Family Weekend was postponed because Daniel’s family was celebrating the return of his brother from an overseas deployment on our traditional weekend…a pretty good reason for a change. While it’s not easy to find a time that works for all eight of us, the weekend of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s was chosen since everyone was committed to participating in the walk.

Friday afternoon in the midst of thunderstorms we started gathering and by 9:00 we were all together cooking, eating, and laughing.

Saturday started with the walk and then lake time and board games and of course more food and laughter.

After brunch on Sunday, we hung out, talked, watched a little football, played some more games, and toasted Sarah and Daniel, the newly engaged couple, before everyone started heading back to the hustle bustle of another work week.


My favorite holiday of the year doesn’t appear on any commercially made calendar. Instead, it’s one we created – Family Weekend!

20 Fabulous Family Quotes

As we all gather for our traditional Family Weekend, quotes about family seem fitting.

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything. ~Michael J. Fox

Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts. ~ Unknown

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Family: where life begins and love never ends. ~Unknown

The family is one of nature’s masterpieces. ~George Santayana
If you don’t believe in ghosts, you’ve never been to a family reunion. ~Ashleigh Brilliant

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. ~Alex Haley
Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. ~George Burns

The family — that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to. ~Dodie Smith

The only rock I know that stays steady, the only institution I know that works, is the family. ~Lee Iacocca
An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship. ~Spanish Proverb

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there. ~Barbara Bush

One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.~Jonathan Safran Foer

Having a place to go — is a home. Having someone to love — is a family. Having both — is a blessing. ~Donna Hedges

A family is a risky venture, because the greater the love, the greater the loss… That’s the trade-off. But I’ll take it all. ~Brad Pitt

When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family.  ~Jim Butcher

In time of test, family is best. ~Burmese Proverb

The advantage of growing up with siblings is that you become very good at fractions. ~Robert Brault

This is part of what a family is about, not just love. It’s knowing that your family will be there watching out for you. Nothing else will give you that. Not money. Not fame. Not work. ~Mitch Albom

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.~Mother Teresa

10 Down; 3 To Go

The first weekend of August we checked off number 10 on our list of 13 to do’s for 2013. Meghan, Jon, Emily, Brian, Sarah, and Daniel (and Willis and Luna) all came to spend the weekend at the lake for the 3rd Annual Family Weekend.

We started this tradition as a way to insure that we had one weekend together as a family. With the girls starting their own households, they need to spend time during holidays with their new family and friends. It may also be difficult to schedule time away from work at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other holidays, especially when more senior employees get first shot at vacation time.

Early August is a perfect time since nothing happens during this month. No holidays to compete for time off from work. No special events pulling us in different directions. No school commitments (at least not now). And, a great time to spend at the lake.

We don’t spend every minute of the weekend participating in planned activities. Instead, some swim. Some sail. Some run. Some walk. Some read. Some hang out on the porch. Most play games. All made pizzas, ate homemade ice cream, and went bowling.

This year we also celebrated Danny’s signing with Stetson and spent time with extended family. A nice bonus.Dannny

We really haven’t established any set plan for our family weekends…just getting together is enough.

I didn't add Your Nightmare...
I didn’t add Your Nightmare to this picture!