Sunday, December 29, 2013

Patty Family Reunion 2013

It started here, with these two precious people.

And so far, has grown to here!

We are the Patty's, Schroeder's and Cain's, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchild of Dick and Margaret Patty.

We've had such a special week of family reunion, being together here in Denver with everyone, including these amazing aunts and uncles, the four original Patty children.

Who, together with their spouses, have given our family these precious children!

The days have been filled with much joy in the home of the Schroeder's who hosted our family reunion. THANK YOU! It was absolutely delightful to be in your home each day of this week.

Truly, what a gift to have a week all together. I soaked in and treasured the moments of each day as much as possible, receiving from the Lord the good gift of "family", both with the extended family and with our own kids.

As I write it's 4 AM and Dave is off to the airport taking Tyler and Lara who fly to Chattanooga this morning to be with Lara's family. It's been really special to have lived under the same roof for a week with our kids! Thankful that Tyler and Lara could be here this week, and so glad we get another two weeks with Caleb and Claire before they return to Chicago.

Josh's family, who live in Slovenia and serve with Josiah Venture there, will head out to Washington later on today to see Kristi's family.  So thankful for each of them, who weathered a week of sickness during our family reunion with the most amazing attitudes and spirits. Well done dear ones!

And Steve, loved and adored by his nieces and nephews: "Thank you for calling out the artist in each of us this week!" He led the family in an unforgettable experience that will forever characterize this family reunion (see HERE for photos). I love that he thought we all could do it!

Although we are at the end of this rich time together, we leave so deeply blessed for having tasted the goodness of the Lord displayed in each of these family members: ordinary people who know, love and serve an extraordinary God!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Family Excursion

When in Colorado, you can't resist a trip up to those glorious Rockies! Which is where we headed as an excursion for family reunion yesterday.

 A nice long car ride gave us great time with each other as we headed up into the mountains.

Where to? Quaint Breckenridge!

It could not have been a prettier day as the sun sparkled on the snow covered mountains.

So very fun to walk with these precious ones!

And take picture after picture of these lovelies!

In the meantime, the guys scouted out a spot to have their fun...a rousing game of broomball in the snow!

They drew a crowd (even more than adoring wives, daughters, moms, and nieces! People stopped to watch and take photos!) as they played right on the main street in an empty lot!

We cheered them on as they fought a good fight, and for breath up there at nearly 10,000 feet!

Perfect afternoon activity for the guys!

And for the girls? Well, a little fudge just hit the spot on a wintry day in the mountains with people we love so much!

These are precious days together...don't want it to end! We've got just one more to go. Soaking it all in!

Friday, December 27, 2013

En Plein Air

Years ago, this was the view from the Patty garden in Englewood, Colorado.

Every summer, they worked the land and raised vegetables from this very spot. From their hard work and well-earned money, it was possible for each of the kids to go on a trip with their dad at different times as he visited missionaries around the world during the years he was general director of OCSC (now Cadence International).

Many a day, they all spent here, hoeing, tilling, weeding, harvesting...and making lots of memories and fun together.

Ten years ago, Joyce and her husband, David, got to build their home on this piece of land, and began making their memories there.

Now anyone who comes to their home, including our family, still gets the thrill of enjoying that spectacular view out to the Rockies!

Gathered in their living room this afternoon (as we're in the midst of our family reunion), we waited to hear from Uncle Steve who'd told us earlier that he had a surprise for everyone today.

He began by telling stories about the four kids' childhood and what it was like to spend the summers in this very spot. Oh how I wished I could go back in time to see them as kids there! What a crazy time they had working out there in the summers!

At last, after finishing the stories, he unveiled the surprise: paints, canvases and brushes. What?!!!

Steve said that he thought it'd be fun for all of us to sit out on the front porch to watch AND paint the sunset, looking at it as the four Patty kids used to each summer! 

While some of us are artistic, others of us are not! But he said this was not about artistic ability, but about capturing the sunset all together, yet in our own ways.

So off we went to get started on our 'en plein air' experience!

We filled the porch, all finding a spot from which to observe and paint. 

 Some began to sketch, while others just soaked in the view.

In the meantime, Uncle Steve got all the supplies ready for when we wanted to start painting. What an awesome brother/uncle to have prepared this for us all!

Soon, brushes were dipped into paint and the creative juices began flowing!

There was a quiet, happy hum out there on the porch as everyone, even our youngest family member (Luke, who's 7) began to create.

While we're all at different levels in our artistic abilities, ALL of us were artists this afternoon! In the midst of laughter and encouraging words, everyone took Uncle Steve's challenge seriously and enjoyably painted to our heart's content.

Side by side we worked...

...capturing the sunset through our eyes.

It was such a rich, happy, memorable experience to share with each other.

And there was something so sweet being out there sharing in such a meaningful time of capturing the beauty of God's creation in our own ways.

It was not only fun sharing in the experience together, but so great to see what people captured of the "Sunset View from the Garden"!

We were all looking at the same thing, and yet our individual interpretations are so unique and varied!



And the best part? Seeing them all together at the end!

We'll all remember this day of family reunion for a long time. Thank you Steve for giving us such a wonderful memory!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

At Home with the Family

For over forty five years, this table has undoubtedly served thousands of people in the home of my dear in-laws here in Colorado.

Thanks to the servant heart of my mother-in-law, Margaret, and her excellent skills in the kitchen...

...and the generosity of my father-in-law, Dick and his warm, fatherly ways, MANY have been blessed in their home over the years.

This Christmas, our whole family has the privilege of being together with them for a week-long reunion, which started with my dear niece's wedding (Claire has photos HERE), and continues on with sweet events like waffles at Grandpa and Nana's house for breakfast.

There is something so very special about being with them this week, as well as with aunts, uncles and cousins who came from Slovenia and Oregon, and with those who live just down the street and can literally walk over when it's time for breakfast.

I loved seeing the three brothers with their dad in the very living room where they grew up.

And seeing the next generation of Patty girls in the warmth and love of Nana's kitchen!

Working her wonders on one side of that kitchen, Nana turned out her now-famous waffles, made with wheat ground by grandpa in the garage.

While Claire was on the other side working her wonders with a gluten free version of Nana's wonderful waffles.

Afterward, we all settled into the living room for "Grandpa's Fireside Chat", soaking in truth from the Word, and wisdom from grandpa's years of walking with God.

You can't see it, but there are more than twenty people packed in here.

And we don't mind a bit!

It's a privilege and joy to be together this week, experiencing the goodness, the joy, and the blessing of calling each other "family"!