The first day was a little rough, trying to establish the logistics and division of labor, but once that was smoothed out, it was terrific. The images that just burn into my brain are watching the kids (there were 18 of them all togeter) play on the beach. One day I took our one year old down to the beach - an experience entirely new to her. She had on her little swim suit, and I put a bandana on her head to protect her from the sun. She loved the sand, and sat there putting it in a bucket, squishing it in her hands, and squealing with delight. She looked like a little Hummel baby, fat rosy cheeks peeking out from the bandana, chubby fists holding the shovel, pudgy little feet burrowing into the sand. *sigh*. My 7 year old ds loved canoing. He was out at the break of day, waiting for my mom to get up so they could get out on the lake. He just went on and on, "Don't you just love this, Grammy, isn't this beautiful. It's so quiet, so nice. Isn't this wonderful, Grammy?" The other kids are brown as berries, after having spent so many hours in the water. There are a few peeling shoulders and noses, despite the regular application of sunscreen.
One night my sister in law and brother broke out their guitars, and played songs from "O Brother Where Art Thou". Everyone has this soundtrack, and all the kids know the songs, so all 26 of us were singing along, enjoying the evening. When the music began, there were maybe 10 kids in the immediate area, but after a song or two, all the rest wandered over. It was lovely.
I have many more wonderful moments to relate, but this is all the time I have for now. Gotta get back to the laundry and other stuff, so until next time, blessings to you all.