This is our 3rd summer having Brenden come stay with us.  This year we got him for 2 whole weeks. Whenever he comes, even though we barely see him any other time of the year (except on occasion when we're down in CA), it always feels like we pick right back off where he left last time.  It's fun.  And I know we're building memories for the boys (and Brenden) that will last a lifetime.

We crammed a lot into the short time he was here.  We got to travel down to Drain together to celebrate this guy's 10th birthday...

Love him.
In addition to birthday fun, we got to visit Lori's parents place for the first time (and I got a special little tour of places where Lori grew up which was really neat...Thank you Lori!).

With out visit came our first crawdad catch AND taste...

First you have to find one...

Then you cook 'em up...

And you taste.  (Not sure he was too fond of it, but he can atleast now say he's tried it!).  I thought it was delicious.
We also always manage to squeeze in some work while Brenden's here.
And of course, we try and make it fun.

Helping mom haul off weeds and debris to the burn pile...And then giving rides on the way back.
Taking full advantage of grape harvest for our juice this year.  My best pacers to date.
We were also able to enjoy a friend's on property access to the Molalla River.  Beautiful.  And SO peaceful.  We packed a dinner and enjoyed the water till the sun went down (or the bugs came out...whichever came first.

Josie and Calvin finding all the clay chunks to "write" with.

River Dinner.

I got a nice phone call from my Uncle Tony (Brenden's dad) shortly before we sent Brenden home.  He was almost in tears as he spoke highly of us and how special the time is for Brenden when he comes.  His hope is that it speaks, not only into Brenden's life, but into the lives of William and Calvin.  He hopes that this tradition will continue for many more years...Even into Brenden's college days.  We don't know what the future holds, but we do know one thing for sure:  It's not about what you have, where you go or how much you accomplish.  It's about the people that are in it and the time you spend investing in others.  I trust that God will use times like these in our boys lives even at such a young age.  And I'm thankful that He's blessed us with the opportunity to share what we have with him.  
Until next year!


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