Ten years ago Abe and I and our three small children showed up to the home of perfect strangers who had sent out an invite to a yahoo homeschool group. This family was looking for other local families interested in forming a group to read and discuss books and form a community of like-minded home schoolers.
Ten years later the members of this group are our dearest friends. We've traveled together, our children have grown up together, we've helped each other through the very happiest of family events, and the very saddest. The Flynns, Clarks, Youngs, and Thygersons are a blessing to the Fox family.
The last few days we've enjoyed one another's company for our annual book club retreat. We all converged upon the Flynn's home and hospitality for a few days of talking, swimming, playing games and eating.
The little ladies were baking up a storm in the kitchen.
They required a quick trip to the store for supplies.
The younger crowd was the Lego club.
The little kids were so excited to do the pinata on the final night and Cannon was beyond thrilled to behead the donkey.
London (left) was in a car accident a week or so ago and broke his collar bone. Then sadly, Alan (right) had an unexpected injury to his bicep muscle while swimming yesterday. They are here from San Diego and he'll have to have surgery when he gets home. Here is a picture of the Sling Brothers.
Oh, but the swimming was heavenly! Cannon was living it up with the ladies.
The triple jump off the diving board. You must believe that although this picture would suggest otherwise, we do feed Cannon regular, healthy meals.
And the award for Dad of the Year goes to Abe for his endless patience in the pool with his three youngest children. Faith and Cannon were already independent swimmers, so he just played A LOT with them. In three days George made huge progress in learning to swim.
He could cover great distances all by himself-- face in the water, feet and legs kicking, arms paddling--- there was just one problem: He wouldn't come up for air. No matter the distance, he would do it without breathing. Talk about lung capacity! But I don't think that qualifies as fully swimming if you don't breathe.
I cannot even begin to express how amazingly good it felt to float my massive pregnant self around the pool for several hours. Curse you gravity! I haven't felt that good in months! It was actually worth the trauma of getting into a swimsuit for.
Elinor and McKinley had a grand time together.
They found another cool spot to chill out.
The gang of young people gathering to organize themselves into a game they were all playing-- Witness Protection Program-- it was kind of Mafia meets Hide-and-Seek. It was very enjoyable to see so many different ages working together. That's my favorite thing.
In the talent show, Christine, our personal professional yoga teacher, led us in a few stretches and breathing exercises. Once again, I love how the teenage boys down to little Georgie (in blue at the right) are participating.
Andrea and Christine-- aren't they beautiful?
The boys did a little too much of this, but Clark did come out for regular swims and socializing. And if he didn't come out often enough, I was so good as to remind him. He loves me.
I figured since he was leaving to scout camp the day after the book club retreat, screen time would even itself out for the week.
Last year the boys worked out this little diddy and we got the reprisal at the talent show this year.
And not to be outdone, the ladies reprised a number that the Fox family performed last year.
Cannon and Anders have thought it over and agree that the retreat was a success. Happy ten-year anniversary!--- even if these two weren't even born yet when we got started!