down on the farm

My favorite thing about July is the Annual Yoder Family Get-Together (“Get-Together” is country hick for “Reunion”). I won’t write much, because 1.) the pictures speak for themselves and 2.) I wrote a ton last year, and things are pretty much the same, except all the kids grew another foot.

Note to my fam: see last year’s posts, Great-grandchildren of the Corn and More Yoder Family Fun to see how much bigger everyone got (well, not everyone).

This is my cousin Brian’s (and his wife Christy’s) son, Preston (gorgeous, no?). I love this picture. And Gabe told me three times how good it was, so that made me happy, because I know nothing about photography. Sadly, the corn that was head-high to adults last year was only head-high to 2-year-olds this year (flooding made for late planting).

This is me with my beautiful grandma and mama. Grandma and Mom are the best of friends, which is awesome because they’re not mom and daughter, but mom-in-law & daughter-in-law. When you have six boys and one girl, it’s important to learn how to get along with your daughters-in-law, and Grandma (as far as I can tell) has always done a stellar job.

This day is probably the highlight of Grandma’s year. Aunt Jeannie flies in from Arizona with her fam for three weeks and brings Grandma to Aunt Susie’s from her nursing home for a few hours during the reunion. She never quits smiling the whole time she’s there.

Here’s Ava (or Ay-Vay, as my 2yo niece, Isabelle, calls her) with my nephew Jack. She and Livi and Nina fight over Jack and Isabelle (my sister Bethany’s kiddos) like nuts. Bethany really needs to have some more kids. And quick.

This is my cousin Camy, kissing Grandma before she heads back “home.” It’s always tough to see her go, because I can’t help but wonder if it’ll be the last get-together she comes to. Here’s praying she makes it to 10 more.

Was it my imagination, or did I say I wasn’t going to write much on this post? Hmm. I can’t seem to help myself.

A handful of us brave adults took a slew of kids down the hill to my Grandma and Grandpa’s farm (Grandpa passed away in 2005, and my Uncle Tim runs the farm and rents out the house) for some country fun.

They ran across huge hay bales, carried around some poor kittens, stepped in calf manure and splattered it all over their sweet pink clothes (that would be Nina), and fed a couple calves. Totally took me back to my childhood, and I love seeing it all through my kiddos’ eyes.

This is my cousin Sara’s daughter, Beth, and Nina feeding a little guy (with my cousin Michael’s friend Tony holding the bucket–he was such a good sport). I love baby animals.

Tony also graciously took this big ol’ family picture for us. This isn’t even half of my grandma’s descendants. She has 7 kids, 26 grandkids, and who knows how many great-grandkids (like 400 or something).

And, last but not least, this sweet shot Gabe took of my grandparents’ farm. It’s such a special place to me, and I have a million memories of it stored up and treasured in my heart.

Thanks for letting me share my family with you. I’d love to hear one of your most favorite childhood memories of visiting your grandparents.

14 thoughts on “down on the farm

  1. sharon k

    I don’t know how you wrote a single word after looking at the picture of Camy kissing Grandma goodbye. I don’t know whether to cry or smile, so I find myself smiling through tears as I type this. I will remember that photo for a long time… more tears. Wow, I love that photo. I want to hang on the wall of my home, but I will settle for it being firmly planted in my heart where it has gently landed. Wow, thanks for sharing.

  2. Jennifer Conner


    This makes me homesick for West Liberty!!!!

    I love our heritage, our hometown, our families…even the Yoders remind me so much of my growing-up years…
    The pictures our gorgeous (only a farm gal could appreciate the corn and barns), and your grandma is a cozy face from my past. Thanks for sharing all this!

  3. Jen Hanson

    Love this. I so wish I could have been there. While it was awesome seeing you all back in May and I had SUCH a good time, it is just not the same as the get-together. Darn “you-can’t-fly-while-heavily-pregnant” rules.

    That picture Gabe took of the farm is really perfect and just brings back such a swell of memories of my summers there. ::SIGH:: I miss it all. Feeding the calves, Popsicles on the porch, softball games, running on the round bales. Amazing memories that I am so grateful to have.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

  4. Leigh

    Well, there’s the time my grandpa let me drive the tractor! Or when my grandma taught me to sew. Or when grandpa would make a huge patch of popcorn (that he grew himself, of course) for the grandkids to chow down on. Or…I could go on and on.

  5. Cheryl Pickett

    I actually grew up next to my Mom’s parents. They had a farm and raised horses and a few stray barn cats. Summer meant riding/exercising the horses and baling hay (or at least watching the guys do it :-)).

    Now, my husb and I live in that house. Even though we’ve made many changes/updates, from time to time something will look or smell exactly as I remember it and I get a cool flashback.

    My Dad’s parents lived about 10 miles away so we saw them often, including at church most Sundays. One of the biggest memories I have of both places is how simple things were. Simple toys, games, life all the way around. Sometimes, that’s what I miss most.

  6. Bethany

    Some of my favorite grandparent memories:

    Sneaking into the dining room cabinet for candy and into the basement chest freezer for ice cream at Grandma and Grandpa Figley’s house. Then realizing later that they bought the candy and ice cream FOR us! 😉

    Grandpa and Grandma Yoder’s house:
    –eating stale saltine crackers
    –making chocolate milk with Nestle’s Quik and milk from the glass jar in the fridge and eating the Quik with my spoon
    –Grandpa’s reaction when he’d come back and find someone was sitting in his chair
    –Annual softball and croquet games in their yard

    1. Jen Hanson

      Oh man! I can’t believe I forgot to mention Quik and croquet in my response. Loved those times.

      And Grandpa’s chair – hahahaha! I can totally see and hear him now. 🙂

  7. Jennifer

    I don’t have any fun grandparent stories (lived in the same town as mine, so I saw them on a weekly basis), but Wes’s great grandmother is about to turn ninety-five. She’s made it out to Texas a few times since her great great (!!!) grandchildren have been born, and I so hope that our girls remember those visits. How many kids can say that they met their great great grandmother?

  8. Sharon W

    My grandparents lived in other states so I didn’t see them much. But my dad’s mom visited us from time to time and I loved her visits! She always bought ham from the deli at Kmart (as far as I know they don’t sell that anymore) and she gave us her change from her little coin purse. She always had her hair done at the salon at JC Penney’s when she visited. And she always wore a bright shade of lipstick!

  9. Krysten T

    I grew up living next door to my grandparents on their small farm. I loved having them so close with my horse practically in my back yard. My husband and I are hoping to move back soon.

  10. Bethany

    I love that picture of Ava and Jack! I was going to go to bed sooner tonight, but wanted to wait until midnight so I could read your blog. I’m glad I stayed up! What a fun day Saturday was! Love you Marsy!

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