Today we had the opportunity to enjoy being together with the stunning scenery of Lake Superior as the back drop for a hike.
We have a new family member since we gathered together at Thanksgiving last year so the preps for our hike were a bit more involved. First, Brielle's snowsuit had to be put on her. Several of her aunties helped with the task, including Jaynie.
Next, Anna wedged the precious bundle into her carrier.
The five-month-old wasn't too sure about all the attention she was getting...
...but almost immediately she settled in beautifully.
The hike gave me the opportunity to get some up-to-date photos of our kids. I've had our camera out less than usual as I've struggled to get healthy following surgery in June.
I especially appreciated the chance to photograph Jaynie. Last year Jaynie was serving in a Central Asian country while we were on our annual trip to the North Shore. We're glad to have her with us again!
However, all of our kiddos have changed a great deal in the past 12 months!
As our hike began, the guys climbed straight up a rock face, but the girls stuck together and stuck to the path. By the time we rounded the corner, Daria had talked Anna into letting her carry Brielle.
It's pure delight to spend time with our oldest daughter, Anna, who lives several states away.
About halfway through the hike we came to a large waterfall.
Oksana was mesmerized by the falls and stood watching for quite some time.
We were overwhelmed by the beauty of the white and silver birches against a vivid blue sky.
Anna's husband, Aaron, enjoyed the birch trees from a different viewpoint--high in the air!
Aaron's little one slept through his tree-climbing escapade.
Aaron had good reason to descend from the heights--an embrace from his wife!
And with that, the hike continued.
In true "Amy fashion," she spent much of the hike in her own little world. She informed us she was collecting flowers for her wedding.
John is enjoying time off from his job. He graduated from college in May, immediately started an internship and before the internship was completed was offered a position in the same company. All of this has been a tremendous blessing, but he was ready for vacation!
We had a glorious time being together today! Our hearts were full of thanksgiving to God. All that was missing from our perfect day was our 20-year-old daughter, Lissie, who is taking her turn serving in a Central Asian country for the school year.
We send you our love, Lissie! We're so eager to see you next month!