baby, family, travel, vacation

The Whole Gang

Our six had a chance to go up into the St. Louis Gateway Arch and catch up with an old college friend of mine before and after our time with the whole Moody gang.

on the plan to St. Louis, Missouri
We all managed to fit in one of the pods that took us to the top of the arch
St. Louis from the arch
Me & Ami (with Thatcher and Ami’s baby Charlotte soon to be born)

Our 2nd biennial Moody family reunion was in Grayville, IL on Labor Day weekend for Jon’s wedding. It was all that I wished a family reunion would be.

not everyone…but a lot of us!

Stephanie and Jason found an old church–turned hunting lodge–that could house all 22 of us Moodys.

Cooper, Silas, Grampy, Jameson, Brooklyn, Brynn

The basement had 5 bunk rooms, 2 bathrooms, a shower room, and a laundry room.

Brooklyn, Charley, Brynn
Brooklyn & Brynn
Jason, Jameson, Gracelyn, Brooklyn, & David

Upstairs was a large living area with a pool table, a big kitchen and all the taxidermy deer heads and turkey beards a person could want.

Tim took the lead in planning the menu and doing the grocery shopping (via a very late-night Walmart run after the brothers’ bachelor party at a nearby Escape Room–I hear it was quite the adventure!) Stephen commented how much he enjoyed hanging out with all of his brothers.

David, Tim, Ben, Cameron, Jonathan, Stephen, Jason

The cousins were instant friends, and seeing all three newborn baby boys together was too much cuteness for one room. Stephanie had Charles Samuel on the last day of April, and Amy had Henry Maxwell just three days before Thatcher James was born. Henry and Charley could pass for twins!

Henry, Thatcher & Charley
Henry & Cameron
Thatcher & Jon
Stephanie & Charley

Brynn, Gracelyn, and Brooklyn are all about the same age and loved having “sleepovers,” crafting, and playing spies around the lodge.

Brooklyn, Gracelyn, Brynn
partners in crime

Silas got some expert pool tips from Grampy and the uncles–his favorite part by far. I could see him standing tall and assuming a grown up air around the pool table with his uncles.

Jason & Cameron

Jason had planned a water balloon fight for the kids–which they loved–and Cooper explored the military memorial park with Uncle Jon.

I have to say that sleeping in those basement, windowless, tiny bunk rooms–with all 6 of us crammed in one room and the intense humidity–made me feel like I was sleeping on a submarine. But, it just added to the adventure and memory-making!

Brooklyn, Charley, Thatcher & Henry

Most of our time was taken up by wedding activities, but we did worship together Sunday morning and had our fill of late night talks. Tim regaled us with stories of his and Ben’s childhood antics after the other siblings were out of the house. Tim is a hilarious storyteller, and after listening to all they did, I’m surprised he and Ben lived to tell about it.

Amy, Henry, & Tim
Ben, Cameron, Cooper, Silas, & Me
Brooklyn, Jon, Brynn, Jameson, Gracelyn
Brynn, Gracelyn, Jon
Dad, Tammy, Cooper, Jameson, Brynn, Brooklyn
Tammy, Thatcher, Gracelyn

I loved my one-on-one conversations with each of the family members and a chance to catch up on what’s going on in their lives. David loaded all the kids into the back of his pick-up, and drove to the nearby playground and riverfront.

Cooper, Silas, Brooklyn, Gracelyn, Jameson, Jason

The littles explored the pond and play area while the guys played Kubb.

Silas, Jameson, Tim, Gracelyn, Cooper, Ben
Tammy, Brooklyn, Gracelyn, Jameson

Then we walked down to the Wabash River. Whew, the humidity was something else! I had forgotten how muggy and sticky it can be.

That last night, the little town was celebrating “Grayville Days” for Labor Day weekend with a fireworks display along the Wabash. We watched from the bed of David’s truck. As the explosions started and intensified, more and more nieces and nephews joined Aunt Tammy in the cab to escape all the noise. Thatcher did surprisingly well with all the excitement.

perfect ending

Love these Moody people!

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