After the Tschetter family reunion in Colorado, I caught a ride with Ben’s parents to Smolan, Kansas, where Grandma and Grandpa Tschetter live. (Ben had to head back to NYC for work.) It was really special to spend 2 nights in their home, see Grandma’s cool kitchen wallpaper and eat out of her pretty china. Being in their home and just getting to know them in their own space was quite the privilege.
We then travelled on to the Hoyt reunion, through Oklahoma and to Tyler, Texas. We arrived to a hall full of uncles, aunts and cousins doing square dancing (or something of that kind). What a high note to arrive on! And that was really the precedent for the rest of the week — one great big high note. I must admit that I had so much fun that I didn’t take very many pictures… There wasn’t the amazing beauty of the Rockies, and because I was trying to take part as much as possible in everything that was happening, photo-taking kind of got left forgotten. :-)
There was a lot planned, and we could choose what we took part of. Everything from daily Reading Theatre with Tremendous Uncle Mark and others,
Choir Practice with Chris (who has just returned from a year of studying at the Royal College of Music), swimming at nearby pools, ping-pong with uncle Sherwood, board games, games like charades and zoom and freeze. Here Erica and Laura is in the middle of a game of freeze:
And in the evenings there was Hunt the Grey Wolf, more dancing, more games and 2 talent evenings! In a family this talented there is no way of fitting it all in to only one evening, so we had a ‘serious’ evening with lots of great classical music
and a ‘lighter’ evening filled with songs and things and a funny skit by Taylor, Chris and Uncle Mark mocking the New Zealand health system.
Ed sung a very funny song about teaching the Americans about the metric system which I accompanied him for on guitar. I also got roped into playing the violin for a choral piece, and Marica and I sung our ‘One Fish Two Fish’ song to the tune of the NZ national anthem.
One thing that really stood out to me throughout the week was seeing the beauty of a family this size in which God has shown His faithfulness in such a way that (as far as I’m aware) all the offspring of Lowell and Lola Hoyt believe in and serve Him. Seeing everyone interact with each other in this framework was a small taste of what Heaven must be like.
Here are the all the cousins and their kids who were attending. The oldest is 39 and the youngest is about 7, I think. (Do correct me as to Trevor’s age, Aunt Becky!) What a span!
This post would be incomplete without mentioning the amazing food. The Tyler cooks did an amazing job of preparing things ahead of time. Tasty! Filling! Dessert after lunch AND dinner! And men on dishes!
People from Uncle Walter and Aunt Nelda’s church opened their homes for some of us from out of town to stay at and the kids and I, Mum and Dad, and Ed and Liana’s family stayed in this really nice old house filled with beautiful (breakable!) things. It was nice to have a place to go to when the crowds got too much (which wasn’t too often!).
There’s probably much more I could say, but if you get the general idea that the kids and I had a great time, then you’ve come away with the right message. Marica had great fun playing with second cousins (or is it cousin once removed?), running around the hall and swimming. The only problem was that all this happened without Ben! That wasn’t so great at all, but there were many willing helping hands with the kids and such good company that it really wasn’t too hard. I was very glad to be able to meet all these members of Ben’s family that I’ve only seen in pictures and to be able to put personalities to the photos!
Thanks for a great time, all you Hoyts!