Friday, August 17, 2012

Birthday Girl!

As RAGBRAI drew to a close (3 weeks ago now!), we took one more opportunity for our family to get together.  We had several excuses for a get-together - the last chance for Melinda and me to join in before our return to Tucson, and my sister and her family from South Texas were visiting too.  And last, but not least, we were celebrating great-niece Alivia's 6th birthday! Shown here at left is the assemblage of some nieces, nephews and great nieces.  From left are great niece Clair, Brittany, Ceejae and Colton, with great nieces Alivia and Mya behind the cake.  Brittany and Colton are my youngest sister's kids, now living in San Antonio.  They only get back once a year or so and we've missed seeing the kids growing up the five years or so they've been gone.

We see the local relatives much more frequently, so Alivia is used to my pointing my camera in her direction.  She was born as we drove out to the start of RAGBRAI 6 years ago, so has a connection to one of my Iowa trips - that was about the first season I started visiting Melinda in St Charles, and the first time I drove support for the bike ride.  I don't recognize the characters on the cake, but the birthday girl is permitted to defrosting the decorations.  A fine time was had by all, one of the highlights, besides the cake, were grilled pork chops cooked by Alivia's granddad Lauren - now those were spectacular!  Thanks to my brother Jim for supplying the central meeting location, sister Sheri for making the trip up from Texas, Jeff and Sandy for supplying us another chance to visit with Claire, Sister Kathy for the chippy-dippy bars and fresh-picked sweet corn (!),  and the rest of the family for attending.  It was a great time, hopefully not another year till we're all together again!

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