Monday, August 11, 2008

Wild Summer Party at Phelanland

Nirvana for Great Grandpa Ernie
On our way back from Montreal we had a dip at Sandbanks where we picked up Miranda and Amber and their bicylces. We then headed on to Toronto where we left Caitlin and picked up Grandpa Ernie. We arrived home late Friday evening and my brother Kevin, his daughter Jillian and her boyfriend Mike arrived at 1:00 am from Boston. On Saturday my niece Karina arrived from Edmonton. Somehow in the midst of unpacking, new company arriving, and being away for a week, I managed to keep everyone fed and occupied as well as prepare for a big party we had planned on Sunday to meet and celebrate the birth of our new grandson, as well as enable family and friends to greet Miranda and Ralph before they had to return to Australia.

Mike was the epitomy of a first time guest helping outOur niece Karina from Edmonton
My baby brother Kevin at the St Jacob's MarketYour happy hostess

One of the fun things we did was take our company to the famous Mennonite Market in St Jacobs Saturday morning as we picked up food for the party. My brother Kevin made this fabulous moving panorama of the outside venue.

Although the weather did not co-operate .... this is the second 40 plus people event I've had this summer, that had to be hosted inside the house ..... it turned out to be a wonderful party. Thanks to everyone who brought food, gifts and suppplies as well as those who helped cook, clean, and keep things friendly and flowing.

Corrie, Annette, Joe, Nagmeh,Aaron, Steven, MarionCousin Julie and Kevin Cullen with her boys, Keegan and Tanner
Cousin Steven and Caroline visit with JulieOld friends Joanne and Marie on the left, new friends Judi and Harry on the right, fat ass in the middle

We were very moved that many people drove quite a distance to be with us.... not to mention a surprise visit from my old Tweed friend Annette Olive and her husband Joe, who just happened to "drop in" from Medicine Hat, Alberta. I was also thrilled that a few of our new friends and neighbours also came to the party.

Annette was our Tweed neighbour. Our kids went to nursery school together Mary and Phil Hoekstra, old friends from Tweed who have now moved to Paris; Steven and Pollard family in background
Katrina, Scott and Jillian lead the kids in a rousing game of Dutch BlitzOld friends Marie and Fred Northey from Tweed; Ralph chats with Joanne to the right

Everyone seemed to mix well and talk freely. We were delighted that our "newly found" niece Kersti was able to attend with her fiance and new baby boy, Nicholas, who was born just a week after Dayyán. Great Grandpa Ernie was in his glory with two babies to pass around!!! We were very happy to be able to take a four generation picture of the Phelan men. Miranda and Ralph were very happy to see so many people as it was very hard to get around to everyone during their busy month in Canada.

Richard entertains Aiden or vice versaMiranda, Ralph and Nagmeh
Cousin Steven and our wonderful neighbours, Walter and JoyceNanci, Karina, Kersti

A big thankyou also to those who brought baby gifts. Aaron and Nagmeh were thrilled to see everyone and to receive so many unexpected surprises. You will notice a special gift of love in the photo below, an "I Spy" quilt made by my sister in law, Debbie Phelan. Part of that quilt story is Debbie's desire to carry on Bertha's family tradition of passing on home made quilts to mark signifcant occasions. This is a tradition that my mother also carried on and soon Aaron and Nagmeh will get to choose one of the baby quilts mom left in the cedar chest for her unborn great grandchildren.

Debbie, JP and KevinAlex and Debbie with the I Spy Quilt she made for Dayyán
Amber presents Grandpa Ernie with the cabinet she made for him at her woodworking course last year.... he was quite tickledRalph chats with Joanne

Enjoy the following photos of people holding Dayyán.

Great Grandpa Ernie's first glimpse of Dayyán. Inez enjoys the moment too.Grandpa holds Dayyán for the first time
Great Aunt Melvina holds DayyánFour Generations of Phelan Males.... Oh my God!!!

Daddy knows bestCaroline enjoyiing Steven holding Dayyán
Aunt Miranda gets in on the actMelvina, Jillian and Karina making baby eyes

Welcome to our guest baby, Nicholas as well.

Two beaming moms, two lovely baby boys: Kersti and Nicholas, Nagmeh and DayyánBrandon becomes a Daddy for the first time
Auntie Karina holding NicholasAmber holding Nicholas

My only regret for the day is that I was not able to get around and visit everyone as I would have liked.... but that is the nature of being the hostess. With our family now so diminished, after our year of three family deaths, connecting with each other is even more meaningful. Today as I prepare for the anniversary of my mom's death next week, I feel grateful the years she was with us, for the wonderful hospitality she offered to everyone at our home on Pigeon Lake, and the values of nurturing and love for family and friends that I am heir to.

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1 comment:

Kevin Pammett said...

Wow, this one is even more of a gold mine of pictures and (soon-to-be) memories, Nanci. Wonderful!! Thanks for giving this the careful time and creative energy that it deserves. You chose so many of the great pictures of 'everyone', and even managed to dig out one of me! And I appreciated the pointer to my panorama, too.

Thanks !!!