Friday, July 22, 2016

Grand Haven and Brendan are a wonderful combination!

A FREE zoo night ... ZIP line here we come!

The Holtzhouse Family Reunion 2016

Last weekend, July 16 to be exact, was the Holtzhouse family reunion held at my cousin Marylou's beautiful place. It had been six years since our last big reunion. It was really fun to see everyone again and meet some of the new little additions to the family.

My cousin Julia (her mom is Aunt Sally) has three grandchildren. Ellie (short for Elinor) is her daughter's Elizabeth's little one, and Asa is the second born of her son Ben (and wife Angela). Asa has an adorable older brother, Silas (3). This was my first time meeting any of these small and beautiful children.

My cousin, Julia, and husband Chris (wonderful folk) and
two of their grand babies: Ellie and Asa
 My cousin Marylou was in a serious MVA many years ago (30?) and she has been wheelchair-bound ever since. She has many physical impairments, but God has gifted her with the love of flowers and gardens ... she has honored Him with these gifts very faithfully. 
My cousin Marylou (we are at her house and in her yard for the reunion)
and her mom, my Aunt Janice.
 Thankfully, some of my cousins took good pictures of the large groups of individual families. I was too busy looking at the gardens ...  Below is my Aunt Sally and Uncle Richard's family. They have four children: Stephen (not in attendance--he lives in California with his wife--no children), Julia and Chris (Ben, Elizabeth, Rachel and Nathanael=children & Elinor, Silas and Asa=grandchildren).
This is my Aunt Sally and Uncle Richard and their whole
troop of children and grandchildren and great-grands.
 Marylou's gorgeous gardens stretch for acres! She and her sister, my cousin Martha (Marti) tend these gardens weekly to keep them this beautiful.
My cousin's amazing gardens ...
 My cousin Bruce is a very talented musician. He plays quite a bunch of stringed instruments (and perhaps others) ... I know for sure that he plays mandolin, guitar and fiddle. His wife, Traci-Jean, is a sweetheart. They have stayed in love for 28 years now and it shows. Their son, Bruce Royal, has followed his dad in music. I plays fiddle and bass and cello. Montague (Monty) has just graduated from high school and will go into engineering in the fall. He tells me he is not musical. This is a really sweet and loving family. My Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Don (not pictured because my aunt is deceased and my uncle was not present) had four children: Bruce, Marcus, Timothy, and Sarah. Only Bruce and his family could come to the reunion this year.
My cousin Bruce and wife Traci Jean, sons Bruce Royal
and Montague
 The dear ladies are my aunts, and my mom. Aunt Jan's husband (Uncle Skip) died several years ago. They had six children: Don, Gary, Marylou, John, and twins--Wayne and Martha. My Aunt Jean and Uncle Paul (who died on his 71st birthday) had FIVE girls: Bethann, Sharon, Suzanne, Andrea, and Mary. My Aunt Marylou died from ALS many years ago, and my dad died in 1990. 
The four matriarchs of the family: Aunt Jan, Aunt Jean, Aunt Sally
and my mom (Ruth)

 My Aunt Jan is a dear, dear lady. She is almost deaf now and struggles with her health. But she still lives independently and her children look out for her. She is a very loving person and is always baking banana bread or sewing a baby blanket for someone who needs those things. She is not an idle person. She also makes beautiful cards and sends them to folks everywhere. 
My cousin Marti and her mom, Aunt Janice

My Aunt Jan's extended family, most of whom could not make
it to the reunion. If they had all come, there would have been
twice this many (or more) to squeeze into the picture.

Aunties Jan and Sally
 It was my cousins' 49th birthday the day of the reunion. I remember the day they were born! I do! I was nearly 14 and my family and I were on a boat trip (with the goal of reaching Mackinac Island), but we ran into a storm around the thumb area and the waves were 10-12 feet and it was incredibly beautiful ... but a little scary if you don't like being out on the water (speaking of my mom). So we had stopped in Port Austin (I think) and somehow learned the news that my Aunt Jan had given birth not to ONE baby but to TWO babies. Oh my! That was back in the day before ultrasounds. My cousin Wayne is a police man in Allen Park and is two years away from retirement. He has five children but three live away with his first wife. Martha is caretaker of these beautiful gardens and she has FIVE children too! Oh my word!
Twins: Martha and Wayne

All of the cousins in attendance (and their spouses).
We were missing Kevin and David (my brothers)
John (Aunt Jan's son)
Marcus, Tim and Sarah (Aunt Mary Lou's kids)
Stephen (Aunt Sal's son)

My mom and my Aunt Jan.
This is a VERY nice picture of my mom!
 All of the ABOVE pictures were stolen from Facebook from my cousins who did a wonderful job (always) of photographing loved ones. The photos beneath are mine ... and I'm always a little bit obsessed with ... nature, etc. So I didn't do very well taking family pictures.
 I'm just going to run my pictures of the flowers on by ... I don't even know the names of these beautiful flowers except that there are lilies and daisies and cone flowers, etc.

My cousin, Bruce B. King, musician extraordinaire!

Cousin Bruce on the mandolin and son Bruce Royal
on the bass ... they make wonderful music.

Aunt Sally holding the newest member of the tribe:
This is Philip, AKA Pip, who joins his brother
Joseph, AKA Buddy. He is a beautiful baby boy.

My beautiful sister, Ruthanne, and her daughter Shelley,
my extremely talented niece and soon to be published
author of "Beatrice Zinker, Upside-down Thinker"
 One they broke out the instruments, the music went on for quite a while. So beautiful. That's my Uncle Richard on the harmonica. Oh, and JAE is to the far right (Lois' daughter) on the guitar (below).

 My cousin, Suzi (I love her so) plays guitar, fiddle and I can't think what else. She has a wonderful harmonizing voice and sings with professional choirs.

 And my cousin Beth (Bethie, we used to call her) sings and plays beautifully too. She just returned from a very refreshing European vacation with her husband and one of her daughters.

My cousin Julia (left) and her daughter Elizabeth
and first granddaughter Ellie
Yikes. I cannot find a picture of Annie or Mary or Shari! I will have to remedy that in the next few days and drop it below. I looked forward to the reunion for weeks and weeks--sorry to see it go so quickly. Love these dear folk.