Labor Day Weekend Family Time

Lauren surprised us and decided to fly home with the girls for Labor Day weekend and of course, we were very excited she did.  It’s always great to have those baby girls home, the little ones and the big one.  They are growing so fast and we want to treasure every moment of their little lives.  Parker is now 2 and 1/2 and Iris is just over 4 months, so I wanted to share their visit with all of you, since you enjoy our family so much. Mom and Dad love it when they come home and my sister, Renee,  tries to make sure that the babies get to see them as much as possible.  We so enjoy our family time together!  We had a nice meal over at my sister and brother-in-laws house over the weekend and also spent some time at mom and dad’s for visits.

On Saturday of Labor Day, my dad’s old church congregation had a church reunion at a local park. We all decided to do that last year at a restaurant and this year, a park was secured so that everyone could come out with their families and enjoy getting to visit and catch up with so many folks that we haven’t seen in years.  My dad’s church congregation was around 200 people and he was there for 27 years, so people came and went during that time, but there was always a core group of people who stayed and really love my parents dearly.  They loved getting to see everyone again since my dad has been retired over 20 years now. This is the church I grew up in from age 6 to adulthood,  so there are lots of great memories with many of these folks.

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One of the ladies organized it and we had a nice turnout, probably over 50 people.  We managed to get a family picture.  It helped to wear name tags since every one didn’t know each other.  Baby Iris was asleep in her stroller.

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I got some great shots of the babies, so will share plenty of those with y’all.  Baby Iris is so cute and giggly now.  Big smiles and her cute little personality is coming out.

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The table spread reminded me of our church dinners on the ground that we grew up with. It was so fun every year to have a Homecoming Sunday and everyone brought LOTS of food. That church had some amazing cooks, including my mama and we never lacked for good food.  Doesn’t that look fantastic? We had lots of fried chicken since we needed to bring ready cooked meats.  The sides were delicious and this end of the table was desserts.

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Joyce, our organizer, prepared this scrumptious banana pudding.  A Southern social is not complete without banana pudding and this was a massive container.  She could have fed an army with this one. It was delicious, I can vouch for that.

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My dad loves church socials and enjoyed himself very much. They stayed for hours talking to everyone.

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Capturing some moments of the day.

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Dad, Lauren and Parker and I, after we ate.  It was a fun time of catching up.

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Mom, Lauren, and Parker.  Parker had a ball running around with the older girls who were there.

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Parker, being Parker. She is a live wire that is for sure.

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There’s a playground at the park we went to so I took her over to slide and swing.  She loved it.

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Climbing and sliding was fun.

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At my sister’s house, we had a nice meal out on the porch on Sunday afternoon. Mom loves holding this baby, named after her. Iris is smiling now and making lots of noise.

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Parker and Mom playing with her stuffed bunny.

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Dad with Buster, the Boston terrier.

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Baby Iris being quite content in Nana’s lap.

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I  got my share of baby time too. She’s so sweet and cuddly.

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Mark went with me for family time.  Parker still has a big crush on Mark and he enjoys interacting with her as well.  He’s right at home with little girls, since he had 4 girls of his own that are all grown now. I also spend time with his family and we are both very family oriented, which is a good thing.

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Mom and Dad on the porch.  I really like this pic of them. I think that’s one of dad’s favorite shirts.

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Bruce added this swing to their back porch for Parker to swing on and she loves it.

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I got a photo of Iris on her play mat, just like I took of Parker at this age. Same play mat, same expression.


And here’s the one of Parker when she was about the same age.  You can definitely tell they are sisters!

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Parker, being Parker again, playing in the little creek at my sister’s house.

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We spent time at Mom and Dad’s house too. Dad had just come in from the garden.  I think his summer garden is over now and he has planted greens.  He’s always doing something in the garden!

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I love to capture his every day moments and how he looks.  This is so him, every day.

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Parker has another swing to play on at their house.  We had to get a ladder out to get it down.

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Lauren’s other granddaddy (who is deceased now) made her this cute swing when she was about to turn 4 and she has loved this for years.  It says Let’s Swing, Lauren!

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Mom helping Parker on the swing.

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She had fun and didn’t quite get the push pull yet of the swing, but I’m sure she will in time.  Lauren used to rock that thing to the top of the ceiling.  Notice the bandaids on the knees.  Parker has a total love of bandaids and puts them on every little scratch.  She had fallen down on the driveway and barely scraped her knees, but we had to have bandaids!

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Mom and Dad looking on.  This is our special family times, so I’m happy to share them with all of you. Thanks as always for reading along.


Mom and Dad celebrated 63 years of marriage on Labor Day, September 5th.  We are so grateful for their legacy that they have given us as a family, even if my sister and I didn’t have the same experience that they did with marriage.  It’s been a huge blessing to us to have them as our parents with their steadfast love in our family.   That is something that is priceless and we are very grateful to have that legacy to lean on.


Lauren wanted me to show you all the dress that Iris was wearing last time she was home. I think she was about 2 months old in these pics.  This dress is one that my mom’s Aunt Eva made for us when we were babies and mom passed it to Lauren.


All that hand stitching is just beautiful and looks so cute on Iris.


And this is one last pic of the girls, a recent photo of them dressed in matching dresses that their other grandmother Karen got for them.  Aren’t they the cutest??  They look like little dolls in this one!


One more tidbit from Lauren.  Ever since Lauren started college, my mom (her Nana) has been making her food plates with mom’s homemade meals.   These plastic divided containers were filled up with homemade deliciousness from mom’s table and put in the freezer for Lauren to take to college. Once she graduated from law school, mom figured she would stop this habit, but Lauren just about cried, so mom has continued the tradition and still saves her homemade plates and they get transported down to New Orleans in coolers.  The spoiling continues.  Just one of those family things that I wanted to share!

I know this is a really long post, but here’s a comical video of Parker singing Happy Birthday to her mama, Lauren (August 31st).  We just laugh at this girl all the time. Bossy much?!

So, that’s a wrap up of our recent family visit and I hope you enjoyed all the pics.  I do love to share this with all of you and it’s a way to document our family too.  I seem to have become the keeper of the family records and my blog holds the last 10 years of our family life.  I’ll continue sharing these girls with you along with my parents.  We are so glad to have a family that is close and enjoys being together!


- Rhoda


  1. Rhoda, such sweet family times and memories that are treasured and priceless. Happy Anniversary to your Dad and Mom! Love seeing the little ones! Sweet post! Pam @ Everyday Living

  2. Oh my! This makes my heart so happy. So Lauren calls your mom Nana. What does she call your dad? What does Parker call them and what does Parker call her grandparents?

    • Melanie, Lauren calls my mom and dad, Nana and Grandaddy & that’s what she’s taught Parker to say too. Parker calls my sister and BIL, Nae Nae and Papa. Nae Nae is short for Renee (her idea). I’m going to be Rhodie forever, that’s what Lauren grew up calling me and she’s teaching Parker that too.

  3. So precious Rhoda. How wonderful that you can capture the love that your family portrays. I am blessed to know them. They are the salt of the earth. Those babies are precious!

  4. Rhoda, Thanks for sharing as always. Your family is so special and your parents remind me so much of my Alabama in-laws!

  5. I LOVE your family updates!! Such a beautiful family!

  6. I love your family posts – they make me miss my sweet grandparents! Have you ever done a post showing your sister’s garden? It looks beautiful!

  7. Bonnie Brown says:

    What a wonderful way to start my day by seeing pictures of such a sweet family, loving each other and treasuring every moment together. Families like yours is what made our country great and we need more like them. Keep sharing those special family moments with us. Just love it!

  8. Oh Rhoda, what a sweet family you have. You have a lot of sweet memories to fall back on. I know you treasure your parents they are precious.

  9. What a treasure! It is so wonderful to have all of this family time documented. Years from now, those precious babies will look back at your blog posts and know how much they were loved. You truly have a blessed family. And, the photo of you and Mark is just perfect. You look like you were MFEO! (Made for each other)

  10. I love seeing your beautiful family, Rhoda. I am so happy for you that you have found a good man now and look so happy. The girls are adorable and the pictures of all the generations are priceless.

  11. Becky in 'Bama says:

    I just LOVE your family posts. Brings me peace way down inside to see God’s plan for family lived out in the ‘pages’ of your blog. God bless all of you!! AND THAT FOOD… ~sigh~

    • Thank you, Becky, it really surprised me how much my readers embraced my family, but I know it has to do with family values and how much people like to see that in a real live family. I’m happy to share them!

  12. Oh yes, these family posts are lovely. Your parents, and your family, are so sweet you can just tell. And Mr. Mark sure is looking like a keeper.
    Our church had a big picnic this summer, our pastor is from Kenya and he is also pastor for a mostly Kenyan congregation in a nearby town. Being from Louisiana, I of course brought a huge banana pudding and I can tell you, Seattleites and Kenyans like banana pudding as well as Southerners.

  13. Brenda Swindall says:

    Such a beautiful story. Family cherished times. Love all your pictures. Appreciate your sharing. Southern Family time. We were blessed to have all our family together at my son’s house. He and his twin sister celebrated their 42nd. Birthday on Sunday the 4th. Making memories ❤

  14. Rhoda-you are so generous to share your family like this….the LOVE and tenderness you share is something truly special. Wow. You are so very blessed-as I know you are gratefully aware of :). And can I just say that I am in awe of your niece Lauren’s devotion to her family? It is a major pain in the booty to pack up two kids, haul them on an airplane and then spend the weekend away from home-yet she does it with such an obviously joyful spirit-she is amazing!!

  15. Thanks so much for sharing your family time with all of us! It looks like Mark fits right in and loves family time as much as you do! Your mom and dads wedding picture is beautiful! Love the little christening dress. LOve the story about labeling food for Lauen! Your family looks like they are really enjpying their great grandkids. Family time is so precious! It’s great to doucument all the memories.

  16. Oh, Rhoda, I love this post! My sweet Aunt Iris and Uncle Al are so precious, as are those darling girls. It is always a treat, for me especially, to see the pictures of your dear family. Give them all my love.


  17. Rhoda,I love updates on your family. Their love and goodness just shines . I teared up at the wedding picture. Such a beautiful bride. Mark is a keeper. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Rhoda- I just love it when you show photos of your family getting together. Your parents, remind me so much of my Grandma and Poppa. The babies are just too precious! And Lauren is passing along all of her family values to those sweet little girls. Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. You are so blessed to have such a loving family. Some of us aren’t so blessed .
    You have a wonderful family.

    • Linda, believe me, I do know that. I used to think all families are like mine, but as I got older realized that is not the case at all. I have many girlfriends who didn’t come from loving and healthy families and I feel so bad for them.

  20. What a wonderful family gathering. I can’t get over how much Baby Iris and Parker resemble each other. Love your mom and dad’s wedding picture.

  21. I love the posts about your family. It stirs memories of my family from years ago. My parents missed their 75th Wedding Anniversary by 19 days when my dad passed away this year in May. Family is so important.

  22. I love seeing photos of your beautiful family….Happy 63rd Anniversary to your wonderful parents. They are an inspiration to us all!!!

  23. Rhoda~
    Thank you for sharing family time with us all, your dad sure is a tall man !! Little Parker sure makes me giggle , what a sweetie pie !! Both little ones are so adorable 🙂 Family is truly a blessing .
    Happy 63rd Anniversary to your parents , hug hug !!

    • Yes, he is a tall one. 6’5″ in his youth and he still is very tall. My sister and I got height from him. Parker is a mess, isn’t she?!

  24. Love Parker’s singing! So nice that you had such a wonderful family time!

  25. diane in wis says:

    I always love your blog Rhoda, but I especially love your family times. Oh…it’s so fun to see everybody and how cute the little ones are…and I really loved that video of Parker singing! Soooooo cute. You and Mark look great and your Mom and Dad are so special. Love the matching dresses on the girls and that beautiful little white dress. So fun to see how darling babies are at 4 months….I forget!!! Can’t remember everything…but I loved every pic. Thanks so much!

  26. Thank you and your family for sharing with us. I love looking at pictures of Parker and now Iris growing. It is truly a blessing to have close family.

  27. Rhoda, this is priceless! Love your family. Lauren and the girls are beautiful. Keep sharing.

  28. Andrea Corley says:

    Can’t help but LOL when I watch the video of Parker…. “Mommy lay down” keeps ringing in my head. I love this post and I love that your family is so close! Baby Iris has such blue eyes and I know your mom is happy that she share the same name! Priceless

  29. Your dad with all those girls! Their marriage is such a strong foundation for your family. Blessed.

  30. I’ve been following your blog from the beginning, but rarely comment. Reading, learning, following links to companies that sponsor your posts, and smiling when you share your family. I’m a true California girl, born & raised. Your Southern hospitality is generous and I apply what I can in my own life. Please keep sharing tidbits, like the Banana pudding.
    It’s crystal clear the love and kindness you extend to each other in your family. Oh, how I long to have the close companionship you all share. The girls are sure growing fast! Thank you for sharing your precious family time and memories with all of us.

  31. Rhoda,

    As always, you share with us your family and what is important in life and it’s wonderful! I too benefit from packed up food from my Mommom, although she doesn’t cook as much these days. As a single guy, I can tell you the best food in my house is definitely some I brought home from Mommom’s or she or my family had a hand in! I always endeavor when they come to visit, but no meal is like it is at your Mommom’s and I know how Lauren must love it! Many an ice pack I’ve driven up the road and I always love seeing the similarities in your family and gardening and down home cooking with love.


    • Thank you, Jason, I love that you are reading along as a single guy! Sounds like you know what’s important too in family.

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