Since I was a little girl, it's been a long standing tradition for our family to attend our hometown's annual fall festival, the East Texas Yamboree. I have so many special memories from my childhood of the Yamboree. My brothers and I always had a great time with our friends hanging out up on the square riding all the carnival rides, eating cotton candy and corn dogs until late into the night and watching the parades from the back of my Dad's truck with our parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. And now it's fun to be able to carry on some of these same traditions with our own children.
The East Texas Yamboree is one of the longest running festivals in Texas--this year being it's 79th year running. It's a 4-day event that takes place every year in October in my hometown of Gilmer, Texas and while there you can enjoy carnival rides, games, a variety of food booths, livestock show, art/quilt show, Yamboree Queen Coronation and pageant, antique car show, parades, band contests, barn dance and much more.
This year, our family along with all of my siblings and their families traveled to my parents home (our childhood home) to get ready to enjoy the festivities. The cousins were all super excited about getting to go back to the Yamboree and ride all the rides together and hang out at KiKi and Pop's house. They always have so much fun together.
While there, we took a few family photos…and no shocker, trying to get everyone to smile/pose for the camera is always filled with some laughs and jokes…some things never change with the Bishop crew! ;-)
…my little/big brother still takes pride in the fact that he can throw his big sis around like a rag doll!!
The girls right before we headed out to the Yamboree Queen's Coronation pageant….
The hubby and Gavin went fishing at his parent's lake while we were there and caught a big catfish!!
On Saturday, we had fun watching the Queen's parade…Taylor and her cousin Kinsey loved looking at all the pretty dresses on the floats.
The kids had fun riding rides with Uncle Brent...
I decided to be brave and ride one of the scary rides with my nephew Marcus and Uncle Brent. Yikes!
The kids had a blast playing in the pasture….jumping and climbing on all the hay bales.
Taylor and KiKi watching movies together and eating snacks…
While there, the hubby's high school class had a "meet and greet" 25-year class reunion. It was great catching up with some dear friends we haven't seen in a long time.
We also had a chance to hang out with Aunt Karen and my cousins Rachel and Laura while in town who I haven't seen in a while. We enjoyed getting to see Laura perform with her band --I always love hearing her sing.
And then just like that… our fun weekend had to come to an end and the good-byes were sadly upon us.
My brother, Brian, had already left the day before. My brother, Jeff and his family, had to leave early that morning to fly back to Florida--so we all said our tearful good-byes to them. And we had to hit the road for our long 7 hour drive back home. Brent, and his family, would head back later that morning since they don't life too far from mom and dad.
In truth, these good-byes are getting harder and harder…. especially now with my Dad not feeling so well with his battle with cancer. These sweet visits like we had this past weekend with my family make me wish so badly that I could freeze time for a season….just put a hold on our lives and be able to stay under one roof together a bit longer. My heart aches that there are so many miles between me and my parents --I struggle with the fact that I don't live closer and I can't be there with them to help more, to comfort and more fully support them more during this hard season they find themselves in.
Before we pulled out of their driveway, we took one last photo with them…I'll definitely cherish this one for many years to come. So much love is captured here …I hope my children always know and remember how much their grandparents love them. They mean the world to my parents. KiKi and Pops have always been actively involved in my children's lives and have never missed any of their special events…never turned down an opportunity to babysit or spend time with them whenever they can. They've always been there for their special occasions ---birthday parties, adoption finalizations, temple sealings, baptism, school event/programs. And that has always meant so much to me, Jody and the kids. A grandparents love can be transforming in a child's life and we'll be eternally grateful for the blessings KiKi and Pops have and continue to bring to Noah, Gavin and Taylor's lives through their love, kindness, care and concern for their well-being. Because as we all know, at the end of the day, that's what family is all about. Being there for one another and showing up in the good times, but even moreso, in the harder times. This is one of the great examples my parents have always lived and set for their children and grandchildren. How grateful I am for their righteous example of love and service to their family--even while in the midst of the greatest trial of their lives. We love you KiKi and Pops with all of our hearts!
We had a wonderful weekend and another fun year at the Yamboree "yamm'in" it up with our family and friends...