Ted’s and my wish came true: for our 50th anniversary celebration the last weekend of June, our entire family–children, spouses, and grandchildren–was together at the same time! It was an enjoyable, event-filled weekend.

This memory candle was a wedding gift from our florist and used to be much taller. We have burned it every year on our anniversary, as directed in the florist’s message (below). I’ve moved the flowers downward several times over the years.
Just as the card says, the candle was present at our silver and golden anniversary parties. No great-grandchildren were present, but might be on the way in the foreseeable future. While we were together, Alex, our first grandchild, officially told the family of his engagement. He and Kaitlyn will be married in August.
We started the celebration Thursday evening with a family dinner at Maggiano’s. Here we are, ready to start the party.
Clockwise around the table, beginning front center: Zaque, Julian, Alex, Ted, me, Katie, Sefton, Thom, Kathy, Jeff.
Clockwise around the table, beginning left center: Kyra, La, Kari, Dean, Sky, Teddy, Dylan, Annette.
This is how modern two-year-olds amuse themselves when they’re finished eating.

Friday morning, we had an appointment at a photography studio for a family portrait and for a portrait of Ted and me. We’ve selected the ones we like, and the photographer is in the process of putting the digital files into the final portrait form.

After the professional photos, we had lunch and then went to a nearby park for more group pictures. Here we are with our four children. Left > right: Jeff, Kathy, me, Ted, Kari, Thom. Thom and Katie also took pictures with a “real” (not cell phone) camera, and are going to make some nice enlargements for Ted and me.
And here we are with our grandchildren. Left > right: Zaque, Alex, Kyra, Ted, me, Sky, Teddy, Dylan, Julian, Sefton. Sefton apparently thought he was finished after the morning photo shoot.
After the park photos, we headed to Innsbrook, a nearby resort, where Ted and I rented two houses for the weekend. This is the “big” house (sleeps 14).
This is the “little” house, called a “treehouse” by the owners. It sleeps 6.
It’s obvious we’ve all been trained to remove our shoes at the door. I counted 17 pairs in this pile.
Unfortunately, Julian’s weekend activities were somewhat limited by his broken collarbone. Check out his sling. He was riding his bike in the bike lane when a car made a right turn without checking the bike lane and hit him.
The big house offered lots of open space on the main floor, as well as a large game / media room on the lower level. It had two decks (one above the other), a screened porch accessible from the living room and from the master bedroom, and a dock on a small lake. This house was our gathering area. I opted for all meals to be catered. They were delivered warm, and all we had to do was come to this area for lunch and dinner.
The small A-frame house was charming with its wooded setting and its cozy living space. It was a nice place to have some quiet time away from the crowd.
Friday night turned out to be exciting when a severe thunderstorm passed through the area. Katie was delighted to hear loud thunder (the Seattle area doesn’t get much of that) and filmed the heavy rain and lightning. (That’s her at the sliding doorway.) One especially loud clap of thunder startled all of us into shouts, and Katie was thrilled that the shouts were on her recording. Conditions became more exciting when the power went out a little while after I took this picture. We scrambled for candles and cell phone flashlights.
Saturday morning was sunny and warm. No more rain! Kari and I took a canoe out on the lake at the big house.
Alex and Zaque chose the paddleboat. By this time, Kari and I were in the upper right of the picture with our canoe.
Next in line for the paddleboat were Kyra, La, Katie, and Sefton. Thom and Jeff steadied the boat while they climbed onboard.
The little house had two kayaks on another lake. Ted and I made use of them later in the day.
In the afternoon, we decided to head for the resort pool, which included a lazy river for young children (i.e., Sefton). Members of our group are tossing a ball around in the center of the pool.
Here are Katie and Sefton after a trip to the lazy river.
The little house had a golf cart that we found handy for going between our two houses (0.5 miles apart) and for getting around the resort. The golf cart was the hit of the weekend and everyone wanted to drive and / or ride in it. Here are Teddy and Dylan taking a turn in the back seat of the cart on our way home from the resort pool.
The dock was quiet on Sunday morning and I had a chance to do some reading in the sunshine.
The lake was Sunday-morning-calm and a restful place to relax.
We checked out of the resort on Sunday and went back to our own house. I put our wedding photo album and our wedding scrapbook album on the coffee table for everyone to look at.
Of course there was pool time in the afternoon.
Ted and I unpacked our Apple IIe for old times’ sake. The boys couldn’t get all the games to work, but managed to play a few rounds of Dig Dug.
On a less intellectual level, La threw popcorn kernels and Kyra tried to catch them in her mouth. The arrow points to the popcorn kernel and it looks like Kyra’s going to catch this one.
After everyone left, I went around the house to strip the beds and couldn’t help noticing that Julian’s camping skills were evident. All of his bedding, including the queen-size air mattress, was neatly arranged in small bundles almost suitable for a hiker’s backpack.
Ted and I went out in the evening after the kids left. When we returned to our car, a brief shower had just ended and we saw a full-arch rainbow. It was the perfect closure for our celebration weekend.