Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Gathering of Cousins

On June 14, 2014 what started out as a plan to have a Stogner Family Reunion became a simple gathering of a few cousins for dinner. For various reasons, several family members were unable to attend.  But, that's okay.  The ones who were present had a good time anyway. 

Let's dig in first!
Rita, Charlie and one of the twins (I get them confused!)
Vicky was peeling crawfish for one of the twins- I wished I had asked her to do some for me- I am clumsy with that!
Elvis, Kathy, Mady & Christy
Mack's West was the chosen spot for our little gathering that evening. The seafood buffet is nothing short of awesome!  Most of the group filled up on fried catfish fillets, shrimp, oysters, hush puppies, fries and cole slaw.  My husband, Charlie, made a healthier choice and had steak and green beans- I was proud of him!  

While eating, we listened as Elvis and Shelby Jr recalled some of the sneaky stunts they pulled on certain family members and neighbors when they were rowdy youngsters.  They laughed as they talked about the times they lit a row of firecrackers near the neighbors house then hid to watch the neighbors reaction. Surprisingly, the neighbors remained in their living room with their eyes glued to the television and didn't even acknowledge they had heard anything. However, when they pulled the same stunt on a particular step-Aunt, their Uncle came out with a shotgun and fired into the air.   

Elvis and I admitted to a few stunts we pulled on our Grandpa Stogner.  Like the times we knocked on the front door then ran and hid behind the shrubs to watch his reaction.  When he answered the front door and saw no one, we then ran to the back door and repeated the steps.  Grandpa became annoyed and stormed outside to chastise us.  When he approached us, we ran away, giggling.  That made Grandpa even angrier- he yelled and threatened to give us a good beating then he removed one of his shoes and threw it at us.  We thought that was hilarious! Elvis and I stayed outdoors a few more hours to allow Grandpa time to cool off.  Then we softly tip-toed inside and hoped to avoid facing him.  Oh goodness, how mean was that?!!!  I feel so ashamed about that now. Grandpa should have laid a good whipping on us.  Of course, he would've had to do it while we were asleep because that's the only way he could've caught us.  Why didn't he at least report my rude behavior to Mom and Dad?  

Crystal let one of the boys draw names for the gifts
Elvis received the men's gift
Rita received the ladies gift, but passed it on to Mady

After dinner, Kay placed everyone's names in a bag and allowed the twins to pull names for door prizes. Elvis received the men's gift. Rita received the ladies' gift; however, it was a beautiful bracelet that was too small to fit her wrist, so the bracelet was passed on to little Mady. She loved it. 

Rita loving up on her twin nephews, who are aka the "Double Lovin's" :)
Mady with her Mom, Christy
Anita (Kay) & Shelby Jr
Kay & I are cousins by blood but friends by choice :)
I love my sweet cousin!
Vicky is the youngest of Aunt Velma's children
Kay & Wayne with their grandsons
Rita and I.  It had been a long, long time since she and I sat down to conversation together.
Elvis, Crystal, Kay & Kathy
The whole gang, except me, the photographer
All of Aunt Velma's children- Vicky, Rita, Kathy, Elvis & Kay

Before everyone dispersed, I took a few group photos.  They didn't turn out as well as I hoped so I told Kay it demanded a rerun- we must do it all over again so we can get better group photos! She happily agreed.

Those that came that day were Charlie and I, all of Aunt Velma Stogner Smith's children:  Rita, Elvis, Kay with husband Wayne, Kathy and Vickie; son of Uncle Shelby: Shelby Stogner Jr with his wife Christy and daughter Mady; and Kay's daughter, Crystal with her four sons- Gavin, Peyton, Eli & Noah (twins).

Simmons Family Reunion 2014

"Remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family"

The Simmons Family Reunion was held at Woodlawn Family Life Center in Columbia, Mississippi on June 21st, 2014. Several of our Simmons relatives were present that day. It had been 11 years since our last reunion so there was a lot of "catching up" to do. We truly enjoyed our fellowship with each other. 

The Bourgoyne Family- (yes, that's my bunch!).  Charles, Ryan, Cherie, Susan (me)  & Crissy
My daughter, Cristina with husband, Ryan Curry & their children, Matthew & Nathan
Me with my brother, Frank Jr.
Nathan and I 
Children of Sam & Darla Broom
Sam & Darla with their children
Left: Crissy & Ryan; Right: Tim & Cookie Simmons
Showing off photos: Tammy Simmons (in pink) with Aunt Gertie and  Joey
My brother Tony was greeted by our cousin, Pam
Dena with daughter,  "J.J." and husband, Tony
My sister, Sandy & her daughter, Lennae
It appears these two (Cookie and Aunt Helen Simmons) had quite an interesting conversation going...
Uncle Elton  had to get into the story too.  Actually he was trying to harass me ;)
Aunt Helen sharing chat with Sandy while Aunt Ethel is looking elsewhere 
Cousin Elaine (Herrin Knight)
Darla & Sam's sons in deep conversation with their Uncle Mike
Tammy & Aunt Joyce (Thornhill Simmons)
Four Generations: Aunt Gertie with daughter, Debbie, GD Meichelle & Darla,  GGD Ashley
Aunt Gertie & Uncle James Wiginton
Joshua (Thornhill) with son, Mason
Joshua & his wife, Jessica
I love these good people- Aunt Helen & Uncle Elton
My brother, Tony with daughter J.J.
Tim & his daughter, Jessica
Sisters Pam & Lucretia  (Powell)
Sisters- Meichelle & Darla
Group conversation between Dad, Dwayne, Tony, Debbie & Dena
More conversation with Sam, Dwayne, Cherie, Tony, Dena & Mike
Cell phone business between Sarah Jean (Simmons Wilson) & daughter Ciera
It was getting a little loud in there...
There's Sarah Jean & Ciera again
J.J. looks pretty comfortable in her Mom's lap
These two look like they want to be up to no good- they often are!  Frank Jr and cousin, Jerry (Jones)
Can't you just see the mischievousness spilling from him?
Crissy & her Dad
Cookie & Aunt Joyce
Tony, Frank Jr, Charlie, Me, Dena & Dad
Aunt Ethel & Mike 
The Old Oilfield Gang (so named by Uncle Elton)
They thought their oilfield jokes were pretty funny
Couples- Dwayne & Debbie Ward, Meichelle & Mike Knoblock
Fun times in the gym
Passing the ball
Ashlynn gets a little assistance from her dad, Sam
Let's Eat!
There was enough food available for a small army!
A great variety of main courses, sides and dessert- it was truly delicious!
Aunt Ethel made sure to get plenty (hard to believe this little woman ate all that!)
Debbie made a comeback after someone's sarcastic but funny comment (was probably Tony or Uncle Elton)
Let's keep the line moving!
What a long line it was too!
After the family dinner, there was much work to be done- thank goodness for the great help!
Wonderful memories were made that day.  Let's not wait so long for another family reunion- life escapes us and sometimes we let get so lost in it that we forget to spend time with our loved ones. 

Remember, other things may change us, 
but we start and end with family.