Family Ties

Family Friday

In case you were wondering why, even though I’m not taking courses at this time of year, the posts at this blog have been sporadic, I’m about to tell you. One of the reasons, anyway. Summer, as the Faith Formation and Outreach Director of Now Church (formerly known as the Christian Education Director), is always busy. I am having a little trouble remember, however, a busier summer than this one. It’s been one of the happier ones I can remember, but nonetheless I’ve been going almost flat out since 6 July, so I’m really looking forward to my week of at-home vacation next week.

Starting on 6 July, one other Now Church adult and I took a group of 7 teens to join a whole bunch of other adults and teens at a WorkCamp in Vermont. The youth groups were all shuffled together and then divided up again into crews, and sent out every day for a week to various homes where they did everything from roofing to landscaping to painting. I’ve painted before, and been part of a crew like this before, but I’ve never led a paint crew before. It was challenging, but fun, and the concentrated time with the kids in my crew reminded me why I’ve been working with kids since I was only 16 myself. At one point during the week I said to the girls in my own youth group something about not having my own kids, and they looked offended and said, “But we’re your kids!” And I smiled and decided I liked that idea. (Also that they would say so, because let’s face it, I’ve felt like they were my kids before now.)

It’s a good thing I decided I liked that, because that week ended and one day later I was on a plane with four of the same kids, plus one more, and two other adults from Now Church, on our way to this year’s ICCC conference. We went to Omaha, which is a very hip city, by the way. If I had to move Midwest, I’d consider it.

How could you not want to live in a place with these things?

How could you not want to live in a place with these things?

We got back home a week after that at around 4 o’clock one morning, and that same morning, an influx of Layte and Grosser extended family began showing up in the area.

Drawing by TWCN 2014

This is TWCN (The World’s Cutest Niece–who is soon going to be old enough to need a new epithet) and me, actually from our trip to see THEM in May. I’m a fan of the matching dresses.


We had a wonderful two weeks with various combinations of family members, including a big old party right here at the Cottage, where about 30 people from both sides of the family attended. Plus there were day trips with one of our young adult nieces in particular. I love me some day trips. Besides, our niece is an excellent travel companion.

Block Island (photo credit Jocelyn Layte)

Block Island (photo credit Jocelyn Layte)

Then everybody went home and we had VBS (Vacation Bible School) at Now Church. And this week I’ve been getting things ready for our annual Youth Conference out at Camp in Boondocks, New England.

Last Saturday there was one more “family” event, which I didn’t even know about until the last minute. The Living History Museum where I worked for nine months shortly after leaving London had its first ever “alumni” reunion. Given my brief tenure, it was kind of amazing I knew anyone there at all, but I did, and the Museum is such a soothing place to wander around when you need to get your Introvert on, that it was worth the trip.


After the introverting, there was a group photo, but that was where I ran into most of my Museum family, so that was all right.

photo by . . . some OSV employee, whose name I do not know, even though everybody else seemed to.

photo by . . . some OSV employee, whose name I do not know, even though everybody else seemed to.

If someone had wished me a “family little summer,” the couldn’t possibly have imagined just how “family” it would be.

Love you, Youth family, Layte family, Grosser family, Now Church family, and Museum family. Oh, and you! The Readership family, too.



4 thoughts on “Family Ties

  1. Fun to read this as I sit in the home where you and we were once “family”.

    Yes, we are borrowing the house for a few days of our homelessness!

    Hope to see you soon-
    Heather (and The Sixes)

  2. Pingback: Wordy Whoops | That's a Jenn Story

  3. Pingback: An Unexpected Sequel to THANsgiving | That's a Jenn Story

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