FOR A BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY SMILE
DEEP IN THE HEART OF TEXAS
Reuniting With Loved Ones
grown-ups’ table. Russell has a cousin who’s close in age, so they enjoy playing together. Like me, Beth is one of six kids, and they’ve become like a second family to me. I’ve known them for almost 20 years now. Her youngest sibling was nine when Beth and I got married, so I’ve watched them grow up, get married, and start families of their own.The youngest, Becka, is in her 20s now — it’s crazy how quickly time goes by. I’m grateful to have added such an amazing group of people to my family, thanks to Beth. It’s always a good time when we get to visit and catch up on everyone’s lives in the past few years. It’s been a busy summer for the Elkins family. Last month, we celebrated Evie’s graduation — it’s still a bit crazy that our eldest is done with high school! I don’t think it will fullya settle in until she goes to college. I’m not going to think about that yet, though — we still have the rest of the month to enjoy having her at home. We enjoyed our Fourth of July surrounded by family, and I wouldn’t have asked for it any other way. I hope your Fourth gave you the opportunity to catch up with loved ones.
these days, thanks to technology, the kids can watch movies during the drive. Despite its length, we enjoy spending that time together. This year, Beth and her cousins were in charge of planning activities for the reunion, and they organized a talent show. Beth and I performed a duet from a musical we saw during our trip to New York called “Dear Evan Hansen.” It was fun to have an excuse to do more singing with Beth and to see the talents everyone else brought to the table. The reunions bring together parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles from Beth’s extended family, and we always have a great time. Our kids never have a shortage of playmates when we visit Texas. Being that Beth is the eldest of her siblings, most of our kids are older than their cousins, so they tend to hang out with their aunts and uncles and sit at the
Every few years, we go to Texas for Beth’s family reunion, and this summer’s gathering reunited us with the Lone Star State once again! We celebrated the Fourth of July with the people we love, and it was a special time full of laughter, good conversation, and fun activities. I’m grateful to have spent a week with the kids, Beth, and her awesome family. At this point, we’re pros at the almost 25- hour road trip. We pack everything in the car the day before we leave and stock it full of games and movies to keep the younger kids busy, and I bring sunflower seeds to keep me alert.The alphabet game used to be the only way to pass the time on a road trip, but
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