Forever Friends Gathering


We just found out that our gathering of “forever friends” is going to be held this year at the Mozingo’s and we’re really excited!

The Mozingo’s house is way out west of Phoenix in Waddell. They built the adobe home themselves, brick by brick and its loaded with character. This is their front door and one of the doorknobs in their house. Aren’t they awesome! The two outdoor shots give you an idea of what their backyard and the firepit looks like. We love going there because it feels like we’re in another world far beyond the city.

This annual gathering started around 20 years ago after Terry, the kids and I moved to California. We started coming back to Phoenix to visit family and friends during the week between Christmas and New Year’s and started a tradition of setting aside one night to gather with some of the families that we were closest with when we lived here. When we started this tradition, all of our kids were very young and now almost all of them are college age, married or out of the house. I don’t think we’ve missed a year since we started, a couple of decades ago and now that we’ve moved back to Phoenix, the tradition continues. The core group has always remained the same: Haugens, Hanns, Thrushes and Thompsons. The Rolfes have joined us off and on and the Mozingos have joined the clan regularly in the past several years.

Every year, usually sometime around New Year’s weekend all of the families gather at one of our homes and have great food, fellowship, fun and often a fire either inside or out. The parents hang out and catch up on the latest family news and the “kids” hang out and do what kids do. Often times there will be story telling, playing of instruments, singing, etc. usually by the kids as they’ve grown older and joined the parents in their respective musical talents.

We cherish this get-together every year and can’t wait for another one. Over the last few years boyfriends, girlfriends, fiances and now spouses have joined the group, so our numbers have grown to nearly 30 and will continue to grow as more mates come along and when the grandkids start showing up. How cool! In the past few years Nicole, Jed, Andrew and Erin have joined the group. We’re so blessed to have such an amazing group of friends that have stayed close even though we lived in two different states for 18 years. What a testimony to God’s love and grace in our lives. We’ve all stuck together through thick and thin, laughter and tears, pain and sorrow and we’re so thankful for each one of them in our lives. Our kids have often shared about their hope of keeping the same kind of friendships as they move into adulthood. What a precious treasure we have been given!!!

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