Sunday, August 17, 2014

family reunion days 6,7, & 8

Monday morning we rented a bunch of bikes and rode around the Dillon reservoir. The views that this bike path provided were spectacular. Definitely a highlight of the trip. It made me wish we had brought our own bikes so we could have ridden as much as we wanted and taken our time. Next time. :)
Tatum and Claire playing at a playground while the adults rode.
 That afternoon we headed to the Silverthorne Rec Center for some swimming. I thought the pool was awesome! It had one big slide and a couple smaller ones. But my favorite thing about it was the kiddie pool area. It was really a really big area, all pretty much one depth and the water was so warm!! It was just perfect for little kids. I think they could have stayed forever. They also didn't have tons of crazy rules like lots of pools seem to have so we could take Tatum down the slide on our laps which she absolutely loved. Every time we got to the bottom she would immediately say "just two more times":).
We even got to play some water volleyball. Check out those tan lines. :)

 These two crazies were wiped out after swimming.

After dinner we played some minute to win it. That is always worth a few laughs. In no particular order:

 See who can get the most cheetos on their partner's shaving cream covered head. This was the first event and just the start of the cheating from the men.  They crumbled up their cheetos into a billion pieces so it would count as more!
 How many dice can you stack on the end of a tongue depressor?

 Bouncing ping pong balls into plastic cups.
 Again with the cheating guys! The basically leaned over the table and dropped the ping pong balls directly into the cups. Come on! :)
 Moving marshmallows from a bowl to a cup with a straw. Relay style. We owned it. :)
 Gavin all shaving creamed up.
 The willing participants and their results.
Minute to win it reminds me that I haven't mentioned most of the games that we played in the evenings and I feel a few, anyway, are worth mentioning. Mom had us play the newlywed game one night which was a lot of fun. I think my favorite part was that she decided to skip this question for the girls "What kind of animal would you compare your mother-in-law to?". She said she wouldn't make her daughters-in-law answer that, even though they could totally have a positive answer. But then she decided to include the question "What is your least favorite food made by your mother-in-law?" for the guys. But there's no way to make that positive! Poor Rich, Brennan and Ben haha. Especially Ben. He answered 'egg rolls' because he got sick once right after eating them, but it sure became the joke of the reunion.  Good times. :)

We also played Things...which has become a favorite of ours. One night we broke into teams and had to race to line up in order of age, birthday, height, letter of first name, etc. So simple but so darn fun. We played family feud and a few board games as well. 

Tuesday was our last full day together. :( It was a slower, less-planned day. We hung out around the house in the morning. 
 Brennan wrestled Wyatt and Jaren and got them all wound up and then did his best to calm them back down again with some meditation. :) He is definitely more fun than me, it's no competition.
 Grandma had a few more games and surprises for the kids of course.
 I just love the look on Jade's face in this one.
 The little ones tried to play some duck duck goose. It didn't work perfectly but at least it kept them entertained for awhile.
 Yeah, they are over a year apart. You'd never guess. :)
Late morning we headed to the Keystone resort for a kids day complete with a magician, arm painting, popcorn and a bounce house. While we were there Papa took the Kelbie, Caden and Libbie on an adventure at a Ghost Town and Caleb, Rich, and Crystal rented some stand up paddle boards and had a good time.

Cute Ella.
 I just love this sequence of pictures of Ella, her mouth is doing the same thing in every single one. :)

 Tatum loved her purple "Thomas the train".

 That's quite a smile Gavin is giving us. And don't mind me creeping in the background.
 I'm pretty sure this is a nice action shot of Nathan catching a bee or wasp that was after Stacy's dried mangoes. Way to go Nathan!

Tuesday afternoon we did a little service project in a nearby town, helping to prepare, serve, and clean up after a free community meal that they provide every week. It was a good experience and something I'm hoping we can make part of future reunions. 

That night we enjoyed our last few hours together visiting and having a good time. It is amazing how fast a week goes by!

Wednesday morning we all packed up and headed out. Everyone was headed west to Utah except for us and Mara and her girls. We gave them a ride to the Denver airport on our way out of town. I tried to get a sweet picture of Jade and Tatum hugging but they looked the wrong way. Still cute though, right? :)
The drive home was long. It felt much longer than the drive to Colorado. Tatum was lethargic and quiet nearly the whole way. It was actually kind of a blessing, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor girl, she clearly didn't feel well. We have each subsequently gotten sick since we have been home. It seems to have finally gone through all of us so hopefully this week will be a healthier and happier one. I'm just glad none of us were sick at the reunion!
 What a great week we had! I love my family so much and I'm so grateful for each of them and their willingness to make the reunion a priority. I so wish we all lived much closer to each other and could see each other more often, but having a reunion every year where we can reconnect and have fun together certainly makes the distance a little easier to endure.

And that's a wrap, folks. I'm sure you are relieved to read that. :)

family reunion days 4 & 5

Saturday was supposed to be a perfect day weather-wise so we decided to switch plans around again. I really worked so hard on the schedule and tried to find the perfect balance of enough to do that we weren't getting bored but not too much to do that we were going crazy. It was hard to then have to readjust everything because of the weather but we still managed to do just about everything we had planned and I think it all worked out.

Saturday started with some of the younger ones enjoying a squirrel on the porch. Seriously, they were mesmerized for a a long time.
We enjoyed a yummy pancake breakfast made by mom and dad and then got ready for family pictures. I was hoping to be able to do them in the evening for better lighting but getting 29 people presentable in the evening (17 of which are kids) just isn't ideal. Instead we did the best with the lighting we had. All in all, I think they turned out pretty well. Our family is just getting too big-it's a difficult size to photograph!

The whole gang.

Crystal's family.

Nathan's family.

Caleb's family.

 Mara's family.

 My family.

 The grandchildren. As you can see Tatum and Finn were the difficult ones. Something about age 2 just doesn't agree with photo sessions. But we managed to corral Finn behind the fence and Tatum in Caden's arms. Go us! :)

After pictures we headed down to the water. The men went on to Frisco to get fishing licenses. Then we proceeded to enjoy many hours near the lake. I was actually kind of surprised how long we were able to spend there. Dad brought his blow up kayak and took some kids out in that. The kids LOVED fishing even though nothing was caught. The toddlers (and grown men) enjoyed throwing rocks in the water. And the day was just beautiful.

Grandma came prepared with bubbles because she is the best.

Tatum was a bit of a grouch at the start of this. And quite OCD about her life jacket. Luckily Marci came to the rescue with some M&Ms to stop the emotional meltdown.
Tatum's first time fishing with daddy!

Wyatt's hat just makes this picture awesome I think. That kid cracks me up.
Rocking throwing. So much fun.

The two youngest boys even managed to fall asleep in the hot sun. Tyce was kind enough to stay asleep for a little bit after he was laid down. Not Declan.
The hat. Again, it just makes the picture that much better.
The three youngest being sleepy and being held.

These two found their way to Crystal, of course.
And played some awesome rock dancing game. :)
That night the 10 siblings/spouses/parents got to go out and Grandma and Papa were awesome and watched all 17 kids for us! But with sweet helpers like Claire, I'm sure it was a breeze. :)
Really, it was so nice of them. And it was so fun for us all to go out and spend some time together without the kids and their seemingly constant needs. We had a reservation at a restaurant in Breckenridge, but it was for outdoor seating. Of course, right as we pull up it starts raining. Quite a lot. We waited for awhile, hoping it would pass and we even checked with some other restaurants but no one else could accommodate a party as big as ours. Eventually we just decided to sit in their outdoor seating and use the protection of the umbrellas as much as we could. Brennan and I were the only ones clueless enough to not wear jackets! We were a little chilly and a little wet but it makes for a good story, right? :) Plus, we saw a triple rainbow. And some of the food was really good! Not what I ordered (so dang spicy-it was like eating spoonfuls of cajun seasoning.) Brennan's nachos were semi-good, but a lot of the chips were burned. Mara's tacos were delicious! But it was the experience! We were out without kids and with a bunch of people we love and don't see often. And after dinner we walked around Breckenridge and stopped at a dessert place and Brennan and got a hazelnut caramel apple cider and it was so delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We stopped at the grocery store, where we learned that they charge for grocery bags in Breckenridge, and then headed home. Everyone there survived although I think it's safe to say that mom and dad were worn out.

On Sunday we headed to the local ward for Church and then came home for a little family spiritual meeting as well. It ended with us acting out the story of Samuel the Lamanite using marshmallows as the arrows. Not surprisingly it was a hit.

Ben was nominated to have a turn as Samuel and decided to fire back. :)
That afternoon was the much anticipated family auction. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the display beforehand, I swear every year it gets more impressive. I was lame and didn't contribute anything this year but everyone else came through and it was awesome. Even Declan got in on the bidding and bought himself a pretty spectacular toy boat homemade by Jaren.
This was Brennan's homemade piece for the auction. I thought it turned out pretty well!

Grandma kept the kids entertained all afternoon with treasure hunts and dinosaur egg hunts and more.

After a somewhat cooped up day we decided to take most of the kids to a nearby park that evening to burn off any extra energy.

We even played a little Fishy Fishy.

Sadly Ben had to head home Sunday evening. We missed having him around the rest of the reunion but we were happy he got to come for as long as he did.