Monday, July 23, 2012

Family Reunion 2012 Part 2

This lady and her cookies are what this trip was all about.  This sweet-supplier is my Grandma, and she is one of the reasons my family is awesome.  :)  Her cookies are also one of the reasons my family is awesome.  :)  She raised 9 wonderful children, one of whom is my personal favorite, my mother.  Her family is full of fun, laughter, music, and good times.  There are a whole bunch of us - the youngest grandchild is 10, the oldest in her forties. I'm right in the middle of the cousin-goodness.  We've been spread out across the country (sometimes spread out across continents) my whole life, but I know who I belong to and where I come from.  That is pretty priceless.
We did this reunion a little different than past years - we stayed in a hotel in St. George and did day trips round and about.  Our trip to Zion's was the day before the reunion officially began.  We spent Friday at Pine Valley in Dixie National Forest, up in the mountains above St. George.  It was lovely!  My aunt Laura's family brought horses up for us to take turns riding -- the real cowboys helped us city folks with all the details and made sure we didn't get into trouble.  :)  The kids had a blast.

These two were about to get married!!!  Our Family Reunion was about a month before their wedding - this was the first time we got to meet Ashley.  And I must say that Ashley and Scott are perfect for each other - we're all excited to have Ashley in the family!
I never did get a copy of a big group picture, but here's something with some of us.  It is always amazing to me the way the kids just jump right in and make best friends with cousins they only see once a year or less.  I'm a little silly and sometimes let my introvert side get the better of me.  :)  But it's so good to catch up at least a bit with these people - they are all so good.  We tease Grandma for being responsible for 'all of this.'    :)

Friday we continued the day with sand volleyball, good food, a nature hike led by my dad, and an evening program my mom put together called "Reunion Greatest Hits."  We always do these evening programs, and over the years have seen some pretty fun stuff.  So we brought some of it back for old times' sake.  :)  Here's one of my favorites:
If I'd ever wondered if Ashley would fit in, the way she jumped into all our silly skits just sealed the deal - she's perfect!  And such a good sport, too.  That's kind of required.  :)
I somehow forgot to take pictures the next day, Saturday.  There was softball in the morning, we ate a big brunch together, then played crazy dodge ball with Grandma's signature homemade polyester soft balls.  We had some down time, so we went back to the hotel to swim and Joseph did a little dentistry on Kendra - should have gotten a picture of that!!!  A little broom hockey later it was time for an early dinner and another evening program - we were all assigned songs to re-write.  Family history anecdotes provided inspiration for new lyrics.  Some very funny stuff there!  And then back to the hotel for some night swimming and root beer floats.  It was good times for sure.  :) 

Joseph wasn't feeling too hot, so he went to bed early.  After I got the kids down I went down to the lobby to play card games with cousins - so worth loosing those extra couple hours of sleep.  :)  We stayed an extra day, so we went with my Aunt Laura to church and stayed at her house Sunday night before our flight home on Monday.  It was so lovely to see all those fabulous people - I wish we weren't missing so many (half my siblings didn't make it), but it was still lovely.  :)  Hurray for family!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Family Reunion 2012 Part 1

In June we flew to the Las Vegas NV airport and drove 2 hours up to an old familiar place - St. George, UT.  We lived there once upon a time when K-lady was just a baby - a lot has changed in the last 9 years!!!  We started out our stay with a trip to Zions - we met up with my cousin and her beautiful family, so the kids were pleased as punch to have playmates along for the trip.  
I was amazed at how busy it was on a weekday in June.  I don't remember the park being quite this crazy busy when we used to come here.  Now you park outside the park and ride a shuttle in, then take another shuttle from place to place within the park.  

 It is drop dead gorgeous there.  This is the view from the Weeping Rock trail.
 Here we are at the end of our tough .5 mile hike.  :)
 Right @ the trail head for weeping rock there is a little bridge that goes over this stream.  The kids couldn't resist the possibility of catching a tadpole or two.
 ALL the kids had to get in on the fun.

 I asked them to make a funny face for me.  :)

 My cousin and his beautiful little niece.
What an amazing place!