Family Reunion - 2012
Our 2012 Family Reunion was held on Memorial Day weekend at Fred and Becky's.
Caitlin made a sign to welcome everyone.
We arrived on Monday. The rest of the family arrived on Friday.
GROUP PICS . . . FRIDAY . . . SATURDAY . . . SUNDAY . . . MONDAY . . .
GROUP PICS . . .
While our traditional group photographs were made on Sunday, we will post them at the beginning of our reunion page.
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FRIDAY . . .
Scott showed a lot of patience when he and Melanie arrived. Ziva would not leave him alone.
After chatting for a while, we all went outside to see Caitlin demonstrate her tumbling
After a taco dinner, the grandchildren talked on the front porch, the adults talked on the side porch.
Ashlyn and Lily had been talking about Uncle Fred's goats for two years. They were finally introduced.
The girls had planned to have a 'sleep-over', the moms agreed. Nick is a little like a fish out of water now that Lily is older and spends her time with the 'older' girls. When Lily was younger, Nick and Lily we buddies - the two youngest ones.
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SATURDAY . . .
Everyone was on their own for breakfast - Michelle & Steve and Melanie & Scott at the motel, grandma & grandpa in the fifth wheel and Fred, Becky and the grandchildren at the house.
Before we went on the 'mystery trip' Fred and Becky had planned, there had to be a 'worm hunt'. Turning over timbers surrounding the parking area, the 'worm hunters' found 72 worms.
The four 'grands' in the pool. By the end of the time at Fred and Becky's, they should be growing fins.
Lily frequently checked the rabbits in the rabbit pen. Caitlin and Nick each have a rabbit.
After a lunch of sandwiches and other stuff, we had time to chat some more before the 'mystery trip. It was too hot to do any of the lawn games that were on the schedule. If the breeze died, we would have abandoned the porch for the living room with air conditioning.
Nick does hand stands in the pool.
Fred announced it was time for the mystery trip. He told everyone it was a hayride to a place with a pool and a pond. We would swim, fish, play basketball and eat hot dogs.
Ashlyn did not understand that the hayride was starting from Fred and Becky's. She obviously did not see the farm wagon parked under the lean-to. She thought we had to take the cars to the hayride. Instead we took a cooler over to the lean-to and put it on the flatbed farm wagon with the bales of straw.
Everyone found a seat on the wagon and watched their heads as Fred pulled the wagon onto the driveway.
The grandchildren thought we had found the best way to travel. Such fun!
Of course, pulling the farm wagon with Fred's tractor meant a slow ride on the back roads. While Fred had put a lot of effort into planning and worked hard preparing the farm wagon for the hayride, he could not control the weather. It was unseasonably 'hot'.
Vehicles passing us on the gravel road raised enough dust that we closed our eyes and mouths until the dust settled a little.
We had taken some liquid refreshment for the ride due to the heat. We probably should have packed two coolers of beverages and ice. Becky's brother, Joe, provided all the ice we wanted - that was great considering the temperature.
Fred's tractor did not have a rear view mirror so he turned around frequently to see if he had to pull over for traffic.
We were traveling slow, another tractor caught up with us.
Just as Fred pulled over, he turned into a small farm road.
Michelle was cleaning some black stuff off her arm and pant leg. No idea where she got into it - but - it must have been funny to her.
Mary Lou had an idea: lets buy a couple bottles with sprayers so we can spritz people during the hayride. For a while, she let the grandchildren use them ... but .. the adults were getting too wet. Fred seemed to enjoy a it when Lily sprayed him. We had the sun cooking us, Fred had the sun and the heat from the tractor engine and exhaust.
Yes, that is Mary Lou spraying Fred - worse than a kid.
Going down hills, the grandchildren would put their arms in the air.
Somehow it lost some of the thrill considering the speed we were going.
We finally arrived at the 'mystery' destination. It was the farm of friends of Fred and Becky's - Steve and Jane. We will use Steve "H" to avoid confusion with our Steve. Their daughter, Megan, was waiting on the porch for us.
Wow. After our hour long hayride, that pool looked real inviting.
Well, we don't look all that bad.
Okay, everybody in the pool.
While the others swam, Steve H. asked if we wanted a tour of the farm. We got in his four-wheel mule for a ride around the perimeter of his 110 acre farm. The dust and fresh cut fields were getting to Mary Lou's breathing. So, he took us to his office for a bottle of water. Steve works from home when he is not traveling. He found that he could work more effectively if he had an office outside the house. We thought his office was far enough away from the house.
The fishing pond is to the left of the buildings.
Mary Lou and Jane got in the pool when the 'younger', 'more playful' people took a break.
Nick and Mary Lou decided to look at each other through a pool noodle.
The girls took their swimming break down at the pond for some fishing time..
Because of the hot weather, the pool was a popular place.
Megan swam with a pool noodle while Michelle and Becky solved world problems.
Steve H. and Fred grilled the hotdogs. The roof over the pool deck made for a shady place to gather on a hot day. Two picnic tables provided seating for dinner.
As if the day was not hot enough, some of the guys played basketball. They had a great time. Nick and Trevor did not seem to mine challenging the 'older', 'bigger' guys. Maybe they thought they could wear them out.
Megan, Caitlin and Ashlyn took the six-wheeler
down to the pond to fish again.
Lily, Nick and Trevor stayed in the pool.
Look out Trevor, your dad is behind you.
The cattle decided to move out of the shade of the trees. Lily was excited to see them.
Fred turning the tractor around indicated that it was time to head back. The 'mystery' trip had ended.
Fred made a family portrait before we left. It was very nice of them to open their home to our family. We could not have had a better 'mystery trip' destination.
Trevor was waiting on the porch as we left. Maybe he was thinking - now I can use the pool all by myself.
Jane, Steve, Megan and Trevor
One topic of discussion on the way back was Lily's lose tooth. Everyone had been offering all weekend to pull it for her.
Fred took a different road to get back home. To us city folk, this bridge did not look very safe for a heavy tractor. But, it supported us with no problem.
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SUNDAY . . .
Fred was busy cooking the bacon for our "farm breakfast" when the group arrived. Mary Lou cooked the sausage.
Traditionally, we have farm fresh eggs from his chickens for breakfast. This year we had to import the eggs from a nearby farm. Fred's new chickens are to young to lay at this time. We had a delicious breakfast - excellent. We all eat too much, but it is so good.
In these photographs, our mouths were full of bear claw donuts - another tradition. We order them in advance so they are fresh and waiting for us in the morning. Of course we have to eat them all - not as good leftover.
After breakfast the children swam, the adults solved some of the world's problems. With the temperature in the 90's yesterday, the beverage supply was gone. The adult children made a beverage run. The trip took them on a three-hour trip to Kentucky. Reports are they had quite an adventure and a lot of fun together.
Grandma and grandpa were left at the house. The "grands" spent time in the pool, hanging out in Caitlin's bedroom playing with the guinea pig and using their hand held electronic equipment.
Sunday dinner was to be Pizza Night - however, the local pizza establishment, thinking everyone would be gone or cooking on the outdoor grill, closed for the holiday weekend. So, Pizza Night had to be relocated. We loaded into two cars and headed for the local Pizza Hut 30 miles away. The restaurant gave us our own room - probably something about the size of the party and the noise. We had good food and good fun.
Then, back to the house for "Everybody's Birthday Party". The gifts were exchanged, cake eaten and things quieted down, for a while.
Lily's tooth continued to hang on by a thread. She pulled on it repeatedly - it stayed attached.
The 'quiet' was soon to end.
It was time to rough house with Uncle Fred. Caitlin and Nick play with their dad this way all the time but it was a new experience for Ashlyn and Lily. Fred has had excellent eye/hand coordination since he was a child. Ashlyn and Lily did not have a chance against Uncle Fred. They had a lot of fun. The adults had a lot of laughs watching.
Fred would flip the ball from hand to hand - sometimes just with his fingertips. By the time the kids reached for it, it was gone.
Sometimes Fred would ask Nick
to stand back and let the girls
try to get the ball.
He could hardly wait to get
back into the game.
Ashlyn would just dare Uncle Fred to
throw the ball to her.
He would bounce the ball next to her
head, off the the door.
By the time she realized what he did,
the ball was back in his hand.
Uncle Fred would ask Lily if she was ready.
He would bounce the ball in front of her - Fred would have the ball in his hand before Lily could grab it.
Nick was patient as his dad played with Lily.
Uncle Fred had a much fun as the kids did playing the "green ball" game. When it finished, he went outside to cool off. He was outside for 30 seconds, came back inside and said it is hotter out there.
After a long, fun day, there was one more night to have another sleep over. The girls took the bed, Nick got the couch. After watching a movie and talking late into the night sleep came sometime after midnight. Fun times!
MONDAY . . .
Monday morning we gathered for pancakes and sausage before those who had to work Tuesday migrated north. Over breakfast, the adults made tentative plans for next year. The time seems to go so fast when we are together having fun. The four grandchildren get along together so well, it is a joy for all to see.
Oh, the memories!
P.S. Lily played coy before breakfast.
She wanted to see how long it would take
people to notice that she had lost her tooth.
That was May 28.
On May 30, she lost the second front tooth at home.
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