THURSDAY June 14 6:00pm - Northern Utah County
Picnic dinner at the Park provided by Lani. Originally planned for JC Park in American Fork because it has grass, playset, ball field, shade trees, and is pretty secluded as long as there isn't a ball game scheduled that night. When I took a jaunt over to that park in the morning I discovered they got rid of the port-a-potties- YIKES- no bathrooms was not an option for us. So, I had to change the plan. Steve and I drove up to Art Dye Park (also in American Fork) in the afternoon to see what it was like and it seemed perfect. Tons of open space, some tall trees, even a disc golf course, and only 1 other car there. I changed the location, told everyone to bring picnic blankets or lawn chairs and we were set for the Art Dye Park.
When we all arrived that night, so did the rest of the families in the valley. The parking lot was loaded with cars, there were ball games and practices happening, and people were disc golfing right into our picnic area! I was disappointed in the crowded location, but since we were all there and the table I wanted was available, we shrugged off the let-down and set up for our picnic and started our reunion kickoff.
Our picnic menu included fried chicken purchased from Walmart, rolls, pickles, veggie tray, watermelon, and banana cream pie cups.
We planned some activities after dinner:
-Family ball game (didn't end up having time/ energy for)
-Relay Races (fun times for the kids, but the best one was the adults race. I can't believe I came in last place both times! Gotta check out the slow-motion video posted on Facebook under the reunion page.)
-Marshmallow shooters fun (I had Lowes cut up PVC pipe for me which became our shooters and we all ended up having a blast) We started off with teams, but it was too hard to keep track of, so it became everyone for themselves.
Minor crisis: Tommy (3 years old) wandered off when we weren't watching and we stopped everything while adults all went hunting for him. Devon was in tears because he missed his brother and he was worried. I stayed and tried to keep track of the other little kids. Maybe 10 minutes later, I got word they had found Tommy at a playground across the parking lot, near the restroom. He probably followed one of us to the bathroom, but got distracted by the playground and decided to play. We were all relieved to find him!
Major surprise: Who should show up as we were picnicking and partying? It was Missy! She was able to arrange sitters for her grandma and to fly here on standby from Hawaii and surprise us all! It was a blessing she was able to come after all! We were in the middle of games when a gorgeous woman starts walking towards our group and says something about the Lauret's really know how to party. I saw she was with Debby (who picked her up from the airport and brought her to us), but it didn't register in my mind who she was. I started walking towards her because it looked as though she wanted to talk. When I got closer, it clicked! I shouted, "Missy's here!" We all came and gave her hugs and her kids were so happy to see their mommy.
|Tommy and Alexa both liked the ball. Tommy really loved being by Alexa and would follow her around. She'd push him away sometimes, but was okay with him for the most part.|
|Jaxon, Amara, Malia, and Lily eating their picnic dinner. Bridger pretending he can eat a watermelon rind.|
FRIDAY June 15 11am-8:30pm - Southern Utah County
11am- Lunch BBQ @ April's House in Payson. Provided by April & Jake
We started off with lunch and hanging out. Let it be known that the food was so VERY delicious! There was an enormous amount of tasty food! We were so glad there was plenty because we ended up using the leftovers for our dinner that night. There was smoked briskit, chicken, and pulled pork, as well as chips, salads, fruit, corn on the cob, drinks, and probably a bunch of other dishes that have slipped my memory since that time.
Joe's family decided to do other things in the morning just with their family since Missy was only there for a short time. They joined us later that evening at the church.
|Bridger showing off his new favorite chew-toy, Devon's minecraft sword.|
Kids took naps and played while adults took naps and visited in the living room. We role played job interviews with eachother building up Micah and Jake's skills since they were both on the hunt for work.
Later, we took a hike to Grotto Falls (short, shady, play in water) up Payson Canyon about 15 min drive.
It was pretty up there!
Steve made a short youtube video about our hike, which makes me smile. Hopefully the following link works.
|Devon and Jaxon posing in the shade|
|Rexton let me hold his hand for awhile as we were hiking. I sure love him!|
|There were a few little crossings across the water as we went, but there really wasn't that much water to cross over this year because of the drought.|
|We made it to the falls!|
|More river crossing.|
|Aw! Cousin love- Lily and Brooklyn :)|
|Jaxon braved the cold water to stand by the waterfall. As you can see, it's not very deep, but it was still icy.|
|This place gets crowded at times. Our crew was a crowd to begin with and we actually had the falls to ourselves for a few minutes before more hikers showed up.|
|Grandma Bobbie was loving watching her posterity have a good time.|
|Lily, Devon, and Amara being brave together.|
|My mom even got her chance to let the water mist on her.|
We had originally planned a delivered dinner at the church provided by grandma, but that plan changed because there was so much plenty leftover from lunch, so we just brought the leftovers to the church and heated it all up.
After eating, we did our Friday Family Home Evening where "Gwamma" Bobbie shares a testimony to her kids/grandkids. Her 10 minute lesson turned into 45 minutes, reminiscent of our scripture/thought bedtime routine as kids. She did make it fun though as she had the men of the families act out a scripture story of the crippled man who was carried by his friends and taken to see Jesus to be healed. Jake got to be the crippled man and mom had made a stretcher of sorts out of a blanket and 2 brooms. Mom shared the story and many truths that it teaches us, as well as her testimony.
We had planned the following other activities, but our time ran short:
Lily to lead us in family history game.
Family BBall game.
SATURDAY June 16 7am-8pm - Orem
The following was the original plan:
***ALL CHILDREN OF JIM LAURET: PLEASE BE EARLY TO AVOID EXCESS HEAT AND WRATH (Spouses and Kids can come with you and help or later for the brunch depending on what you want to do)***
7am - 10am Early Morning Work Party @ Grandpa Jim's. He needs help with some yard work including removing certain bushes from the front yard, and cleaning out the garage.
10:00ish- Big-BreakFEAST-Brunch provided by Micah/ Joe.
Finish any "Daddy" projects if need be.
Play board games, hang out, rest.
CRAZY Spaghetti Dinner- eat on grandpa Jim's side yard. Provided by Grandpa Jim and anyone willing to help.
What actually happened was this. We showed up right on time at 7am and knocked on dad's door. He answered with sleep still in his eyes and a croak in his voice as he said, "Wow. I know you said 7am, but I didn't think you'd actually be on time." I was pretty adamant about starting early because I can't work well in the heat of day without a POTS flair up. We got to work right away. It was a work party all day ripping out bushes and cleaning out the garage and taking loads to the dump.
Dad forgot to get makings for a spaghetti dinner, and everyone was too exhausted to cook that we just ordered pizza.
Take a look at our progress:
|The before shot. As you can see, we had quite a project ahead of us.|
|This big ol' bush was seeing it's last day.|
|April and Steve began by hacking back the poky branches.|
|The lilac bushes against the house were also being ripped out.|
|The garage. It has graciously stored much of our things as well as dad and Deb's. We took loads to D.I., the dump, and got dad's workshop area functioning including hanging cabinets.|
|Steve working on the bush.|
|Alexa found a fun place to eat her snack.|
|Here's what things looked like after we ripped everything out.|
|Bye bye bushes.|
|Cousins got to play and try to keep entertained and out of trouble while the adults worked. Here's Malia reading to Bridger with Amara in the background.|
|Here's Jay with Bridger.|
|Malia putting her waterbottle cap on baby Bridger. You can see Jayden off to the left of the picture. The new playset is in the background. It was really, really nice to have for the grandkids!|