Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dad and Deb's Family Reunion in Antimony

Because this family reunion was in May, Steve couldn't get any time off work to come.  Luckily I have such supportive family.  I drove down to April's house a couple days before, then April drove my van with me and Amara to Antimony (3 hours).  Her hubby drove their car with Ellie, Devon, and Lily.  It was a nice day for a drive.

We arrived in Antimony, met up with family, had dinner/ 2nd dinner, set up our beds in the cabin, and went to bed.

 Otter Creek Reservoir

The next day we had relaxed on the shores of Otter Creek.

The kids splashed around a bit and threw rocks into the lake.

We all chatted and relaxed until it was our turn for a boat ride.  Some of us played a lawn game that Trent brought.

Ashley is leaving on a mission to the West Indies soon.  We're glad she joined us on this reunion.

Some of the guys went fishing.

When it was boat time, we had a blast going around the lake with Grandpa Blad.

Yuta is my dad's exchange student from Japan.  He's crazy.  He would hang off the front of the boat and sing and scream and skim his hands on the water when we would turn.

After the fun at the lake, we went back to the cabin for lunch, crafts, some ATV rides, and Maizie's birthday party.

 Hike to the Big Swing!

I wasn't so sure if I could make the hike to the big swing in the woods because I remembered it being far away, and I had only been there via ATV ride a few years ago.  My dad was pretty sure it was less than a mile and since he said he'd hike with me and the kids, I took courage and went on the hike.
 It was totally worth it.  The hike was shorter than I had anticipated and it ended up being a fun nature walk with BIG SWING pay off.
The swing is suspended from a huge tree set on the side of a hill, so when you swing out, you really swing out!
We had fun on the swing.

Amara wasn't going to go, but after watching others go, she decided she'd try it with my brother, Micah.  She hated it and was completely terrified when they swung really high.  She's not a fan of heights.
But her bravery had us all cheering.  She struck a half-hearted happy pose in front of the tree with her swing-mate.
Lily loved the swing.  She took 3 turns and was so glad she came.

To get on the swing, you have to stand on a nearby log.

Spencer took a ride cowboy style.

Ellie came on the hike, which made Lily really happy.  She loves animals.
And Micah did it surfer style.
When we had had enough of the swing, we had walked back to the cabin for dinner and evening activities.

 Maizie's Birthday "Pa-ta-ta" (Pinata)

It was Maizie's birthday and she had a fun party with the "Bubble Guppies" theme.  After lunch we had a delicious peanut butter chocolate cake, the kids got bubbles to blow outside, bubble guppy masks, and prize bags.  Later that night, after dinner was over, it was time to break the pinata. 
 The kids were overjoyed at the prospects of more treats, except Maizie.  She was horrified to see her pony pinata hanging from the deck.  She cried all through the "hitting process."  The pinata didn't break on it's own, and Missy ended up pulling the candy out the bottom and scattering it on the ground for the kids to pick up.  Then she gave Maizie her pony pinata back and she was content with the world again.
I love miss Maizie.  She makes me smile.  I videoed some of the mayhem, but I wish I had more.  What footage I did have, I put into the following smilebox greeting.
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Singing Around the Campfire and Roasting Marshmallows

My dad had put together quite the exciting blaze for us to enjoy while singing some favorite campfire songs like "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" and "I like bananas, coconuts, and grapes."
We appreciated the warmth.
Amara appreciated the marshmallows!
My dad led us in the singing.

And there were tasty smores to be had.

 Heading Home

We went to church in Antimony the next day and packed up to go home.  It was a short reunion, but we didn't waste a moment together.  We sure had a lot of fun!  April drove me back to her house.

We past this memorable mural in some rural town.

And before I leave this blog post I have one last picture of cute Jayden and Joe chillin' on the couch.  I thought I'd end with his cute finger-sucking.  Jayden's, not Joe's. :)  Jayden is such a Mr. Adorable!  He always has a smile for me.