Sunday, July 28, 2019

Some Highlights from the Christensen Reunion (July 23-28)

July 23

Arrived at the Dragon Estate (Christensen/Haroldson place, Saratoga Springs)
Watched The Other Side of Heaven II, cried so much, and I loved the whole story!

July 24 (Pioneer Day)

We walked our first 5K today, the Temple to Temple Run.  Amara didn't like our long-legged fast pace and Steve didn't like the SLOW-dragging pace of Amara, but, we made it w/o too much complaint.  Lily went on ahead with her cousins and ran the whole way.  Her face was red and sweaty at the finish line, but she must've done well because she had no complaints except that she thinks she'll be sore tomorrow.

Doralee made us a yummy BBQ lunch

The Wild West Cook-off that I planned went down.  I was so proud of every team!  April and my mom came to be our judges.  We had showdowns with marshmallow guns during the cooking competition as well as dysentery dice which if you were the unfortunate one on either game, you had to be in a hospital for 2 minutes before you could help your team again. It was fun!
Waiting for the 5k to start

Our picture after the 5k!

Enjoying lunch on the patio with Ninja

The Wild West Cook-Off

There were 4 teams:

1. Sheriffs: Doralee, Laurel, Grandpa, Audrey, Daphne, Matt

2. Outlaws: Steve C., Grandma, Amara, Emma, James, Beverli

3. Pioneers: Tamsin, Ryan, Steve G., Kimi, Isaac

4. Natives: Eva, Tron, Sam, Lily, Elinn

Each team got points for:
(1) Being on time
(1) Involving everyone
(1) Plating
(3) Presentation (entertaining, introduced their team, introduce the food.)
(1) Include a food storage item
(3) Taste

Secret Missions:

There were also bonus points issued to those teams who were able to complete their team's secret mission.  Looking back, the points on that got way out of balance, so if I were to do that again, I'd find a way to make it a bit more fair across the board.  The secret missions were fun for me to see happening, though.  The pioneers had to serve others and keep a record of it.  The sherriffs had to catch the outlaws stealing.  The outlaws had to steal ingredients.  The Natives had to teach facts to others.

The Layout and Showdowns:

There were some tables set up for work spaces, the oven and stove top were shared by all teams.  The Natives, however, chose to cook their meal outside over a fire! (Tron had a portable gas burner). Gotta love that!  I designated the space between the tables as "Main Street" so that we would have a good place to do our periodic "Showdowns" with marshmallow blow-guns.  The stairs became the hospital where those who got shot at the showdown or got a bad roll of the dysentery dice had to sit out and couldn't help their team for 2 minutes.

The Pioneers preparing their meal

Sheriffs are using lots ingredients from the food storage! 

Eva is helping to prepare the dough for the fry bread.

Lily is working on the feathers for her team's presentation.

Oh me oh my!  This just brought amazing memories back!  They're frying up deputy donuts!

The fry bread cooking over a fire

The Natives frying their frybread outside

Grandma and Eva ended up in the "hospital" either from their wounds from a marshmallow gun showdown or from a bad roll of the dysentery dice.

Oh! I'm salivating!  Each donut is being drenched in the delicious brown sugar glaze.

Bev working on the Jailhouse Hash for her team, the Sheriffs.

Don't let that broom fool you.  It's actually a handcart and this presentation showed us the importance of fajitas on the pioneer journey!

Those fajitas were so good and so beautiful!  The cornbread was the item from food storage.  Although a good idea, the mix was a few years too old and after Isaac tried it, he advised everyone else to steer clear of it.

Jailhouse hash with jalapeno chutney, and deputy donuts!

These donuts were my favorite thing!  I want to make them NOW!

Jailhouse hash packed some great flavor!

Chili pie and a side of watermelon w/ lime and Mexican seasoning.  Don't you love the cactus watermelon rind sculpture?

The Outlaws were a hoot! They came in real rowdy riding brooms and mops, shooting grandpa's rubberband gun, and whooping threats through their bandana-covered faces.

Another look at this gorgeous presentation.  I love the color of watermelon and lime.  Plus it tastes so good, especially with that mexican seasoning!

Our Natives team danced in to the beat of a drum and sat in a round as Eva told the story of how their food came to be.  It was a story she came up with on her own, no surprise because she's definitely got a gift for story-telling.

Aren't the feathered headbands a nice touch?

Anyone love Navajo tacos as much as me?  Served with melon salad.
Here are the records the teams kept for their secret missions and bonus points. The Pioneer Team was racking up the points!  They ran out of room on their card so they started writing on a paper plate each of their acts of service.  Read through them, it's pretty funny.

Here's the official judging sheet complete with points.  The winner was the pioneers, thanks to their 30 acts of service along the cooking trail!

Family Picture

We headed across the street to the park for a quick family picture with as many as we could gather.  Steve grabbed his camera, took the big picture and then got some fun action shots with those who were willing.

July 25

A Day At Highland Glen

We spent all day at Highland Glen.  Amara and Lily loved being out on the lake with the water trampoline or on the kayaks.  I enjoyed watching them play volleyball with their cousins.  For lunch we had build-your-own salad/sandwich bar w/ chips and desserts.  Then dinner we had lots of pizzas.

Something interesting happened.  A teenage boy came over and was driving his expensive remote-controlled truck right next to our pavillion, kicking up a bunch of dirt. Laurel went and asked him to stop because it was causing lots of dust to get in the food and it's bad for those with asthma.  That kid said, "No" and that it wasn't causing a problem and he made all these excuses why he couldn't drive the truck elsewhere.  So, Laurel came back and the teen kept doing it.  So, Laurel took his stuff that he was charging at our rented pavillion and gave it to him telling him he could not use our pavillion if he wasn't going to stop kicking up dirt.  He gave more excuses, kicked up a little more dirt and left.  He came back about an hour later with some friends.  They strapped on a blue smoke firework to the remote truck. lit it, and it spewed loads of blue smoke everywhere.  Then they drove it all the way up to our pavillion and made circles around it and by us who were laying in the grass nearby.  Then they chased a mama duck and her babies with it.  They were being jerks!  A couple minutes went by and I hear this loud explosion and there they are, next to the water, exploding M-80 firecrackers in it.  There were families on the shore, kids in the water, and ducks all around.  Can you believe their gall?  A man yelled over to them that he would call the cops if they did that again.  The kid yelled back, "What could it kill?  A fish?"  He and his cronies started laughing.  Anyway, they got the message and left.  It wouldn't surprise me if they and the cops were on a first name basis already.
Mama duck with her duckling were more than happy to walk through our pavillion looking for little crumbs.

This rented water trampoline was a favorite of all the cousins AND all the other kids at the lake that day.

A look at our sandwich/salad bar and the pavillion

Probably the worst picture of everyone, sorry, but it shows us enjoying time under the shade

The volleyball court was really close to our pavillion.
After a full and fun day at Highland Glen, it was good to go shower and hang out together back at home.

I won't tell you what they're doing, but I just loved seeing how all the siblings were rallying around Doralee

Friday July 26

Cecret Lake Hike:

We were up early to go hiking to Cecret Lake above Alta. 'Twas gorgeous and the cloudy skies only added to the comfort level.  it did rain and we didn't get to see all the wildflower fields, but it was still beautiful!  I love the mountains and the wildflowers.

Off on our early morning hike to Cecret Lake

Young legs taking the trail by storm

Made it to Cecret Lake!

Snowball fight!

I built a snowman named "Raymondo"

This bathroom was actually the nicest latrine I've visited.  It didn't stink, had hand sanitizer and a candle burning!

Jungle Boil

Got home and ate leftovers for lunch, then enjoyed some free time.  I took a nap, blogged our last 4 photo sessions, shucked corn for dinner, which was AMAZING! We had a "Jungle Boil" or "Shrimp Boil.  Tron's co-worker came and fixed it for us.  Potatoes, onions, carrots, kielbasa sausage, corno on the cob, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and shrimp all boiled to perfection, then served on butcher paper down the center of the tables and dousted with a garlic-herb butter.  it was so delicious!  We had ice cream for dessert, too!
Jungle boil!

OakHaven Horseback Riding

Then it was off to our horseback riding at Oak Haven in Lehi.  It was Amara's and Lily's dream and they loved it!  They had an indoor arena, and thank goodness because there was lotsa rain outside! Our girls got to canter.  Bev and Sam both fell off their steeds, but all was well.

Saturday, July 27

Tron and Bev made a delicious breakfast of pancakes with berry syrup, or brown sugar syrup or maple syrup or honey, AND bacon AND fried eggs.  Yummers!

Later that evening we had a fiesta!  Eva and Daphne made us yummy authentic mexican food- homemade tortillas, carne asada or chicken, topped with radishes, cilantro, onion, and sauces, and limes.  There was optional lettuce, tomatoes, and olives.  Also delicious rice pudding with cinnamon sticks, horchata, tamarind drink, hibiscus drink, and refried black beans.  I LOVED everything!  I want recipes!

Afterward we broke open a pinata outside!  It was filled with yummy Mexican candy.

On Sunday was the official end of the reunion, but our family was still around for a couple more days until we headed out to Minersville to visit my step-sister Hayley and her family.