Monday, June 27, 2011

Stern and Lucille Willard Family Reunion 2011

June 23rd through the 25th was our family reunion. My sister, Bonnie, and her family were in charge this year. Since it was such an interesting year with the snow pack still being up in the mountains, their original plan of going up to Deer Haven up the canyon at Cedar City, UT had to be changed. So we went a little closer to them in Leeds, Utah. Kraig, my nephew, has an old track coach, Mr. Lott, from High School that he has stayed in touch with that has some land by his home that he rents out to Father and Sons and other activities for pretty cheap. So the morning of the 23rd, Larry and I put our two babies into the spa here in Stansbury Park (the new kennel here in our area). I know they'd rather be going but they do well there and they have an exercise area where they can get out and run around, so that is nice. Anyway....back to the we headed down south. We had a nice drive and went the back way to skip all the construction that is on the Wasatch Front now days. We had a little lunch in Cedar City around 1:30 or 2:00. When we arrived in Leeds we were the first except the Stowes to arrive. It was fairly warm at 101 degrees, I was glad that, that day was suppose to be the warmest of the days that we would be camping there. We found a place close to one of the trees that would provide us some shade at some point during the day, but it didn't really matter as we spent very little time at our tent anyway. I had bought a new air mattress that was one of those ones that are a little higher off the ground. It made camping even better, cause it was a nice soft place to sleep instead of the hard ground. I really don't mind camping at all except if I have to sleep on the hard ground, so it was great.

The Stowes had already set up some tables and chairs in a spot that would remain shady most all of the day which worked very well. Soon after we arrived, our daughter and her husband, Shan and Chris, arrived with their trailer and moved in close to where we were set up.
It wasn't long after that that the rest of the crew came on in and by night fall we were all there. The Milletts, Hegerhorsts, Kopps, Tenneys had finally arrived and we began to get ready for dinner. We had great hamburgers and hot dogs for our first night. We had a lot of fresh fruit at about every meal so that made it great. When it so hot the fruit just makes it so refreshing! Randy and Bonnie had gotten some cherries for fairly cheap and I had my fair share of them at about every meal.

We played a few games on Thursday night and one of my favorites, even if I had hard time coming up with some for myself, was "Two truths and a Lie". It is amazing how much you think you know about your relatives and yet you don't. Especially when you tweak the truth just enough to make it a lie. It makes things a little more confusing. Mostly it was great fun talking and enjoying each other. Katie and Margie also kept asking everyone survey questions which brought up some interesting conversations. Soon throughout the weekend we all soon asking our "survey questions."

Friday morning we got up and had breakfast about 8:30. We had good ole' pancakes and sausage, which of course was yummy. We then planned a little hike that we hoped to get off on a little earlier than we did, because of the heat, but it was all good. We drove a little ways down the road to a State Park called "Red Cliffs" (I believe) This hike has a few pools of water as you hike.

We stopped at the first pools which had an area that was fairly deep. Deep enough that you could jump from about 15-20 feet and not get hurt. The kids loved playing in this area and some even got brave enough to jump in from a shorter distance to the adults. Most were not too good at swimming yet.

Chris was the brave one of the group that went to the top to jump in, in our family. We then decided to go up just a bit further to the next pool. It was a beautiful canyon and it felt a little cooler up there too. Other than a few mishaps on the slipper sandstone rocks, the hike wasn't too bad since we all took it slow and we had our stops along the way. Of course the water made it a bit cooler too. It was hot, though, by the time we returned to the cars about noon.

We made our way back to camp for lunch and had some sandwiches. After lunch, I think the heat had taken a bit out of some us and so we chose to take a short nap before getting back up and playing some card or board games or putting together puzzles. The wind blowing was a little hard to keep all the cards and puzzle pieces on the table, but we were thankful to the breeze to keep it feeling a little cooler. After passing our time in the afternoon playing games, we had a great dinner of BBQ chicken and dutch oven potatoes. Of course all of us had brought some sort of treats so there were way too many treats to get myself into trouble with.:)

That night was our annual raffle. Everyone brings something to put into the raffle and then we buy some tickets and put them into what we would like to win and then take our chances. Some years you're lucky and some years you're not. It brings a little extra money into the reunion fund, which is great. I had a fairly good year and got some things for the cabin and some things I'm going to give away as gifts. Yeah for some Christmas shopping being done!!!! After that we did a lot of visiting and the kids were all very busy too. We really didn't need to worry much about them as there was a cool playground that Mr. Lott had made and a trampoline, along with some bikes, and battery powered cars. We were lucky to get them to come for meals.

The next morning we got up had my favorite breakfast, french toast, and then the Hegerhorsts needed to get headed home. They had the farthest to travel and had some obligations to get home earlier. So we had our family meeting so they could get on there way. The family meeting went well and we didn't feel the need to make many changes to the reunion as a family. Marla and Mark will be in charge next year and so we'll be headed to Idaho. It was asked that if needed if our cabin would be a possibility, and we told them that we can always go there. It is fun though to go different places and do different things.
(I must have been too involved with visiting etc., because today when I went looking for pictures, I realized that we only have pictures of us on the hike. I thought for sure I had put some on my phone or on my camera, but no. So thanks Honey for taking your camera along on the hike at least.)

Larry and I then took down our tent so that we wouldn't have to do that in the very hottest part of the day. We also helped take down and help pack the Stowes up. After lunch we parted ways for another year. I know our parents are very happy with us carrying on the tradition. Family was always so important to them, and I know that they are happy that we are keeping our families connected. It was a small group this year, but there has been a lot of things happening in families this year. I hope that there can be more of us there next year to continue keeping our relationships going.

I'm also so grateful that Shannon and Chris have made the effort to come. I know that my family has enjoyed getting to know them better. It makes me feel great that they care enough about me to have a desire to make a connection with my family. I don't feel like I have two separate families when they make efforts to get to know my family and my family gets to know them. I hope that some of my other step children will get to know my family as well.
After we left there Larry and I went on down to Bonnie and Randy's in St. George to finish the weekend. Roberta and Keith also came down to tune Bonnie's and Kraig's piano's, so we had a nice time just relaxing, taking a shower and visiting there. I also caught a small nap, which was nice. Roberta and Keith took off for home and then Larry and I spent some time with Bonnie and Randy and their boys, Kraig and Kameron and families. We went out to eat and then over to Kraigs for some card playing. Sunday morning we went to Sacrament meeting and then Larry and I headed off for home. I don't know what I came down with, but I was a little upset to my stomach and headache with a bit of a fever. So sorry Sweetheart, I wasn't too much company on the way home as I slept a lot. After we got home we picked up the kids at the spa. They were very happy to see us....even though going is so much fun, there is "No Place Like Home" for them and for us!
Thanks for the fun time family!! I love you all so much!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for taking lots of pictures of my kids. We enjoyed seeing them AND we appreciate the grands Millett for being brave and taking them. Looks like we missed a great time...sigh...maybe next time!