Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cousins Week

So, my sister and I started a cousins week swap last summer and the kids loved it. It is a new tradition, I suppose. Though, this year, I felt the need to invite other cousins along so that they didn't feel left out. It was a crazy, busy, fun week. Here are some of our outings...

Cousins Week part 2

Home made lava lamps were a huge success.

More Cousins Week


Can I just say how much I love all my nieces and nephews! And, if it was possible, I would have taken all 21 (now 22) of them for the week.

Cousins Week part 3

Cousins Week part 4

We attempted to make rock candy.

Cousins Week part 5

The kids decided to ambush Jeff when he got home from work.

Ash wanted to stay dry.

She tried helping Jeff out a little bit and the kids turned on her and she ended up the most drenched out of everyone!

He's all business when it comes to water fights!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cousins Week part 6

A big thank you goes to Aunt Ashley. She definitely helped out where needed and made things so much easier and smoother for me!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

S family reunion

We had a family reunion at our place again. Luckily, we had a lot of help and things went a lot smoother than the last time.

The brothers, when together, have golf tournaments and even pass a trophy between each other depending on who won. So, while the guys golfed, the women entertained the kids. I can't put up even a little bit of the photos I took because we spent most of the day doing water activities and it is not my place to put pics of other kids on my blog, especially in swim suits. We had a water slide, swimming pool, water balloon games and fights. It was a fun afternoon.

The BEST part of having the family reunion at my own house is that I had my own comfortable bed to sleep in every night. The others got...

Girls played dress up.

I think we used the fire pit every night for smores or dutch oven.

The kids got to decorate bags with puffy paints and then they had a scavenger hunt and got several fun prizes.

Bleach pen t-shirt designs.

We went canoeing.

Malorie ALWAYS had fun things for the kids to do!!

Friday morning we woke up and got ready and went to Shoshone falls for family pictures. Luckily I wasn't the photographer...

For some reason, it is really stressful to get such a large family photo. She did a great job, but took a lot of crap for it. It was hot, we were tired, kids were not listening (at least mine weren't). It was a difficult morning. Ash was only able to take 1 shot and I've seen it...it is beautiful and we are lucky that it worked out! Good job Ash!

Years and years ago (2001, I think), we had our very first family reunion...before kids came along and um, changed things. We were each in charge of providing a meal. And since I never do things like I'm supposed to, I decided to go all out for my meal and provide some entertainment during the meal itself. We did our very first murder mystery party. It was interesting to say the least. Everyone dressed the part and read their parts well...at the time I didn't think it was very successful, but we still talk about it to this day and for that reason it was a huge success. Jeff and I were supposed to be gypsies, love his fro!

Fast forward 10 years and we "attempted" the murder mystery again.
Spencer as The Count, a very pregnant Melanie as Alice in Wonderland, Dave as Prince Charming, Gloria as Snow White, Malorie as Little Red Riding Hood, Jamie as Robin Hood, Callie as Juliet, Justin as Hamlet, Jeff as Sherlock Holmes, Ash as John Silver and me as Rapunzel.

We gathered and played a break the ice type game with a beach ball that had several questions written all over it. When you caught the ball, wherever your left thumb landed, that was the question you answered in character. I think it definitely set the mood more and I was so grateful everyone was trying to have fun with it. Then we played the game. I'd say it was a lot of fun, but it did kinda stress me out too. Kids kept coming in because they were curious as to what we were doing. I had "basic" instructions because I didn't want to ruin the game for myself. Then we went outside to take a picture, wonder what my neighbors think of me now. Still, it was a lot of fun and I hope everyone had fun and that we will talk about these murder mystery parties for years to come.

A new thing we did this year that I hope continues on in other family reunions was the talent show. We went to our local ward building, which set the perfect tone. I was slightly nervous how everything would go and if people would even participate, but it went off wonderfully.

Jeff had a busy night, he was not only the MC, but he performed a duet with Ashley and another duet with Kamryn (A Child's Prayer). London performed a song with her cousin Kimberley, Kamryn also performed a clapping game with her cousin Emily, Kamryn also sang a solo, Praise to the Man...it brought tears to my eyes. So happy my little family represented. I always feel so dumb at talent shows, I don't have a performance talent to showcase so it tends to "get to me," but I'm so so so happy that my kids are fearless and that they can sing! ;)

Other talents that were notable: Brendan's Cars 2 song, which was quite impressive since he did it on the fly. Becky's art work, Kimberley sang Castle on a Cloud, both Emily and Maryn danced, Justin and Callie performed a duet of a song in Spamalot (not sure of the song name)...talk about a funny performance, Both Melanie and Spencer helped out with piano playing the whole time and Catherine even jumped in with her rendition of Castle on a Cloud (which she wrote herself ;). Jamie also sang a solo, brave man. (Hope I didn't miss anyone)

Yep, I married into a talented family.

On our last day together, everyone packed up and helped clean up and then we rented out our local swimming pool and went swimming. I have a million photos of this, but again, not my kids and not my right to put them on my public blog. So, hope these few photos do it justice for how much fun was had. They had life jackets for most of the kids which made it a lot more fun for them and more relaxing for the adults. After swimming, some took off and went home and some went to eat lunch at Mcdonalds while the kids played some more.