Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hello Again! {Pictures from our Family Reunion}

 I haven't had a chance to write on here for nearly a week. First off we went to a 3 family reunion last Thursday through Sunday and then since we have gotten back we have been quite tired (and fighting a cold.) We've had lots of things scheduled so I haven't had a chance to get on and say "Hello". But I have a moment now so I thought I would check in and say "Hi" and I hope you are all doing well!

 The reunion that we went to was down in Rochester, MN - home of the great Mayo clinic. Ken was not able to go this year because of work.  (His only employee right now is my little sister.  That works great except for when we want to go on trips at the same time - she of course asked for the time off - so Ken stayed home to keep the office open.)  My parents traveled down with the kids and I. It was great to have my Dad to do most of the driving.

   The reunion was for my Mom's family, (she came from a family of 9 children- those that made it are pictured above), the Blanshan family (8 children) and the Williamson family (5 children). The 3 families are not related by blood (though it is kind of funny that never a marriage has happened yet to tie the families together) but we have a strong bond through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one who brought the first 3 couples together as friends, as they all were passionate about serving Him. The generations that follow are still trying to live out that legacy of loving and serving our Savior.

  Music is always a part of our gatherings. What fun it is to worship God together through song and through the joy of playing instruments as well. The first night we sang around the campfire. Later on through the weekend we had impromptu jam sessions and singing and then also we had a scheduled time to share together with music. Sunday morning church service also brought another time of singing together. I am always so thankful that God created music!
 On Friday morning my Dad and I were asked to lead a nature walk. (He's the guy on the left.)  I went out and found various edible/useful leaves ahead of time and then asked the group to see if they could find them as they went. Dad gathered various leaves from trees and then told us about them. We also were able to walk over to a petting zoo which the kids fully enjoyed. One interesting thing about our walk was when we crossed a bridge to find a hammock suspended from it with somebody still sleeping in it.  The other man in the picture above is Dale Blanshan who has long been a great friend of both my parents. We have been blessed very much to have had his family in our lives. They have been some of our closest friends. Dale was acting as my Dad's assistant.
 The older 3 kids and I signed up to participate in a challenge course. They did divide us up into adults and kids to go separately - so I wasn't with my kids but that was okay.  My nephew Harrison got pulled out of the kids group to go with us - I think because of his size. He is the one next to me in the picture above so you can see he is fully adult size. :-) The challenge above was to get our whole group balanced on the little platform with nobody touching the ground and everybody having a foot on the platform. We struggled with this one a bit and only managed to do it for like 4 seconds.
 The kids had to get their whole group across an "alligator" swamp with just 4 boards.  They went from block to block and worked together.
 Our group had to also see how far we could walk down these cables while helping a partner. The cables gradually got farther apart. I guess we went farther than most groups do. Maybe our long arms help. :-)

 I did also try out doing the cable by myself. I didn't make it all the way but my brother Peter did. Other activities that we did were getting our whole group over a ten-foot wall. We did that in less than 3 minutes. We had some nice tall guys (my nephew and brother-in-law) to lift us up.  My brother Peter had jumped up to the top and he helped pull us up and over.  Our friend Roger did that for a while too.  We also had to go on the big teeter-totter type thing and get it balanced and hold it while we sang a song. The most challenging but probably the most fun was a series of cables that went from tree to tree through the woods (only about a foot off the ground ) that we had to get our whole group across without touching the ground. If you fell you would have to go back to the start. I did fall the first time but made it the second time. That was a really fun one to figure out how we could work together to get across. Anyway - I really enjoyed the challenge course. The kids did too but wished they could have done the things we did as they were given a much easier course to do.
 A picture of the 2nd generation (that made it to the reunion - we were missing several).
 My sister Anna was in charge of Family Olympics on Saturday, where we did all sorts of relay races.  One of them involved blowing flour - hence the lovely faces of Luke and Margaret above.
 Another activity involved turning one of our people into a "mummy". Megan (far left) and Jonathan (in the middle) both got to be mummies for this.
 I thought this scene by the pool was rather sweet. My Aunt Merna, Uncle Joe and Mom all holding their baby grandchildren. Megan does make a rather big baby though. :-)
Our more immediate family also took a picture while we were there. We are just missing Ken and my oldest nephew Nic. It seems like we can never get all the in-laws in one picture. Usually one of the guys are missing. I do feel very blessed to have a loving family who love the Lord most of all.

  Do you have any family reunions to go to this year? What do you enjoy about family reunions?


Nola said...

Wow, that looks like so much fun. That's so wonderful that so much of your family are Christians. I don't come from a Christian family. My husband does but they are unfortunately not a close family. Our hope is that we can influence the future generations to be close and hopefully they will also be Christians!

Abbi said...

I hope so too! It is a blessing to have aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins (and on and on) that also love the Lord.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin