Saturday, August 25, 2012

Reynolds Family Reunion 2012--Park City, UT

I miss blogging. So many great things going on as well as touching/funny little moments I want to remember, but it's just been SO. DANG. BUSY. As much as I love to blog, certain times in my life require that I actually be present every minute of the day without much time left over for reflection. (And sometimes I actually just want to bask in the moment instead of rushing to record it!)

This morning we spent hours washing windows and digging/spray killing weeds (we haven't touched the exterior of the house since moving in almost two months ago . . .), so I don't have much time to hang out on the computer now. I'm dying to organize my pantry, so I uploaded all of the pictures for this post last night and will do some minimal narrating before getting my booty up and into the pantry.

I was SO happy to finish editing my summer pics last night! I ran into a friend I haven't seen forever at the city splash pad in the late afternoon and ended up kidnapping her little girl who Rachael loves to play with along with another friend. First, we picked up the older kids from school and I took them all to Snoasis since it closes for the season today. Then Brandon took the older kids golfing and I took my two little girls and the two friends to open gym for a couple of hours at the place my girls did gymnastics over the summer. Del Taco for dinner, and then back to our place for a movie. It was awesome! Not only because they had so much fun together and were so stinkin' cute, but because I had my lap top with me and managed to edit all my pictures from summer--yay, me!

I won't even try to cover all the happenings of the last 2 plus weeks, but they have essentially revolved around trying to close on this house (what a story! crazy weird complications that have nothing to do with us that I won't/can't go into, but we should be true home owners again by next week), trying to switch, prep for, and start new schools (Elizabeth decided to do the gifted program with Will at the other elementary school after attending Open House), and trying to get everyone squared away in their various extracurricular activities.

I am always amazed at how much time this takes, but when I stop to think about it, it makes perfect sense. First, you have to research activities the kids are interested in and decide what is worth you and children's time and money. Then you have to decide which teacher/team/group to join that will best fit your child/budget/schedule. Finally, you have to figure out if it's even feasible to get said children to and from these activities based on when, where, and carpool options . . . see what I mean? Multiply that process by 3.5 times (Rachael is just doing one little music dance theater class with Elizabeth this semester) and it can get really complicated. (I'm starting to look forward to Kate being able to drive!!) I am most happy that I managed to get my kids switched from Friday afternoon piano lessons to two different days during the week. I kind of liked them all going at once, but I kind of got tired of not feeling like Friday was Friday, so I split them up. In the end, everyone's extras are all crammed into Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, leaving us with 3 busy days and 4 slower days--depending on homework, of course. It's looking pretty good on paper, but we'll see how it feels after a couple of weeks. (Thinking about how much fun we had last night, I am really liking that our Fridays are free again!)

Following are A LOT of pictures from the katrillion I took during the week of the Reynolds reunion back in early July. I did most of the activity planning since we're the only ones who live in Utah and the reunion was in Park City, so where do you think we went on Day 1? That's right, Thanksgiving Point.

First, the gardens:

Then lunch . . .
 . . . and ice cream:
 A 3-D Imax movie (Brent's girl, Camille, endured the entire week with us):
And a run through the dinosaur museum:
Day 2 we stayed in Park City and did the outdoor summer ski resort activities. 

Laura and Liv:
Taking the lift up to the Alpine Slide:

 Standing in line for the Alpine Coaster:


Carnival rides for the wittle ones:

How old are you? Ty, Rachael, and Paige:
 Waiting in line for the trampoline bungee jump:
Frozen treat break! Kate and Nicole:
Brandon and Dad:
Straw Wars:

Look at those muscles! She's so tough:
 Love birds:
Shauna and Todd getting ready for the zip line:
 That's Brandon getting down much faster than me:
For whatever reason (my 15 extra pounds, maybe?), I got stuck and had to forcefully fling myself back to the exit station. That wasn't embarrassing. Especially since I was doing it over the heads of the people in line, like Trent and Laura:
Too cute! Claire and her daddy (Todd):
Claire and her mommy (Shauna): 
Nap time for the babies:
 Rock wall climbing:
 Jack and Paige:
Elizabeth is quite the little gecko:
 Home again, home again:
Day 3 we stayed in Park City again and swam in the hotel pool, went to Brave (Shauna and I took Claire and went to the outlet mall), and had dinner at Cafe Rio. We needed a down day!

Day 4 we went to downtown Salt Lake, passing through the new City Creek shopping area to get over to Temple Square. They did a beautiful job on City Creek! Rachael is obviously impressed with the fountain:
  Paige and Rachael:

 Will trying to stay dry:

A mix of old and new:

The roof is retractable. Pretty cool:

The Church History Museum has a really fun hands on children's museum where we spent a good chunk of time. Angie and Paige:
Goofballs, Ty and Will:

Right next door was the church's annual international art exhibit:
This depiction of Jesus' baptism cracked me up. Pretty cute for a kid's room or something:

More Temple Square stuff:

This cute senior missionary took us on a little tour of the observation deck at the top of Church Headquarters:
Mountains to the east:

State Capitol to the north:
 Temple to the south:
I love this little series of pictures of Liv and Laura:

Did you know that Utah consumes more ice cream than any other state in the union? I'm sure it's because of the high number of Mormons. (It's our only vice, what do you expect?) Ice cream was pretty much a staple on our every day schedule:
 Brent totally knew he was going to be in this picture I was taking of the little kids:

We kind of took over the place:
Uncle Brandon:

Brent doing his old man in a wheelchair routine. Nice:

She was a little worn out on the drive back up to Park City, but she wasn't going to let go of her spoon:
Every took turns making dinner at least one night, and these guys made breakfast for dinner. My favorite:

Brandon's mom brought a huge bag of Double Bubble so we had an impromptu bubble blowing contest:

Will totally won the contest with this one:
 Double bubble:
We called this one the Mickey Mouse bubble:
 And the kidney bubble:
This is just FUNNY:
Day 5 (Friday) everyone went to Utah's amusement park, Lagoon, while Kate and I went for a hike before heading back home early to shop for the Chinese Chicken Salad I was in charge of preparing for the greater Reynolds reunion coming up on Sunday. Following are a few pictures from our hike and the ride up and back:

We probably should have worn hiking boots:

Day 6 everyone checked out of the hotel and came up to our house to help us get the salad (for 70!) ready:
 It was so fun to have everyone gathered and hanging out in our new home:

 I took some of the kids on a walk along the trail behind our house that night:

Will found some old electrical equipment down in the trees somewhere and decided to bring it home to work on it. Not sure what he did, but he spent quite a bit of time monkeying around with that stuff:
Day 7 was the first day of the greater Reynolds reunion at Yuba Lake. With three large families involved and three days of camping, each family had the responsibility of making dinner for everyone else one night. I won't go into it, but if you've never prepared Chinese Chicken Salad from scratch to be served to 70 people in the wilderness with no electricity, it's quite the adventure. (Tip #32: use big garbage bags to toss the salad, but double bag!)

After dinner we had a wonderful family meeting where everyone went around and gave an update on their family and also any other thoughts or feelings they wanted to share. It was definitely the highlight of the reunion! Lots of tears and lots of laughing:

We were so stinkin' tired of moving stuff from one place to another at this point that we just decided to sleep in the back of our cars instead of put up our big 6 man tent. Will and Kate did sleep in the little pop-up tent, but Brandon and Elizabeth were in the van, and Rachael and I were in the back of Brandon's Outback:
Day 7 we spent on the beach before heading home a little early since Brandon had call starting that night. It was super fun while it lasted! I didn't do a very good job of getting a good representation of all the different families there (I was pooping out, to say the least), but I think I still got some good ones. Anna and Rachael standing in line to be sunscreen-ed by cousin Jalene:
 Jalene's oldest daughter, Jane:
 Beautiful skies that day. A storm rolled in right after we left:

The three original siblings of the greater Reynolds family and two of the three spouses. Going from left to right, Aunt Judy, (Mom) Dad, and Uncle Don (Aunt Marsha). Aunt Judy has 4 children and I think about 14 grandchildren, Dad has 6 children and 15 (going on 16) grandchildren, and Uncle Don has TEN children and a kajillion grandchildren. So, yeah, there were a lot of people there:
 Howie and Cesar:
 Cousin Ashley:
 Cousins Noel and Traci:

Damon and Jalene:
Justin and Jessica's baby Reynolds (they call him Ren):

Cesar and Noel:
 Elizabeth and Jack:
 Brandon and Todd:
 Rachael and Ruby:

Laura (carrying Mystery Baby #2), Trent, and Liv:
Me, Rachael, and Jessica:
 Reynolds asleep on (Dad) Uncle Bill:

Debbie, Todd, Tim, and Jim:

Brent CANNOT take a normal picture:
I finally convinced Kate to go out on the one of the boats with me. We had a blast riding on the front, getting wet from the spray coming off the lake:
Little Penelope (Pen) was our flag girl for the water skiers on the boat:
Following is what happens when you do all the picture taking. You end up with one picture of yourself out of 200 and it looks like THIS (and in the shirt I wore for like 3 days straight--no kidding):
Wow. Make a comment if you made it to the end. You are either a true friend or you just wasted a good chunk of your Saturday afternoon like I did! I only have about one hour left now for that darn pantry. . .

Reynolds Reunion 2012 is in the can! A lot of work, a lot of fun, and always worth it.
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