Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Collier Family Reunion

We began making plans over a year ago after Grandpa Collier’s memorial. It was SO nice to be together then, that Potts and I decided we wanted to do it again sooner than later. 

To make things easier for Grandma, we decided to bring the reunion to her in Bellevue, Idaho. 
We so seldom use our trailer because it’s pretty expensive to pull, but we decided to fix the water heater which blew out a couple of winters ago and give it a go. It would be nice to have an extra refrigerator and bathroom, if nothing else.

Audrey and Matthew joined us.  We loaded up the trailer and hooked it up to the Tahoe and were ready to pull out when Potts asked, “Do we have the power adapter?” An absolute MUST for a travel trailer. We hunted and hunted and couldn’t find it anywhere. It was 6:00 in the morning! Where were we going to find another one at 6:00 in the morning?!

You know what I say, “If you haven’t prayed, you are wasting your time!” We each said a prayer and guess where Potts found it?  -- wedged between the rain gutter and the house. There is NO WAY we would have found it “on our own.”

Grandma’s nice big yard became a KOA campground. EVERYONE made the extra effort to come. Denny and Marjorie flew in from Hawaii. Sarah, Eric, and Ben drove from Sacramento, and Tim and his girlfriend, Vyvyn came from Seattle. Each of our children and their families were able to come also, which is a feat in and of itself!
Family groups from left to right (kind of) Our daughter, Jenni, and her husband, Mark with their two, Sadie and Payton and one on the way. Randy’s cousin Carol and her husband, Dewey. Potts, me. Second cousin, Ethel and her husband, David. Our son, Michael, and his wife, Desiree, with their two Evylee and Ethan, and one on the way. Grandma Dolly in the center with Potts’ brother, Denny, wife, Marjorie, and daughter, Allison, behind her. My daughter, Emily, (in front of Grandma) with husband, Joseph, and son, Aaron Joseph (AJ). Grandma’s sister-in-law (Potts’ Aunt) Carmen, Potts’ brother, Tim, with friend, Vyvyn. Potts’ sister, Sarah, with husband, Eric, son, Ben, and two dogs, Rosie and Myra. Our daughter, Audrey, with husband, Matthew, and little one on the way. Our son, David, with wife, Katie, and four daughters, Paisley, Kylie, Oakley, and Lily.

There were the indoor people, and the outdoor people. Many who attended weren’t used to noise and crowds (and believe you me, we brought a crowd!); some seemed to prefer the indoors and spent their time mainly in Grandma’s living room, and those of us who didn’t mind the noise and commotion spent our time outside with the children.

But at meal times, we all became outdoor people. The food was the BEST. We divvied it out with different families in charge of different meals. It worked out SO well!

We had face painting (Vyvyn is a renowned tattoo artist and was SO patient! and creative!)










 Even the itty-bitty ones held very still.




Sarah and Eric brought fireworks. 

 


 





And of course we had to dig out our traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears Skit for the unsuspecting.

We kept the kids busy doing this and that.

 



May I say that when I grow up, I would like to be like Aunt Carmen. She is a wonder!










And had an outing at the river.




Looks like Potts stole Joe's hat!

Of course it wasn’t long before a few of us attempted body rafting. 

video

What a blast!

We took time-out f0r some R and R. 

Our hammocks were the favored spot.






Sadie turned 4 years old while we were there and we celebrated her birthday with a piƱata and delicious lemon-raspberry cupcakes. 






Early Saturday morning, Audrey drove Matthew, Potts, and me to Sun Valley. We biked the 19-mile path (yes, we wore helmets - for the most part) back to Grandma’s house. It was the ride of my dreams - beautiful surroundings, and mostly downhill! We were back within an hour and a half.

But my favorite part of the reunion was watching families mix and have a grand time together.














 Then again, that's what Family Reunions are all about!

A great big hug to all who came!