Sorry about the lack of posts around here the past week. I'm happy to say that the big family reunion was a big 'ole success! The camping members of the clan were in heaven and the non-campers all left saying, "that was so much more fun than I thought it was going to be!" : ) Bless their hearts, Tom, Tommy, Christy and Michael are not used to "roughing it." They did great, though, although I'm not sure staying in an air-conditioned, bathroom-equipped cabin really counts as "roughing it". : )
I spent the entire weekend being the obnoxious (but well-meaning) Cruise Director. My goal was that everyone would leave the reunion knowing everyone else. I'm pretty sure I made that happen. In order to accomplish that, I really worked hard at getting people to mix and mingle.
(My handsome Dad!)
On Friday night I kicked off the weekend by making everyone stand in two lines facing each other. I then gave all kinds of prompts, and if they identified with the prompt, they were supposed to step forward. The goal of this game was that people see who was like them (or different from them!). The game was a huge success--especially with the non touchy-feely members of the family. They got to share without being uncomfortable.
(My beautiful sister, Christy, and her fiance, Michael)
After breakfast on Saturday (at which I made people sit by their birth orders), we painted plates. I tried to come up with an idea that A.) Didn't require exceptional crafting skills, B.) Everyone could do, and C.) People might actually want to take home and use. I bought plain white ceramic dishes at The Dollar Tree and picked up ceramic pens at Michael's. Then I had everyone put their name on their plates and then go around and sign everyone else's plate.
(Maddie signing a plate)
The end results were pretty darn cute, and I'm hopeful that everyone will use their plates at home and remember all the fun of the reunion.
I think my favorite part of the weekend were the "Old Fashioned Games." My Uncle Ken only had one real request as Reunion Chair: he wanted everyone to play Old Fashioned Games.
(My sister-in-law, Sheryl. Isn't she cute?)
We had a huge watermelon eating contest (extremely messy, but fun!), played ladder ball and bag toss,
and of course, we had to do a water balloon toss:
(Jack getting soaked by an exploding water balloon)
which led to a massive water balloon fight.
We also did egg-on-a-spoon-relay-races which were a hoot. It was so fun seeing everyone get into the games. I put together prize bags that had "Old Fashioned" prizes (vintage sodas, chattering teeth), and gift cards for Target, BP and Subway. You wouldn't believe the way people competed for those prize bags!
(One day I'm going to be good at the long-arm shot.)
John became "Jr. Cruise Director" at the reunion. He took a group of family members over to a nearby disc golf course, and set up a fishing trip, too.
(I love this shot of Mark Jr. He loved the silly string fight!)
Christy and I managed to sneak in a couple hours on Saturday to lay by the pool and catch up. Bliss!
(Dad, Uncle Bob, Uncle Ken, and their cousins, Jerry, Shirley and Alice)
(Mom and Dad with David, Sheryl and Jason)
(Uncle Ken, Dad, and Uncle Bob)
(Me and my girlie-girls)
I'm not going to lie, I'm glad the reunion is in the books. But I'm more glad that everyone enjoyed themselves. It made all the planning and endless e-mails and phone calls totally worthwhile.
Families are so important. And family reunions connect us in ways that Facebook and phone calls can't.
I love my family.
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