Monday, August 29, 2016

The Scramble to Exit and The Remainders

The moment church was over on Sunday, July 24th, people scrambled to get to other places!
Everyone scattered to get their own family lunches. Love that the dads are at work here! Jonah is sporting his handlebar mustache as he prepares lunch and Eli is holding poor little Zara who had a low fever the whole reunion, which turned out to a Urinary Tract Infection. Poor little girl! Tal is making good use of the leftovers, and since Jeff has gone, Saydi is searching the fridge for her little crew!


The Loosli Family had to be in Denver Colorado that next morning to begin a marathon month celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Parks! Camping along the way! They packed in the kids and pulled a small trailer with a camp stove, sleeping bags and coolers full of food behind their mini van. Wish I’d have taken a picture! Darn!
Jonah and Aja and their five thought they had to drive their two G wagons through the desert to catch a plane in CA for Hawaii on July 26. As it turned out, much to everyone’s enormous relief, they were able to change their tickets to fly out of SLC. Driving through that desert with all those kids at 110 degrees at the height of a sizzling summer….without air conditioning in one of the cars just didn’t sound appealing! We were all so relieved! No picture of their fancy cars that run on vegetable oil but here they are heading for home at the airport.


Noah and Kristi packed up their Sprinter and headed for a Doctor appointment for Kristi in CA on the 26th! We are all delighted about that family expecting baby #6 in late November! Kristi doesn’t have easy pregnancies so we were so proud of them for going for it again!

They took the “Repenting Bench” with them, which Noah had won in the family auction many years ago with them. Noah deserved it, since he spent so much time there as a child!  :)  It fit nicely in the back of their awesome vehicle! See it back there along with Kristi’s carefully marked drawers for each child?  Great idea! They had just been all the way across that country in that big guy. Four of their kids sang in three performances in Washington D.C. with an incredible local CA Children’s Choir. 


Cousins bid a fond farewell. These two were born just a few days apart, one in NYC and the other in CA! 


Josh and Jeff went back to their jobs and the rest of us put our minds to cleaning up and clearing clutter! Everyone helped!


Anita and Julie helped me created an organizational miracle in the garage:


And we had so much fun with the “leftover” people.  There was an “Orange Sky” meeting. More on that in future years….(Sorry about the poor quality on some of these pics…they refuse to be edited).


There was a leftover letter to Moses from Sweet Claire who is as baby crazy as her mother!


We had some great food created with the remains of a wonderful three weeks of fabulous meals including Chicken Tikka Masala, Julie’s specialty! Finally we moved out and left the house to the renters for the rest of the summer.

The last few families moved on to BCRANK (Beaver Creek Ranch at Narnia Canyon) in Park City and we had some fun there for a few days before everybody left to go back to the real world! Dean really liked the Kiddie Spa!


And then it was goodbye! I love this picture! Free ride for Zara with Dean snuggled in Julie’s backpack ahead. These two are pros at traveling with pre-schoolers. At this moment they are in Europe, visiting the Eyres in Switzerland and stopping by at Lake Como in Italy since it was “on the way” home.

Saydi was the last to go. Courageously she loaded the four Shumway kids in their mini-van and drove them singlehandedly (Jeff had to go back to work) across the country. They had a grand adventure which I hope she will post soon on her blog at Just as a little preview she said her favorite night was staying in a little covered wagon on the Praire with thunder and lightning and so much wind that she thought they were going to blow over. She claimed it was the best time ever and thoroughly exhilarating!

Meanwhile, all was clean and quiet at the lake…for a day at least until renters arrive!


And we leave behind another summer of priceless memories!


….until next year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Birthday and Glimpses of the Reunion 2016

Before I begin, I have to say thank you to all of you who commented on Richard's guest post. The comments were insightful, stimulating, intelligent and mostly supportive and kind!  I loved the insights and suggestions! Thank you all for being part of a very interesting conversation!

Now, on to some fun!

Cameras were going all around me by the time I arrived at the reunion site this year. Since I was a little late, I just soaked it in and didn’t take many pictures. I gathered a few from Rick’s phone but so many scattered after that last day that we didn’t have time to exchange pictures with the real photographers as usual.

But for family history’s sake, I’m adding my view of the raucous fun we had while almost all of the 47 of us were there for those four days. Elle was in summer school at BYU so she arrived a bit late and we dearly missed Charity, Ian, Moses and Max but we did have all of us together in one giant heap!  So fun!

One day after the Grammie Camps on July 18th, it was Isaac’s birthday which we always seem to be able to celebrate together at the lake since it happens every year on July 19th. Fun for us but by the time you’re 15, you probably want a little friend time too huh?  Anyway, Isaac is a great sport and Saren always sees that he has a great birthday.

Saren and Lucy that is!  Isaac has a special gift with children and had been holding down the fort for many days with lots of little kids until his older cousins began to arrive. He is really quite incredible when it comes to engaging and really having fun with kids. Lucy obviously recognized that and after everyone left and the dust had settled I found this adorable birthday card she had made for him. I'm so glad he left it so I can document it here:

And that’s not the end….this was on the other side:

Is that cute enough? 

Then oddly enough, last night as I was going through some old papers I found this little treasure, that Lucy had created for Isaac, maybe a year or two ago. Lucy obviously adores Isaac (and Princess Ariel).  What a mind of wonder that girl has, in addition to some pretty amazing art skills! Isaac’s hair is my favorite!


Look at the detail on that thing!

So all the grandkids along with all his siblings and adults had a grand time celebrating Isaac’s birthday on the eve of the reunion. Ashton, a budding film maker, even made a video of his brother’s birthday here if you're interested. The culmination of the party was a piƱata. See that poor little donkey on the left and that huge line of kids ready to batter him?


How do you do a birthday cake for this many kids? Somehow Saren makes it work!


The Looslis were in charge of the reunion this year and they did a grand job of providing a terrific reunion for all of us. In ordering the T shirts, this year they even thought of a way to make Charity feel included since she was so sad not to be able to be there, even though she was glad to be holding her sweet baby in London while we were all reveling together at Bear Lake.

The revelation of the t-shirts is always a fun way to kick off the reunion, but this one was especially poignant this year:


I hope you can read the small print at the bottom…”except this once”!  Smile

Below are just a few of pictures I got of our fun activities. I’m hoping others who have so much more will post more. We are so lucky that moments that only happen once can be caught on a camera. And if aren't…they usually fade away forever.

Eliza stepped up to make the reunion calendar, which Charity has made for us the past many years and did a great job!  Charity wasn’t just a name on the t-shirts It was an action word throughout the reunion. Everyone was assigned a secret buddy and there were all kinds of fun charitable activities going on through the whole four days!

The festivities of the Opening Ceremonies were caught, not only on several cameras but also with cameras from Josh's drone (wish I knew how to post those!


The cousins, coming from all over creation were so glad to see each other!


Unlike Charity and Ian who did the whole reunion on their own last year, the Looslis had five kids to help. Each of the kids took a section of the reunion to be in charge of and did a great job giving instructions!


As soon as it was dark, we had the traditional bonfire on the beach. Everyone had so much fun guessing who sent in which song on a CD, organized and played by Ashton from a car stereo. Every man, woman and child sends in a favorite song. Since there are so many we only have a chance to hear a short few measures of each song, but it’s so fun to see who raises their hand or stands to dance when they hear their song. Ashton sent a link to everyone that can be used in the car or on a phone. That is always a hit. Thanks Ash!

Elize was in charge of what we loosely  (no pun intended) call a Ragnar.  This involved six or seven teams in cars with one person running at a time (down to the two year olds for short distances) from each team. The goal was to be the first team to reach the Raspberry Shake stands eleven miles away. A great time was had by all…and the shakes were great!



Fun teams and great cousin and uncle bonding going on!


Unintentional photo bomber?


Then it was back to lots of great food at the pavilion, including Jonah Burgers and great conversations:


An exciting relay race started with the crawlers:


Some are faster than others….mostly depending on age:


Other races and competitions followed:


A dam-building contest was new this year with kid teams trying to build a dam that would hold water the longest!



thumb_IMG_3327_1024See the judge there in the middle?


This dam held the longest:


There was also a spectacular sand castle building contest and so many fun bonding activities. Including just beach activities….sunning, reading, taking, water skiing, horseback riding and just enjoying being together!

...including a horse ride on the beach with Grandfather and our main horse lover Ana (next to one-year-old Dean) .



We all enjoyed an entertaining talent show….including great dancers….


A boy who is an amazing self-taught saxaphone player…


Some budding piano players….


Kids who learned to play the ukelele during their l o n g ride across the country from Boston in a mini van.  (Somebody needs a bathroom break Smile. )

And even a cirque de solelil performance. These girls worked on this amazing routine for three months!  Wish I knew how to do video. It was really amazing! thumb_IMG_2261_1024

The few parents even showed off their kite-making talent! 


the tennis tournament is always so fun! All adults (except me with a bad knee) play. Julie and Eli are the couple to beat but no one was able to pull it off this year.


Which brings us to our last day on the 24th of July which just happened to be a Sunday. A perfect day for a baptism in the lake of our little eight year old Lyla.

That post is coming next!