What joy it is to be back together again! Saturday morning, July 14th everybody was finally there and the reunion was officially opened by Tal and Anita who were the masters of the reunion this year! Tal announced that the theme this year would be 5! With lots of interesting meanings but mostly meaning that we were going to spend some time thinking about where we were going to be 5 years from now. It prompted a lot of interesting discussion after the kids were in bed!
The first event on Saturday morning was much anticipated playing of the “favorite song of the year.” Everyone, including kids had sent Anita their favorite song via the Internet, which she collected and then played for us in the living room from her computer. As Anita played the first few bars of the song, everyone was supposed to guess whose song it was and then the person who sent it in was to get up and do a little spontaneous dance. There was such a feeling on energy in that room as we all enjoyed the music together!
Shawni’s husband was unable to dance because he had broken his foot playing tennis the day before….thus the crutches. AH LIFE!
This year, instead of the traditional T shirts, Tal and Anita came up with a great idea. A family puzzle! How cool is that? Each one had a different number of pieces (90 to 300) according to the skill level of the kids in each family with “puzzles".
Here’s what the puzzle looked like:
As luck would have it, it was also Eli’s 29th birthday! Julie always has something clever in mind to celebrate the big day. This gummy bear creation was the surprise for this year. As you could probably guess, the kids LOVED the idea!
Plus Eli and Julie chose this special day to tell all the grandkids that they were going to add one more to the family next summer. Here’s the ultrasound!
Instead of cake we had chocolate chip cookie (an eyre favorite) ice cream cookies. Pretty cool!
Dad/Rick finally accomplished the dream of seeing a beach volleyball game. It took a lot to get all that sand brought in and leveled and the net and ball in place but everyone had a grand time with the help of our two resident volley ball players (Kristi who played in high school and 15-year-old Max who had just come from volleyball camp at BYU)
This is the only picture I could find that wasn’t a video. Apparently the ball was over the fence!
Tal, holding up the baby monitor so he could listen for Annina who was asleep at the house while he watched. LOL!
Of course, one of the main events involved food! Here is Ashton, enjoying a massive Jonah Burger!
And as you can imagine, providing 120 meals a day was a challenge. We loaded food in by the truckload!
The thing that really saved us was that the kids were little worker bees. They were divided into groups with prizes for those who did their jobs most consistently and asked for other jobs. It was a riot to see the kids begging for more jobs. The prize was a boat party at the end of the reunion or a sleep-over on the tennis court. They worked like little champions to load and unload the dishwasher, clear the tables and the bar and wipe everything down afterward. They even vacuumed the stairs!
Tal had something “magical” to show everyone every day….including lighted lanterns that they were going to send up in the night sky until fireworks and any kind of fire was banned because of the hot dry summer. After our experience with fire at our cabin at New Harmony we were glad to comply. Next year! In the meantime, Bennett was glad to just enjoy the smoke from dry ice!
On Sunday morning the entire mob arrived at The Ream Mansion, the most famous house in Dingle Idaho for family pictures. It was total chaos and we got some pretty funny pictures. Details not included. Here’s a thumbnail. I need one of you kids who have these pics in your camera or hard drive to send me a little larger format!
On Monday we were busy with a spontaneous talent show:
One of the highlights for the little girls was a box of designer dress-up costumes that our darling friends the Granatas sent us just before they left for China. He owns a costume factory there and they decided that it would be a great adventure for their family to live there. What champions of adventure! They certainly created a lot of joy with those dress-ups!
Somehow my pictures of the entire group in regalia got deleted, but you get the idea! Pure delight! Thanks so much Granatas!
And of course there was fun in the water galore!
I don’t’ know how in the world Kristi got this picture. I guess Noah learned how to fly over the water:
There was lots of tennis playing, both in the family tournament and just for fun.
The winners and runners-up of the family tennis tournament are below. The winners are Eli and Julie on the right. The matching T shirts did it! Plus, being pregnant always seems to help! The runners-up were Josh and Elle.
On Monday night we had a bird watching event that everyone loved! In the late afternoon we put a photographer in each car and drove to the bird refuge about five miles away. We saw some great birds but most of all enjoyed the kids’ glee at finding them. The scenery was spectacular!
Let’s take a closer look at our darling McKay, who had been working on a pair of homemade binoculars all day in preparation for the bird watching event. He found an old bottle jar ring and several rubber bands and tape to hold things together. The crowning glory was the pink bird feather from a feather boa that he was sure would camouflage him. What a kid! He makes us LOL!
We had a raucous time with a new event this year that Julie (on the right) did at their family reunion called The Fear Factor. That is an event that deserves its own post which will be coming next.
On most nights after the kids are in bed, we play games. Reverse charades was big this year and speed scrabble is always a favorite. We also have an official Eyrealm Foundation Board Meeting while we’re together to hear about the humanitarian expeditions that family members have been on that year or that may be coming up. We go over the financials and be sure everyone is on board with all contribution. Saren is the Chairman of the Board and does a great job of managing things during the year. It is truly a blessing to be able to help those in need. This year Josh reported on his trip to Ethiopia and the Pothiers gave us a update on Max’s Eagle Project which involved service in India. Shawni and Dave, Max and Elle were about to take off to deliver books and reading flash cards for the school at Rising Star Outreach…India.
On our last night at an adult meeting we wrote down what what we thought we’d be doing in five years and Tal hid the evidence….to be opened in 2017. Sounds like such a long time, but it’s just around the corner! It was a great exercise!
What an amazing reunion we had! Thanks to Tal and Anita it is an event that none of us will ever forget. How blessed we are to have this heavenly place at Bear Lake. Even with five kids crammed into one room with their parents in a record-heat summer, nobody complains. Thanks to all the Eyrealmers for your patience, long suffering and hard work. We had a spectacular time!