Tuesday, August 27, 2013

the reunion {and how we do it--version 2013}

Noah and Kristi were the masters of ceremonies at the reunion this year (we move down by age each year).

Those two are one heck of a dynamic duo, I tell you.2013-07-10 reunion 815152013-07-10 reunion 81517
Let’s take a closer look at that schedule:  2013-07-13 reunion 82522It’s a unique work of art every summer, compliments of my sister Charity.
As you can tell, everyone was overjoyed for what was to come. Ha!2013-07-10 reunion 81525(I think they were actually just in very deep concentration and awe of what we would be doing…)

Grandchildrens’ green

This year my Dad added some grass near the cabin.  It was a hit.2013-07-10 reunion 81661
…and a perfect spot for these two to unveil some funny stuff that was dug up from the attic from my Dad’s run-for-governor-of-Utah campaign years ago.2013-07-10 reunion 816622013-07-10 reunion 816662013-07-10 reunion 81669
…and to show us the t-shirts for this year.2013-07-10 reunion 81676


I loved that they chose a theme. 

It was “For Real Life.” 

They talked about how the decisions we make and the things we do are for real life and how we need to make them the best we can (but they said it a lot more eloquently than that :)  They symbol on the t-shirt was a camera (pretty fitting for our camera) to remind us that we always want to use our “cameras” (our eyes and hearts) to record the goodness and realness of life.

We all got paired up (tallest matched to shortest, etc.) and got to find out some new stuff about our partner, then announce it to everyone else.2013-07-10 reunion 816852013-07-10 reunion 816962013-07-10 reunion 81709
I especially loved watching the kids tell stuff about the adults.  2013-07-10 reunion 817422013-07-10 reunion 817082013-07-10 reunion 817112013-07-10 reunion 817682013-07-10 reunion 81739
2013-07-10 reunion 817592013-07-10 reunion 81764

The Bonfire

The first night of the reunion we have a bonfire.  We play all the “favorite songs” people have turned in and try to guess who turned in which one, and then we listen to those songs the rest of the week.2013-07-10 reunion 810232013-07-10 reunion 810292013-07-10 reunion 81056
2013-07-10 reunion 817762013-07-10 reunion 817802013-07-10 reunion 817902013-07-10 reunion 818032013-07-10 reunion 81804I love that my Dad is always spilling something out in his special books.2013-07-10 reunion 817872013-07-10 reunion 81072

“Real Life Relay”

The next morning we had a “Real Life Relay” like a ragnar. 
2013-07-11 reunion 81110
Everyone got a number according to when they joined the family.  2013-07-11 reunion 811232013-07-11 reunion 81205
Here are the starting runners:2013-07-11 reunion 81128
…and a few of the pass-offs: 
2013-07 real life relay
2013-07-11 reunion 811492013-07-11 reunion 81165The kids did so great.  I wish I had more pictures of the other teams with those little kids running their little hearts out.

The cars:2013-07-11 real life relay collage
The girl who passed her mother up:2013-07-11 reunion 81154Yes, the one who just broke her toe the week before…

We ran through the most gorgeous countryside.2013-07-11 kristi's bl 837022013-07-11 reunion 81143
And ended at our favorite spot to get raspberry shakes. 

Here’s one of the teams coming in the finish line:2013-07-11 reunion 81179
This was my team.2013-07-11 reunion 81169

…and here’s Dave’s.  That “1” my boys are holding up is to show off that they won :)2013-07-11 reunion 812222013-07-11 reunion 811882013-07-11 reunion 81200
2013-07-11 reunion 812182013-07-11 reunion 81259

2013-07-11 reunion 81265

Fear Factor

Fear Factor is something that the “reunion committee members” (aka: my brothers) added last year.
It was a pretty big hit so the kids kept asking when it was going to happen right from the start.
Eli started it off with a bang this year by adding music. 
2013-07-11 iPhone 82972

I think it’s funny the kids were so darn anxious for this activity because I don’t know of many other things that can make kids’ faces go from this: 2013-07-11 kristi's bl 83734
to this: 2013-07-11 kristi's bl 83735
…in three seconds flat.

Remember last year when I mentioned the disclaimers (here). 

No children were harmed in the making of this reunion activity :)  And please don’t be offended that it is mostly Asian food…my brother served his mission in Japan and knows how different that food is from what we are used to over here.  I think people over in Asia should do their own version of Fear Factor but with hamburgers and macaroni and cheese.  I bet they’d have some of these same expressions because it’s so not what they are used to. 

Here are a couple more beauties:  2013-07-11 iPhone 829842013-07-11 kristi's bl 83733
2013-07-11 kristi's bl 837392013-07-11 kristi's bl 83731
Boy oh boy some of them sure made some valiant efforts.

Others, like my five children for instance, decided that ducking out early may be their best bet.

Especially if it meant getting to have a sweet baby all to yourself.   2013-07-11 iPhone 82978
Or getting to take over your mother’s camera to capture it all. 2013-07-11 kristi's bl 83743
Or getting your own personal coloring book just for making it through the first round.2013-07-11 reunion 81832
Grace and Max made it the longest.2013-07-11 reunion 82075
With tactics like this: 2013-07-11 reunion 82096
Sadly, once they were out they missed out on gems like this:2013-07-11 kristi's bl 83745
2013-07-11 reunion 819122013-07-11 reunion 818442013-07-11 reunion 820652013-07-11 reunion 820892013-07-11 reunion 820952013-07-11 reunion 821072013-07-11 reunion 821112013-07-11 reunion 821132013-07-11 reunion 821212013-07-11 reunion 821382013-07-11 reunion 82145
Let’s go ahead and admire the concentration on cute Camden: 2013-07-11 reunion 81901
It paid off cause he was the 2013 winner.2013-07-11 reunion 81886Congrats, Camden! 

Ok, boy howdy I’m out of time.  Part two tomorrow with Minute to Win It, the talent show, and how we do food and cleaning.

Happy Tuesday!

Part 2 is HERE.

Part 3 is HERE.

The part about the lanterns is HERE.


  1. Hi Shawni!
    You mentioned in earlier post You were using bleaching gel and I must say I admire your whole family cause you all have very pretty teeth and your whole family is awesome btw :)
    I was hoping You could say what gel is that cause it seems really working.I'm not asking to advertise it but just to mention it cause iz would really help.
    Greetings from Europe!

  2. Love this post!! Would love to hear the kinds of food they ate! Those faces are tooooo funny!

  3. You know how have one awesome cool family, right?

    I am an everyday reader, but rarely comment. I just had to say, though, that I am in awe of (& kind of jealous of :-) ) the vision your parents had for their family at the outset & that they still have today. That your siblings & families are still participating, having fun & making these kinds of memories together are a testament to that fact! I wish that I'd had a vision for my family like this, now that my boys are 10 & 8, but I DO have a vision for here & the future (learning so much from you!) and I'm determined to make every day count! Thank you so much for sharing your lives! xo

  4. oh man, these fear factor pictures had me laughing out loud. how entertaining for all the adults watching. they are some of the funniest things i have seen.

  5. Wow - what an incredible looking family reunion! - Your pictures are fantastic.
    (love the fear factor event!)

  6. I'd love to hear what some of the favorite music was from your reunion.

  7. I can't tell you how much enjoy reading about your family and their togetherness. My parents and two youngest sisters reside in Kenya right now being directors of a children's home. I have siblings that are also spread around. I just love getting to see what your family does when it comes together. One of my brothers and his family were back in the area for the summer, so we got to have some family fun. I love big families. I love how they grow and change and just keeping adding more fun. Thank you for sharing your precious moments.

    I saw you slip in the IWAN :)

    precious family shawni!

  9. What are your Dad's special books? (Greetings from China) :)


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