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Monday, June 29, 2015

Houston Reunion 2k15 Final Installment

Our last full day of our reunion together was a dream. We spent much of the day bike-riding and celebrating. It was Joe's birthday and Shana's is three days later! In the morning, we took off as a family for about a 1.5 mile bike ride in to a charming bakery in town. Ella rode by herself the whole way, and she's only 4!

View from the balcony of where we stayed with all our bikes lined up!

 After the bakery, we all worked on some projects for the birthday kids!

Anna, Jer, and Ella made cards while Shana made platypus!

Ella and I worked on a special video for her mom and dad. We interviewed all the family asking two questions: 1) How old would Joe and Shana be this year and 2) What would we give them if money were no object?
Later in the afternoon, some of us decided we wanted a little more bike time. We heard about a delicious place for shakes and fishing supplies in Victor (about 9 miles away) and made that our destination.  It was such a wonderful, beautiful summer activity. It inspired me to go bike shopping after the trip!  I was coughing up a storm the last mile or two, so I didn't end up biking back like my sisters and dad did. But the time I got to bike was well worth it!




 



The fresh raspberry shake I got was AMAZING! Wish there were more soda fountains around these days!

Back at the homestead, Tina and Jer hosted a big birthday BBQ for Joe and Shana.  It was delicious! Eating our dinners together each evening was a big highlight.


This is upside down, but the candles spell out "73," which is their combined age!
After dinner, we presented them with their cards and their special movie. 

Just before bedtime as we gathered for family prayer, we had an impromptu singing session of all of Ella and Scotty's favorite songs, including "Wheels on the Bus," "3 Little Monkeys," "Popcorn Popping," "You are my Sunshine," and more. This is one of my favorite memories from the trip! Scotty danced and danced in the middle.  It was hilarious! We were all doing the hand motions together.  We even revisited songs from our youth like, "Horsey, Horsey."




The morning we left, the kids had to get in a little more hammock time. 
 

I would love to come back to this town every single year, especially if it means getting to recreate some of the incredible memories from this week! Special thanks to the Green family for introducing it to us.  And a huge thank you to my parents for the special emphasis each day on family history. Ella made a family tree with pictures of all her family members, we shared stories each evening about our ancestors, and we became more familiar with family search so we can keep a better record of the memories we have. It was really neat and something I hope we'll continue at our future family vacations! 

Houston Reunion 2k15 Installment #5

Well, the virus continued making it's rounds over the course of the week. On Friday morning, Anna, my dad and I all found ourselves in the health clinic (me for my second go-around).

 


It has been a long time since I've been so sick! And right in the middle of such a fun trip.  Lame! I left the doctor's office with prescriptions for antibiotic eye drops for the pink eye I contracted, antibiotic pills for the ear infection that also appeared, and medication to help ease the constant throat pain.  He also directed me to buy Flonase to help my ear.  Later that afternoon, my ear drum perforated and I got a prescription for ear drops as well.  Are you kidding me right now?

So what did that mean for our family plans?  We spent another low-key day at the house, which everyone agreed ended up being really nice. The sickies got to nap and also participate in some of the fun things happening right in our own backyard.  Some of the things we took advantage of were...


...Jamberry nail application!








...hammock time...


...watching some videos together...


...crafts...



 

...river time...





...relaxing in the shade...

In the picture above, Scotty happened to accidentally pour an ice-cold drink all down his front right when I pressed "click." Zoom in and take a closer look at everyone's reactions! It's hilarious!


 ...a (delicious) family bonfire...





...and jacuzzi time!


 Then, a small group of us headed out at 9:15 p.m. to catch Jurassic World at the local "Spud" drive-in! It was so fun :-).






Turns out just being together is enough to have an absolutely wonderful day, sickness and all!