Monday, June 27, 2011

the longest post ever about our tackiest (but very fun, of course) family reunion yet

The day after school got out, we headed to Southern Utah with my family for our annual summer reunion.  Shawn and Kelsey were in charge, so we all know what that means.  Fun, fun, fun!  The girls look forward to this and Courtney's family reunion all. year. long.  We stayed in a cabin in Hatch, Utah (I'd never heard of it, either.)  The town sits somewhere between Bryce Canyon and Zions National Park.  When we weren't hiking, the kids spent their time exploring the mountain side, riding bikes, and Horny Toad hunting. 

The first day out, we all headed to Bryce Canyon.  My family hadn't ever been before, so we were excited to see the sights.  

 (Being the overly cautious parents that we are, of course, we all sat and encouraged the kids to walk along this fence until the park ranger came and warned that if they didn't get off soon (a whole 4 feet in the air), they were greatly risking falling to their death).

After lunch, most of us headed out on this very cool hike.

The kids and Grandpa were all troopers.  (Although Grandpa was sure that every sign we came to told us we had 1 and 1/4 mile left- for about ten miles, he says!) 

I laugh when ever I see this picture above.  When I was taking it, I couldn't quite figure out what they were supposed to be doing, but after I looked at the picture, I realized I should have been standing about five feet to the right to catch the right angle so it looked like they were actually holding up the rock. Oops. 

After out hike, we dragged our sweaty bodies over to the Bar-G wrangler cowboy show.  The kids had a great time, and of course, everyone there was amazed at the number of kids we all had. 

Always the fun aunt, Kelsey had all the kids up and dancing. 

Below, most of the cousins pose with Cowboy Joe (or something like that).

Every night, the kids were all so tired.  It didn't take Grandma very many bedtime stories before they crashed!

Before the reunion, Kelsey tried to talk Uncle Shawn into making reunion t-shirts, for a fun joke.  He wasn't quite so thrilled about the idea, which of course, made her even more excited to make it happen.  Secretly, she got with all the moms and lined up a plan.  We all brought white t-shirts for everyone, and Kelsey and Aunt Kerri brought all the fixins' to make tie-died shirts.  You can about guess how excited all the dads were about this, but the kids thought it was pretty darn fun.  We set up a tie-dye workshop in the garage, and went to work.

To everyone's surprise, we were just getting started.  Shawn and Courtney thought they were being pretty funny by designing Shawn's t-shirt with um. . . .should I say bosoms?  (They thought this would get them out of wearing them, I guess).  They thought wrong.  Kelsey was one step ahead of them.  Armed with iron-on fabric, she, Aunt Kerri, and I stayed up until 2 am finishing off the mens shirts in style.  

Since Shawn was the biggest party-pooper of all (and to cover up he and Courtney's artistic abilities), we made a gigantic "REUNION HOST" sign to go on the front of his shirt. 

In addition, everyone got a heart sticker that said "Families Are Forever" in big letters, accompanied by with "Croney Family Reunion, 2011". 

It wouldn't have been complete without our addition to each of the Dad's shirts.
On the back of each of them, we couldn't resist writing in puff paints, "Yours can be too, Ask me how!"

Let's just say us girls got a few good laughs that night.

And so, the next morning we all headed out to Zions in our fabulous reunion wear.  (Most of us anyway.  Being one who HATES to draw attention to himself in anyway, Courtney politely refused.  Party pooper.)  Oh, and Uncles Shawn and Ronnie stayed at the cabin, leaning over the toilet all day.  We thought it was just a ploy to get them out of their t-shirts, but little did we know, this was just the beginning. . .

Can I just say, Kelsey was totally right about her prediction.  If there is anything that draws more attention than 35 people (with over 20 being children), it is 35 people in tie-died "Families Are Forever" t-shirts.  We were pretty much the tackiest group in Zions that day.  Just as she had hoped.

Best pals Emmy and Halle were thrilled with their identical shirts, making them look more like twins than ever.

The hike was a hit, (except for me, who spent it at the bottom of the trail, throwing up in front of all the passer-by- a pregnancy result of a too-late night). 

We were all back on the shuttle, when Emmy started telling me her "throat felt funny".  We were crammed onto the bus with a hundred other people, so the aisles and every seat was full.  Because Emmy has asthma, my first thought was getting her an inhaler.  Just as I was thinking this through, she started throwing up.  All over me and everyone else around us.  It was awesome.  Luckily, everyone was very nice and started passing towels, wet wipes, etc.  A little queasy myself, I was trying to keep myself from losing it, all the while cleaning up as quickly as I could, and trying to reassure Emmy so she didn't feel too embarrassed. 

Poor Emmy, she felt pretty crummy for the rest of the night.

As you can see, Matt and AJ couldn't have been prouder in their pastel shirts.

With Emmy and a few others not feeling so good, most of us decided to head back to the cabin for the night.  AJ and Courtney volunteered to stay and hike with any of the kids who wanted to.  They got all they bargained for when fourteen of the kids signed up!  We all laughed as they gave each kid a number so they could keep track of everyone. 

Turns out, it got even better.  During their hike, Kate got sick.  Courtney stayed with her and then hi-jacked a garbage bag for the shuttle bus, which she used several more times.  Before long, several more kids were throwing up.  Between the two suburbans full of kids, five or six threw up on the way home!  When they finally got to the cabin that night, over half our crew was racing to the bathroom to throw up.  Courtney and AJ laughed at all the rush pull-overs they managed on the way home.  Before long, Courtney joined the ranks in the bathroom, along with several others (and even more through the night)! 

It seems every family reunion, Uncle Shawn and Ryenne get sick.  This was the case, again- but whatever they had spread like wildfire this time!  Fortunately everyone was a good sport and we had plenty of good laughs over the whole thing. 

 A few more highlights of the trip:  swimming at the pool in Cedar City, doubling the attendance at the Hatch LDS ward for church on Sunday, and Matt hitting a deer on the way home (he and Mckell had to leave a night early, and hit a deer just as they were pulling out of the long lane in front of the cabin).

(You can see the deer did a fair share of damage to the car).

We weren't surprised when our suburban battery was dead and we had to get some "juice" before we could head for home.  Par for the course, it seemed! 

Despite all the funny setbacks, the kids were still sad to pack up and go.  Armed with bowls and buckets for all the sickies, we reluctantly loaded up and headed North.  Tired, Tacky, and full of fun memories!

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