Monday, April 23, 2012

spring break with the cousins

This year we spent a fun spring break at Bear Lake with the cousins.  As I looked through the gazillion pictures of the reunion, I realized that I don't think my kids realize how good they have it.  On both sides of our families, their cousins are some of their best friends.  They have super fun Aunt and Uncles, and grandparents whom they adore.  I've come to the conclusion that there is no greater blessing than a supportive, loving family.  I loved when I heard one of the teenage cousins comment that when they had told some friends they were going to a family reunion over spring break, the friends had felt pity for her.  This was baffling for her, and made her realize that obviously, they've never been to one of the Croney family reunions.  For the cousins, it's one of the best weekends of the year! 

The cabin we stayed at this year was super fun:  slides going from floor-to-floor, an indoor basketball court, playground, and trampoline, theater room, and much more.  We all had lots of fun playing "speed", and there was always a line-up of aunts, uncles, and cousins at the basketball hoop- cheering and talking a little smack on each other, of course.

(I love Kadin's pose in the background of this picture!)

One night we had a homemade ice cream contest, with each family coming up with a "secret recipe" and everyone voting on the best one.  When I asked Courtney what kind we should make, he suggested Mud Pie, one of our favorites.  Western Family Mud Pie, that is.  So.  I bought two quarts and hid them in the freezer.  When everyone started working on their ice cream, they were a bit confused at why we weren't getting in on the action.  "Don't  you need to get your ice cream started?" was the question we kept getting asked.  Finally, I sneaked our ice cream maker out to the garage and scraped our "home-made" ice cream into it.  Wa-La! 

The best part is that when the tasting started, everyone raved about our killer recipe, and we got a hundred questions about what we put in it, how did we get it to be so thick, and on and on.  Finally (after we had won, hands down), Jodi teased that she didn't think we could have made such great ice cream, and joked that we must have gone and bought it.  We all had a great laugh when we admitted our guilt!  Pretty sneaky, we are!

One afternoon all the uncles started a boxing tournament.  I panicked a few times as I saw what looked like pretty heated matches between cousins.  The guys kept assuring me that things like that  make boys better friends.  It looked to be true, as a few minutes after they'd gotten done trying to knock each other out, I'd see them smiling and slapping each other on the back.  Obviously, I have a thing or two to learn about boys.

Uncle Shawn had a funny joke to play, when he held his plate up and asked Jodi and Grandma to smell his cake to see if they thought it smelled "funny".  You can see what he had in mind, but we all got a great laugh out of it. 

Sunday afternoon, we had Grandma's traditional Easter hunt.  There was so much candy!  You can see the basketball court is just covered. . .the whole house looked that way. (The uncles seem to have the same "no fuss" mentality.  Instead of carefully setting the candy out, they just threw handfuls at a time.

A favorite part of the cabin was the tube slides that went from floor-to-floor.  When we first got there, the uncles devised a great method of delivering luggage to the two lower floors:  just chuck them down the slides!  It made for an easy arrival!  Also, Uncle AJ and the kids worked out a fun game, which was to see how many people they could pack into the slide at once.  The final record?  Fourteen!

Another fun game the kids loved playing was Sardines.  Each night, they waited 'til dark and then coerced as many uncles and aunts as they could to play.  With the lights out, it was pitch black, and made for a super fun game.  Even the littlest kids played, and we all laughed and squealed a lot as the uncles loved thinking up ways to scare us all. 

Another favorite?  Grandma had taken our old home videos and had them recorded onto DVD.  We spent hours Sunday night laughing at the good 'ol days. 

And so, another fun family reunion goes down in the books.  One afternoon I was sitting in the kitchen when one of the older cousins told me, "The thing I love about family reunions is that all of the Aunts and Uncles act like kids.  Where else do you see grown-ups flying down the slide, jumping on the trampoline, and playing crazy jokes on each other?"  It's true, we had a great time.  Two thumbs up for super-fun family reunions!

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