Sunday, August 14, 2016

Jolley Family Reunion '16

After a long and uneventful day on the road, we got to Idaho.  Our kids really are great travelers, and they get so excited to go to Idaho that the excitement carries them through a lot of the day.  Colette and Jacob and their family were already there, along with Grandma and Grandpa Knight.  B talked for weeks before this trip about how he and his cousin, Ryan, were going to run around together without any grown ups.  It was kind of fun to just count our kids once every hour or two to account for their whereabouts.  Except for Sammy, of course.  He had to be leashed to keep him out of harm's way on more than one occasion.  
 In the photo above he is harnessed to keep him from being hit by flying sticks in this game that Todd built to bring.  It's called Kubb (pronounced koob), or Viking Chess. It was fun to have a whole bunch of Jolley cousins to join in the game.
 At any given time on Wednesday, there were multiple lawn games going on.
 Benjamin Knight, Ryan Campbell, Eloise Knight, Eli Christensen, and Parker Hansen.
 I heard about this stick game being played at the last reunion, which we missed.  I think I was supervising a nap and missed the game again.  Oh, well.  There are many reunions yet to come.
 Human foosball was a hit for all ages.
 It was starting to get hot, so Aunt Barbara broke out the slush.  It's a family tradition.
 Grandma and Grandpa Knight were only around for a day before they had to go home.  Grandpa Knight had to get immediate medical attention for some numbness in his legs.  It turned out to be swelling from overuse, and he didn't need an operation right away.  We were sad to see them go, but we are glad that Grandpa is okay, and that we got to see them for a short time.
 Other awesome family activities: Giant twister,
 Climbing in the junkyard/playground,
 Circle games,
 Driving around in Grandpa's golf cart that has scary bad brakes,

 and a trip down the road to Aunt Reah and Uncle Jim's house. . . no seatbelts required.
 We didn't see as much of the Tarkalson family as we would have liked, since they were putting on an ultramarathon, the Beaverhead Endurance Run, that weekend, but we went over for dinner on Wednesday night.  Hilariously and awfully, Eric Tarkalson, who is chief in charge of the race, had to have an emergency appendectomy on Thursday morning.  Isn't that always how it seems to go?

Uncle Jim always seems to have a baby animal project, in addition to his chickens, turkeys, dogs, and horse.  This time there was a rescued fawn.
 All of the small kids loved having Connor jump them on the extra bouncy trampoline.

 After dinner we went back to the Stokes' house for movie night.  We turned on a movie for the kids and then sent them to bed.  
 Then all of the big kids came for "Zootopia." I love the new, big basement for a crowd.
 B was very afraid that he wouldn't get a ride on the motorcycle, so he was glad when Nate took him for a spin on Thursday morning.  He was a little disappointed that Uncle Boyd never brought the tractor out to give rides, but I can understand Boyd's reluctance to start that, since there were enough little tractor enthusiasts around to keep the tractor running for multiple hours.
 Thursday was supposed to be slip and slide day.  The Stokes slip and slide is epic.  The sun didn't come out for a long time, though, so this year's sliding was mostly enjoyed by those too young to care about freezing.
 Mason, Hannah, Rachel, B, Brooklyn, Jared, and Eloise in line for the slide.  George and some of the older Jolley boys stood along the slip and slide to give the small people boosts so that they could make it all of the way to the end.  They had a great time.
 We tried to feed them real food, but there were too many red vines, ice cream sandwiches, chips, lemonades, and cookies to be enjoyed. That pristine sandwich that Eloise is holding ended lunch in very much the same condition it started in.
 On Thursday afternoon, Colette watched our kids so that Todd and I could go float the river with the Jolleys.  Here are Melissa and Hannah.  I was freezing for a lot of the trip down the river, and so was Hannah.  When we got out of the river we found a hot cement slab in the sun to lie on and warm up.
 Grandpa Jolley and Grandma Pat participated in as many activities as they could.  They sat on the sidelines and watched yard games, slip and slide, and they came for dinner, but they couldn't do everything, so Todd and Colette showed Grandpa pictures of some of the things he missed.
 Thursday was all about water.  This ingenious contraption pops a water balloon on someone's head when a target is hit with a ball.  Jolley grandchildren were lining up to try and soak their grandpa, Uncle Von.
 This was one of my favorite things.  The Stokes have three grandsons who were born within a month of each other two years ago.  Eli, Parker, and Tyson are inseparable little balls of energy.  They are going to be all kinds of trouble together over the coming years, but it is sweet to see them all snuggling with their Gramps.  Eloise stood by to hear the story, too.  
 Sammy loved the "tows!"  He told us that they say "boo!" He was always up for a walk to see some cows.
 Here is the proof that I was actually there.
 On Friday, Todd's cousin Stacy (from the Knight side) came to visit with her four kids and her mom, Julie.  We went to Williams Lake with the Jolleys for swimming, paddle boarding, and water skiing. The last time we saw Stacy was at Jared's baby blessing.  Here are Jared, Rachel, Sadie, Cassidy, Nate, and Hannah on a tube being pushed by Stacy.
Here is one of Todd's attempts at water skiing.  He did actually get up.  I didn't.  
 Melissa took Jared out on a paddle board.  Paddle boarding is harder than it looks.  I was surprised.
 Here is Todd in a more successful attempt to water ski.
 Sammy liked the boat, but the day was long, and the motor lulled him to sleep in spite of the wind.
 B loves everything about Idaho.  I can't believe we did so much in such a short trip.
 After the lake we went to the campground for dinner with the Jolleys before going back to the Stokes' house to sleep.  Our kids were tired, and B was trying to tease Mason by calling him a baby.  B thinks it is hilarious to call bigger people babies.  Mason said, "I'm not a baby. Hannah is the baby.  She cries all the time!"
Hannah said, "I only cry because I have lots of EMOTION!"
Just one week after the reunion, eight year old Hannah got sick from E. Coli, was hospitalized, and died over the course of a few short days.  We will miss her beautiful face at reunion time.  Our kids have not stopped praying for Hannah's family, that they will not be too sad and miss her.  I think we are part of the best family in the world.

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