What a weekend!
Every other year, John's mom's side of the family head to Antimony, UT to renew family ties. Love is had for all. 1985, 3 weeks after Christian was born was our first one for this generation. John and I brainstormed the idea, got a couple of other cousins to help out and viola we had ourselves a great time. This was our 14th one.
It is a 3 day event. (It started out as a 4 day event years ago) Saturday family members start coming around noon just in time for lunch and hugs all around. As everyone gets settled, the visiting begins. First generation cousins, second generation cousins and third generation cousins. It won't be long before there are 4th generation cousins. Oh My!
Each time we meet, a different family is in charge of all the activities for the weekend. We have old fashion games like pennies in the hay, balloon stomp, water balloon tossing and sack races. This year we also had minute to win it, which was a lot of fun. There is cotton candy, snow cones and an old fashion ice cream bar.
In past years we have had skits, karaoke, sock hop, pictures taken in old western clothes and western dance lessons.
It wouldn't be a reunion at the ranch without trail rides, a rodeo, hay rides and trying to dress sheep in clothes. I love to go out the the corrals and watch the kids with the animals. One highlight is chasing calves with money taped to them. Who doesn't want to chase a cow with money on them? The kids get so excited if they can grab a buck or two.
Sundays are reserved for a family devotional. We used to all go to the Antimony ward but as we got bigger and bigger they asked us not to come and have our own thing. I guess when your visitors out number your members it is too much. No worries, our own is as good or better. This year, Robyn and Gary Beynon had returned form being Mission Presidents in Brazil and they spoke and gave report on the happenings while they were gone. WOW! that was great and powerful.
Sundays are also reserved for using the shocking machine, listening to songs from the old Edison Cylinder Phonograph, crafts, writing to missionaries and service men and of course more visiting. But the grand finale is Sunday night (at least I think so). This is the time when we talk about past generations of Johns family. Grandma and Grandpa Lundgreen and their stories as well as past generation stories. Then the best thing happens........
Burns and Mona sing!!!!
Burns is John's uncle, he's married to John's auntie. He plays guitar and crones for all to enjoy. It is a sing along also. Songs like There's a hole in the bottom of the sea, I met a bear and the best one is, (at least I think so) The long tall Texan. Of course other songs are sung but These are my favs.
We do so many fun things during the weekend but Sunday night when we all get together and listen to stories and sing the songs. Nothing is better then that to me. It just solidifies all that family means to me.
Another thing I love is seeing all the cousins. Even though I am the married into the family cousin I feel loved equally. Each person brings their own personality and love to the scene. Our children look forward to this gathering each time. They too renew their souls by this gathering. I love to see them hanging out with cousins they haven't seen in 2 years and also strengthening their bonds with cousins they see regularly. Another thing I love is how they forge friendships with everyone. Family is family but it is better when family is your best friends, too.
As the weekend winds down and good byes are said I get a little melancholy. I am already looking forward to 2013. Its a good thing all these people are just a phone call away.