Thursday, June 19, 2008

Family Reunion 2008

This year our family reunion was held at the Greene House in St. George (named not for the color of the home but for the last name of the family that restored it). This is not the first time we have held family reunions at this historic pioneer home. When I was a child we visited this place almost every summer and I have so many cherished memories of the good times we spent with friends and family.
It is a lovely home that has been restored to be a vacation rental. Not only are there several rooms in the main house, there is a carriage house (sort of like a bunk house) that is prefect for the kids and cousins. It has a private swimming pool, tennis court and hot tub. But I am not trying to advertise for this place - it is purely nostalgic for me. As a child I remember playing with the antique dolls found in the old trunk in the upstairs bedroom, riding the tandem bicycle around town with Amy, playing in the old log cabin playhouse, getting locked out on the front deck naked when I had hung my swimsuit on the railing and it was too hot to walk back to put it back on. I remember having a blast with some high school friends when we spent a couple of days there. And now - as an adult, I love having our family reunions where there are so many memories and thrilled for my children to be making memories of their own.
This year our coming together as a family was especially meaningful and important because my mom has been having health problems. At first we didn't know if she was going to make it down - but she did and even though she wasn't able to be with us during all of the activities - her presence was felt. My mom has been the driving force behind so many family reunions and summers at the Greene House. She was also born in St. George and really feels a special connection to the place - a connection that she has passed on to her children. And so...another summer at the Greene House. Here is what we did:
Amy was in charge of exercise in the morning. It was so cute! Each morning she had a different theme - "just for kids," "chubby hubby," "Tai Bo," and finally "Salsa!" I think most people dragged their feet at first. But it ended up being a ton of fun. Mainly because Amy is so cute and fun!

Here they are doing "The Chicken Dance" and "The Hokey Pokey"

SJ joining in the fun (although sadly she ended up being sick almost the entire week)

The "Chubby Hubby" routine - what good sports!
Even the little ones were dancing the salsa!

The Devotionals: My parents and each sibling was in charge of an evening devotional or meeting. It was really fun to see what everyone came up with. It usually involved some sort of shared thought and then an activity or game. My parents started the week off with their devotional. They presented the theme of the reunion "Bee a Part of a Great Family - Yours!" Each grandchild was given a little bottle of honey and a gold dollar. Each grandchild then gave a talk they prepared on one of President Gordon B. Hinckley's six B's. My parents then had a raffle for several items displayed on a table. They raffled off everything from toys, to collectors' items, to precious heirlooms. It was really special.

Addie spoke about being "true." She talked about being true to our families and the love we share. Then she handed out bracelets she had made with words to remind us to have a great time together.

A few of Isaac's raffle winnings - a staff from Africa, an old army blanket and my grandfather's hat from WWII

Of course there was tons of swimming!
My birthday celebration

More water play

And of course yummy food:

The snow cone man

It was a great reunion. We laughed together and cried together and grew closer as a family. We will hope and pray that we can all be together again next year.


Ted said...

Remember in High School when a group of us went and stayed there? Fun times.

Prascilla said...

hi em,
wow, what a beautiful time. i wanted to grow up in your family.

Julie said...

I'm so happy to read all about it. Wow. Love the photos. Can't wait to hear more details upon my return. Thanks for the e-mail.

Rachel said...

This looks like such a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing!

Jme said...

Was this "the crack" hike? It looks fun anyway. I ask because twice Hannah and I have had intentions to hike it, but it is always so pickin' we go to Grand Canyon? Anyway, super cool.

Jennette said...

It sounds like an absolutely perfect reunion.

And like Ted, I remember when we went there with you....good times indeed!