I am going to start posting more from our letters to Joshua on his mission. That has been our family history of late (the letters), so I'll just have to copy and paste some of those, with a few adjustments, of course.
We had so much fun at both of our family reunions.
First my side of the family: It was quite an adventure to take 22 people on a pack trip. Grandma and Grandpa drove up to the trail head with us, but then they went home after that. I planned it originally with the thought that they could go, because the hike in was only a mile, but they said they weren't going to go. It turns out that it was a good decision, because it was a pretty arduous mile.
|View from our campsite. Joseph, Jesse and Peter with the horses - Mackee, Cookie and Lady|
Here's who the 22 people were that packed into Blue Lake:
Although it was small for a reunion, it was good for the pack trip. We couldn't have handled many more than that. As it was, we took in the llamas twice, (six of them), and packed a horse as well (which is about 3x what a llama can take). Bruce, Joseph, Peter and Corbin went in a day early to secure a camp site. The first night we were the only ones there. The second night, a scout troop from Middleton 1st ward was there, and another family. But the lake was such that it wasn't too bothersome to have other people there. The scenery on the hike and around the lake was beautiful - really one of the prettiest we have seen. In was great weather for camping, too. Not really cold at night, and warm during the day. We hiked up to Tripod Lookout, which was 8080 ft. Matt and I took the trail all the way home, while others bushwhacked somewhere along the line. But Matt and I held to the iron rod and didn't deviate! Ha ha It turns out that we should have, because it would have saved us a lot of time, but hey, hindsight is always 20/20.
One of the fun things about the reunion was getting to know Adam better. He's a really cool guy. He had really witty comments, and then really insightful, wise comments at other times. His thinking is outside the box, and it's really interesting to hear what he has to say. By the way, Whitney is pregnant!! She is due next March, and Jenette is pregnant also, and due about the same time. Isn't that fun?
We got home from the reunion about 2 pm, and here came Grandma with meat rolls, ham and macaroni and potato salads. Wow - it tasted so good! She is a lifesaver that way. We had a good visit with the Rodney, Angie and Clark before he had to leave.
So switch to the Oregon Coast for Dad's side of the family for their reunion. It is painful at this moment to think of me writing you from there last week. I wish I was there again! But, no, not really. It's good to be back and face reality again... :)
|Bruce & Lorena checking out the tide pools near Yachats, OR|
Here's who was at the that Reunion:
Both Shawn & Janel, and Stephen and Kendra's kids weren't there. That was a bummer, but they all had activities for school and such. Heather just had a baby - Alena. Stephen and Kendra are grandparents! That's so weird. Stephen is only 18 months older than Dad, and Kendra is his same age.
On Tuesday night, we did something that we had done at the other reunion around the campfire. I suggested that everyone go around the room and say the following: one sad/hard thing that had happened in the last year, one happy thing, and a goal for the future. It turned out to be one of the more memorable happenings at the reunion. One of the reasons it was so special was because when Grandma started to talk, she completely broke down into tears, and had to stop and then talk through it. No one has ever seen her like that before, so it was really something. She said "I'm a fighter, and I wanted to be here with you all."
We played some fun games with Rachel, Josh and Uncle Shawn in our Barefoot Sands beach house. Oh, that house was awesome. You would wake up in the morning and look out the window at the ocean. It was beautiful! One afternoon, Kaleb, Mary, Peter, Zach and I were body surfing in the waves. Zach said to Peter, "Dude, you're freakin' awesome - your Mom's out here!" It was SO FUN to jump and surf on the waves, although it was FREEZING. Another day, the rest of the family got out there too, although Libby and Jesse didn't come out very far. Jesse had fun making designs in the beach with shells and seaweed. She is an artist.
|Grandma & Grandpa with their grandkids|
|Our family (minus Josh in El Salvador) right after Peter's ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood|
We had a great Sunday here together. We actually sat down and played a card game together. It's a game called "22" that Joseph learned while going and coming from Nauvoo. He came home a mad-card-playing-shark after being with the Laren & Caralee's family for 3 weeks. I guess they played card games non-stop in their mobile home.
In our testimony meeting at home, Peter said, "I know that the Priesthood is powerful." What a blessing that he is worthy to hold it.