July 3, 2008

"Family: Isn't it about time?"

It wasn't until I was in the MTC that I finally figured out the double meaning in the Church commercials that said at the end, "Family: Isn't it about time?" Well, we made the time this last month, to attend TWO family reunions/vacations. The first, with the Jewkes, was in Breckenridge, CO, and the second, with the Bells, was at Wolf Creek, UT.
It all started with some buddy passes, given us so generously by a friend, and then we were on our way to The Mile High City. We rented a car and made the almost 2-hour drive to Breckenridge where a beautiful, impossibly huge cabin, parked right at the intersection of two rapid rivers awaited us. The name of the lodge, aptly so, was Two River Ranch. As we spent the afternoon waiting for all the Jewkes families to converge on this place (Keep in mind that there's 11 kids and we were coming from all around the U.S.- Florida, Georgia, Texas, Colorado, California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico), we played in the rivers, chose which of the 10 rooms we wanted to sleep in, and unloaded a huge trailer full of food for the week. We started the festivities out right: with an "animated" production to introduce us to the weeks' activities, including rules to the "candy shop" overseen by Jake which basically meant that there was free reign to whatever candy was left over after Jake got his hands on it. I'm not going to go on about every little thing we did, but just to give you an idea: We shopped the quaint little town of Breckenridge, went on an amazing bike ride from Vail to Breckenridge, Christian made his way down the rapid river by our cabin on a deflated raft from Wal-Mart, we held a "world cafe" at one of our nightly discussions (if you'd like to know what that is, well, you'll have to hire Gary Jewkes as your consultant and he will gladly take you through the process), and last, but not least, we went on a short, but sweet hike on a cliff with 20 kids in tow, overlooking a picturesque lake, surrounded by mountains, (who ever said anything about scared of heights???), stopping off to feed an enclave of chipmunks living there. WOW!!! Does it get any more action-packed??!! The only bummer of the whole reunion was that Christian and I had to leave a few days early. So, we made our way back to the Denver airport, dropped off our rental car, and listed ourselves on the buddy pass standby list. Only AFTER we checked our bags did they mention that we were seventeenth on a list of standby passengers on a flight was oversold and would be for 2 days! After contemplating a couple night stay at the cushy Denver airport, we called and amazingly got a ticket on a flight out that night. Whew!

Christian was, of course, the adult spearheading the kids playing at the river.

Oliver was perfectly content to throw rocks in the river all day. And, if we tried to pull him away, we got major protests. Like Father, like Son.

Christian decided it would be a good idea to carry Oliver across the ragin' river. This was after all the kids had been thoroughly instructed by their parents not to get within 3 feet of the river.

I had the honor of being the MC for the night's production of, "This week at Breckenridge."

There were some pretty funny mini-plays put on by these girls.

The "candy store."

Christian and Dave braved the river. They started with a raft. They ended with scrapes and a deflated raft.
You like our reunion shirts?

On Father's Day, we had the men do a sort of Father's Olympics and Q&A contest. I'm proud to say that Christian was the winner!

Story time with the kiddos- Dave was telling them the story of David and Goliath.

And guess who Goliath was???

On the bike ride from Vail to Breckenridge.

Oliver got to ride with his cousin, Jonah, and they dozed off together.

Thus starts the Bell Vacation (I've been instructed to call it such, as it was not a full-blown reunion). After a few days to relax in Farmington with the fam, including an obligatory trip to Cafe Rio, we headed up to Wolf Creek (That's up the Ogden Canyon and for those of you that have never been, it's probably one of the most beautiful places west of the Mississippi.). We rented condos up there and Christian and I got the privilege of bunking with two of my favorite people, Greg and JoLynn (Christian's parents). As soon as dinner was over, we headed straight to the pool where Christian showed off some of his amazing high-jump tricks for the kids. We ended each night at Wolf Creek with the traditional stay-up-as-late-as-humanly-possible Bell family discussions. The next day, we headed out to Pineview Dam for the much, much-anticipated boat/lake/wakeboard/ski/tubing day. And yes, even with 29 people, we all got a chance to do all that. It was seriously one of the funnest days I've had in a long time (and that's a big deal since there was sand and a baby involved). Oliver loved the boat, though, and he LOVED playing with JoLynn in the sand (Thanks for taking that duty off my hands, JoLynn!). We headed back to Farmington the next day, but not without a stop at a local park to play a mean game of soccer. The rest of the weekend was filled with chatting, chatting, and more chatting with each other. Oh, and we took some family pictures.

The uncles took all the kids to the Farmington River one afternoon.

JoLynn taking kid duty in the sand- thank goodness!




"5 little monkeys jumping on the bed..."

You just know these three are up to no good.

JoLynn, taking over kid duty again.

Not the greatest pic, but you get the idea.

JoLynn gave Oliver this hat and he wouldn't take it off for the entire day. He even slept with it.

Now- do I get an award for the longest post EVER????


Andrea W. said...

Woo hoo, great post Rebecca! I'm super impressed with the organization and just plain fun and activities on your family reunion. Uh, I think you need to be in charge of the next Bell family one.

Claire and Steve said...

It looks like you guys had a great time, and you totally get an award for your post.

Braden and Meredith said...

Awesome Reba. That was a very good long post.

Eliza said...

wow that was a great post but not boring at all. That was fun to see what your family did. I just can't get enough of the pictures of oliver, he is just so irresistibly cute. You really are such a good writer by the way, very entertaining without being too over the top and tell every secret you have like me, but not boring or unrealistic, anyway, just right is what I'm trying to say. I agree with ange, you definitely need to integrate your family's organization with ours we could use it.

Greg said...

REBAAAAAAA!!!!!! What a post. A post to make a grandparent drool. So much color about the Jewkes...in whose reunion we take as much interest almost as our own...and about our little vacation. You touched on so many nice activities and features. It sounds like Breckenridge was a blast.

And we did have fun at Wolf Creek. It is a remarkably beautiful place, isn't it? We packed so much in. I'm so glad you and Christian made all the effort and juggled the conflict...sorry about that. We'll try to get that worked out in future times. I'm also glad that you and Christian are speaking after the soccer match...I mean you were speaking during it, but I'm glad that you are saying different things.

Oliver is certainly one of the cutest people on wheels. I love that kid. But his parents are the greatest, so what did I expect. I love his Y hat. Perfect!

Thanks for all the great pictures. I can't get enough. Love, Greg

The Allred Family said...

That was sooo long. But worth it. Christian- my favorite part of you at the reunion was you playing Goliath and you going down a very rapid river in the deflated wal-mart raft. I really felt sympathetic with you when we went rafting and I felt how freezing cold that water was. I have a new respect for you! :)

Rachel said...

Fun to read this....Oliver looks so cute in that hat. Sounds like you had fun with Christian's family

kateworthi said...

I definitely think you should get an award. What great pics. Seriously, I would LOVE to hear the story of the mini plays with Claire playing Jessica and Julie being dave. That was pure hilarity. You guys seriously have the most fun fmaily EVER! No wonder I'm always trying to be a part of it... :) ha ha. You look great in the pics too btw!