Monday, June 12, 2017

Anderson Family Reunion 2017

For the last 30 years my grandfather, Papa Carrel, and his sisters have gathered their families at Petit Jean State Park in the Arkansas Ozarks. We met every other year in early June and some of my most treasured childhood, teenage, college, young married memories are from the reunion. Ryan went for the first time in 2003 when we were dating. It was right us his allie as we go hiking and my Uncle Rob took him rock climbing (the kind where you don't use any equipment because Rob is a retired Green Beret and safety equipment would be considered sissy). He didn't get to go this year, but I took Caroline and Duncan.

For me, personally, it was really a full circle moment driving up with my TWO babes. At the last reunion I carried my fertility HcG shot in a cooler on the plane, and my aunt injected it for me. We said a little prayer for peace and acceptance of God's plan, and I knew it was our last month of "trying." We'd decided that we'd exhausted all medical options (outside of IVF which was too expensive), and that if by July 1 we weren't expecting, we'd let go and move on. Little did I know that within three months we'd be the proud parents to Caroline and also expecting a baby! What?!?

So, enough sappy talk, here's the good stuff...the photos...

Aunt Betty, aka Mama B to her crew, is one of Duncan's biggest prayer warriors and she and Uncle Ronald sent both Caroline and Duncan their first Bibles. Engraved with their names, of course. This was a sad reunion in some ways as the middle child of the original three, Aunt Joan, passed away shortly after the last reunion rather suddenly. At our last reunion there were six members of "Gen 1" and this year only three were able to travel. BUT Aunt Betty pointed out that there were seven babies born in the last two years and five of them came to the reunion. The newest two - Anderson and Izzy - were too little for travel.

Friday afternoon was pool time, supper in the Lodge and then game night in the Arkansas Room. 

Aunt Bonnye, Duncan, Uncle Rob, and Caroline


Saturday morning it was time for the hike to Cedar Falls. This may be the most popular part of the reunion and is definitely my favorite! Duncan stayed behind to nap in Mama Jean's cabin, but Caroline and I *very slowly* followed everybody else. We made it and I carried her in the Ergo for the last half of the hike. 



Dad and me in front of the falls. I love how Jennifer and Rob are photobombing our picture here.

Skipping rocks was Caroline's favorite part...or just playing with the rocks on the water's edge. 

Uncle Rob offered to carry her out - I think he's getting ready for baby Anderson next reunion - and Caroline did not want to go with him. She wanted Mama! He joked that this was not part of the torture training he'd undergone in the Marines, but maybe would be a good tactic. Strap a screaming toddler to your back and hike for two miles in the mountains. He was awesome and sang "Jesus Loves Me" the whole time to her. She calmed down when he switched to "Baa Baa Black Sheep" - still her favorite song!

Hunter has recently gotten his doctorate in history and Coleman his master's. So proud of the these cousins. They've always been my fav of the West Texas cousins. They were such bad little boys (as their mother likes to remind to them) but so much fun. 

PC with great-grand #12

My mom, aka Siggi, and Elizabeth Magee. EM had so much fun, is so into anything arts and crafts and takes every word literally. On the hike, someone told her she was climbing the rocks like a billy goat. She responded, "But I am not a goat." She got her first (much anticipated!) loose tooth and Thomas teased her all weekend that he'd pull it for the talent show on Saturday night (yes, you read that right, we have a family talent show). I haven't participated since quitting piano lessons in middle school. 

Thomas brought his drone and the guys were fascinated. 

Aunt Betty always kicks off the talent show with a prank on Papa Carrel. This year it was a reading of the "diary" entry she stole out of Mama Jean's bedroom...the punch line being MJ spent all day wondering why Carrel was so put out with her. And then his journal entry for the day was "it was a two foot putt and I missed it." In his late 80s and PC still plays 18 holes of golf all summer long. 

Aunt Joan's daughters brought some of the sock puppets that Joan made in the 60s and did a song and dance to them. Caroline loved this - she woke up a few hours after going to bed and so I brought her out to see this.

And Barry serenaded us all with song. 

Coleman and D on Sunday morning. We are the early birds of the family and enjoyed an early morning chat in the CCC room. 

My mom with her siblings and parents. 

Sunday morning we gather for a devotional and take communion as a family before heading out. This year, Uncle Rob spoke on Habakkuk. I've been trying to memorize Habakkuk 3:17-19.

Though the fig tree should not blossom,
And there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail,
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold,
And there by no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exault in the Lord,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength.
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places."


The Anderson crew still around after the devotional. 

The Bailey crew. Little Claire is the first great-granddaughter for Aunt Betty. And after 10 grandsons I'm sure is going to be spoiled!


 Camille is so cute...and her head is just asking to be rubbed:-)

Already looking forward to 2019! Anderson, Rigny, Bailey peeps....send me your favorite ads and I'll add to the post! Here's links to past reunions since I started this blog if you're interested!

2011; 2013 (my mom accidentally scheduled our family beach trip during the reunion...we went to Fort Morgan2015

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