Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Wild Crazy Wacky Family Reunion

Let's face it, with 60 plus people in attendance, how could it be anything but?  This past weekend was the occasion of my mother in law's second family reunion (which seems to be happening about every 3 years).  And interestingly enough, only 6 people were missing (the boy, on a college tour of Madison, then off to the OshKosh Air Show was one of the six).

The reunion began Friday afternoon with about 20 people playing "best ball" or "scramble" golf (depend on who you talk to).  Surprisingly it took about 4 hours to play 9 holes...but then again, considering the source, maybe NOT so surprising.  Dinner was provided by the party host (lest you think they got all the work, each family provided a meal so the burden didn't fall to just one family).

Saturday began with the husband helping his brother launch his boat amid a torrential downpour along with hail.  There might still be dent marks in their two heads...I'm not sure.  It cleared up nicely (steamy, as would be expected) but the lake we were on, Mill Lacs, is a huge lake and when a breeze happens, you get big chop.  Glad I wasn't on the boat for the ride from the launch to the house.  Yes, self preservation is a good thing.

My sister-in-law provided games for the kids and she did a PHENOMENAL job.  She divided all the kids from age 2-26 into 4 teams of 5-6, assigning them each a color (and provided matching bandanas):

The activities ranged from the expected...like wheelbarrow races:
And ball hop, where my niece excelled:

To the water balloon behind the back.  Let's just say there were a lot of wet backs:
The teams then divided up and half shot Polish horseshoes:
And the other half...hold onto your hats...went on a crawfish hunt.  Remember that because they will continue to play a role in the day's activities:
Then they switched.  After crawfish were accumulated, it was time for the cookie slide.  I could explain it, but it's so much easier to show you.  Cookie on forehead:
Work cookie, without touching with hands down to mouth:

And the winner is:
 Would you look at that technique?

So...remember those crawfish from above?  Yeah, well, it doesn't do for them to languish about, so what better way to put them to use then to race them?  First up, each team had their own circle from which their chosen crawfish had to make its way out from the center.  COMPLETELY out:
Then there was the "group" race...all in one circle:
And of course, there is always at least one...the angry crawfish:
You would think that after this much activity, they'd be ready for naps (I was).  But NOOOO...out to the lake they went for the swimming competition.  Beanie took second in the freestyle, but won with her backstroke:

That pretty much concluded the children's games for the day (night games to come).  The adults had a Polish horseshoe tournament.  Then it was time for dinner (Spaghetti, provided by "our" family).  You ever tried to cook spaghetti noodles for 60?  Yeah, well, it ain't pretty.  About this time, the lake started to get a little windier and the husband helped his brother take his boat back.  And they picked a good time because shortly after they left, the lightening started.  HUGE lightening storm.  As we watched the storm cross the lake with us in its direct path, the power went out.  Luckily, we had fed almost everyone...but the husband pushed his luck and the electricity went out as we were making the last batch of pasta.  Note...noodles soaked in hot water do NOT cook.  They just become paste.  Thought you should know.  So, the rain hit but was quickly gone, although the wind stayed, making the "seas angry":
But as Katy says..."after the hurricane, comes the rainbow":
The party moved to the garage to avoid the wind.  The brother in law corralled the children, all 15 of them, into a rousing game of Spoons:
The sneaky ones excelled (of course, look to see who has the spoon already.  Yes, I'm SO proud that my children excel at sneaky):
While in Highlander the saying goes..."there can be only one", the girls refused to have a loser:
So, we removed the children (but they keep finding a way back) from the garage and the cousins played "Up Jingle".  Technically, a drinking game, but then I believe all games played over the age of 21 can be made into a drinking game.  The game is fairly simple.  Two teams line both sides of the table.  With hands under the table one team passes a quarter back and forth, under the table, out of the sight of the other team until the opposing team says "up jingle" at which point the team with the quarter all fist their hands and put their elbows on the table:
On the count of three, they then slam their hands down on the table, concealing the quarter under their hand:
The goal is for the opposing team to guess where the quarter is in 3 guesses.  Now IF this were a drinking game, one would drink: if you guessed wrong, if your team didn't guess in 3 guesses the whole team drinks, or if the team does guess, the team with the quarter drinks.  But this wasn't.

Although a funny aside.  My middle daughter came into the game not knowing what was going on.  She saw this:
Then the team with the quarters happened to slam their hands down hard enough to knock over the green cup which spilled all over the table.  Her question to me was..."Is whomever gets spilled on the loser?"  Well, yes, but that's not the game.

The next day Father served mass in the yard, we had a FABULOUS lunch of tacos, walking tacos, soft tacos, nachos.  The boat had been brought back and the "seas" were calm enough for some wake boarding:
After that, families slowly departed.  We switched children with my sister in law, so I now have two boys in addition to Beanie.  I'm finding I sorta like it.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.  Kudos to Bob and Jean for making it so.  Brava to Nikki for her well planned children's games.  And thanks to everyone else for making the weekend something special, something we are all are sure to remember.

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