Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ohio Trip & Family Reunion: Part 1

As we do every 3 years, my family took a 12 hour drive up to Ohio for a family reunion. Both of my parents are from Ohio so we have a lot of family still living up there. My brothers and sisters and I aren't strangers to the long road trip, but this was Reaghan's first time putting up with the drive and I was a little nervous about how she would do! (We did drive 8 hours from Atlanta, GA to home back in June but that drive started out at 3am, so Reaghan slept the whole time! I knew it wasn't going to be that way this time.)

To help us out a little, as well as give my parents a little more room in their vehicle, Noah rode with us. He and I would take turns riding in the back so there was someone to play with Reaghan and someone to keep Mark company while he drove - long road trips are not his favorite ; )

Reaghan did awesome. Sure, she had a few fussy times, usually right before she would fall back asleep or when we would put her back in her seat after a stop, but over all she was happy to sit and play and eat snacks. : )

My mom's family are the ones who put on the Reunion Friday-Sunday. It was started for my Grandma Eileen's mom and all her children and descendants. My grandma is seated on the right of the bottom row with her remaining, living, brothers and sisters.

There is always a memorial table set up with pictures of those that have passed on.

Though our reunion used to be held at girl scout camp that was hidden away with woods, trails, tree swings and a bon fire circle, the last 2 reunions are now held at place called Vandemark Farms because the Girl Scout camp was torn down and made part of the city park. My mom and sisters did take a nice walk through the old camp this time and relived lots of fun memories. 

(My sisters name carved into the wooden swing along with our cousins)

Every reunion, a new tshirt is designed and this year it "John Deere" themed!

 (Getting ready to head to the reunion - the boys were on the golf outing!)

This was Reaghan's first time meeting many of her aunts, uncles, second cousins, and great aunts and uncles, and we had a lot of fun with all of the introductions!

Vandemark farms has a nice big building, a putt putt course, a little room for volleyball games, corn hole and Kan Jam, and some farm animals to pet and smell. :) 

This year we played a Newlywed game - couples married under 5 years got to participate so Mark and I and Erin and Adam were part of that group! It was fun, Mark and I came in 2nd - lost by only 1 point!

A tshirt blanket was made from all the previous reunion tshirts :)

Reaghan was huge fan of the blueberry pie :)

Have you heard of Kan Jam? Its a partner, frisbee game sort of like cornhole. You each stand by a "kan", your partner tosses the frisbee and as the partner you try and help the frisbee into the kan. 

Its really a lot of fun!

Until your partners with your husband, and you throw the frisbee right into his face and split his bottom lip wide open! : / 

My bad.

There weren't as many people at this reunion as previous. Now that the grandchildren (my generation) are older, married, and having babies of their own, there are a lot of people at the reunion that we aren't super familiar with. Because of this, and its location, some of my first cousins have a hard time making this reunion a priority. The picture below is of my grandma with 6 of her 7 daughters. We are hoping in the next couple of years to branch off with a reunion of our own, that includes just my Grandma Eileen's descendants. :) Hopefully we can continue the tradition of a family reunion so my kids can grow up knowing their great aunts and uncles as I grew up knowing mine. Knowing your extended family is a gift, something that should be treasured, and I hope to take full advantage of those opportunities.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our Ohio vacation where we got to enjoy quality time with my dads family!

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