Friday, July 4, 2014

Arave Reunion: 4th of July.

 Happy Independence Day!
Truman is ready to rock 'n' roll.

We are having a 'family history' themed reunion this year so we decided to hold the reunion in Idaho where there are a lot of significant sites that relate to our family.
We all met this morning at my grandparents homestead for a large family photo.  After everyone recovered from the photo-op we pulled out the festive decorations and accessories and got ready for our family history tour.  I had window paint for everyone's car windows.  
We painted this firework and "A" in the back of everyone's car window - we were quite the caravan of cars!
Tiffany's kids had festive pins and bracelets for all the kids - they were a hit.
My aunt Christine and cousin Michelle compiled these AMAZING family reunion books that had a schedule for the weekend along with family tree's, coloring pages for the kids {with stickers} and maps of where we were going.  They also gave all the kids colored pencils and pencil sharpeners to go with their book.
The kids got to put a gold star on each of the destinations we visited.

There were stickers to match the families names.

 Coloring pages for the kid with facts about their ancestors.
A stop for our picnic lunch.
Addie and Quinn.

 Linz with her awesome new bangs!
We had my grandpa lead us on a tour of the cemeteries where some of our assessors are buried.  It might sound a bit random, but it was actually real cool and there was such a neat spirit at the cemeteries as we paid tribute and honor to those who made it possible for us to be a family today.
 This is where the man who started it all, Nelson Arave is buried.  His farther drowned when he was a child and a foster family took him - they later joined the church.  Nelson only knew is name but not how to spell it so he made it up.

I wish I would have gotten a picture of our little Nelson here - this is who he is named after.
My aunt Christine gave everyone a flower to place on any grave they felt inspired to - it was a really neat idea and so thoughtful of her and it helped the kids get into the spirit of the reunion.
 My uncle Joel's mom and sister happen to also be buried at this cemetery.  My aunt gave him extra flowers to place on his mother and sister's graves.
 This is little Alaura who is named after her grandmother
{she was not to happy about having to take this picture}
Our car caravan and Lauren snapping pictures
{her blog post about the reunion can be found HERE}
 This is Nelson Aarve's home.
 Anthony and Ira.
Next we stopped by the Taylor cemetery.
 The family history books were such a huge hit with every age group.  Here Grandpa Quinn is reading to Enoch, Eliot and Truman about the graves they are visiting.
April and McKenzie working on the family history tree.
 Truman adding another stickers to his book.
Dallin and Crew.
 Me and Truman.
{I don't remember who grabbed my camera and took this photo but THANK YOU!}
 Second cousins Liberty & Kennedi Thun and Jean & Anna Hopkinson
 Truman and Gregg.
 Having fun Aaron?!
Bodie and Enoch.
 Quinn, Lauren and Emma
There was alot of sitting around and talking and playing and catching up since the last reunion two years ago.  It was such a fun day with really a neat spirit about it.
Crew and Ira.
 This is my great grandpa and grandma Arave's grave.  I still remember the prayer that was said at my great grandpa's funeral - I was just about to turn 5.  And my great grandma Arave died while I was on my mission.  I remember getting to the visitor center that day and one of the sister missionaries telling me that my sister had called to say my grandma had passed away.  My companion {Sister Breinholt} and I watched "Together Forever" and cried!
 On the back of their grave are all the names of their children.  My grandpa is Alvin.
Jean holding Tagg.

After we were done with our family history tour most of us rushed to Sonic for 'happy hour' drinks.  It was hot and we needed to cool off.
We met back at my grandparents house where the kids road their bikes with swim suits on through the water while the adults prepared dinner.
 Jean, Libby and Kennedi.
 Fresh cherries that my aunt and uncle from Washington brought for everyone {coolers full of them!}
Festive straws we made.
 I don't know who made this cake but it was awesome!
 My kids clothes out to dry.
 My uncle Joel set up this PVC pipe sprinkler and the kids had a blast for hours in it.
 It was little boy bike/water testosterone heaven!
Bodie and Eliot
 Taking a little water break for some food.
 Then back to the water.
 My kids beg and beg to do fireworks all year - but when it comes right down to it they hate the noise.  Truman got on the noise canceling headphones and headed straight for the car.
In all reality they are huge party poopers when it comes to fireworks.
 Everyone getting ready for the show.
 Tiffany's safety line "do not cross this line"
 Enoch put on a good show for us!
 Abe and Dallin on quality control when some fireworks landed in the neighbors yard ...
 We decided to head back to our hotel before the Idaho Falls City fireworks started.  They happened to be set off at the hotel next to us so we were a little worried about traffic.
 Earphones on and in the car!
Dad, Anthony, Sharon, Ira and Nate.
The fireworks were really good, I promise!