Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ryan's Birthday Celebration

We celebrated Ryan's birth again with his friends and family last Saturday. Ryan really enjoyed the grilling. In fact, he was pretty much behind the grill all night. But the food was great and the company even better!


So I went on my last work conference to Chicago last week. I did two touristy things while I was there which made the trip somewhat worth it: I went up the Sears Tower and I went to the American Girl Doll Store.
My camera pretty much sucks, but I had to make the attempt.
I so wish I could have gone here 21 years ago. It's like every little girl's dream come true. . . If only I had my Molly doll with me. Although I guess you can see I couldn't resist buying some accessories.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Whiting Reunion at the Homestead

Ryan survived his first Whiting Reunion! He was a great sport and put in time serving breakfast, sitting on the porch, visiting and listening to stories of ancestors, and sleeping in a tent. He took the 1000+ attendance in stride and it was fun to introduce him to the extended family. It was his birthday on Friday, so my wonderful family made a special celebration for him on our arrival to the homestead that night.The Birthday boy enjoying his cupcake.

BJ and Ryan serving breakfast--What troopers!

Little Lily even wanted to wear a dress at the Homestead! (Notice the missing boots.)

HeartLee at a meal (breakfast? lunch?). Look at that gorgeous red hair!

Adle with little sleeper Jonathan. Her arms are much stronger than they look!

The porch crowd (Theron, Ty, Amanda, Briley, Ryan)

Jonathan with his favorite auntie :-)

Aunt Geraldine (who looks younger every time I see her!) with cousin Caroline
After 18 years of marriage, Morgan and Shawna are still in love!
BJ doing some yo-yo tricks. I coached Adle and BJ for hours on their yo-yo routine. . .
Ty's highlight of the reunion was the old-time clothes washing. He didn't need any instructions but went right to work scrubbing, rinsing and scrubbing again. He'd probably still be there cleaning if we didn't have to go home. . .
An attempted old-fashioned portrait of us. We'll work harder on the costumes next time. . .

I promise that they really love each other.
My highlight of the reunion was seeing Uncle Phil and his "Cancer sucks" pin. I loved listening to stories and conversations on the cabin porch. Exactly how reunions are supposed to be. We love you so much Uncle Phil!

It was so fun to have my husband at the reunion with me!
Ty and Lily with another impromptu dance!

BJ and his braces. How did he get in so many photos?! It is still so hard to believe that my little BJer-man is 12 years old!

Hair-braiding train! Surprisingly, they lasted all day!

The picture perfect pioneer family! (Lily hated her hat!) Way to go Smithsons!

View of the Homestead from atop Sierra Trigo

A beautiful sunset on our way down
The Sierra Trigo group! Thanks for driving Bart!
HeartLee and Brooklyn tore themselves away from Breaking Dawn long enough to do some dancing

We had a good time. But for me it was somewhat bittersweet knowing how much my father loved the reunions. He never missed a Whiting Reunion his entire life! I especially missed his ancestral stories and his ability to remember everyone and how they were related. He passed along his love for the Homestead and family and I treasure those things. I'm sure he approved of this well-planned and excuted reunion.