Monday, October 18, 2010

Reunion Rewind

In July we had our Cole family reunion.  People came from San Diego, Connecticut, Arizona, and Utah to converge at Lauren's house who lives in Sandpoint, ID.  Her family has a beautiful home and property in the woods.  She graciously hosted a huge group of people--at the peak we had 28 people there!  Lauren and Chad did so much work to prepare for our arrival and her children kindly deserted their rooms so we'd all have beds to sleep in.  We missed Megan who couldn't come and David, Katty, and David Joseph who were in Pennsylvania working for the summer. We had a whole lot of fun and packed in some great activities in the days that we spent together.

On our first night together we had a little pow-wow to lay down the ground rules.  Most things were pretty self-explanatory--things like reminders to be courteous, go to bed at a decent hour, help pick up after ourselves, etc. but I loved Lauren telling the boys they could pee outside in the forest to alleviate traffic in the bathrooms. I don't think Coleman knew what to make of that!

We went outside for a fun camp-fire. Here is Sophia with my Daddy-O.

Olivia with a bit o marshmallow in her mouth.

 Brady, Coleman and Evan had fun toasting marshmallows too.

We went to Ross Creek Cedar Grove in the Kootenai National Forest in a big caravan. Of course we had to make a bathroom stop... I think we overwhelmed the poor workers in this small gas station store.  I am sure we went through at least one roll of toilet paper.

Here is the group before we entered the forest.

Tayden (to the left of the tree) and Coleman, Evan, and Jonah inside one of the huge trees.

Emma and Liv-Liv in between some fallen tree trunks.

Lindsey & Jaxton and me & Sophia.

Sophia wasn't very happy--she wanted nothing to do with her sling or stroller.  Poor girl.

Coleman and Liv in between several trees.

Emma and Olivia are only one month apart in age! They had a great time together.

Evan, Olivia, and Coleman on some decomposing cedar wood.

My dad with me and Soph.

Sweet Liv.

Next we drove to Kootenai Falls.

There was a short hike to the falls. It was beautiful!

Ryan and the kiddos.

Do you recognize this at all? The movie "The River Wild" was filmed here. Lauren totally called it.

The Harper Family!

Coleman and Grandpa Cole

Lisa and Heather (who incidentally is the favorite aunt!)

Some of us took the path the other direction to go to the Swinging Bridge.  Above--Olivia, Emma, Evan, Coleman, and Tayden; below Olivia and Emma dared to go out on the swinging bridge (it was so wobbly!).

I even walked out onto it... dropped my camera... and panicked... luckily there was fencing that kept it from falling down to the river, but it's still broken and I have to hold the battery cover for it to work.

The view from the bridge was beautiful!

Sophia got happy! Hooray! Love that smile.

We spent an afternoon at the lake.
Lindsey & Jaxton, Heather, Lisa & Sophia

My dad was the instigator in this water fight.

The kids loved it! (Evan is shown here)

Claire thought it was really fun to pour water on me and Sophia.

Lauren's friend kindly took us all boating (in shifts). Above, Emma, Olivia, and Coleman had some fun tubing.

This photo is of Ryan--surfing! He had a regular surf-board, no foot holds or anything and you popped up with the rope, then surfed the wake.  Ry was a pro.

Coleman likes to make funny faces for the camera.

Even though we were there in July, Lauren wanted to have an egg hunt.  The kids were all over that!

There were a whole lot of eggs for all of the kids!

Here are all the kids lined up and ready to go.

Olivia found a bunch!

 Coleman looks like he thinks he needs some more?

Here are Ashley and Samuel... Matt thought it would be funny to put random household items in the eggs.  His son was thrilled beyond belief with the measuring tape he found in an egg.

These were all of the siblings... we almost got in birth order too... Left to right: Lauren, Lisa, Heather, Erin, Lindsey, and Matt is kneeling.  We missed you David and Megan!

My dad thought it would be funny for the adults to hunt too... so he put some money in a few eggs and had Nathan hide them.  The trick was... all of us had to be tied to our significant other at the leg.  We laughed a lot and Ryan and I were pretty efficient... but it came down to digging in some pretty gross stuff to get the eggs.  No, we aren't bitter at all.

Necessary self portrait.... (Lindsey in the background)...

After we didn't find anything while strapped together we all ditched the ties on our legs and it was every man for himself. It should be noted that our camera-man who was in charge of filming the glorious event forgot to push record. I guess it wasn't that glorious anyway :).

After the egg hunt the cousins were all about loving each other.
This is Grace with Sophia...

... Brady with Jonah...

...and Lindsey, Heather, and Olivia.

Orchestrating meals was an event... thankfully everyone pitched in and made it happen (although we generally didn't eat dinner until at least 8 pm... oh well!).

On the last morning that we all were together we decided to do a family portrait.  The final pictures are at the end of this post, but there were a few candid shots that were funny.

Tayden, Eli, Coleman, and Sophia


Poor Sophia can't see.  It's hard to be beautiful, no?

Sophia's maiden voyage in the Bumbo!

There is no shortage of wildlife at Lauren's house.

The kids found a frog...

...and Matt found a bigger frog. Unfortunately, one or more of these frogs had an extended "sleep" after all the handling.

Sophia spent a little bit of time in the swing... Tayden was great to entertain her and make her smile.

Game Night
We should have made the time to play more games together... it was fun! Ticket To Ride is one of our favorites.

The kids had fun (and made a lot of noise) with Rock Band.

Coleman at the drum set.

Liv likes to do vocals.

One of the funny (in hindsight?) things about this trip is that Ryan left his laptop (aka his life) at the Noffz house in Oregon. They were so kind to ship it to us, and when it arrived we left the shipping materials outside.  There was a big wind-gust that spread Styrofoam bits far and wide.
Thanks goodness for all the helping hands!

Grace loved Sophia too... she kept saying, "Baby! Phia! Baby!" Lauren says she is still saying it when she sees a red van or a baby!

On our last day we wandered into downtown Sandpoint for the Boat Show.
The kids painted and glued together some boats, which unfortunately didn't float...

...but they sure looked cool!

We can't forget to include this photo of the dead mosquito on Ry's back.  The mosquitoes were horrible... but all in all we had a wonderful time visiting with all of our family members! Thanks especially to Lauren and her family who made it all possible.

The Cole Family (we are missing Megan and David, Katty, and their David Joseph)

Grandpa with the cute kids.  This wasn't the best photo of all of the kids, but I love my how my dad is looking down at the kids and smiling!

Ryan drove with Olivia and Coleman and I flew home from Spokane... the trip to the airport deserves a post of it's own... so that is coming.  Why is it that we always have some kind of drama on family trips, particularly where airplanes are involved?!?


Kristi said...

Wow! What a fun time with a great family. How fun! Glad you had a great time.

Kelly Lund and Kids said...

What great memories! I love this post... Great pictures!! I love this family :)

Janene said...

Looks like so much fun. You look good!

Jenny said...

I absolutely LOVED looking through these pictures! How awesome that so many of you were able to go!

Valerie said...

I'm sure you don't remember me--just a random person that came across your blog a while ago and commented few times. I was going through my old links and came to your blog again. This place looks SO beautiful. I went to Coeur D'Alene for a short vacation once and that area of Idaho is so gorgeous. It looks like you and your family had so much fun.