Okay, so a couple years ago, I had just had another miscarriage and the opportunity came up to go to Arizona to visit my sister with my parents. It was the same weekend as Jon's family reunion (which happens every other year), but decided that the trip to AZ was something I just needed to do. So, I took Hailey with me and Jon took the rest of the kids to the Baxter Family Reunion.
I specifically gave him 2 directions....
First, please keep all the children alive.
Second, do not come home in charge of the next reunion
Well, one out of two isn't bad :)
Sure enough, he came home in charge of the 2016 reunion, along with his cousins Rick & Ryan and their wives. This reunion is usually about 150 people or so, but it's always in Union, OR and we have a lot of fun.
We started planning the reunion several months beforehand, so we had plenty of time to get it all organized. It was really fun to work with Rick & ReNae and Ryan & Karen. Dividing it that many ways made it not difficult at all.
We decided that the theme would be about building. Jon's grandpa & uncles are incredible builders and have talent ranging from woodwork, to furniture, to buildings, etc.
I spent hours and hours gathering addresses, phone numbers and e-mails to put together a family directory. There are still holes in it, but for the most part it turned out great.
We decided to stay at a vacation rental in Union. Jon's mom has a ton of grandchildren and great-grandchildren and her house isn't big enough for all of us to stay there. It ended up being great because we could have quiet down-time and we stayed right off Main Street, so the kids go to experience walking up and down on Main Street and seeing the cute little shops. Emily and Lindsey didn't make the trip with us because they had just made the high school soccer team.
We drove up on Thursday morning and had a nice afternoon and evening visiting with Diane and Beth and her family. On Friday during the day, we went to the Union County fair.
That's Hailey's little face on the Charlie Brown body
We started the official reunion with a dinner at Don & Joyce's. They have a large front yard and were so kind to let us all set up tables & chairs and eat there. Jon and Rick smoked some pork and we had delicious sides with it.
After dinner, we had Chrisanne & Don talk about building families and their memories of their parents and the legacy they created.
Diane, Kendall & Jerry (the other 3 surviving siblings) (Their oldest brother Bryce passed away many years ago and their adopted sister Jacque wasn't able to come)
After that, we had decided to let people make wooden boxes. Jon remembers making one with his grandpa years ago and he still has it. We took orders and Uncle Jerry (bless him) cut them all out. What a ton of work for him! It was so fun to see everyone helping each other and the kids getting to make them.
The next morning, those that wanted to, participated in the Catherine Creek Classic race. They do a 1-mile, 5K & half-marathon. Jon ran the 1/2 and the other kids did the 1-mile. Races are always a lot of fun!
At 1:00, we met at the State Park. Everyone was told to bring their own lunch and then we had a boat-building competition. Each family was given a bag of scrap wood and odds & ends and a drill and had to make a boat. They were all really clever!
After the boats were shown off, they were floated down the river and the kids could try to bomb them with rocks.
After all the races, we made our way to Uncle Jerry & Aunt Janice's mineral springs pool to swim. The kids had a great time and Ryan & Karen put on a delicious meal. We had Jerry, Diane & Kendall talk about their memories.
We are so blessed to have such a great family and a legacy of hard work, kindness, love, the gospel and service.