This year, my mom and I started talking about doing a Gunnell reunion at our family's ranch over the 4th. We then stopped talking about it because my life got crazy.
Turns out she picked up on talking about it with my aunt Sally and lo and behold--THEY GOT IT TO HAPPEN. You guys have no idea how awesome it was to have most of my cousins and their kids there at the ranch at the same time. Its been longer than I can remember since my cousins and I were all up there at once, and now to share it with our kids...that is so cool.
We missed my cousin Glen and his 4 kids in Oklahoma, my cousin's wife Jennifer and their 4 children who were visiting family in Vermont, my cousin Matt and his 3 kids, my cousin Garrett and his 2 boys (who are all in North Carolina), and my cousin Richie and his wife who are in Indiana.
But everyone else was there.
(these are the great grandkids who were there)
It was an interesting trip up. Jace had to work, so Nash and I carpooled with mom, dad, randy, and joe. I get motion sickness now since having a baby so I have to sit in front. Nash's carseat takes up another bucket seat; so my mom and joe were stuck in the back of the van. I brought a giant frame to take pictures with for the reunion and...well...it was giant. There was LOADS of holiday traffic, AND Nash got car sick less than 30 minutes away from the cabin causing us to stop for 25 minutes so I could clean it up. EVENTFUL.
But the weather was beautiful.
My aunt Sally and her family did a wonderfully fun obstacle course and had the great grandkids broken down into age groups. There was a fish pond, donut eating contest, bottle throw, dart game, and pinatas!! It was a blast.
Then we ate lunch all together and after that my aunt Joyce and her family set up a bunch of minute to win it games...and it was awesome. I was busy putting Nash down for a nap and I missed a bit, but I got some great shots on my camera.
Human Ring toss was intense!
Squirt gun race
**I missed the ping pong ball in the kleenex box booty shake**
We then ate dinner together--cooked up by uncles gevan and gary and it was just great.
We had a family counsel where my uncle gary talked about my great grandpa who bought the land for the ranch, my aunt sally talked about my great grannie, my mom talked about my grandpa, and my aunt Joyce talked about my grandma. The kids then were entertained by the oldest great grandchildren with crafts while the adults had a family meeting. It was special.
The kids played with sparklers--Nash's first time. He kept trying to grab it, but thought it was the best thing ever.
We even had shirts made up this year with our theme of "Gunnells Connect at the Ranch". They look awesome and that is so special to have. My cousin Natalie took the reigns on that one.
On the 4th of July, we had our family flag raising. We use my great uncle Alfred's flag that his family was given at his funeral. He died during the war. We sang our family song, Forever and Ever. Then our family did a little parade with the kids of driving around our ranch. They are in trailers and rangers and 4 wheelers and dressed patriotically with music going. Its pretty fun.
Then we got to enjoy being up there for a few days after that.
Nash explored so much. He loved "building sandy-castles", swinging with jane and sammi, and chasing my cousins doggie around.
(we went on a bumpy ranger ride before we left. Nash had refused to take a nap earlier and halfway on our ride I look over, and he had nestled into my side and fallen dead asleep!)
The ranch is one of my very favorite places in the world. It has always been such a safe place to me. A second home. We are so blessed to have it, and hopefully my children will view it the same way as I do.