Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spencer Family Reunion, Days 3 & 4

Our last full day of the reunion started off with a bang.  Lynnie colored in the closet while I took a shower, and organized all of her papers, stickers, and crayons just so.

Ellie ate the ultimate breakfast of champions--Doritos and Kettle Corn.

The first thing we did after we all were dressed and presentable was take some pictures for {R}, since today is her 25th birthday.  I got this shirt especially for Cece to wear in the birthday pictures, because {R} is very pretty, inside and out!

 Lynnie tried really hard to make grumpy faces, but she was being too silly to hold them for long!

 I was working my phone (so I could text some pics immediately to {R}) while Greg was working the real camera.  I should have put Greg in the better position, because I got the better pictures on the not-as-nice-camera.  Oh, well.

Then it was off to the family meeting.  We got all 49 of us in the living room of the condo where Greg's parents and Kyle and Jonette were staying.  Greg's mom started us off by talking about genealogy and asking each of us to get her some records.  Then Greg's dad spoke for a while about some things that are important.  He shared the story of when he raced his horse Lady and almost died.  During the race, he dropped the rein and it trailed behind the whole time.  He also talked about how he and mom still worry about their kids, and worry even more about their grandchildren, especially now as the world and the Church are going in differing directions.  One thing he said that has stuck with me is that we need to know that we covenanted and promised to do things in the premortal world, and we need to figure those things out and accomplish them.  Another good piece of counsel was that we should always dress one level above what is expected, so we will always be in good taste.  He also reminded us that we should always be inclusive in our language (e.g., our children, our house, our family -- not my children, my house, my family -- and etc.).  What a privilege to learn from Grandpa and hear his wisdom.

Cute cousins!

Daniel led us in the singing.

Ah, Greg won!

 After the family meeting, Ellie ran downstairs with Jazzy and Emily to play in Jazzy's condo.

We gathered the girls back up when it was time to get some lunch.  We went to a nice Mexican place with Kyle & Jonette and their family, Grandpa, Daniel, Tammy, and Clay.  It was all fun until Lynnie tipped her chair over.  She didn't get hurt--but it really startled her.

After lunch it was beach time!  Ellie was so excited to play in the water.

It was extremely windy, and Lynnie was not very excited about that at all.  Good thing nice Aunt Staci was there to give some loves while I was helping Ellie in the water.

Uncle Kyle quickly took over and was Ellie's best friend.

It was so windy that Greg and Cece hung out in Paul & Staci's van.  They eventually loaded the van up and took a drive down the beach.

I snuggled Lynnie, and she fell asleep under her towel.  I ended up carrying her back to the beach house and left Ellie in Kyle's care.

Even after a shower, the girls were freezing.  We put their coats on and they snuggled up in Ellie's bed.

The day was capped off perfectly by a bonfire on the beach with Scott & Lisette's family.  Lynnie is hilarious.  She did not want to touch the sand with her feet (the whole time we were there), but she loved to touch it with her hands.

Ellie, Kaia, and Zoe

The next morning we woke up and Grandpa took us to the airport. Everything went the way it was supposed to go--flights on time and time enough to eat lunch on our layover in San Francisco.  The girls did great on the flights.  Ellie and Lynnie were so sweet in the SLC airport.  They held hands and were just talking and giggling for the walk through the terminal.

What a wonderful reunion, and a wonderful chance to reconnect with all of the family members.  So fun to travel with the girls!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Spencer Family Reunion, Day 2

Greg and I ended up in the "teenager" house, since all of the biggest cousins stayed there (Daniel, Brayden, Clay, Jace, Cassie, Tylan, Kylene, Kiera, Kaysen, Dallin, and Parker).  At first we were joking that the only adults were Tammy, Kent, Jessica, Greg, and I, until we realized that Brayden (a returned missionary) and Kylene (a senior in college) were also in the house.  That made the ratio better!  It was so fun and a blessing to be with all of the energy.  I couldn't have picked a better group to stay with, and I'm appreciative of Rod & Jayme's decision to put that group together.

For lunch, a bunch of us went to Pismo Beach and got fish and chips from Rod's favorite restaurant.  Ellie had played all morning with Jazzy, Byron, and Kyralyn at Rod & Jayme's house.  Greg went in to get her and the conversation went a little like this:

G:  Ellie, let's go get some lunch.
E: Uh, Dad, I'm already eating lunch [gesturing to the pizza Jayme had made her]
G: But a whole bunch of us are going.  It will be fun.
E:  But Dad, I'm having fun here!

So Ellie stayed to play.

Brayden is so chill.  He quietly saw needs the whole afternoon (the whole trip, really) and filled them.  Andrew is a precocious and active 6 year old boy.  While we were waiting for our lunch to be ready, Andrew was a little antsy.  Brayden swung him up on his shoulders and carried him around for quite a while.  Brayden is well north of 6 feet, and Andrew loved being up that high.

We got our food to go and then walked to the beach to eat it.  Delicious food and a beautiful day.  Lynnie was pouting here, but I don't remember why now.

After the kids had finished eating, Tammy grabbed them and we started walking out on the pier.  Andrew gave Lynnie the idea to scare the birds, and Lynnie thought that was pretty hilarious.  She "roared" at them and pretended to be the tiger Shere Khan from the Jungle Book.

Kent and Jessica lent us their stroller, which saved the day.  Cece loved hanging out and being pushed around.

Lynnie was being Elsa here, and demonstrating all of her powers.

Uncle Rod gives the best piggy-back rides.

Next we walked up to an ice cream shop and had an ice cream cone.  Lynnie and I split a mint chocolate chip cone.

This couple was there with their dog.  In a specially designed dog stroller.

As we were walking back to the vehicles, Lynnie asked Greg and I to swing her.  After a couple of swings, Lynnie said, "how about you swing me back and forf?"  When I told her I didn't think I was strong enough to go back and forth, she said, "well, how about you find someone who is?"

Luckily Uncle Paul was happy to help swing, and Aunt Tanya was happy to create giggles by pretending to pinch Lynnie's bum.

Greg and his dad wanted to window shop for RV's.  Because, really, no vacation is complete without RV shopping.  Right?  Right!  The 5 minute drive was just long enough for the girls to zonk out.  I stayed in the truck with them while the boys happily went to talk features and check things out.

Cecilia never naps very long, and she woke up all smiles.

After RV shopping, we picked Ellie and headed to the beach house for a little quiet time.  Ellie is a great big sister and loves to have Cece play by her.

Lynnie slept through the transfer out of the truck and then for another two hours.  She was still making up for yesterday.

Our room

After naps and getting ready to go again, almost everyone in the family headed to San Luis Obispo to go to the Farmer's Market.

Rod took us there so we could get dinner at his favorite bbq place.  While we were in line, we got poached by a competing company.  They offered a deal off of their pricing, and Greg's mom said, "that sounds great, let's switch!"  When Grandma makes a decision, we all follow.  The food was good (but Rod says his place would have been better!).

After eating we wandered around for an hour or so, looking at the booths and enjoying the live bands.

It was a great second day of the reunion!


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