The 2012 Stephensons
After Christmas, the remainder of the Stephenson family arrived so we could have our annual Stephenson Reunion. This year we were coming from London, Singapore, Utah, and California. It’s always so fun when we can all be together in one spot!
We have kind of outgrown Chris’s parents’ house . . . and wanted to be away from everyone’s normal lives, so that no one would be tempted to leave to take care of things at work, etc. . . . so we drove 45 minutes north and rented a house in Grass Valley.
It was the perfect size – one room per family and a big bonus room for the grandkids to sleep in. This was our first winter reunion so it was a little different with no pool to swim in or outdoor activities, but it was perfect!
Grandma spent weeks making BYU quilts for all the grandkids. All of their parents and Grandma & Grandpa had met at BYU!
The quilts made the Cousin Slumber Party that much more cozy! Every night the kids would get tucked in and Uncle Joseph would settle in for his nighttime story-telling. He has a way of weaving stories so they all have a great moral in the end.
Cousin Slumber Party
One of the parts of the reunion that I love, is seeing the cousins pick up where they left off, and for the adults to have quality niece/nephew time.
Marianne and Uncle Chris
Uncle Jed & Hannah
Every year we get a shirt to commemorate that reunion year. This year we even had different colors for the boys and girls! Of course, this always comes with the obligatory pictures . . . of all groupings possible.
And the ones who are the glue that stick us all together . . . and are our examples . . .
Chris’s parents had lots of great ideas for the reunion this year. We’ve been having reunions for a long time with many traditional events during them, but one tradition that they started at this reunion was to have a Reunion Tablecloth. This year we decorated it and for future reunions, it will be the tablecloth that is used during that time.
Decorating the Reunion Tablecloth
It will be a great memory of this reunion. It will also be fun for the kids to look back on as they grow and see how their artwork has changed and developed!
The kids had a great time with all the games, movies, and activities that came with the rental house. One of the highlights was the pool table.
Caleb Playing Pool
The siblings and spouses stole away for an afternoon to go to the shooting range, while the grandkids spent time with Grandma & Grandpa.
It was a first for a few of us so we had detailed instructions and were off. Some took to it and others didn’t, but it was fun to experience it.
Haley Showing Heather How It’s Done
The girls finished at the shooting range before the boys so we set off for some shopping/site-seeing in Nevada City. The boys met us there when they were done and we had fun walking around.
Shopping in Nevada City
Other highlights of the reunion –
Watching Uncle Chris at the Popcorn Maker
Bella Enjoying the Popcorn
Each night after the kids were in bed, and Joseph rejoined us after his storytelling, we had an adult fireside. These covered anything from bucket lists, politics, spiritual matters, or preparedness. So much thought is always put into these conversations and discussions beforehand. We usually come away with a book (many times searched out because they are out-of-print) or some other item to help us research and discover things on our own.
The kids spent the duration of the reunion learning new tricks for a competition on New Year’s Eve.
After the kids were in bed on New Year’s Eve, we sat down to our last fireside and broke out the treats – sparkling cider and other sweets!
We weren’t sure we could stay up to ring in the New Year so we decided to toast each time zone as they hit midnight. At one of these cheering sessions, there was a funny noise and with all the extra sugar, it set us off laughing. I admit I laughed the hardest and longest. I think I surprised everyone. It’s a good thing we don’t drink alcohol, sugar is enough for me!
Incriminating Picture – Too Much Sugar!
Before we knew it, the reunion was over and it was time to load into the cars and head home.
Uncle Joseph and His ‘Groupies”
But, thankfully, the reunion kept going. Even at Grandma and Grandpa’s there was plenty to do to hang out as cousins.
We are so thankful for our family and the times that we get to strengthen our relationships! Family reunions are the best!