Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sedona Family Reunion 2012


So, in case you haven’t noticed by now, I really like my family. And every two years, we convene at The Chalet near Sedona, Arizona to spend a week eating a ridiculous amount of food.

Today will highlight some of the fun that we had last month during the family reunion. I won’t post over seven-hundred pictures on here. You’re welcome.


These are my little brothers, Parker and Kip. I can’t believe how tall they are getting and how deep their voices are. They really aren’t any fun any more because of it.

Aren’t they good-looking?!


Lots of time was spent in the hot tub “swimming.”

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And everywhere you turned, there were cute kids looking back.


We played lots of games and puzzles during our stay. Corban was particularly proud of his pig puzzle.

T’liese made her famous Caramel Corn, which was gone within minutes. We demand that she makes this for us every time that we all get together. Triple batch next time, please.


We have our own little private Slick Rock just a short hike from the house. After climbing across the creek, we were on our way to this special place. It’s one of our favorite traditions and something highly-anticipated by all.


Of course, you can’t forget to bring a soda along for the ride.


Hiking to Slick Rock allows us to see all sorts of critters along the way…including this little snake.


Soon we were at our first slide area. This one is fun for kids of all ages because it is a pretty mild slope.


This is my brother-in-law, Brian, with their sweet little girl, Nora. She was pretty fascinated with all of the sliding going on.

Kip is a wonderful uncle who takes great care of all the kids. Here he is sliding down Slick Rock with Evan while my nephew, Corban, watched from above to ensure proper form.


The kids always loved it after the fact, but sometimes some concerned looks were given before. Isn’t this little man adorable? Evan no longer lives just a few miles from my, but now a few states over. It’s already killing me!

Here is Kippy after going down Slick Rock. What a handsome boy! This is my first outing with my new camera, too, and I am just thrilled with the results. I am even more tickled that I got it in time for the reunion this week!


Here is my beautiful sister, T’liese. She, along with her husband, Joe, and son, Evan, moved to Texas last week! We are so happy for their new job, but I am really going to miss having them so close.

But that’s what airplanes are for, right?


This my Utah sister, Charloe, and her hubby, Brian with sweet little Nora. Brian is a drug dealer pharmacist in central Utah, which allows Charloe to stay home with their three cute and exceedingly-intelligent children. I know that she loves it!


Look at this gorgeous blue-eyed baby. And she is such a nice girl…hardly ever cries and is just as social as her older cousins. What a sweetheart Nora is.


These are my beautiful sisters. Charloe is five years older than me, and T’liese is 2.5 years older. My brother is just one year and nine days younger than me. Four kids in six years…can you imagine?!

My Mama is amazing…for many reasons!


After our sliding area had been used sufficiently, we moved on to our shallow pool area in the creek just a little further down. This is perfect for little kids and big kids alike to enjoy. There is lots to do and see in a very secluded Oak Creek Canyon.


There is a reason Evan is so dang cute…his parents are simply gorgeous people. Here is Evan with his daddy, Joe. I’m pretty sure that Evan is saying “cheeeeeeese,” just like he did in every photo I took of him.


This area of the creek is so much fun, and we all enjoyed being in the cool water. It was about eighty-five degrees today up the canyon, so it was wonderful to escape the Phoenix heat.


Kip and Corban enjoyed finding some snails on this rock, which soon found its way back into the water. Corban was pretty excited, as you can see.


I caught him before he could say “cheeeeeeeese.” But he was thinking about it.


This was our playground for the day. Isn’t it breathtaking? I’ve decided to move into The Chalet permanently. I wonder if anyone will notice?


This is Charloe and Brian’s second kid, Brynn. She is such a cutie and was a slugger when it came to posing for a photo. What a pretty girl!


Sweet little Evan was oblivious to the mischievous actions going on behind him. What a smart kid to ignore those trouble makers!


I love this little man. Corban is Charloe and Brian’s oldest kid. He just started second grade, but he could probably teach it because he is so smart! As you can plainly see from this photo!


Not everyone enjoyed the water in swimming suits. Some spectators watched the festivities from a safe dry rock above all of the action. This is Mama, Parker, and my step-dad, Merrill.

If you’ll notice, Merrill is wearing a souvenir that Mama brought back for him just a week before from our heavenly Disneyland trip.


What a good-looking trio! T’liese is expecting their second boy in November, so they will soon be a family of four.


Have you ever heard of photo-bombing? Yeah, me, neither. Until this unfortunate picture was taken. And none of us could stop laughing at the horrific face that T’liese willingly made for us to enjoy forever.


My Hubby missed the first few days of the reunion because his little sister got married. I headed down early Saturday morning to attend the wedding and spend time with his side of the family. We came back up to Sedona together after church on Sunday. I was glad to finally have my man with me.

Now I could really enjoy the reunion!


While sitting on the deck to enjoy the beautiful weather, Nora entertained us all by crawling around and saying hello. Isn’t this girl so beautiful? Her eyes are just stunning.


Kippy and Evan wrestled on the deck while we watched. We still don’t know who officially won.


Since our entire week revolved around eating, here is a shot of what Mama brought for their savory treat. A cheese ball with crackers, and it was yummy!

This is how we do food at our reunions. Each family is assigned a day where they make breakfast and dinner. We found out the hard way that lunch was an unnecessary evil thanks to all of the snacks. In addition to the “real” meals, each family also provides one sweet snack and one salty snack.

We have this down to an art form now. It works perfectly for us!

Sedona Calendar of Events

In fact, here is our Schedule of Events for the week. I was in charge of organizing the reunion this year, so you know that I made a schedule. This shows the food assignments, too.


One of the best things about our family reunion is that there is always something fun going on. Merrill enjoyed some crossword puzzles…something he rarely gets to do at home while working full-time and running a full-time cow ranch!

This guy has been so busy this past year, so I was very happy when he got some down time in Sedona.


While Merrill worked on his crossword puzzles, some of the other guys played a rousing game of bocce ball. This is a family favorite and is played constantly while up Oak Creek Canyon.

Soon it was time for dessert, and Parker provided wonderful lime and lemon cheesecakes for the evening. He even printed recipe cards for everyone to make them at home. I am glad he did, since these were delicious!


None of us could make up ours minds at to which flavor to choose. So we made it easy and just did a small slice of both!

On Monday, it was time for the Annual Family Olympics. Parker was the emcee and helped to keep score. This prevents cheating, folks.


Everyone came out for the games. It was a great year for Olympic events, especially with the real Olympics going on in London at the same time! I am glad that we didn’t spend much time watching them. I would much rather visit with family than watch television.


Our Olympics were done by each family creating an event. Merrill and Mama hosted the Tommy Hawk Throwing Event, and Corban is showing us proper form in this photo.


For some unknown reason, Merrill won. Is this suspicious to anyone else that he won his own event?!

Charloe and Nora didn’t seem to mind that the Olympics were apparently rigged.


Kip climbed the tree to get the ball down from our next event, Distance Rolling by Parker.


The goal was to get the two balls as close to the bucket as possible without touching. I don’t think a dirtier bucket could have been found anywhere.

Maybe that’s why I lost? I didn’t want to get anywhere near that thing!


Evan is showcasing his excellent Distance Rolling skills with his daddy’s assistance.


Here are my wonderful parents. I sure do love them.


Nora really enjoyed the Olympics today, even if she didn’t get to participate! If there was an event for Cuteness, she would have definitely won.


Hubby and I hosted the BB Gun Target Shoot, which was a hit with all of the members of the family possessing testosterone. Sorry, ladies. It won’t happen again.


Grandpa got to help Brynn with her sharpshooting skills.


And Mom was pretty excited that she hit the target. Small goals here, people. Small goals.

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And, in a completely unexpected turn of events, Merrill also won the BB Gun Target Shoot! You would think that he’s done things like this all of his life?

The next event was jumping rope, which was fun for some and torturous for others. I won’t share which category I fell into.


But this is one of my favorite pictures from the entire week. Who knew that Brian could be so light on his toes?

Charloe and Brian hosted Simon Says, but I didn’t get any pictures because I was too busy losing.


Needless to say, Joe was pretty excited about the whole Family Olympics thing. He medaled in several events, too, so being excited really paid off!


Corban showed us all how it was done in the Hula Hooping activity. Surprisingly, this was Kippy’s event this year.


Which is why he easily beat everyone else by several minutes. I’ve never been good at this one. But I’m OK with that.


The Water Balloon Toss by T’liese and Joe was a crowd favorite. Sadly, this was the only event that I placed, and it was only because Hubby was on my team!


The idea of the event was to toss a water balloon, then take a crab-apple step back and repeat. Whoever got the farthest away before the balloon broke was the winner!

Hubby and I placed silver in this event. It was probably my favorite out of them all!

Nora got bored at this point and fell asleep on Uncle Joe’s UNC T-shirt.


The award ceremony was chocolate-filled and emotional for some. T’liese even bit her medal to see if it was real. Each family was in charge of bringing the prizes and medals for their event.

Like any of us needed more sugar! I didn’t complain too loudly.


Joe and T’liese hosted a very nice Family Home Evening about temples. And then we got to build various temples with Play-Dough. So smart and fun!

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The green one is the Washington DC temple, but that is obvious. And the yellow one is the Mesa temple, but I’m sure that you could tell that from the palm tree out front.

I used to be better at Play-Dough…


After a thrilling yet relaxing six days spent with family, it was time to head out. I hate when the reunion is over.

Everyone in favor of holding this event every year, say aye!

It was a wonderful family reunion. We all enjoy spending time together, and doing it in a beautiful mansion in the woods is the perfect way to do it every two years.


  1. I LOVE THIS POST!!! It is so fun to see your family. I had no idea that the Friends moved to Texas??? WHAT!!??! I wish that we could see more pictures of some of the rest...you know who I mean. You guys should really think about making this an EXTENDED family reunion!! HAHA

  2. What a great post. It just cements in my mind that I should never be without makeup on! EVER! Sedona was so much fun this year--I'm just sad that we have to wait for 2 more years.

  3. It was a wonderful week!

    Your pictures are really good, Micah! I'm glad your new camera is what you hoped it would be.

    I think we ought to do this every 6 months! Yes??

  4. Beautiful place, beautiful family.

  5. How great to see those pics! Thanks for posting them...I will have to show Evan sometime and see if he remembers.

    I think fun was had by all and can't wait to go again. We will really appreciate getting together since we are far away now!


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