June 5, 2012

Neil Harper Family Reunion 2012

Neil and Laura miraculously got ALL 6 kids + spouses/grandchildren together for a whole week!  This is a feat as people were traveling from practically all over the country.  Thankfully, we had a big reason to celebrate - Devin's brother Garrett came home from his mission so we partied with him all week long :)

First, I would just like to point out that we have some ADORABLE nieces and nephews and can't wait to add another to the bunch!

And here's the breakdown of our week:
TUESDAY: Garrett's arrival at the SLC airport
Garrett served a most honorable two-year mission in Mesa, AZ for our church. To learn about what it means to be a missionary, see here.  The airport was PACKED that morning. Missionaries just kept flooding down the escalators!  Garrett looked very handsome in his suit and we quickly learned that he's been lifting weights and working out for the past 6 months.  He and Greg are going to have no problem finding the ladies down at BYU this summer :)

Wednesday: Pool Day
Neil got us in at the racquetball club in Burley to swim for a couple hours.  The boys had a great time playing basketball while the kids enjoyed the pool.  Note to self: get those awesome floaties for our future children. I'm amazed at how many dunks, splashes, belly flops and face plants those kids can endure!

THURSDAY: Minute-to-win-it games and family pictures
Laura was so great to plan a fun afternoon family tournament: Minute-to-Win-it.  Team D pretty much dominated but it was still a blast!
Shoot 'em Up - knock over the cups with a rubber band, Noodle Mouth - pick up penne pasta with spaghetti noodle and place in cup, Face the Cookie - start with an Oreo on your forehead and somehow get it  into your mouth (seriously, this was SO HARD), Nosing Around - put vaseline on your nose and transfer as many cotton balls as you can, Suck it Up - use a straw to transfer M&Ms from one end of the table to a cup at the opposite end, This Blows - in the fastest time, blow up a balloon and use it to blow cups off of the table.  Greg's squeaky balloon blowing had us all dying with laughter! We also learned how valuable watching the other teams before you is.

Later that night we had family pictures which was hilarious for anyone besides Marissa, who had to take the picture, and anyone with a fussy child.  It'll be a miracle if there is a single "grandchildren" picture with all 6 looking in the general direction and not screaming, but I'm excited to see how the large group picture turned out - who knows when the next time will be that we're all together!

MORE GAMES: Devin and the boys played lots more games throughout the week, such as basketball, "four-hole" golf, they went shooting, and whether they played Smash on Nintendo or not I'm not sure but that's usually a classic game for them when they get together...and quite entertaining to watch :)

Friday: Boating on the Snake River and Pinata
Friday was the PERFECT day to go boating - high 80's and hardly any wind. 
Devin and his brothers/dad are great wakeboarders!  Since Devin got surgery on his ACL last year, he's not as crazy with his moves but it was fun to watch him get out there and cruise around anyway :)

Later in the day the boys decided to do frisbee dives off of the boat.  I think throwing the frisbee was as hard as trying to catch it off of the boat!  Devin ended up having to swim way out to retrieve one that didn't quite boomerang back to shore as intended ;)

Best pinata moment: Devin was "up to bat" and his sequence of swinging, aiming, hitting + his spread eagle lunge = split pants.  And we even got it all on video :) 

SATURDAY: Devin's brother Derek is off to California for his first of many month-long externships he's doing for Podiatry school.  We were so glad he could even spare a week to come hang out with us.  After he left, the boys went shooting and the girls went to The Gathering Place, where I found some CUTE chevron fabric

Other unmentioned moments: I watched Marissa's sweet baby, Wynn, while she did a photo shoot at the Twin Falls Temple.  It was a beautiful night and I hope our baby is as easy as hers :)  Neil and Laura had each couple sign up to make a meal during the week and they were generous enough to buy all the groceries for it.  We LOVED all the food we ate: lasagna & breadsticks, fish tacos, lots of guacamole, our taco soup, french toast, pancakes & waffles, biscuits and gravy - YUM!  On Thursday night we did a tin foil dinner night and roasted mallows and Starbursts.  Haven't had a good tin foil dinner in a long time :) 

 At our family program, we went around and shared via poem, song, summary, etc. what the year ahead holds for us.  Here's the poem Devin wrote about our little family:

It's been a great year two thousand eleven
We've been living the DINK life
Dual Income No Kids feels like heaven
No real moments of strife

Went to Alaska and gained some revenue
T'was a lot of work, and play
We're glad we ventured down that avenue
But now it's a new time, a new day

Two thousand twelve has come real fast
Seems like yesterday we fell in love
Claire's made it easy for our marriage last
She's soft and gentle like a dove

Then the day came we knew it was time
And I wondered if I was able
Went to Honks and got a good sign
Turns out Yellow 5 is a fable

Pretty soon we'll add little number 7
To the Neil Harper bunch
At times it might feel like Armageddon
So fat it'll eat you for lunch

Whatever it is, whether girl or boy
We hope it's as proper as lily
Or Happy as Ike when given a toy
If not we'll ship it to Philly

We hope it's as cute and playful as Ivy
And kind and smart like Mason
And if it get's the traits of my dear wifey
Then we'll never have to chasten

And as for Kate and Wynn let me think
They sure do look healthy
But I don't think I can handle the stink
When it comes to that they're stealthy

But as we look around we get the feelin'
Nothing quite like having a kid
Look out world here's the dealin'
Gonna have 8 like the legs of a squid

Well, it was honestly a fantastic week and we're so thankful for the generosity of Neil and Laura, as well as their willingness to do anything and everything to make us happy.  They are wonderful grandparents in their selflessness and devotion.  Thanks for all of the great memories!
...Until next year!
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  1. Claire dear,
    I'm a friend of Laura's and I would love a copy of that last picture from their from yard. Would you be willing to send me one? trustjenn@yahoo.com is my email. Thank you!

  2. Beautiful pictures! That's so great that you are a part of such a big, fun, loving family!

  3. Those are some great pictures! It was great to spend time with you guys.

  4. It looks like a WONDERFUL way to spend a week - beautiful scenery, family, food, laughs, and loves!

  5. Great pics, Claire! You are a natural!

  6. I've had so much fun reviewing our days together! Thanks so much for capturing our reunion week. What fun memories we made and I so appreciate you sharing them! You are the best.....I love you!