Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Austin Family Reunion

Every year Jack's family gets together for a reunion and each of his siblings take turns planning and hosting it.  This was our year and our theme was Defying Gravity.  We rented out a monstrously large home/cabin at Bear Lake in May and it was so perfect!  Each family had their own room and bathroom, with extra rooms for kids to sleep, a theatre room, pool table and foosball table room, extra large dining room with multiple tables, kitchen with lots of stoves, ovens, and sinks, and a play set outside.  When everyone arrived Thursday evening we did opening ceremonies, handed out small electric votives, and presented the theme.

Reunion welcome

"Welcome to the 2016 Austin reunion!  Our theme for this year is Defying Gravity. Defying Gravity means living up to your potential, being your best self, making and reaching goals, and going above and beyond what is expected or required to be something even more awesome than anyone thought possible.  We picked this theme because we recognize the importance of FAMILY in defying gravity.  No one can reach his or her highest potential without the love, support, and example of family, and we have an AMAZING family! 

Linda K Burton says
“We are here to help, lift, and rejoice with each other as we try to become our very best selves. Sister Barbara B. Smith wisely taught, “There is so much more of happiness to be had when we can rejoice in another’s successes and not just in our own.” When we seek to “complete” rather than “compete,” it is so much easier to cheer each other on!”

I’m going to hand out to each of you a small candle to write your name on and set here.  These candles represent the light within you.  When you are your best self that light glows so bright because you are doing, feeling, and being great.  Sometimes when you aren’t feeling your best your light can dim.  As members of a family it is our responsibility to make sure each other’s lights are glowing bright.

“I am confident there are within our sphere of influence those who are lonely, those who are ill, and those who feel discouraged. Ours is the opportunity to help them and to lift their spirits. Life is perfect for none of us, and at times the challenges and difficulties we face may become overwhelming, causing our light to dim. However, with help from our Heavenly Father, coupled with support from others, we can regain that light which will illuminate our own path once again and provide the light others may need.” –Pres Hinckley

Throughout these next three days, I want you to keep an eye on these candles.  If you see that someone’s has gone out, it is your job to turn it back on.  Likewise, here at the reunion and in all of the days after, if you ever notice someone in the family who’s light may not be shining so bright, for whatever reason, you give them your light of help, support, encouragement, and love so that we as a family can help lift one another and defy gravity together."

Jack and I had posted quotes from Wicked all over the house.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Before the reunion we got lists from each sibling of things about their spouse that "defied gravity" and played a guessing game where we all guessed for points who each person was.  We also had a big tournament of minute-to-win-it type challenges in teams and each family came prepared with a challenge for every one.  Kids had craft time and movie time, we rented out the town's indoor swimming pool just for our family for a few hours of pool-time, flew kites on the beach at the lake (that Jack's mom had gotten for the kids), played volleyball in the yard, made trips down main street for local raspberry shakes and fries, had late night board games, went for bike rides, played family feud put together by Jack's dad, and ate lots and lots of yummy food and treats.  It was so much work putting it together but honestly was such a blast that I was seriously bummed the entire week after we came home!  There's nothing better than four days of uninterrupted family time and play. 

(excuse the low quality phone pics, I was too busy playing to bother with nice photos ;) 

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