Monday, March 28, 2011

DONE #20. VanderWal Family Reunion

I was going through my blog posts and found this... done but not posted. Funny thing is that I posted a real quick (and lame) version of this accomplishment earlier this year. This post was a lot better, so I'm sharing it too.

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or What I did on my summer vacation...

It happens every four years during the summer. I'm not talking the Olympics.
I'm talking the VW Family Reunion.

Every four years the descendants of Albert and Elzina
gather in North Dakota to reconnect and have a good time.
I've been to a few and am always blessed when we get to go.
Our Reunion is always so much fun.

The Reunion started with a picnic at a park in Bismarck, ND.
The weather was beautiful. This time the Reunion was held in June instead of the usual July.
I really appreciated the difference in temperature those few weeks made.

These are the grandkids of Albert & Elzina.
Somehow I don't have a picture of the kids.
Four are living and three were able to attend.

These are all great and great great grandkids of Albert and Elzina.
I like this picture because only half of me shows and half is enough.

I am from Pete's Bunch. There are 36 of us (if I counted correctly).
We made a good showing considering we all travel from California and Nevada.
Cousins, if you read this... make plans and come next time.
You'll be glad you did.

And yes, Grom might be picking.

I think my blonde kid fit in rather well.

I'm not sure who picked red for our shirts.
Orange would've been better -
it is the color of Holland after all and we come from Dutch stock.

At the picnic they played games. The "big kids" were very competitive.

There was also face painting and water balloons.

After festivities in Bismarck ended, some of us traveled out to the family farm.

A real hayride, through the hay fields.
Complete with hymn and Sunday school song singing.

The trailer was very full.
On some of the turns it felt like we might lose a relative or two.

It was beautiful and green; really flat, except for the buttes.

My parents on top of a butte looking down on Cousin Carter's farm.

After the hayride, they took the kids camping down by the crick.
Grom and Surferman had a great time.
Whenever s'mores are involved, it's a great time.

The next day, they rounded up some cattle
to show the city cousins a thing or two about ranching.

Mom and I went shopping in a nearby town.
The store was closed but a cousin made a couple of phone calls and they opened for us.

Here they are bringing the calves into the barn.

One of the things Grom got to see was branding.
The other things was when they make calves into steers (we didn't go into detail on that one).

Feeding the cattle.

Some shots of the farm.

Their horses were beautiful and very fun to watch.

We stayed on a couple more days. It's great to be welcome when you've traveled so far.
We went visiting, blew off fireworks (I was hit TWICE), and just had fun being there.
Cousins took Surferman out fishing. They did great.
They actually caught their limits, came in and dropped off fish,
changed hats and went back out to catch more.


Here's a fish Surferman caught.

Here's a fish Surferman would like you to think he caught.

It was a blast to take Grom out to the farm.
During the last reunion, Grom wasn't quite 2.
He'll keep some memories of this one.

Going to North Dakota is a bit bittersweet.
This was the first reunion without either of my grandparents.
We were able to stop and see their grave and left some roses.

I'm not sure if we'll make it to North Dakota anytime soon,
but Lord willing we'll be there for the next reunion.
We'd better I guess, my mom was elected president of the reunion committee.

12 down... 89 to go.

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