Family, food and fun

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We had our much anticipated family reunion last weekend in Okoboji, IA.  As you saw here, it was my mom’s side of the family.

Most everyone arrived on Saturday but we kind of just did our own thing. We got to the hotel around 2:30 pm and after getting settled walked over to a nearby antique sale.  After that we went to Arnold’s Park Amusement Park and walked around, played a few games and looked around at the shops.

For supper everyone that was in town met up at a restaurant. There were probably 25 of us eating – one long table! Following that we went out to my cousin’s campsite to sit around the fire and enjoy s’mores!

Sunday morning we stopped at the store to pick up cooking supplies and got to the lodge around 10:00 am as my sister and I were helping to make food and needed to get cooking!  I made potato salad and salsa and she made her famous baked beans. Although every one pitched in to help so it was a family effort! My Aunt Beth found the lodge for us and it was so awesome. It had a huge kitchen, huge sitting/eating area and was close to the water.

My sister Danelle working on her beans…

My cousin Erica and her husband Jim helping me with salsa, cutting onions and peppers!

My Uncle Pat arranged for a professional photography to come and so we did that before we ate. These obviously aren’t the professional photos and even though you already saw them on the previous post I’ll show them again.

I love this picture of my mom and her siblings!

With their spouses…

The kids (who are all adults now). I’m afraid I’ll miss someone if I mention who’s missing but I would say there’s at least 8 cousins who weren’t able to make it.

Best line of the day:
Professional photographer: Patrick you are smiling so nice! How come you’re the only one who’s smiling so nice?
Me: Because he doesn’t have kids. (Kidding of course.)

Best moment of the day:
After taking 495 professional pictures we asked my dad to come take this picture of us.  He said, “Ok ready,” took one picture and then said, “all done!”  Then we all cheered!

With our spouses or soon-to-be spouses… Sorry Pat, ya kinda got cut off there.

The kids with their kids… We were so exhausted taking the professional pictures (thus the comment about smiling) trying to get all these toddlers to sit nice, look at the camera and smile. He was a very good photographer which meant he kept taking picture after picture trying to get a perfect shot. The poor little kiddos were ready to go berserk!  But I know when we see the pictures we’ll be thankful he was so particular, we should have some pretty good pictures to remember our weekend by!

And all of us. Can you believe that everyone is looking at the camera?!

I can’t believe it, but I forgot to take a picture of all the food! We had an amazing spread! Burgers, hot dogs, brats, chicken, potato salad, baked beans, Grandpa Hank’s famous yellow rice (thanks to Uncle Jack!), regular beans, bbq weiners, chips and salsa, regular chips, veggie tray and then dessert was cookies and strawberry shortcake. I think that was it!

Here’s the salsa recipe family! Sorry, but I don’t really measure just kinda go by taste. I’ll list how much of the ingredients I used for our dinner but as you know it made a really big batch.

Tomatoes (I think I used 7 regular that were on the small size and 5 roma)
5 Jalapenos (with just a tiny bit of seeds. If you want it hotter add more seeds.)
1 very large red onion
1 Yellow pepper and 1 red pepper (I think we used about 1/2 of each but they were really bit. I’ve also made it in the past with a little green pepper.)
6 Radishes (Picked from my garden the day before so decided to throw those in too.)
Cilantro, we used probably a big handful, chopped up
Garlic salt, regular salt, pepper (alot, to taste)
Lime juice (maybe a couple tablespoons? again didn’t measure just poured a little, stirred, poured a little more)

While we were eating our dessert we noticed my dad had disappeared. We looked out the window and saw this…

I love it!

After dessert my cousin’s honey Steve and my honey took some of the little kids on a walk.

Down to the boat docks…

Caleb slipped and went down!

They came back, we took his clothes off and wrapped him up in a blanket in front of the fireplace to warm up.

And dry out his clothes…

After lunch we all just enjoyed each other’s company.

The adults mainly hung out in the main room by the fire.

The kids (who I guess are adults too) hung out outside and attempted to keep an eye on the little kids.  Some of the guys…

Me and my Angel cakes…

Me and Bubba (I look kinda creepy in this picture)…

Eventually the sun came out and we all walked down to the beach so the little kiddos could swim.

Angel playing in the sand…

Angel, Janai and Caleb…

Dominic and Noah…

All the 2nd cousins with the adults who ventured to the beach…

The 3 sisters! My Aunt Beth, Aunt Joanne and my mom…

Caleb and Jude having an after dinner snack with my cousin Sarah…

Angel and Caleb getting a ride from Daddy…

Aunt Nellie and Caleb…

Angel and Janai…

Caleb and Dominic giving high-fives goodbye…

We left the lodge around 6:30 pm on Sunday night and headed back to our hotel. Angel and Caleb were sound asleep before we even got back to the hotel. We attempted to wake them up a couple times because I didn’t want them waking up at 4 in the morning. But they were out and didn’t make a peep the entire night.

Later on Sunday night some of the family came to our room to eat again and visit for awhile.  We all called it a night around 11:00 pm.

Monday morning we had breakfast, did a little swimming, packed up and were on our way by 10:00 am. We went back to Arnold’s Park so the kids could ride some rides.

Makani, Caleb and Angel playing at the hotel Monday morning.

Here they are … 5 monkeys with Aunt Nellie…

Riding the fish…

Riding the dragons…

After a few rides we met Aunt Beth & Uncle Jack, Aunt Joanne and my cousins Jessi and Sarah for lunch.  We ate great mexican food and my mom and Aunt Joanne bought 5 orders of fried ice cream. Yum!

Everyone left for home then, but we made one last stop to visit some friends of my sister’s. The kids played on the beach while we visited for awhile and then we were on our way home by about 2:30 pm.

The first thing Angel did when we got home? Kiss her baby Peanut of course…

As much fun as our weekend was, it’s always good to be home.


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