Friday, July 27, 2012

Hershberger Reunion

The Hershberger Reunion (the extended Hershberger family) was held in Junction City, KS this year...
which is only an hour and 15 minutes away from here. It was at a 4H camp site, which was actually quite impressive. The rooms were very accommodating, with a big meeting area central to all the rooms...yet somehow when I laid down with Christian in the late evening it was soundproof to those that were still up. 

We walked a little bit of a trail to eat our meals...the food was less than desirable...but other than that, no complaints. We had various family entertainment auction, a talent show, singing, family feud, and other games. The pictures below were taken by one of the family members..but when I downloaded them they got REALLY tiny...maybe you can still see them a little.

1. Christian singing in the talents show (I'll try and upload a video of was of I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N)

2. The Howard Hershberger family (the ones present anyway)
3. Ken dressing up as Julia part of the talent show (he was quite entertaining that evening in a variety of talents)
4. Christian and his cake lips...cake for one of the 2nd generation family member's 25th wedding anniversary
5. The 3rd generation picture...that would include Ben

This is a picture of the 4th generation that was present...Christian was so sure about Levi (the baby next to him) as he was a little noisy during this picture.

Phil and Diana during the talent show; Diana reading the Bible story of Jesus calming the storm while Phil drew a picture of the story.

Levi, and his amazing push up talent! This was too crazy, I think he was trying to learn to crawl, but instead he would get up on his tippy toes and do a push up for quite awhile!

Everyone meeting for a group meeting of some kind.

Christian playing with Uncle Sam

There was also a HUGE pool outside that we swam in..and it was actually quite cool because it was fed by the local springs. The three of us were the only ones in there for awhile, so I asked if Christian could jump off the diving board (obviously we were in the water to catch him).  I don't have pictures of because both Ben and I were involved in that! He did this NUMEROUS times. Needless to say he was mighty proud of this and talked about it for quite sometime how "I AM BIG!!! I jumped off the diving board!!"

We enjoyed the reunion, and now I can put a face with names I have heard but never seen before!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pool & Popsicles

This is a look at what many of our afternoons are spent doing...if we go outside...

Pool....and it was at the same time.
Whatever works to stay cool!
Christian has a slurpy lick...I had to try and convince him to bite the popsicle before it melted (which it did).
But oh no, he's one of those that would actually have the patience to count how many licks til it was finished. Silly guy. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ava's 7th Birthday

This little (well, she is seven not so little!) girl had a Barbie style birthday!

She's SEVEN... and here are 7 ways I would describe Ava:
1. sweet
2. loving
3. playful
4. animal lovin'
5. smart
6. girlie girl
7. beautiful

We had a brunch time birthday party. 
Presents, yummy breakfast foods that we ate on the deck, and then of course cake too.
A barbie cake if you couldn't tell by the picture...a very pretty cake!

Happy Birthday to my one and only, favorite niece! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

MN trip [Two Harbors]..end

On Monday, we went to Two Harbors to just check out the scenery. It was a dreary day, and lightly rained off and on while we were walking around. We walked along a path by the harbors, that led to the lighthouse. It was not anything spectacular...but it was just a nice change of scenery from what we're used to, and cooler weather too!

We kept walking around this area for quite some time. There was a rocky flattened area that was like a "shore" that was entertaining for Christian to throw rocks in the water. 

Carissa was heading up to the Boundary Waters for a week, and this was along her both her and Mitch met up with us at this spot for a bit.

Then Mitch treated us all to dinner at Black Woods....
I will try to describe how good this food was...
full of flavor in every way imaginable! It was SO de-licious!!!

And to top it off...on Christian's kid menu it had a piece of chocolate cake for 2.50 (a HUGE piece that was no pre-packaged piece of brownie).
Seriously...this cake was amazing...and I don't even like chocolate that much. It was topped with little bits of Heath bar, and had just the right amount of gooey caramel stuff in it..oh my, I know I sound like a bit of a food junkie or something right now...but really..if you're ever in the area...
look up Black Woods, it is G-O-O-D! So thanks Mitch!

After our bellies were stuffed full we said our good-byes and headed south.
Christian fell asleep 10 minutes after we left. We stopped at the Mall of America for a couple hours, just because we were right next to it. Christian's main highlights were the Lego place and ALL the escalators. 

Back in the car...we headed down the road for a bit and then got a place to stay...and went swimming indoors before bed.

A little bedtime story before calling it a night.

The next day we drove home...and we were back in the land of the triple digits and no rain. (Our garden didn't exactly appreciate our absence...but that's ok, because I'm not so sure it would've survived much better had we been here!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

MN trip [Duluth]

We left the reunion following lunch, and headed to Duluth, MN.
Since we aren't going on another trip this summer for our family vacation..we decided to extend this trip  just a little. Mitch had a work appointment in Duluth the next day, so we all spent some time together in the afternoon/evening.

The highlight was the suspension bridge...oh man, did Christian love this thing! 
When Mitchell said something about it, he said, "Yeah, we can go on the suspension bridge. We can go on it. Ok, we will. Can we go on it? Can we?" This repeated itself only about 15 times, before we could actually get to the point of seeing it, and then we walked across it.

 There was a ship that was supposed to be coming through, so we walked around a bit more along the shore and then along the walkway to the lighthouse.

We ate at "Grandma's Place" = yummy!! They had an outdoor patio area, that was in direct view of the suspension bridge, in case the ship decided it would go through. Christian thanked our waiter for each thing he was bringing that earned him another apple juice from the waiter :) He was in quite a thankful mood.

Within 5 minutes of sitting down, the ship was heading through...(Christian was given a lemon slice...hence his strange face!)

We left Duluth, and went about 30 miles north, just past Two Harbors to stay at a place I reserved from a Groupon. It was a train car consisted of 17 train cars that were made into "suites" (rather small). I thought Christian would get a kick out of it since he's a bit of a train fan. It was dark when we got there, but I told him we were inside a train car and that's where we got to sleep...he didn't know quite how to process that.
 He started moving side to side and said, "Is the train car moving, if I do this will it move the train? I think the train will wake up now, and then it will move." The next morning, we had a light breakfast there, and then walked around the outside a bit before heading down to Two Harbors to explore.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

MN trip [Birky reunion]

July 13-15
The Birky reunion (consisting of the immediate Glen Birky family) was held at a camp this year, in Fosston, MN. It is the first time we've not had it hosted at a home of the family. There's around 80 in the it was nice to have a location where we could all stay and the meals were prepared for us.
There were plenty of things to do....a little playground, a slide, and swings for the smaller kids, sand volleyball, tetherball, softball, frisbee golf, shuffleboard, and the lake..that included paddle boats, canoes, swimming, a jet ski and tube (that Stanley brought), and the BLOB!
In the late evenings, some of us stayed up late playing card are a few photos from our time together...

Downtime...visiting and observing.

Christian telling Grandpa he CAN go down the slide...and then climbing up to help push him down.

Dad and Ben playing tetherball. This was after Ben and I had played...I decided he needed somebody his own size to play against :)

 Darren and Ben (on the left...Darren untangling the ball!) and Mom and Carol on the right

Isaac and Christian demonstrating how it works. 

Again, Christian helps another big person go down a slide....Uncle Mitch.

In the evening, we group entertainment. 
This first evening, we had a very complex and interesting way to include numbers from facts and information about the family that ended in equalling Grandpa's age (by Darren); a game of who's this...with a broad range of statements that helped us gain an even better knowledge of each other!; and then a song written by Darren that included the 80 members of the was quite creative to the tune of "All Grown-Ups, All Children, All Mothers, All Fathers."

 We had a campfire and s'mores before bed!

 And this is a view of our sleeping arrangement...Christian in his bed, he was quite proud of it, he said, "I'm kinda trapped (and he was happy about that)!"

Saturday morning, we started out with breakfast...
then many went in the lake, while others played frisbee golf. 

We had a bridal shower for Natalia (getting married Sept 16) in the morning...
we had a few snacks and played a "Get to Know Drew" game. 

After lunch there was more swimming, softball, basketball and volleyball (there were some seriously active people today).
It was a warm day, but it was nice to have the lake and shade from trees.

Mom and Carissa played games with the kids while the "big kids" played softball.

I saw this guy...thought I should take his picture..isn't he handsome :)

The cheering section...

Back to the water...

Meet the was hours of entertainment and major aches/pains for many. 
I did not participate...although I really thought it looked fun!

This is Carissa...launching Kade off!

Andy Carpenter....launching Ben!

Part of the spectators...on the dock

Ben and Michael discussing launching options.

Grandpa and Margie...amongst the other spectators that were in the shade.

Sand volleyball...

After supper, our family (the Sweigarts) were in charge of the entertainment.
Brent and Mitchell hosted a "late night" show called "Up Late with BM

Prior to the show, the rest were split into 5 groups and they were assigned a project...
Two groups had either a commercial or skit,
One had a top ten "Birkyisms",
One had "You know you're a Birky if..."
One had to come up with an original song about the family.

The hosts...B and M
( always!)

This was the music group...they had a very creative song about the family!
(Dad, Den, Carol, Darren, Russell/Hannah, Lexi, Julie/Molly)

I really wish I had pictures of the "chubby bunny" part of the show...
where four lucky members (Kenny, Kyle, Michael, and Donna) of the audience were chosen to participate. A marshmallow had to stay in your mouth while saying "chubby bunny" and then add another marshmallow, etc. HILARIOUS! Michael was the official winner :)

Margie was the "special guest" that they interviewed for her 70th birthday.

And the rest of the siblings sang a special personalized 70th birthday song for her...
(Stanley, Mom, David, Carol) 

Following the show, we had a birthday party for Margie...cake and treats!

Sunday morning following breakfast we had our own church service.
Stanley had a message about our legacy as individuals and where we've come from, Carissa had the children's story about our ancestors (I had no idea that the name Christian was a family name more than once long ago!), she also had the children sing some songs, and Grandpa shared his testimony. There were several others that participated in the service.

Time for lunch, and then some final moments of playing together before leaving.
(Josh, Cortney, Christian, Ava, Hailey, Braden, Sam (standing up), Axton (sitting to the left of Sam's leg), and Kade (sitting behind Ava's head).

These ladies were going to check on the lake before leaving.
(Kandice, Desi, Tammy, Jo, Lexi, Kari)

What a good couple days together....lots of special times shared together!!
We'll be back in 2 years :)