8.17.2015

Family Reunion = A few days on a Ranch in Idaho, staying up lateplaying Parcheesi with nieces and nephews, eating tons of food and asuper fast 200 foot water slide!

Well the title says it all! Who says you can't judge a book by its cover...I bet if this was a book and that title was on the cover you could probably judge that this would be an interesting read.

We recently attended an amazing family reunion with Brianna's side of the family. We all met at a neat little ranch in the middle of nowhere in Idaho, and it was so much fun! Besides some of the usual family gathering activities we did some fun and crazy stuff. One of the hits during our time there was the home made 200 foot water slide. I had a special method of racing down the slide to help me reach maximum speeds of up to 200 to 300 mph...so it seemed. There was a water pump that pumped irrigation water down the slide from the top of the hill, and it was so cold your first time down. I would sit there and let the water fill up behind me, then I would let the water go in front and I would race behind it. The slide is built on a good hill, so you get a bit of speed on the way down. The way you stop at the end could be a little scary, but it always worked out ok and I didn't get banged up too many times. There was a slightly wider section that was about five feet long with about two feet of standing water that you would splash into that served as the braking system. On one of my times down the slide, I found out that it was possible to hydroplane across the water if my feet were just right. That was really fun, until I skimmed over the top of the water pool that was suppose to slow me down and crashed into the end of the slide. It only takes one time of trying that out to realize that is not a good idea!



I am really proud of Jessica for going down the slide. It was a huge slide for a kid and the first day she went down from halfway up the hill, but the next day she was going down the whole thing. The other little nieces and nephews had fun waiting at the bottom of the slide for me to come down. They would all get a tidal wave of water on them (check out the picture below to see it) when I was splashing to a stop. It was so much fun! We really enjoyed that slide.



Another fun thing we did there was I started a game of Parcheesi with the teenage nieces and nephews. If you haven't heard of Parcheesi, it is a combination of Sorry and Backgammon. Once they got the rules down and started a game it lasted for about two hours. It was fun teaching them how to play the game then having them wipe me out as they played! The game got pretty loud and we were told multiple times to be quiet as we were playing it. Finally, we relocated to an outdoor hallway so we would not keep people up who were trying to sleep.

One last funny memory I want to share is the reenactment of the human pyramid family picture. I'm sure you have reenacted famous pictures from your childhood years later just to see if you can do it. For me in my family, it was a picture of my uncle David with my dad on his shoulders, then I was on top of my dad's shoulders. This is a classic picture in my family, because my dad is 6' 2" with broad shoulders and my uncle is just standing there like it was no problem. Well fast forward 10 years and we tried to reenact the picture...my dad is still a big guy and I was no longer the little toddler I once was...I was about 6' 5" and 225 lbs. To make a long story short, we took the picture but it nearly ended in disaster with my poor uncle buckling under the pressure!

So back to the family pyramid picture. When Brianna was younger all the siblings made a pyramid family picture. For some crazy reason Brianna was on the bottom row (actually it was because she was the tallest girl at the time)...the reenactment had switch the placement of people around a little bit to make things work out. I took a bunch of pictures as they were trying to get the picture to work. I love the expressions on some of their faces as people were laughing, yelling and hoping that the picture could finally be taken and they could be done with the thing. Fun times.




All in all it was a great experience. Brianna comes from a wonderful family and that is a great blessing.

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