This is our crazy bunch in 2010This week we are having our Roger Lee and LeAnn Williams family reunion. We hold this reunion every two years. If all of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren come we will have a total of 8 families with a total of 48. It is so amazing to have this large of a posterity. When we were married 45 years ago; we planned in the beginning to have at least 4 children and we ended up with 6. We would have never fathomed that we would have 31 grandchildren with 2 great grandchildren, one on the way and 3 step-great grandchildren. We are way to young for all of this. Reflecting back on our family through the years; we have had the roller coaster ride of our lives. Of course, with all of life experiences we have had the ups and downs of a challenging and thrilling journey.
As we look at our children now we are so grateful for each of them. Their companions are our children in every way. They have brought into our lives great joy. However, I do find that raising Adult children can be a big challenge; perhaps bigger than raising teenagers. Those that are our age will recognize what I mean. We are pleased that they have kept our faith and are now teaching their children to love our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ with all their hearts and to trust in Them.
We have a family motto - "No Empty Chairs" which means that we do not want even one of these precious children to be missing from our table in the Kingdom to come.
We hold family reunions to bond our family together forever.
This year we are very excited to have two nights to spend with just our grandchildren. On Thursday night we will have total of 9 boys that are 8 and up. On Friday night we will have a total of 12 girls that are 8 and up. This is for special cousin bonding and grandparent time.
OK, do you think We are insane; of course we are, but we will have a blast.
Here are some thoughts on planning a large reunion. First take in consideration that each family will all have their own opinion of where they want go. This is always an interesting topic. In the long run it would probably be best to throw all of the ideas in a hat and draw out where you will be going for the next reunion.
Remember that all of them have different ideas on food. Some of them are almost vegetarians and the others may want the meat and potato kind of menu.You won't be able to satisfy every ones demands for a different food fair; but you can make compromises. We have found out that deciding on the main dish and then making assignments for salad and desserts work best. Just an old fashioned Pot luck works well too.
We have had some of our reunions in large homes or cabins. We have also had some children stay with us and the rest have hotel rooms. You have to take into consideration the fact that your adult children will all have different budgets. Some can afford to pay the costs without difficulty and others it is harder. We have talked about but not implemented the idea of having a reunion fund that you start contributing to monthly until the next reunion time.
It's important as Grandparents that you don't do all the planning. It is much nicer if you assign a couple of families to be in charge of planning the reunion each time.
We always try to have a fun and spiritual devotional during the week. Here the families can participate in various ways. They can do a skit, a talent, a reading or whatever they can come up with. This is on a volunteer basis only. We do have family singing time so we can get them all involved in doing something.
If the weather is nice we do a day of outdoor games, softball, kick ball and water games.
This year we will be going to East Canyon Lake. Here we will enjoy swimming and other activities. This area has a rich history of the Pioneer trek into Utah. We will be sharing some of our religious heritage with our family while there.
OK, dogs are not part of our human family. We do not look at them as extra grandchildren. No you can't bring them, there is no room in our home or back yard for 8 dogs. Along with most hotels, parks and lakes have pet rules; usually no pets allowed. This is a sensitive subject because we do all love our pets. It's more a too many dog problem.
Always, have on hand a First Aid kit. With so many children there is bound to be a little accident.
Finally, in order to enjoy this adventure you must come with loving kind hearts, forgiving memories and total respect for each other. Mighty prayers, fasting and going to the temple might be important to accomplish this one. Remember Children are children even when they turn 30 and above. They are in different positions in the family which will always remain that way. Sibling revelry does not end with adulthood. Then you add the combination of the grandchildren and keeping the peace is very important. Prayers are always needed.
I usually pray that guardian angels will surround our families and that Satan will be bound from interfering with this very sacred opportunity to all be together for a few days as a forever family.
Our thrilling adventure will be disclosed in an upcoming post;if we make it through it all~