Since we are full time missionaries for our Church, we had to request permission to attend our Family Reunion this year. Our children agreed to have it near-by so that we could come. Permission was granted and we spent three glorious days with all of our posterity. There were 51 of us; 6 children and spouses, 31 grandchildren, two married with spouses and 4 great grandchildren.
Our children began arriving on Friday, June 17th and the last one left on June 28th. Our three daughters and their families arrived three days before the reunion. They traveled from Washington, Arizona and Australia. We had all three families totaling 18 individuals with us until we left for the reunion in Midway, Utah on Tuesday, June 21st through June 24th.
After the reunion we had three of the families with us for a few more days as we again started back doing our missionary endeavors.
Here are some photos of the weekend before
the reunion with our daughters and their families.
Here are family photos of the three families that were here for Father's Day - June 19th
Upper Left - Our middle daughter Jenni's family; Michael, Jenni with Emma, Alyssa and Benjamin.
Upper Middle - Our oldest daughter Christina's family; Abbey, Sariah, April and Levi, Faith, Christina and Brandon. Upper Right - Dad and Mom with Sammy.
Lower Left; Michael and Jenni. Lower Middle - Our Youngest daughter Tiffani and her family; Sarah, Dave, Tiffani, Michael with William and Kaitlyn - Lower Right; Dave and Tiffani~
More Photos of our Father's Day Celebration - We attended our Sabbath day meetings, visited, played games, and just enjoyed one another.We had a marvelous time.~
On Monday, June 21st, we celebrated our granddaughter Sarah's 15th Birthday. We did some shopping, baking and good old birthday celebrating. We enjoyed being able to celebrate with Sarah; this doesn't happen very often since they live in Washington.
Sarah is the beautiful young woman in the middle of the above photo~The first official day of our Reunion was June 22nd, 2016 - We spent a few hours at a park with a pavilion. The children enjoyed water sports, games and other activities. Of course, there was lots of good food, laughter, visiting and fun.
In the evening we drove up a canyon and had family photos taken. It was a fun event. Everyone visited and waited for their families' turn for a photo take. It went very well and the photographer was great.
The photos below are pictures we took while waiting.
There are various groups of grandchildren and other moments we captured.
Upper Left; Sariah, Jackson and Justice; ages 18-21 - Upper Middle, our 17 year olds; Michael,Joseph,Christian, Austin and sweet April - Upper Right. our 12- 13 year olds; Kaitlyn, Alyssa, Averi, Faith and Karli - Middle Left, our 15 year olds; Ethan, Taylor Jo, Sarah, Abbey and Jonathan - Middle Center, 17 year olds - Middle Right, our 8-10 olds - Lower Left; Sarah, Taylor Jo, Abbey and Emma - Lower Middle; our 8-10 year olds; Ryley, Emma, Kason, Levi, William - Lower Right; my daughters and me; Christina, Jenni, Mom(LeAnn), Tiffani
After family photos we returned to the ward building and held a Family Devotional.This was one of the sweetest moments of the reunion. My husband and I changed into missionary attire (suit & dress) and spoke to our posterity. It was a profound spiritual moment. We felt a bit like Lehi and Sariah in Lehi's dream as they stood before the Tree of Life, beckoning their family to come and partake of the Fruit; which represents the love of our Savior and His Atonement. I gave a message on how much our Heavenly Father loves each one of us and desires that we all return back to Him someday. He loves every one of His children that have been born on this earth. He desires for them to come unto Christ. I then testified that Heavenly Father loves and blesses families and we feel He has truly blessed ours.
My eternal companion then bore a powerful testimony of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith. He then related the First Vision given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The feelings in the room were spiritually tangible.
We then both testified of the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is my favorite book and can lead one to Christ more than any other book. It is a powerful book testifying of Jesus Christ and of his appearance to the ancient inhabitants of the Americas as found in 3 Nephi chapters 11-28.
We brought 42 copies of the Book of Mormon and asked family members to highlight a favorite scripture and mark it and place a pass-a-long card there. We plan to place these copies with people we meet during the balance of our mission.
Following those moments, our grandson Jackson, who just returned from a two year mission in Omaha, Nebraska, shared some of the wonderful experiences he had inviting others to come unto Christ. He too bore his testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel and The power of The Book of Mormon.
The next day we went back to the ward building and had a wonderful lunch. We then had a fun talent show. It was kind of an impromptu moment and those that performed were awesome. The rest of us clapped a lot.
Benjamin, age 6 played the piano. He has never taken lessons but did so good. Emma, age 10 did a chalkboard drawing. Christian, age 17, played the guitar. Sariah, age 18 played a piano arrangement. Abbey, age 15 performed an improvised dance performance. William and Levi threw paper airplanes and we didn't get Levi in the picture. Michael, age 17 played a improvised Trumpet piece. Then the granddaughters, ages 9-17 sang the song; "Families Are Forever".
Sariah at the piano with Abbey, Kaitlyn, Alyssa, Karli, Taylor Jo &Averi,
Faith & Emma, April and Sarah singing.
For most of the nights there we had 5 of our Grandsons stay with us. They are 15 - 17 years old. Each morning my kind companion fixed them really good breakfasts. We loved being with these grandsons and they didn't keep us up at night at all! They are our next group of missionaries.
After the lunch and program part of the group went swimming at the Condos we stayed at. Thirty of them left to go Zip Lining in the Provo Canyon. We followed them down there later. Some of those with us also decided to do some Zip Lining when we joined the group. We later had a family barbecue.
Here are all the fun photos of the Zip Line Activity. Everyone that was brave enough to go enjoyed it. I wasn't one of them. I did enjoy taking the photos, however.
Here are the photos of two of my Grandchildren and Three of my Great Grandchildren. This was a little Zip Line that they had fun going on.
Upper Left; Sagan, Great Grandson - Upper Middle; Layton, Grandson -
Upper Right; Haven. Granddaughter -
Upper Right; Haven. Granddaughter -
Lower Left; Lilly, Great Granddaughter - Lower Right; Jadyn, Great Granddaughter ~
We concluded our three days of activities with a barbecue and a fireside devotional. Our son, Travis gave a message on an experience he had on his mission when he heard a voice tell him and two companions that were with him to move their car. A few moments later there was an accident and they would have been killed if they hadn't obeyed that voice. He then bore his testimony. It was a dynamic closing to our family events. We ended this family event with a beautiful prayer given by our Son in law, Michael.Here are some of the photos of the goodbye moment when we got home from the reunion. Our daughter, Christina, Brandon and their family had to pack up and head back to Australia. It was so hard to say goodbye to them all.
This family reunion was marvelous and we had so many lovely moments with one another. All of the grandchildren bonded well together and everyone seemed to have an enjoyable time.
We had prayed hard before this reunion that we could have a peaceful, spiritual, and fun time with our family. We prayed that Satan would have no influence upon our family activities. We felt that our prayers were answered. I know beyond doubt that Heavenly Father Loves and Blesses Families. He certainly blessed ours.