Tuesday, July 5, 2011

To Branson and Back Again

 For the past year we have planned on going to The Gilbert Family Reunion over the Fourth of July weekend.  We got together with all of my Dad's side of the family.  The Gilbert family consists of Grandma D, her 5 children plus spouses, 12 grandchildren plus spouses and I believe 23 great grandchildren all under the age of 7!  It was an action packed weekend and we had a blast.

We left Friday morning after my brother Bryan and sister in law Emily met us at our house.  We decided to carpool to Branson.  We had the three kids loaded in the back, Emily and I in the middle and Dan and Bryan in the front.  We had the trunk filled in addition to a bag strapped to the top of the van with everything that we would need for the weekend.

The kids are all loaded up and ready to go.

 Bryan and Emily ready for a fun road trip with the Westfall's!

 Emily and I hours into our trip and still smiling:)

The trip to Branson went great.  They kids did awesome and although we had to take some detours due to flooding we got to Branson in pretty good time.  We checked into our condo and once we got the air conditioning working we were good to go.  The weekend was pretty hot so we spent a lot of time swimming at the pool.  There were planned games for all the kids thanks to my cousin Callie and lots of delicious food. 

Dan held Aubrey while she took a morning nap.

 Auntie Emily holding Aubrey while I helped with the kids games.

 Aubrey eating her first Popsicle and loving every bite.

I think that on Sunday was my favorite part of the weekend.  We had been meeting in a conference room and that morning we all had church together. The kids all sat on the floor while the adults were in a big circle around them.  We sang songs lead by my cousins Titus and Roberto and then spent some time just sharing about the awesomeness of God.  There are so many of us and we are spread out all over the country that so often we do not know what is going on in each others world.  It was a joy for me to sit and hear how God had worked amazing miracles in the lives of my family members.  God is a awesome God and I am so thankful for His protection over us!  Later that evening we had family pictures with the help of my sister Sarah and cousin Rhesa.  We were able to get a huge group photo and then photos by families.  My girls and their cousin Abby wore matching dresses that were made by their Auntie Emily.  Then I made Dawson and the boys matching shirts with polka dot ties sewn on them.  They all looked so cute for the pictures!  That evening I went back to put the kids to bed and Dan stayed and joined in a giant Nertz game with all the cousins.

It was a great time and the next morning when we had to start getting ready to go back home Emma was so sad.  She wanted to stay there and play with all her new friends forever:)  The drive back home wasn't as smooth as the trip there.  It wasn't bad though.  We had lots of bathroom stops and I am not going to lie that the last hour or two was a little spicy with the kids.  Emma basically had to sit on her hands for the last hour.  We made it home in one piece though.  I had so much fun with Bryan and Emily and I was so thankful to have their help this weekend with the kids.  I look forward to keeping more up to date with my cousins and hope that we can get together again soon!

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