Our Summer Family Reunion

We got back from our family reunion yesterday, and somebody asked Shanna how the reunion was and what we did. Her reply? “We sat around, visiting and eating!”

Yep, that’s pretty much it!

That’s why I love this reunion so much!              

We always carefully plan it so it falls after convention (one year we planned it before and that will never happen again—way too much going on!) and before school starts . . . just about the time we all need some down time.  We all head for the hills (this year camping on Beaver Mountain) with lots of treats, only three things on the to-do list, and plenty of time to spend with loved ones!

The three things? Crafts, pot-luck dinner, and our Family Share fireside.

I almost always bring some sort of craft to this reunion . . . it’s become a tradition. It’s usually a Make & Take project left over from either Leadership, a regional, or convention. This year, I had Workshop in a Bag projects for the grown-ups and a Village of Cuteness house for each of the kids. It was so much fun watching the kids paint and decorate their little houses; I haven’t seen them that excited about a craft project in a long time! And the moms enjoyed making the cards too!

On Saturday night, we each bring a potluck dish for dinner, and we enjoy one meal together. Of course, we’ve been snacking together the whole time, but the dinner is a little more formalized, and it’s one of the few things that everyone attends. The rest of the time, people are coming and going, riding four-wheelers, playing in the water and canoes, etc., and everything is flexible. But the potluck is one time we know we’ll all be together!

Finally, we have a Family Share, where we share stories of our ancestors, grandparents and great-grandparents who have come before us and created an inspiring legacy that we are proud and grateful to be part of!

We actually haven’t had the Family Share for a few years; this is my Mom Heather’s side of the family, and while we held the reunion even after she died, it was a little too difficult to talk about her. Our feelings were still too tender to talk about her specifically, but we did get back to talking about the other great members of the Larsen Family.

We expanded this year too! For years, this was the Larsen Family Reunion; Mom Heather and her sisters and their families all were invited, and many came. Through the years, however, the families have grown and fewer and fewer from my aunts’ families came.

So this year, we extended the reunion invitation to my dad and his wife and Mom Pat and her husband, as well as my three brothers who joined the family after Mom Heather and Dad divorced. We decided since it’s no longer just the Larsen Family Reunion, we’ll simply call it our Summer Family Reunion!

And that’s pretty much it—from sun-up to sun-down, no structure, no expectations . . . just plenty of food, family, and fun!