Friday, June 24, 2016

Armour Family Reunion

For the past year and a half, Kyle's family has been planning a very special reunion this June in Branson to celebrate his Grandma Virginia's 80th birthday, which was in March.  Nearly 50 Armours descended on Branson over the weekend to be part of the family reunion.

Hanging out with Grandma Virginia and Aunt Karen.
We took off on Thursday morning, and made our way to Branson with Grace. It was kind of nice to be able to take our time and not rush to get there.  We set Grace up with Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks on her DVD player, and headed west, stopping for lunch in Rolla. We had a bit of a late lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, so I really thought Grace would sleep for part of the remainder of the drive, but she waited until ten minutes before we got to the cabins to fall asleep.

Papa Randy and his grandchildren.
When we arrived at the cabins, we spent the evening hanging out with Kyle's brother, Daniel, his wife, Monica, and our nephew Keelen.  The boys were excited to watch the US men's soccer game on TV, and we just enjoyed a nice, relaxing evening together. Grandma Virginia and Kyle's Aunt Karen stopped by for a quick visit too.

Pool time with Uncle Shane, Daddy, Uncle Daniel and Uncle Scott.
On Friday morning, we had to wait for Grace to wake up around 10 a.m. I think her ten-minute nap caught up with her. So, we enjoyed watching some Eurocup soccer and just having a few moments to ourselves.  When Grace finally did wake up and have breakfast, we headed to Kyle's mom and dad's cabin for lunch and then some swimming. The kids all really loved the pool, and Grace stayed in the water for a couple of hours. She really seemed to like all the attention. When she started to get tired, she and Grandma Kim got out of the pool, and Grace was asleep almost immediately in her lap.

Swimming with Grandma Kim and Aunt Karen.
That night was a cookout with the entire Armour clan. Despite some very hot weather, we enjoyed great food and even better company. I had promised Kyle's mom I would take some photos on the trip, so I wandered around taking photos of all the cousins, while Kyle and Grace hung around the picnic tables. Since it was so hot, we took Grace back to the room a little early, and after we got her cooled off, we headed back to Grandma Kim's room for cupcakes to celebrate Quincy's first birthday. Grace enjoyed snuggling with Kayley and Kensey, and getting everyone's undivided attention.

Grace loved talking to Aunt Karen and Aunt Kristy at the cookout.
Although she protested leaving, she had a good night's sleep, so she would be all ready to go to Silver Dollar City on Saturday. It turned out to be another hot day, but it was fun to be together.

We got to celebrate Quincy's first birthday!
After arriving in the park, we split from our big group with Kyle's family and took Grace and Quincy to the kids' rides area. Quincy wasn't big enough to ride the teacups, so Mikaela and I took Grace for a ride, and she seemed to like it.  Quincy got to ride the Firepup ride with his dad, and we all rode the fire truck ride together. I think the boys were a little nervous, but everyone did great.

Just goofing around at Silver Dollar City.
We ate lunch at the Tater Patch, which is a Herschelman favorite at Silver Dollar City. Grace even go to try the potatoes, and enjoyed them. When we finished eating, we made a trip to the first aid office to feed Grace in a nice, cool place. She did great, so we headed back out again to walk around Silver Dollar City. 

Riding the tea cups with Aunt Mikaela!
Riding the fire wagon ride.
As the temperatures began to rise, and naptime drew nearer, we headed back for the cabins shortly after lunch.  I thought Grace might take an afternoon nap, but she was content just to lay by me on the futon. She babbled and smiled the whole time, until it was time to get ready for dinner. We heard a knock at the door, and Grandma Kim had a special surprise for Grace. She had purchased a purple princess parasol at Silver Dollar City, and had Grace's name put on it. Grace absolutely loved it. We can't wait to try it out when we go swimming next time!

Grace loves her new purple parasol from Grandma Kim!
Once we were changed and ready for dinner, we headed to Kyle's mom and dad's cabin, where Grace promptly fell asleep on Uncle Shane's lap, mere minutes before it was time to leave for the restaurant.  It was cute, and I don't think Uncle Shane minded a bit.

The Armour Family Reunion 2016
Saturday night was another big Armour family dinner, and we decided since nearly everyone was together that we would take a group photo, and that was one of my jobs. Even with almost 50 people, we managed to make it work, and it turned out pretty good.  We did some individual family photos as well, and I think everyone was pleased with how well they turned out.

The Herschleman family.
The restaurant did a great job of seating all of us, and we all enjoyed the food and the time to visit. They even sang Happy Birthday to Grandma Virginia as part of the festivities. And after dinner, we enjoyed some more time visiting with Kyle's family before bedtime.

Family photo op with our favorite princess!
Kyle, Grace and I were given some awesome Cardinals tickets for a Sunday afternoon game, so we had to depart Branson pretty early that morning, but not before we did a few more photos and said our goodbyes. It's not all that often we get together with just Kyle's entire family, and it was fun to be together.

Just the boys!
Grandma Kim and Grandpa Randy with their grandkids.
Even though it was a quick, weekend trip, we made memories that we will never forget (and I have the photos to prove it!) I'm so glad that we had the chance to go, and the Grace got to spend so much time with Kyle's family. It was a special weekend on this Grace-Filled Journey!


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