Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Darrell & Lois Bartholomew Reunion

Reunion Time!  After a fun kick-off at my house over the 4th of July we all headed up to Pennsylvania for our first family reunion this summer.  We met everyone at the Kid's Castle Park.  Pretty cool structure, right?  Lee said he got lost in there a few times.
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Again, I just love seeing the cousins hang out.
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Next up, pool time!  My brother Darrell and his wife Stacie hosted the reunion this year.  We congregated at his house for a bbq and swimming.  Swimming at his pool makes it very tempting to get our own pool someday!
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That evening we spent at nearby Tyler State Park.  After dinner there was playing at the river, talking, and a craft too.  It was so cute seeing these two girls play together.  Mom, do I get the $2?  I think this is a pretty cute picture of both of them! 
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Before we adults left for a "couples date"  we lit off some of Clark and Lee's fireworks.
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July 5 2016 Fireworks

July 5 2016 fireworks again

We went to the Suburban Diner for the couple's night.  So many desserts to choose from! 
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July 5 2016 Suburban Diner

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After the diner we picked up our kids and headed out.  We were going to sleep in a hotel that night but I called to confirm about the number of people that were staying in the room.  Some hotels don't seem to mind if you cram in a room, but most others do.  The hotel didn't want us to stay there unless we reserved more rooms.  It was pretty expensive anyway, so I just canceled.  There aren't any campgrounds close to Darrell's and at that point I didn't want to spend any money to sleep anywhere.  So....we did what any crazy family would do (not really, ha ha) and spent the night in our vehicle in the church parking lot.  The church building Darrell and his family attend is in a good area and is quite secluded in back...in a good way.  My sister and her family joined us there.  They set up a tent on the back grassy section.  Apparently sometimes the scouts camp back there!  Not sure if this was "allowed", but it worked great.  About 2am Clark was getting pretty hot.  It was a pleasant evening with hardly any bugs, and we had the windows down.  I vaguely remember him saying something about being uncomfortable.  Clark decided to get out of the vehicle and sleep on the asphalt.  My brother-in-law heard a door shut and someone flop down onto the ground.  He got out of his tent too see what was going on.  There was Clark, sleeping ON the parking lot.  He offered to set up a hammock for Clark in the trees.  It was so kind of him, and Clark slept the rest of the night in a hammock...not on the asphalt.  The next morning we headed to McDonald's and all had breakfast there.  We wanted to go to the Suburban Diner, but by the time we got off, calculated the drive into Philadelphia and traffic, we knew it wouldn't work.  I told all the kids that since we spent the night in the parking lot we would go to McDonald's and they could get whatever they wanted.  I hardly eat there, and I must say, the breakfast items I ordered were yummy!  So if you read the long paragraphs in my blog, you now know a crazy story, ha ha.

The next day of the reunion we spent doing some fun things in Philadelphia.  On the way downtown Lee spotted a sweet car that is worth more than our house!
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First stop, Independence Hall. We all have pictures with the Liberty Bell so we didn't do that again.
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We went on the tour that morning at Independence Hall.
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Where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were signed!  
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Fun family photo.
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After lunch we walked over to see Elfreth's Alley.  The oldest, continually inhabited alley in the United States.
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On the way there we happened to go by Benjamin Franklin's grave, and Betsy Ross' house.
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Elfreth's Alley!  It was really fun to walk down.
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We drove by the temple that will be completed soon!  Well, the Philadelphia Temple may already be done, because the open house is coming up soon.  We are going up in August and I'm so excited for all my kids to walk through it.  If you're interested in touring the temple, it's free and open to the public.  But you do need to reserve a spot to go in by getting a free ticket, click here.
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Next up, park time!  There is a cool park in Philly with some fun play equipment.  We enjoyed hanging out there, and enjoyed a picnic dinner too.
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The wooden slide with sacks is very fun.
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The youngest sibling in my family, Sheldon, came to the reunion.  It was so fun to see him.  The kids LOVED him. 
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Little Steven is a favorite too!
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Our last stop for the day was the Museum of Art. 
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It was very fun seeing paintings by Monet and Van Gogh in real life.
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I am pretty illiterate when it comes to art, and I'm sure there were other cool things at the museum too.  Here are a few of the findings we saw. 
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This is a ceiling of some sort of prayer house or temple for ancestors in the Asian culture...Chinese?  Really, I can't remember at all.  This is a picture of the ceiling of the structure.  See the rows of houses that run along the bottom of the photograph?  The little houses built for the ancestors!  I was amazed at the gorgeous work that the Chinese produced sooooo many years ago.  Like perfect ceramic bowls from 900 AD (or whatever they were made of).  They were so advanced in so many things!  Wonder how that people started. And how there are so many of them in China!
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We took off that night to continue on our travels for points north.  Thanks Darrell and Stacie for hosting the reunion!  I love getting together with family!

Monday, July 11, 2016

4th of July Weekend!

Happy 4th everyone!  I love this country we live.  We had a terrific weekend.  Everyone had arrived that was coming to my house for the pre-reunion activities.  27 people were at my house, with the other 7 staying in near-by hotels.  Lois, Sam, and their families, my parents and Sheldon arrived that weekend.  Sam arrived Sunday with the others arriving Saturday night.

With lots of people at my house I was very grateful for late church!  Our meetings start at 1pm.  It worked great with so many people here.  And thanks to Deb and her fun beads it was a very peaceful Sabbath morning. 
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We took some pictures before and after church.
Ruth and Lee July 3 2016

Haley July 3 2016

Shanna July 3 2016

Elden July 3 2016

Clark July 3 2016

Cal July 3 2016

Family July 3 2016

The main point of the pictures was to get a picture of each grandchild present with Grandma and Grandpa Bartholomew.  Somehow we missed Clark?  Oops!  We need to get some of our kids with their Robertson grandparents this summer.
grandparents July 3 2016

Shanna grandparents July 3 2016

Haley grandparents July 3 2016

Elden grandparents July 3 2016

Cal grandparents July 3 2016

After church we went down to the JMU arboretum.  I've actually never been there before.  It's very pretty.  We need to go back for a family walk.
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Out of order, but that night Makenzie and Rebecca did a Personal Progress project by doing a young women preview for the girl nieces in primary.  They wouldn't let us come to the meeting, but they had opening/closing songs and prayers and it just sounded so cute!  They had refreshments too! 
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We enjoyed hanging out after church, visiting and eating.
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There are a few birthdays in July and I handed out some presents.  Alyssa  was just baptized on Saturday!  (The girl with the presents in front of her.)
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The awesome pile of shoes!
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4th of July came!  Sheldon, Lois and Jeff arrived at the park early so Sheldon could do the 5K run.  He came in first!  I ran three miles that morning just here by my house.  We all met up that morning at a park for a tri-unit 4th of July breakfast.
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It's always a fun event and I enjoyed the program too.
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July 4 2016 breakfast

These cousins had such a great time together.  Keith is part of the little group too...not pictured.
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July 4 2016 breakfast Flag

That afternoon Deb, Matt and Sheldon took a group of kids to the Grand Caverns.  The kids had free admission--yep--thanks to the library program!  Lee and I packed up for our upcoming trip. 
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July 4 2016 Grand Caverns 2

That evening we had dinner at the park.  It was raining most of the day so I was worried that we wouldn't even be able to use the shelter we reserved and paid for.  But the rain died down and we had a lovely evening at the park.
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July 4 2016 Dinner

Clark and Lee bought fireoworks and we had fun setting them off in the parking lot.
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We saw fireworks that night in Harrisonburg. By then a few families had taken off.  Lee and I stayed up late to finish packing and cleaning before our trip.  I stayed up much too late!  But we got done what we needed.  Hope you all have a terrific 4th!  Stay tuned for the rest of our travels!