Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Gruber Reunion 2016 - Alpine Days

A few days after we returned from Colorado, we were off to the next big family event: The Gruber Reunion. After the fun events around Alpine Days last year, we knew we wanted to have everyone here for it this year.

And so it began Wednesday, August 10th. Everyone arrived for a delicious BBQ chicken dinner. The cousins had a blast playing in the yard in the perfect summer weather. Nancy went over the itinerary of fun things we would be doing the rest of the week. The men set up a tent in the yard for the cousins to sleep in as a fun adventure (and to provide a little more space in the house). When we finally got the kids bathed and in their pajamas, they all layed in the tent on their own little sleeping bags and watched a movie on the TV that we hooked up in the tent. It was so adorable and the kids were loving it. The real test, however, was to see how many of them would actually make it through the night in the tent. Before midnight half of the kids had already made their way back into the house to sleep. Harlan, Alex, Clara, Mya, and surprisingly enough Charlie, made it through the night! Charlie sleeps pretty deeply. It wasn’t until 5:00 am that Harlan brought Charlie into our room. I was so impressed! I think Charlie was a little confused though waking up with hardly anyone left in the tent. He wasn’t as interested in sleeping out there the other nights.

On Thursday, we started the day bright and early with family pictures. My friend, Amy Stallings (now Thackeray), came and took our pictures. It is always insanity trying to photograph a large group with tons of kids, but she got some really awesome and cute shots just in the Grubers yard. Perfect! After pictures we headed to the church gym for all kinds of fun play: scooters, airplanes, basketball, foursquare, lunch, talent show, the list goes on.

After a great time at the church, some of the kids had a blast running through the sprinklers.

That evening, the Riverton Grubers put on a very special scavenger hunt. They broke us up into four teams and hid QR code video clues all around Alpine. It was such a hoot. We were racing around to the water fountain, the rodeo grounds, the cemetery, the Madsens...just to name a few. We had to prove we were there with a picture. It was such a fun way to see Alpine and to learn a little about its history as well. Thanks Grubers for such a fun activity and for finding a creative way to utilize PicSkip.

Back for a treat:

Friday was another day of fun. It started with a donut run to Daylight Donuts in true Gruber style. They loaded the car with as many people as it could hold, plus some, and came back with boxes of delicious donuts. Very fun. The rest of the morning was spent playing in the yard, playing games, and playing horseshoes. The Olympics were still going on, so we watched a bit of that on and off. Friday afternoon was the time of the firemen’s foam slide at the park. That was definitely one of the highlights of the reunion. The firemen used their equipment to ooze tons and tons of bubble foam down a grass hill at the park and we slid down in the foam on some plastic that was layed out. It was complete fun and complete chaos. It was nuts! We were swimming in bubbles. It was so cool.

We spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening kind of relaxing after a very fun-filled afternoon. Later that evening George and Nancy put on a treasure hunt for all of the grandkids. The kids just ate it up! They loved it! And George and Nancy were so clever and creative in their clues and hiding spots. The treasure ended up being hidden in a box in the ground that they had buried weeks before (there was even grass and weeds already growing on top of it so you would never suspect). To get to the treasure they had to tie some string from a stump and walk so many paces towards another tree to find the exact spot. It was so great! The treasure was individual candy and money bags for all of the grandkids. Just awesome!

Saturday was probably the biggest day of all - the day of the Alpine Days Carnival! We have some real ambitious runners in this Gruber family, so a handful of them participated in the early morning 5K race. The rest of us cheered them on from the sidewalk as they passed the house. We then made our way to celebrate them at the medal ceremony and to see the mini-run. It was very cute. Next we were at the pancake breakfast; always a treat.

Great Grandma Gruber joined us for the parade and lunch. Again, we were so lucky to have the parade go right past their house! No parking or walking, just sitting on our chairs in the shade...the best seats in town. It was great. We all wore our legit Alpine Days shirts that Nancy had given us earlier in the week.

Amy and I put Colson and Penelope down for naps, and then we were all off for the carnival. Another lucky thing is the carnival is at a park that is just a small walk away from the house, so we let the babies sleep and checked on them every hour. It made it so nice not having the babies there. We could really run free with the other kids. It was a lot of fun. Alpine Days sells wristbands for the day that gets you on any of the bouncy toys and rides, so we got to play to our heart's content. Charlie was in heaven! Eventually, we knew the babies would be waking up soon so we headed back to get them. Apparently, Colson learned how to climb out of the pack n’ play AND open the heavy door because he was found crying and roaming around the upstairs. Poor guy! Partly funny, partly freaky. We then brought the babies over to the carnival to play until dinner. Everyone kind of split up for dinner; we bought some pulled pork sandwiches. At this point, Charlie was basically delirious! Probably from all of the exertion and the heat. He was so tired he just fell asleep on the grass in the middle of dinner. I layed down with him as his pillow for a bit while he napped.

After some more play at the carnival it was time to head home for baths. At that point we put some of the younger kids to bed. The older ones got to stay up with us and watch the fireworks at the park.

On Sunday, our little family had to break away and attend our own ward. Jason had presidency meeting and a YM lesson to give and I had to speak in sacrament (quite the busy, but not untypical, Sunday). After church, we headed back to Alpine to join the rest of the family. It was a special Sunday dinner because we were celebrating three birthdays: Max, Oliver, and Greta. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening playing in the yard enjoying the beautiful weather, eating a delicious fish taco dinner by Max and April, eating Cinnamon Roll Cake, and opening presents (complete with a surprise confetti dump). It was such a fun party.

And that marked the end of our wonderful reunion! Everyone was to leave early the next morning, so we all said our goodbyes that night. It was sad to say goodbye to such a fun week. But we concluded that Alpine Days is a must for next year...a new tradition!

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