BJ has been dying for someone to come up and see his life in Rexburg. His mom has made many trips but he wanted more people to come up. He really wanted to take his dad to the farm and milk cows, he wanted his sisters to see his place, he wanted people to just see what he has been doing in the year and a half that we have been gone. Rachel (the oldest) wanted to rent a cabin last Christmas for everyone to come and spend a weekend together but it just didn't work out.
BJ then thought maybe she might be willing to drive and do Yellowstone with us. She was all for it! Since Matt would be in town we asked if he would be interested. Then we figured Liz is only 5 hours away and maybe she would be interested. Then we figured Helen and Bruce might want to come. Then Michele might be able to do it if she came up to her yearly Idaho trip for Sam at the same time. Then we invited Marie just in case she might be interested. At first most people said no it wouldn't work. BJ kept planning and had enough people say yes that we went ahead and found a campground 7 miles from Yellowstone that would let us reserve a group site. We need at least 25 people so we invited BJ's cousins in Pocatello. They have pretty much taken care of us since day one. They let us sleep at their house when I was 18 weeks pregnant and moving 2 states and having my car off in a ditch. They said they would come then about 2 weeks away from the trip everyone confirmed they were coming!
That is 32 people 6 of them teenagers 11 of them between 5 years and 3 months.
BJ and I were so so so very excited to have everyone together for a family reunion. I made sure BJ planned everything. We assigned food assignments, planned out the park with input from all, had the camp ground ready, and places for people to stay.
It was a rough week getting ready though. I thought since I was going to clean my house I might as well do a deep clean. That meant scraping off all the dried food from base boards, washing all my walls, cleaning up junk in piles everywhere, watering my yard every single day. I was cleaning up until my deadline but I made it! I even got my house some what decorated too!
Bruce, Helen, and Dan came up early to see Bruce's family. Wednesday they got into town and we had Big Jud's for dinner. Best place ever! Then the boys went off to the farm with BJ and Helen hung out with me and Rylee. It was so nice to spend time with Helen. It gave Rylee time to get use to her and show her all of her tricks and toys. I got to talk with her about everything and just relax before our trip.
Thursday we planned on feeding everyone breakfast. Marie, Salo and the twins came over with Matt, Camille and Lilli. We all hung out, ate food and chatted. BJ and Dan then went and worked on the car that BJ found for him (his DREAM car) while I finished packing up the camper. We then headed up to our camp ground to wait for everyone to get there.
Once we all got there we set up tents. It was tent city. All sizes from small 3 persons tent to luxury hotel 8 person tent! We heard there was a pizza place in West Yellowstone that was the best so we ordered pizza from there for dinner. I took charge and got an order from each family which was 9 pizzas and all different kinds. When I called it in they asked for my name. I told them Bruce Balls since he was paying and the kid didn't believe me! He asked if it was a joke or prank call. It took about 5 minuted to convince him I wasn't kidding and had a huge order to put in. He went with it but put it under the name "B" because you can't put "BALLS". I'm just soooo glad I didn't say my name was Krystal Balls. He probably would have just hung up on me. HA!
Everyone made fun me the whole time because I am baby crazy. I tried to always have a baby in my arms!
Rylee did well playing with the older cousins. Most times she just wanted to wander but she would stop and play occasionally.
The twins needed lots of snuggle time and their were plenty of people willing!
Boys chopping up the wood for fires
Grammy's tent looked so comfy that Rylee thought she needed to break it in for them and took a nap
This one had the "porch" it was so funny to hear oh the kids are on the porch. I think I left it on the porch. So awesome!
We pulled all the tables together to have an eating area and fire pit
I loved when food came out because the kids came a running. Aunt Rachel was nice enough to go through all of her gogurts so each kid could have one
That night we did glowsticks thanks to Aunt Michele. We never really spent much time around the fire pit but when each family has a baby 1 or younger bed time comes a lot faster. That night we slept the best and were ready for a day in the park!