Valyou Family Reunion 2014 was Groovy, Baby!
For our 19th Annual (yea, seriously – next year is the big 20!) Family Reunion, the extended family met up for another fun-filled weekend at the Grange Center in Brookfield, VT.
We arrived Friday afternoon, setup the camper, and joined the usual crew by the fire.
Although we hadn’t seen most everyone for a year, Avery wasn’t one bit shy. He made his rounds around the fire visiting with everyone, especially his buddy, Jim.
He played a little cornhole…
Oh, and hydrated!
When the sun went down, Avery was sooo excited to sleep in his camper bed:
Avery had his camo sleeping bag he got from Uncle Michael Eyes and Grampy thought to make him a cozy bed like this, and was Avery thrilled!
Saturday was a busy busy day! We started the morning after breakfast… we took a walk down to the old floating bridge (it’s now under construction. You can see it in its glory days in years past reunions here and here). When we got back, the slip and slide was out, so we joined in!
We had so much fun! Avery was really into it.
He had on his serious face every time we went down….
But as soon as it ended, he jumped up and asked to do it again!
After we were covered in bubbles and grass and mud, we took showers and enjoyed some games around the field…
We played and watched cornhole.
Then we joined the group at the campfire…
Avery played peek-a-boo with my cousin Amy (she’s very animated, as you can see) – Avery was in stitches laughing at her.
Then it was off to the duck race! If you aren’t familiar, we put ducks in a river, they float down and the first to the finish, wins! Everyone buys their ducks ahead of time, winner gets 50% of the pot and the rest goes to our reunion fund.
Avery was so excited for the duck race….
He actually passed out in the car on the way there and missed the whole thing!
This year, we added 100 more ducks, making 300 available to purchase. I think 100 kids ducks and 250 adult ducks took the ride down the river this year.
Joey and Grampy helped catch them as they came in.
The rest of us watched from above. The winner of the adult race gets to bring home a trophy too… I was lucky enough to win it two years ago and it sat atop a shelf in my living room for a year and since it was a gold spray painted wine bottle with a duck on top, it was a good conversation starter.
Back at the grange, Avery had some snacks while he was groggy from his nap and I played cards with my cousins.
Avery, in the meantime, tried some badminton…
Then it was time for the big Saturday Night Dinner…
They had food that was popular in the 80s: SpaghettiOs, Doritos, Hamburger Helper, and Pudding Pops!
I spent a couple nights the weeks prior making our costumes…
I hadn’t touched a sewing machine since highschool.. so over 10 years! I raided my Nana’s sewing room and found the perfect pattern for a shirt for Avery. I just used one of his T shirts as a guideline.
The hardest part was the vest, with fringe!
I used a vest pattern from my Nana that was too big and sized it down a bit. It took a while, but it was real suede, so it looked really nice when I was finished.
I love dressing up for our reunion themes, but it can be pricy, so my goal was to make something cheap (it was actually free!), and something Avery would actually wear… and he did!
I made my costume from the same material, so we looked kinda cute.
We only spent $20 on Joey’s wig, $6 on his sun glasses, $5 on his retro shirt (a GoodWill find), and $5 on peace sign necklaces (that we shared with all the little kids). Three costumes for under $40 total, score!
Here’s a group shot of all of us dressed up.
Avery won a goodie bag of prizes and candy for his costume!
The kids each took 3 shots at it, and after going thru everyone 3 times, it finally broke.
Avery had fun hitting the piniata (he was the youngest again this year) first, and scrambling for candy.
We had a great time, especially Avery. He was all smiles and laughs all weekend.
Next year is our 20th reunion… and I’m on the committee – so excited to start planning it!
We’re off on vacation next week in Lake George, NY. We’ll be camping, going to Great Escape, and Joey and Sarah are coming too! Yay vacation!
P.S. I mailed out Avery’s birthday invitations this morning… you’ll see them in the mail soon! More details here.