Giles Family Reunion 2009
So after Ruby's and my trip to Broomfield, CO (to see and help Bart & KayLyn with their girls while KayLyn was on bedrest), we flew to Utah (July 1st) to see the rest of the Giles clan. It's a rare and exciting occasion to get all of us together, being that we are spread out all over the United States. I braved the plane trip alone from Denver to Salt Lake with Ruby, Brooke & Anna in tow. They did great. Brooke & Anna had their own special backpacks stuffed to the brim with coloring books, treats, barbies... you name it! They did well with the chain of command ("here's how it's going to work: if Ruby needs something, I need to help her FIRST, then it's Brooke's turn SECOND, and Anna--you're turn is THIRD."). Brooke just got annoyed when Ruby tried stealing all her treats :). We landed in Salt Lake where Ruby's daddy met up with us! It was so good to see him after a week as a pseudo mom of three. We drove down to Filly (Fillmore, for those of you who are new to the lingo), to Grandma Giles' house (my mom).
By the next day everyone had finally made it there and the fun began! I took it upon myself to plan the first organized Giles Family Reunion. Now, it was pretty low key-- I just tried to make sure we had plenty of fun things planned for the adults, kids, meals assigned, etc. Just to take the pressure off my mom and to help everyone feel busy. (It's not like there's that much going on in a town with no stoplights, one grocery store, and streets as wide as the Columbia River.)
The kids made bug houses, played water games, went swimming, decorated festive 4th of July frames, won prizes in Grandma's fish pond and Nathan even caught a couple toads! We ladies made birthday calendars, hair clips and had a great time in the kitchen.
(Birthday Calendars we made)
However, we all know that the highlight of our summer is always Fillmore's famous 4th of July celebration! It's an event that we start thinking about pretty much the day after it's over. And Melinda & I are scheming our outfits for it starting in oh... mid February. Afterall, it's the event of the year where you see everyone you went to high school with and everyone that ever lived in Fillmore :) Gotta feel a little foxy.
Filly's 4th of July Celebration
Three of my darling nieces posing in their red, white and blue before the parade.
Brooke, Anna & Layni.
Ruby in her 4th fabulousness sitting with Daddy
(Phil Robison reminding everyone to remove their hats as common courtesy)
THE Parade of Parades.
Fillmore's parade is always lovely. And it's only complete with Fillmore legend Phil Robison on his horse and his Millard High royal blue polyester pants.
For those of you that don't do small town parades-- you're missing out. Every ward in the stake has a float, most of the businesses, the high school drill team, cheerleaders, football team, etc. And almost everyone throws candy. A LOT of candy. I think it took about a week for all the kids to come down off their sugar high. And Evelyn learned how to be more aggressive in getting candy. Once Parade Coach Mel stepped in, she got her own bag full. Evelyn is still on the team for next year. It was a close one though... Mel you're awesome. :)
After the parade, President Christensen, a ward/family friend took a bunch of the kids for a ride in his horse-drawn wagon. Clydesdale horses I believe. They are beautiful!
After the parade, there are food booths and games for the kids. And don't forget the entertainment-- usually consisting of young girls trying to launch their singing careers with some super nasally karaoke. This year we heard just about every Mylie Cyrus and Taylor Swift song. Painful, but necessary for the complete Filly 4th experience.
(yummy flag cake I made for the BBQ)
One of my FAVORITE 4th traditions is the Giles 4th of July BBQ. We get to see family friends like the Ropers, Nielsens, Coopers and others. It's great food and wonderful to catch up with everyone!
After the BBQ, we all head down to the baseball fields for the fireworks. They are launched RIGHT above your head. It's amazing. Bag the Stadium of Fire... come to Fillmore! It's an experience unlike any you've had.
Origami for Kirb
The Sunday following the 4th of July we all took a trip to Fillmore City Cemetery to visit Dad's grave. The grandkids (and adults) made origami paper cranes, turtles, crabs, whales, etc. earlier in the week. We attached them to straws and arranged them in vases for origami bouquets on Dad's grave. For those of you that don't know, Dad served his mission in Japan. He loved origami and taught the 6th graders each year how to make paper cranes. After he passed away some of the teachers had the kids make paper cranes and hung them in the hallway in the middle school where he taught. It looked magical.
Just carrying on the Origami tradition.
Our happy little fam remembering Ruby's Grandpa Giles
My brother, Greg's, little family: Layni, Greg, Lincoln & Kristen
The Giles Grandkidlets (minus a couple)
I know Kirb was smiling down at this very moment.