Monday, June 25, 2007


The Bryan Family Reunion was this past weekend in Montezuma, Iowa at Fun Valley a ski resort my Great Uncle Edwin started forever ago then passed down to my cousins and boy did we have fun! We left on Wednesday and arrived Thursday afternoon. I also decided a good 'ol map is better than a GPS system unless you need to find a close gas station or restaurant. The boys learned all about corn, beans, cows, pigs, creeks, frogging and met even more cousins then last year. It was really good to see everyone! There was almost 100 family members there and about 80 still missing! We are breeders!!!! Anyway we got there Thursday and stayed in my cousin's camper parked next to mom and dad's. There was a corn field about 100 feet from one end and a creek about 40 feet on the other so we had to watch the boys at all times when at the camper. It rained bad Thursday night and they even had tornadoes much to Elijah's dismay. Well mom tells me that when my brother Curt was two he got lost in a corn field and the only one that could find him was Boots their Great Dane. WHAT? Don't tell me this when I have a two year old staying about 100 feet from a corn field. So between the corn field and bridge over the creek on the opposite side, Isaiah made us a nervous wreck. Friday we went to meat market. The smell in there was horrific!!! If you know me then you know I was gagging! Elijah instantly said "Mommy it smells really bad in here". Then he saw the dead animals hanging in the meat locker and saw the butcher chopping up pigs and cows and decided he will just eat chicken well in nugget form!! Then my dad took us to see the sights aka fields. It went a little something like this: This is the house where I grew up but they tore it down so now it is a field. This is the old farm schoolhouse I went to and where we peed across the dirt road as boys but they tore it down too! This is the gas station where Grandpa worked and the house behind it is where they brought Uncle Steve home from the hospital but they tore that down too! Pretty soon Elijah was asking why Grandpa kept showing us fields and when will he actually show us something! Now everything was fields of corn - imagine that! We went back and my cousin Allison was there with her three girls so Martez took them all fishing but they only caught frogs. Then her daughters who are scared of absolutely nothing took Elijah down into the creek for the first time. So I went to my Great Aunt Kaye's house to see her and my Grandma and listened to them do there old lady bickering. Grandma then told Aunt Kaye to go ahead and go to the lodge to see her daughter and her girls since I could just bring Grandma down after the ham was done. Little did I know when I obliged that the ham still had to cook for another hour and a half so I would have to listen to my Grandma go on and on and on about all her woes. Did I mention it was an HOUR AND A HALF?!?!? I love my grandma dearly but ever since my Grandpa died in 2003 she has become very lonely and bitter very bitter! I had to hear all about how no one comes to see her and I am the only grandchild that calls or visits and how her sons should be closer and blah blah blah. Only about a quarter of what she said was even true!! She is a completely different person since Papa died and I have always come to her defense when everyone complains about her because she is alone now for the first time in 64 years but oh my goodness it was the longest conversation of my life and I only said about 10 words!!!!!! It was a major stuggle for me to even stay awake! Luckily when the ham was done I rushed her down to the lodge for others to enjoy!! We all ate and had a good time regardless of the storm going on outside. Saturday morning Martez took Elijah frogging with my cousins Adam, Kris, and James. They had a really good time but only caught little frogs so the frog legs were even smaller. Martez got to experience frogging and the skinning! Yuck!! We all just hung out, talked and ate all day long! I think the only time I even really saw Elijah was at dinner time and bedtime! He had a blast! He lived in the creek for four days and loved it! Isaiah just played with the little kids! It was wonderful - at bedtime they actually fell asleep in record time!! At night it was nice to go to the picnic table outside the camper, listen to the mini waterfallI, talk, watch the deer come out and eat, and watch the fireworks made possible by the hundreds of lightning bugs in the valley! We were up until at least three o' clock every morning talking. I learned several of the women in my family have plantar fasciitis so I am not alone. I also never realized how many people in our family had blue eyes until now! There was MAYBE fifteen people there with brown eyes but the rest were all really pretty blue!!! Why couldn't one of my boys be a blue eyed heart breaker? We left Sunday and Elijah cried and cried because he wanted to live at Fun Valley with all his frogs. We then went to the Newport (my grandma's side of the family) family reunion in Oskaloosa about thirty minutes away. It was mainly older people until more of the Bryan's came! Fun time again just talking and eating. The Bryan's definately know how to cook and eat!! Not good when you are dieting!!!! We left late sunday afternoon and made it home in record time and the boys were amazing the whole ride home especially since we only stopped once! We all had a great time and everytime we go to Iowa I want to live there but it would be so far away from everyone here and I want my boys to grow up around their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins here too! I then begin to think I should just visit there more often instead because I couldn't handle driving thirty minutes to Wal-mart to get groceries and necessities or eat out or do anything not involving nature! Love you all up there but I am staying here for now!

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