Sunday, July 18, 2010


Last weekend Josh and I drove to Tyler, TX for the Bi-Annual Russell Family Reunion. Every two years my dad's extended family gets together for a weekend. Among the attendees are all of my Grandpa's siblings and their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (ie - lots of people!!) This year I think we had about 75 people come out. The picture above is Uncle Bill's family (That's my grandpa.) I think that over the last 4 years with all of the marriages and added boyfriends/girlfriends we have literally doubled in size. Crazy.

Catherine, Mom and Me

The weekend technically begins with Friday afternoon/ evening where everyone is traveling into Tyler. Josh and I drove after I got off work on Friday and so we did not get in until everyone was already asleep. We met up with everyone the next morning as is usual and grandparents and our family cook breakfast for everyone complete with the most amazing pancakes you will ever put in your mouth (Grandpa gave me the recipe to take home and try myself this time...) Josh and I woke up a little late and managed to get passed up on all of the regular pancake and serving line duties which was fine by us... now that we have so many people in our family (see picture at beginning of blog) there are many more people than there are jobs to do and so we managed to provide moral support as they were finishing up breakfast.

After breakfast we LET THE GAMES BEGIN!! As is customary there are tournaments for horseshoes, mini-golf, basketball, fishing, 42, volleyball, did I leave anything out? Everyone has to team up in pairs with someone who is not in their generation... it makes for some very interesting pairs to say the least. I teamed up with Aunt Sissy for horsehoes and we were eliminated in the first round... not surprising. Josh teamed up with my Great Aunt Ellen for horseshoes (as usual) and they played really well but got rained out and were unable to finish - to be postponed until next time. They are currently the reigning champs for horseshoes throwing which I think is awesome.

Josh throwing the horseshoe...

When the rain started in that afternoon we were all stuck inside and the 42 tournament began... since I never learned how to play 42, Josh and I decided to gather up some of the others that had never learned to either and we taught them how to play a Hewiett favorite - Capatalism. It was great. Aunt Sissy definitely had beginner's luck beat us all.

Aunt Sissy, Cousin Vicki, Josh, Jenni, Me and Uncle Jean-Claude

Later in the afternoon we held the Bi-Annual Russell Reunion Auction. We hold this at every reunion to help pay for the expenses of food and housing for the next reunion. Everyone is supposed to bring items that they made or family heirlooms they would like to share and put them in the auction. This usually does very well and this year was no different. It is definitely a fun way to share and raise money for next time. The pictures below are the items that I made - pillows from Calico Corners fabric and some seasonal wreaths. It was a lot of fun!

Molly came along on the trip with us as well. She did really well on the 9 hour one-way car ride to and from Birmingham to Tyler down I-20. Throughout Mississippi the interstate gets a little bumpy and kept her head in the floor and was breathing very deeply for about 2 hours, but other than that she did great! She did really well playing with everyone all weekend - although I think she was not very amused by all of the water guns that were distributed to the kids 10 and under. By Saturday evening, she was tired and we had to coax her down out of the loft in my mom's cabin when we were heading back to ours....

On Sunday morning before everyone leaves to drive home we all have breakfast, a church service and then a pinata hitting together. Its tradition. For the pinata, we get to hit it in order from youngest to oldest... about 6 years ago or so all of the little kids were not so little anymore and then I became accustomed to the pinata being broken open before they get to my age group. Its okay, it is still fun to watch.

My cousin Natasha taking her turn


Sunday July 11 was actually my sister Catherine's 22nd birthday. (O boy do I feel soooo old...) My mom, Catherine and my sister's boyfriend Dan all drove to Tyler as well and so we caravanned for a while along I-20 and stopped for lunch at Wendy's for Catherine's birthday (lovely place I know, we had to make it quick for Molly's sake.) It was so good to see them and spend some time with Catherine around her birthday weekend.

Overall we had a wonderful weekend and we can't wait until next time!


Spencer and Emily said...

Yay! It sounds like yall had so much fun!! I am so glad Molly got to come. :) I LOVE the pillows you made! :)

Christine said...

Look at the sweet baby Molly. I love her. And I love what you made for the auction. Where is my pillow:)