Sunday, August 30, 2009

True Blue Calls

The beautiful Salmon mountains at Williams Lake was the site for the family reunion.
We went to Springfield Illinois while we were at Nauvoo and got to see alot of the museums about Abraham Lincoln. It is his 200th birthday this year. Anyway, on one of the books we bought on CD was a wonderful story about a group of men the fought with Ulyssys S. Grant, they proved themselves so valiant and committed to the cause and firm in their resolve that they became known as the "True Blue Core". It gave me the idea that our family can be "True Blue". We wanted to honor Brian and his family for their sacrifice also.
Lots of opportunity to be together and have fun and eat!

Thanks to Ryan's Uncle Jim Bob, we had a great place to hang out and we brought the motorhome for a few extra beds and storage.


Everyone tried their luck in the water. Brianna and Maylie got more brave as each day went on.



They each took turns on the tube behind the boat with dad at the helm they felt pretty confident.




We invited their neighbors to take a picture of the "True Blue Calls" I dyed shirts for the adults and we had matching neck ties and Grandpa taught everyone how to make waggles for their ties.
(Good practice for Woodbadge in a couple of weeks)


Brad and Shanna showing their True Blue colors!



Ryan and Julie, Maylie, Brianna and Ashlie look especially patriotic to show how proud we are of their brother who is serving as a Jag in Iraq.


The whole gang saying "We are True Blue"
We miss Brian and Natalie, Kennedy and Nathan.
We love you and God Bless the USA!


We had a great time with the boat and Ryan even helped us to get the canopy to work. It was great.



The "True Blue Calls " are
*True to our God
*True to our family
*True to our country
*True to ourselves.


Brad is going to try his luck at starting on the dock. It looked easy for him.


The Arfmann gang all had to jump in the water one last time.
They know how to make things fun!


Ashlie wanted to make sure Dad was near. It was pretty cold water. She is brave!!



Jules did some knee boarding and wake boarding. You'll have to check her blog for the wake boarding. I was doing crafts with the kids.



Brad did some pretty cool jumps on the wake.



Lots of smiles and hugs from Maylie.



Lots of hugs and kisses from Brianna.



Ryan did some cool sprays while he skiied.



Sisters forever!


Grandpa and Brianna, two sweethearts.



I loved this picture with the googles and the earrings! This girl is ready for anything!
She didn't want to take off the earrings till absolutely necessary.


Jules ready for some water fun.


Shanna the Wake board dudette.



Life jackets everyone!


We are ready for fun!!



Everyone painted Lulu Lady Bug but Ashlie especially showed her talent with paint. She was so careful.


Brad and Shanna in the lake withthe new little paddle boat and Uncle Jim Bob's kayak.
I'm not sure who won this race. I just know I kept going in circles in the paddle boat.

LESSONS LEARNED BY ME
I had prayed that this time together would be fun and help us build our unity as a family. Well the Lord answered my prayer but a little different than I had planned. On our way up a very steep pass to Williams lake, Ryan got a flat on his truck, with 4 wheelers behind him. Quite a process. Everyone jumped in to help and I kept the kids entertained in the motorhome. Then 15 minutes later Charlie and I took a wrong turned and climbed much further than we needed and smoke started coming from under the hood. We had to sit and wait while it cooled but Ryan and Brad came to the rescue when we didn't show up and took the kids back while it cooled. It drove fine to the cabin. Charlie drove Brad and Shanna's car home on friday for Woodbadge. Brad and Ryan left early pulling the boat so they could do some 4 wheeling. I drove the motorhome down this steep revene with Julie and Shanna shaking the whole time. It was simple but Shanna was on the edge of the cliff. When we got to town we did some shopping at Arfmann's Four Seasons.
All the girls buckeled in the motorhome and headed for Idaho Falls. We had gone a few miles when I saw some strange white smoke coming from the exhaust I thought. I really just wanted to get home and tired to imagine it came from another car. Then I asked Julie if she could see it. She thought it was because of the new pavement. (She wanted to get home too) Finally there was so much smoke that we could not ignore it any more and I finally found a spot to pull over on this narrow 2 lane road. When I tried to move the motorhome ahead a little it would not go forward or backward. We got Ryan on the phone just as they were passing us and we determined it needed to be towed to Salmon. We put everyone but me in the truck and headed back to the Arfmann home of hospitality. Brad and Ryan met me with the tow truck at 10:45 at night in Salmon and helped me unload the motorhome into the back of Ryan's truck. We all went to Arfmann's where they found beds for all of us. ( They are in the middle of remodeling but still invited us in with open arms. ) We all got up and waited for Charlie to come with the pickup to tow the 4 wheelers and haul all of our stuff. When it was all done we all worked together and included all the adventures as part of the fun and part of being a family. The Lord knows that challenges make us strong. We want to be a strong family. I am thankful to the Lord for his blesssings. I want to thank everyone for going the extra mile in preparation and planning and helping with everything. I felt the unity and love as I had a group hug with everyone who helped. Thank you.
Brian and Natalie, Kennedy and Nathan, we look forward to when you can unite with us.
We are the "True Blue Calls"!


4 comments:

Brian said...

Hey Everyone!

All these great pictures and stories really made me smile. Williams Lake is such a beautiful location and the True Blue Calls gang only makes it sparkle even more. What an adventure it sounds like you all had. Sometimes you just have to laugh and live in the moment and then even the crummiest situations, like the motor-home breaking down when you think you're all played out and exhausted, will bring fond memories to smile about in the future. We certainly miss being there for these fun times, but thanks for remembering and including us in your thoughts despite our absence. I'm sure the kids will have fun when we come visit this winter (I wonder if we can even find out coats for the chilly weather:)

I'm sure you never really thought you were raising a son to go fight in some war on the other side of the world, but trust me, it's an honor to be able to serve and do whatever small part I can to defend and protect our great country and hopefully make you a little proud at the same time. I'm sure there are plenty of other places I could be right now, getting filthy rich or making my name some other way, but the longer I've been deployed the more convinced I am that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. Thanks to all of you for sacrificing as well and being understanding of my little family's absence from many of these fun family times. We love you and are always there in Spirit!

Love,
Bri

Natalie said...

Couldn't say it any better than Bri! We love you and are so happy that you had a wonderful time...even with all the little extra adventures along the way! Hugs and kisses from Florida!
XOXOX!

Shanna said...

Thanks for all the fun pictures, Mom! I agree, all of the mishaps gave us opportunity to work together as a family and grow closer. Thanks for planning such a fun family reunion. We really had a blast and enjoyed one another's company. Lots of adventures to remember! Love you!

Julie Arfmann said...

Thanks mom and dad for such an awesome family vacation! That was really special and memorable. Your pictures and commentary were great and very accurate! I don't think I will ever ride down the mountain in your motorhome again, no offense... j/k... we just love being so close and having so many great memories! Love you always! Jules