Warmin’ Up for Ladder Golf

Dan’s grandparents have a dog named Lady. Lady is pretty cute, pretty well behaved, and pretty friendly. But she hates it when birds get into the pine tree outside. She hates it so much that she jumps and bites branches off of the bottom of the pine tree. Then she barks and runs in circles with her eyes fixed on whatever bird has invader “her” tree.

The Saturday morning of the Dexter Family Reunion was rainy. Lydia didn’t mind because when we got to Gramma and Grampa’s house she got to play in the puddles in their driveway. We took Abby inside and watched as Lydia splashed in puddles and Lady barked at the birds. Grampa got in some good time holding Abby, and everyone enjoyed an extravagant potluck lunch.

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Once all of that was over it was time for some serious competition. Lawn games were set up and everyone found a partner. Grampa kept score because Dexters are very competitive and there were prizes to be had. Uncle Gene and Gramma fought over who got to hold Abby.

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I especially like this picture because it captures the heat of the moment: ladder golf newbies, a devestating miss on the cornhole game, and Dan warming up on the stationary bike.

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At the end of the day Grampa rang the bell on his “train” (pulled behind a four wheeler and definitely not up to any safety codes) and the kids scrambled to get on. It was an intense ride but after the fact Lydia claimed to have enjoyed it, and no one was hurt (although we did blow a tire). Everyone was exhausted by the time we piled back into the car and it was a relatively quiet ride home.

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2013 Carlson Family Reunion

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This weekend, we had our first ever Carlson family reunion at my sister and brother-in-law, Christina and Matthew’s, house. Everyone arrived Friday night for hotdogs, s’mores, and reminiscing around the campfire. Most spent the night in tents in the back yard, but Dan, Lydia, and I slept inside (pregnancy privilege!).

Dad started a fire, Dan oversaw with the hatchet, the ladies chatted and watched the kiddos, and soon everyone had eaten a hotdog or two (or three, in the case of Lydia).

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Lydia went to bed earlier than everyone else, but before she did, she had a chance to play with her cousin, Colten. They played in the sandbox, shared a toy truck, and threw the football back and forth with Dan.

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The next morning we all got up and went for a short walk to McDonald’s for some breakfast. On the way back to the house, we ran into Matthew, who had been given the morning off from working on the farm.

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Once we had all made it back to the house, and the kiddos and pregnant mommy took our potty breaks, we loaded up the cars to go to a nearby park and ball field. Dad, Matthew, Dan, and Tim spent the rest of the morning and into the afternoon playing some baseball, much to Dan’s delight. Steph and Nate’s dog, Alice, joined in on the fun. And Christina, Colten, and Lydia took their turns as well.

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Meanwhile, my mom, Steph, and I were hanging out over on the playground with Baby Coby and Colten and Lydia, when they weren’t off playing ball. Lydia developed a game that involved picking up dirt and pouring it on everyone’s feet, and kept herself entertained for quite a while.

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As the ballgame wound down a little, some of us headed over to a nearby farmer’s market. My mom bought a jar of pickles to go with lunch, and Christina and I shared some incredibly juicy and delicious peaches.

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Then it was back to the house where the ladies prepared meat and veggie packets and Tim grilled them to perfection.

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As Lydia took a nap, the rest of us spent the hottest part of the day swimming in Matthew and Christina’s pool. I’ve been wanting to go swimming for ages, so this was my favorite part of the reunion! When everyone had cooled down sufficiently, we moved back into the shade for a few rounds of Catch Phrase.

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The cousins played some more with Colten’s toys. Colten couldn’t understand what we were all doing just sitting in a circle when there was a bat and ball to play with.

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Lydia grabbed the Boppy and wanted to know why she couldn’t hold Coby.

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And Coby just sat and looked cute.

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Soon it was time to pack up and head home. We made it home, tired and happy, just in time for a late supper. Overall, I’d say the 2013 Carlson Family Reunion was a great success. We’re hoping to make it an annual tradition.

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