It’s HALL Relative (some highlights)

This will be one of those blog posts that leans more to the side of journal entry. I am hoping because I'm a scrapbooker eager to promote personal and family stories I can get away with this — but, by all means … skim or skip this all together if it has no interest for you. It will be quite long.

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As soon as we arrived at Reid Ranch, Darci (in her Einstein wig) introduced our 2009 theme, of It's HALL Relative. She conjured up a very cool "special law of Hall relativity" that was captured in the equation …

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conveniently printed on the back of our T-shirts and this poster. 

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The E is for eternal families, the BC squared is the two people (Briggs + Connie) that fell in love and founded our family. The 3 cubed over "GL" represents the 27 offspring doing their best to live the gospel of Jesus Christ (gospel living) and the 2P is the priesthood power that will provide the necessary ordinances of salvation and family binding to strengthen us and keep us together.

After each person was highlighted in our morning and evening gatherings (we called this "Name that Relative" and we used a fun quiz from the SS special issue, Quizzes and Questions) then they had to stand up and sign the poster signifying their commitment to the equation. Very clever!

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We kicked off the afternoon with a rousing game of Kick Ball, and then enjoyed all kinds of other ranch amenities including …

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archery

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horse back riding and pony rides (for the little ones)

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and swimming.

There were several competitions, including family Olympics. Pictured here is the RED team (The Hot Tamales) who took away the GOLD.

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Competition was tough — we have some serious athletes in our family, but Trey will tell you that it was his perfect score in the basketball shoot-off that sealed the deal for the Tamales. He was awared MVP.

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We played other crazy games. This one required goggles and garden gloves and eventually led to a box full of squirt guns.

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We enjoyed a hilarious and very entertaining talent show.

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Here, the older girl cousins are leading the youngest girl cousins in a dance with tu-tus. These are the moments that I can never seem to adequately capture with my camera — luckily, uncle Jon got this dance on video!

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We did so much in three days! We enjoyed a hot hike to the top of a near by peak. These are the boys that made it ALL the way!

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Grandma even held a bake-off for the grandchildren in the mess hall.

As well-planned and executed as all of the activities were, the highlights for me were the quieter times when I observed …

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My brothers and their wives and …

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our children, interacting and helping and enjoying each other.

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I especially love to see one generation influencing the next. To me, that is what family is all about. I'm sure part of my nostalgia in all of this is the fact that I'm getting older. Part of my appreciation is the fact that my children are entering their teenage years and are therefore naturally less enamored with their parents. They look to and need the influence of my siblings, who are much cooler!

Raising a "big" family is exhausting. It takes lots of time and sacrifice. There is very little down time and what seems like endless laundry and food preparation. I loved growing up in a big family, but there were times that I resented being the oldest of five children. I didn't get the same amount of attention from my parents that my friends with one sibling got. I had to help my mom a LOT. I did more than my fair share of "babysitting" and I sometimes wondered if it was all worth it. And yet here I am the mother of five children — go figure. This past week was a HUGE reward and reminder that it is most definitely worth it. There is nothing in this world, no amount of money or prestige or any other accolade that could compensate for the absolute joy of being together and seeing our children develop friendships that will strengthen and encourage them. LIFE is very good.

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Perhaps I should have shared these photos first? Oh well … as a recap, this is the Parley Briggs Hall family, consisting of my father and mother (Briggs and Connie) and from L2R, Chanda, me, Darci, Theron (directly above my dad) mom, and Cougar. It's hard to believe that I am now the age my parents were when I thought "they are getting so old." My brothers are bald and even my sisters are both 30-something now — Wow! Thanks to the example of my parents, we all enjoy generally good health and lead an active lifestyle. It was an absolute delight to be with ALL of these people I love so much and mingle with their individual families.

It is crazy that my boys are so grown up. We do reunions every other summer … Clark will be 18 and headed off to college at our next reunion (yikes!)

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I'm not sure which of these pictures I like best. Tafty refused to smile in all of the pictures we took, which of course I didn't realize until the whole photo shoot was over — Addie tended to make up for his lack of enthusiasm however!
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Theron and Kristin live in West Jordan, UT with their kids: Nika (13), Skye (12) and Dayne, who turned 9 at the reunion!
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Cougar (and Hillary) are next. Their oldest is Payton, born just 10 days after my Trey. They also have Julian who is Taft's age, Parley (heads off to kindergarten this year) and little Delaney who is 14 months old.
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Darci and Kevin live in Lehi, UT and have three children: Ty (6), Brooklyn (almost 4) and the cute little man on Kevin's lap is Cache (18 mos)
JSeiters
And last (but NOT least) this is Jon and Chanda's adorable little family. The Seiters live in Gilbert, Arizona. Lucy is almost four and Liberty is 14 months. Chanda announced that she is expecting a baby next March — we are so happy for Chanda because she has only a small window of childbearing years due to some pretty serious health issues. She is such a good mom and we like to boast that her girls are the smartest of all the cousins!

We are still buzzing with stories and funny family moments at our house and we LOVED having everyone together. We are so THANKFUL to Darci (and Kevin) for all the hours of preparation and hard work in bringing us all together. It was AWESOME and we can't wait until 2011.

PS. Family, don't forget I'm in the process of building and refining our photo sharing website, where we can upload, share and print our reunion photos. Here's the link hallreunions.shutterfly.com

NOTE: if you hav
e a reunion or other summer event that involves lots of people and several cameras, you should seriously look into setting up a share site — they are very cool!


Comments

  1. Ahhhh, thanks so much for sharing such a personal glimpse into your reunion. That equation is brilliant . . . Einstein would be so proud and I dare suggest, humbled, by it.
    Again, thanks for the personal post. It was very much appreciated this morning.

  2. I LOVE it!!! Thanks for sharing! Darci sure is creative and brilliant–I took her BPS class a while ago. Maybe she should have a class on how to throw the perfect family reunion! You have a GREAT family and I really enjoyed the pictures!

  3. love the second family photo – little addie looks so tiny standing tall next to her dad!

  4. Julie H. says:

    That was such a wonderful post about family!! Stacy, thanks, because it kind of makes you take a step back and appreciate the little things that make my own so special!! Loved it, thanks for sharing.
    Julie

  5. I LOVED this post. Thanks for sharing! Family photo 1–I love the physical connection it shows photo 2 better expressions on all it’s a toss up! However, one of the photos in this post jumped out at me as showing such emotion and love-I think the picture of your brother (I think it is Cougar) and his wife is a beautiful shot in more ways than one. It has an ATJ feeling to it! It deserves enlargement an given as a gift. Again thank you for sharing a personal post with you and your family!

  6. I loved your personal post because it showed me that you DO what you teach. I have always loved journaling – thanks for sharing a part of you with us (the reader) today.

  7. I loved this post too, thanks for the reminder that large families are worth the mountains of laundry and meal preperation, I seriously needed that reminder and attitude adjustment today. Now I’m off to scrapbook so family reunion photos. You’ve inspired me once again. Thanks stacy!

  8. Thanks for taking all of the great photos, Stacy. Everything went SO WELL at the reunion. I am truly blessed to be part of the Hall equation!

  9. Melissa says:

    OK I totally teared up while reading this post. Thank you for sharing! I am touched by all you said and couldn’t help but count my blessings while you shared yours.
    My biggest question is where did you get the shirts for your boys? I love the colors!

  10. What a beautiful group of people! We have a reunion planned for next month in Oregon…and I wasn’t all that jazzed to make the trek, but you’ve inspired me to make the most of it and I’m sure I’ll be happy I did. Does that make sense? Love, love Addie with the cheesy grin :)

  11. That personal take on Einstein’s equation is brilliant! Thank you for sharing so much of your personal life with us, you really do walk all your talk and continue to inspire. We just had a mini reunion at my brother’s (we call it CousinFest) and it’s really great to see all the kids interacting with each other and the aunties and uncles. I should follow your example and journal about all that while it’s still fresh in my mind. XX’s

  12. Melony Wells says:

    Thank you for sharing your family with us, this was a lovely post. The Einstein equation was genius :)

  13. Is your brother Theron a chiropractor? He looks familiar. I think he bought my husbands motorcycle.

  14. That’s him.And he has loved motorcycles his whole life — too funny!

  15. Melissa,
    it’s so funny you would ask about shirts because I kept putting off getting shirts/clothes in blues and greens. Darci gave us plenty of time. As it turns out everyone had something in their closet — we didn’t buy anything new. Clark is wearing the same shirt he wore two years ago for our family pics!

  16. Hi Stacy,
    Reading your last post was so inspirational for me. My parents, and my brother and his family were here over the weekend. Half of our family was missing, but oh what fun we had. We have been talking about a big family reunion with all of us. What fun planning an event like this must be? I am going to email my mom and link her to your blog, to help us with some of your ideas. It will certainly get us started, anyway.
    I too was the oldest of 3 siblings, and I have a lot of the same memories as you do, growing up. Sometimes I feel sorry for my oldest son, because I know all too well what it’s like to be the oldest. I hope I have made it easier for him. I’m not sure I have, though.
    Thanks so much for all you do, Stacy. I really mean that. Last night I finally took the time to listen to one of your BPS classes (a freebie) I signed up for. I learned so very much. I consider myself a seasoned scrapbooker. Like you, I’ve been doing it a long time. Until last night I hadn’t realized that my focus was more on getting those photos into an album, when it should have been focusing on the stories the photos had to tell.
    I have to tell you something that happened this past weekend with my dad. My dad is the strong silent type. Not very emotional, but has a great love for his family. I was showing him my blog (he is not a computer person)and he started reading it. A few seconds later, he gasped. I had done a post on him when he was stationed over seas during Vietnam, and included a photo of him. I had never seen him so touched. I linked the post to another blog by a man that was stationed exactly where he was stationed. He spent at least 3 hours reading this man’s blog, and looking at the photos that the man posted. All from the same time my dad was there. We all stood around my dad at the computer as he told us all about those photos. My dad has only spoken very little about his time in the war. We learned so much about my dad this weekend that we never knew. Things my mom never even knew. As you would say… This was very BIG. When they left for home yesterday, my dad said, that he had had the best time. Wow, it chokes me up just thinking about that. Photos and words are so so so important!!!

  17. What a small world! We were thinking of using him for his chiropractic services for my husband. We live very close to his practice. I also got to meet his wife when they came to the house. You have a very nice brother and sister-in-law.

  18. Thanks for your email,
    Due to an intense workload and limited discretionary time, I am choosing to not hang out in my inbox.
    I read my email as often as I can and respond to urgent messages as quickly as I can. I may not be able to personally respond to questions regarding scrapbooking and my life, but I love getting your questions, and I do frequent Q & A posts to my blog @ stacysbigpicture.typepad.com
    I you need assistance right away, please contact me via telephone.
    Happy Day!
    Stacy

  19. Hillary,
    I was going to comment to Stacy that it is fun to see your family at a Hall reunion, and here is your comment. It is time for another Hoopes reunion in Alpine, don’t you think? Or maybe at least in Provo at the Healey’s.
    It looks like you all had a wonderful time out in our neck of the woods. Thanks for the post, Stacy.
    Shauna Ogden

  20. Not that I don’t adore my uber-huge family…but our reunions are never like that!!
    Are you looking to adopt again? Maybe you are interested in a soon-to-be 32 year old married woman with two kids? I have alot of fine qualities…

  21. Betheroo says:

    Stacy,
    How wonderful to see your large family having so much fun together! I’m so jealous! Although I’m the oldest of four, we only have three children among us and I have two of them. We still enjoy our times together though. My siblings are my best friends.

  22. Laurie T says:

    Love this post Stacy – thanks for sharing. Families are truly wonderful, aren’t they? In the good times and the bad. I can’t imagine life without my family. :)

  23. It wasn’t that long of a blog. Love the photos and stories!

  24. Loved reading about your family time….was there any meaning to the blues and greens and who wore what? or was it just for the color scheme? Just curious! Looks like a terrific weekend!

  25. Amy,
    I am so glad you shared this experience with me. It’s amazing the things we can “pull” out of our loved ones just by being interested and showing them that we care.
    Kudos to YOU!

  26. Our reunions have always been fun, but this one was particularly well done. We started taking turns with the theme and organization and that has really helped. Just put one person in charge and then support them — knowing your turn is coming up. After a year or two, you get into the groove and start anticipating great things!
    And yes, I’ll adopt you.

  27. That was just the color scheme Darci picked — I thought it turned out nice too!

  28. great shirts! I really enjoyed the post and it came at a good time – thinking about how to get our family together now that my kids live in different states. I always think reunions are for huge families but this might be a good plan for us.

  29. Shannon H says:

    I love Addie’s smiles in your family photos. They remind me of my youngest two. I’d let you adopt my family and I too! Thanks for sharing

  30. Jolene Olsen says:

    I loved reading about your reunion. I am also the oldest although of only 2 but now am mom to 5 sons. My mom was a Hall from So. Utah, maybe we have a common ancestor somewhere along the line! Thanks for sharing your great visit.

  31. I love that you are sharing all these pix. Your outdoor shots are particularly wonderful. I, too, love a big family. Grew up with 4 of us kids, have a blended total of 5 kids now. Love the whole huge family get together things.
    I really, really enjoy your blog. Makes me smile. :-)

  32. What fun. I have always wished we could get our family together to have a reunion. We can’t even get them to travel let alone get together all at once. It looks like you all had a great time. What a wonderful family building time. thanks for sharing. You all are so creative and fun.

  33. Stacy – your family is so beautiful. I am still smiling over that one with Addie in the middle of ya’ll. Her face is priceless in both of them!!! I wish you could zoom in on her and print that part some way. That is delightful. What a great memory it will be for her to have.

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