A few weeks ago, our little family flew to Washington State for a Bean reunion. These happen every three years and are highly anticipated by all 25 cousins.
This year we went to Cle Elum to stay at Ensign Ranch in “rustic cabins”. We knew we’d be cooking without a real kitchen, and that the cabins didn’t have a shower, but beyond that we really didn’t consider what “rustic” meant.
Anne’s Little Orphans
It meant lots of mosquitoes, all determined to feast on Caitlyn’s flesh. It meant dusty, dirty campsites and no running water besides a shared spigot between campsites. It also meant tons of fun. It was just the type of memory-making adventure we will treasure for years to come, but boy were we unprepared!
Caitlyn’s shoes had been inadvertently left in the car on the way to the airport, so she was sporting church sandals all week. Neither girl had long-sleeves or long pants besides their pajamas, and shorts were just not an option with all the bugs.
Thus, our poor girls wore the same long sleeved jammy pants and shirts every day until they were so covered with sap and dirt that relatives took pity on us and lent them additional clothing to wear.
We had total ragamuffins on our hands and they had the time of their lives getting loved on by cousins, rolling in the dirt and sap to their hearts’ content, and getting to know their aunts and uncles.
Before arriving at the campsite:
After, bitten and sappy:
Here, Caitlyn’s showing me her messy hands, and showing off her swollen forehead in the process. Those mosquitoes could not get enough of her:
Grandma Bean was a huge hit, as always, and not a day goes by when my girls don’t share a good memory from the trip.
(The above picture was taken immediately prior to Caitlyn wetting out of her diaper all over Grandma. Did I mention that was day 1 of the trip and there wasn’t a washing machine for miles? Doh!)
Scott’s family is so great about showing love and though the age range of cousins spreads from 1 to 21, my daughters were constantly being hijacked by teens and young kids alike.
Have I ever mentioned that male Bean genes run strongly? Scott and his brother were constantly confused on this trip, and the matching outfits didn’t help… Also, Scott has a nephew that is often mistaken for his own son in public. If we are surprised to have a baby boy join our family in a few weeks, we’ll know what he’ll look like! 🙂
After a few trips down, Caitlyn and Mackenzie were content to just watch. They were more delighted with the idea of a waterslide than with the prospect of getting splashed with cold water. 🙂
At least half the fun was putting on swimmy suits and water shoes.
I’ve never been more grateful for having a good sport for a husband. He gladly braved the cold water and hauled those girls out to the waterslide as often as they wanted.
Mackenzie went on her first horse ride! She was nervous at first, but enjoyed it and was proud of herself for trying something new.
(Please note the completely inappropriate footwear and borrowed clothes in the above shot. Where was this child’s mother?!)
Scott tackled the rock wall and returned later in the day to hit the bell that eluded him the first time around. I love his perseverance and the good example it was to our girls.
A Bean reunion wouldn’t be a Bean reunion without some element of competition.
The Dessert Showdown – Every night a different family member made an epic dessert for everyone to taste and yes, ballots were cast at the end of the week and an award bestowed. Scott’s peach shortcakes were unbelievably good, but competition was stiff and he was edged out by a three-sundae ice cream bar that featured homemade waffle bowls, homemade spicy peanut brittle, sea salt, homemade caramel and hot fudge, among other things.
Jeopardy – This was one of the highlights of the trip for me. My awesome sister-in-law put together a hilarious game of jeopardy featuring little known facts about the adults in the family. Kids and siblings alike vied for dominance but Scott came away a clear winner. 🙂
Bean Olympics – These were held on a gorgeous morning and included a wide variety of events to get all ages involved. Me and my pregnant belly even ran in a relay! Fortunately, no photo documentation of that exists.
The first (and adorable) leg of the relay:
Mackenzie truly loves to run since she did her marathon:
Scott, tearing it up:
The stick pull:
Mackenzie’s gunny sack technique may not have been top form:
But seriously, how cute is she?
Of course, the Bean Olympics couldn’t be considered complete without a water fight afterward…
Scott, plotting revenge:
The Whole Family
I got roped into being the family photographer and in hindsight I would have tweaked some camera settings to improve the picture quality. But, it was fun to get everyone in one shot!
Grandma Bean and her children:
Can you tell why I love being in this family? 🙂