Thursday, December 11, 2014

July 5, 2014 - The Great Smokey Mountains

On Saturday, July 5, we visited the Great Smoky Mountains. Our first stop was Clingmans Dome which was a recommendation my cousin, Jodi, gave us for a good hike with kids. As you can see from the pictures it was a beautiful day! I'm so glad we went early because by the time we were headed back down packed does not begin to describe the condition of the parking lot!!!
Grand-Dad snapped this sweet picture of McKinley and me in the parking lot before heading out (or up as the case may be) on our hike.
 At the base of the trail was an area the kids loved climbing and running up and down. I think Reagan is claiming victory here!
 Off our merry crew goes!

 Grammy bringing up the rear with Miss McKinley
 McKinley does love Grammy! :)
 Jackson convinced a few people,  including Uncle David, that he couldn't possible get all the way up by himself. Luckily for Jackson, we had many accommodating adults with us! :)
 I guess the hike wasn't tiring enough for the kids because they found multiple places to scale along the way.

 The smallest little mountain goat - must be related to Uncle Andrew and Aunt Jen! :)

 Love this family picture of the Volkerts!
 I caught this picture of these two on their way back down the mountain
 Reagan and Heidi having what appears to be an intense conversation
 These two little monkeys both wanted Daddy to carry them
 After the hike we found a spot near the visitor's center for a picnic. This was so relaxing and the kids had a wonderful time chasing and enjoying each other.

 I thought these two pictures Dad caught of Darin and Dan with their little guys were super sweet! :)

 After lunch some of us returned to the hotel while others found another small trail to hike. What a great picture of Stacy and her boys!
 After a bit of swimming, Saturday evening we headed to the Old Mill for dinner. It was conveniently located within walking distance of our hotel and was/is such a unique and fun place to eat. While we were waiting to be seated the kids played games to keep themselves entertained. :)
 After supper we had the opportunity to celebrate another birthday. Hope you had a great one Stacy!!!
Thanks to everyone for the wonderful day and for being so willing to follow my recommendations on activities to see and do. This is an easy group to plan for and please!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

July 4, 2014 - LaBar Family Reunion - Day 1

Our first full day together was the 4th of July. We spent the day swimming at our hotel and at the Freedom Festival at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge. The festival has all sorts of wonderful and free activities for the kids as well as live music throughout the day. It was also within walking distance of our hotel which was super nice. All in all, I think our group had a great day celebrating our nation's independence. :)
Before heading to the Freedom Festival, we decided to pose the great-grandkids on the stairs for a photo opportunity. I believe it's a relatively decent picture given that it's of eleven children between the ages of 1 and 9. :) We have a couple of pictures of the grandkids posed in a similar fashion that date back about 20 years... I should see if anyone has made a digital copy so we can compare the generations. :)
 Don't be fooled by the deceptively sweet picture above, here are the REAL LaBar cousins...
 Does this cousinly love remind anyone else of little LaBar boys of years gone by??? 

 We took a walk along the river edge and Uncle Rich found a tiny crawfish for the kids. 
 Grand-Dad and Grammy with two happy little girls with very large snow cones! :)
 McKinley approved of the snow cones as well. :)

 I believe Holden thought they were alright too. Love those blue lips/face! :)
 The David LaBars off to enjoy the festival together
Such a beautiful picture of Aunt Faye and Amber!
 I thought this was such a sweet picture of my cousin Amber and her family
 One of the activities was free face painting and another was balloon art. The girls loved both! :)
 One of our best-friends, who moved to Tennessee this summer, was able to join us for the day. Love these sweet, beautiful faces! :)
 After face painting the girls decided to give the giant inflatable balls a try
 The girls and cousins tried out the bungee trampolines

 Our hotel was situated absolutely perfectly for watching fireworks. It's so nice because the kids can get in pjs and play in the rooms while we wait for the shows (we could see both Dollywood's and Pigeon Forge's 4th of July displays) to begin. When the displays are over there's no traffic to deal with so it is pretty easy and great! And speaking of which, here is a picture of a cute little boy already for bed and fireworks. 
 While we were together we had a couple of family celebrations. One was my cousin Darin's wife, Elise's, birthday. Hope she enjoyed the surprise! With all the noise makers it was certainly a loud one and possibly not too much of a surprise... lol :)
 It was also Grammy and Grand-Dad's 38th wedding anniversary so we had a special cookie made for them (rest assured there was no sugar shortage during this reunion).

We had a wonderful day celebrating the 4th of July together with all our LaBar relations as well as some special friends. This was our own family's third year to celebrate the 4th in Pigeon Forge so I believe it has officially become a family tradition. That said, I believe it's safe to say if anyone would like to join us you know where we'll be July 4, 2015! :)
Also, before I forget... most of the LaBar pictures I'll be posting are mine, but I want to give credit to Grand-Dad, Rich and Stacy since I am, and will be using, some of the photos they took during our time together. Thanks to everyone for sharing all the fabulous pictures and memories!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

LaBar Family Reunion - July 2014

At the beginning of July a number of the William and Helen LaBar descendants gathered in the Smoky Mountains to enjoy some wonderful family time. Three of the four brothers (and spouses), five of the ten grandchildren (and spouses) and eleven of fourteen great-grandchildren (no spouses yet :) ) were able to attend the reunion.
We have always been an extremely spread out family and at one point all four children and ten grandchildren lived in different states. We were once having a discussion on potential central locations and Uncle David wisely pointed out that when you have people living in Alaska, Maine, California and every where in between there really is no convenient and central location... That said, we unfortunately are not able to get together frequently enough and I don't know if we have ever been together all at once. It is so  nice to be together, however, that I sincerely hope we don't wait another 5 years to do this again! I also hope next time we are able to include the George LaBars in our group as well as all the cousins we were missing!
Here is a great picture of the 27 LaBars in attendance
The Martin (oldest son) LaBar Family
Rich, Stacy, Martin, Faye, Amber, Chuck
Riley (6 yrs old), Rory (9 yrs old) and Hazel (3 yrs old)
 The David (2nd oldest son) LaBar Family
Dan, Dorothy, David, Jolene, Darin, Elise
Heidi (7 yrs old), Holden (4 yrs old), Brendan (7 yrs old) and Alaina (5 yrs old)
 The Arthur (youngest son) LaBar family
Ted, Sherry, Jackson (3 yrs old), Anna, McKinley (17 mos old), Tim
Kennedy (5 yrs old) and Reagan (7 yrs old)
Thank you to everyone for making the effort to come to our family reunion! Where should we be headed next??? :)