I’m not sure what brought about this reunion earlier than usual this time around. Jared’s family usually has their family reunion every 2 years but this year they decided to have it 1.5 years after the last one which was in the hot Texas Summer!
This time it was here in AZ in the wet cold winter!! Hahaha! Even colder than normal for AZ!
It was really great seeing everyone again. Life tends to take us all different directions and I really commend his family for making an effort to make time for each other. Family after all is the most important thing! 🙂
Not only was this a reunion for the Taylor Family, it was a reunion for the Wallace Family. Joe has joined the Marines and has been in Okinawa, Japan for the past 7 months! His family and girlfriend Sophia (who we met for the first time) as well as the rest of us were so happy to have him back home in the States for a very special Christmas! 😀
Julie had asked me to take some pictures of them before everyone had to part ways again. I of course was honored and I think they turned out pretty darn good! Well except she still had her purse on..LOL! How did I miss that? 😛 It could have been because we were walking into Waldo’s BBQ for dinner and I just snapped these super quick!
Beautiful couple! 🙂
Like I said we all went to dinner on the 27th. This was the only day everyone was going to be in town and had the time to do a gathering. Waldo’s was chosen because Jared’s brother Jeff and bro-in-law Allen use to go there all the time when Allen and his family use to live here be fore they moved to Texas. We kindly obliged and everyone got their fill!
Ok..so remember my Christmas pics and how my indoor pics weren’t so great and I said I got an external flash at a later date. This was the date! 🙂 I think these indoor photos turned out great compared to what they would have looked like. I’m still learning how to use it, and considering this was my very first day with it, I think the pics turned out very well!! 🙂
Mamaw and Pampa drove all the way from Texas to come be with the family. I really do wish they lived closer. I just adore his parents as do the kids. It makes us cherish the time we do have with them even more..but it still is hard when you have to say good-bye.
I look at these teenagers/young adults and wonder where the time has gone…
Joe was doing a great job keeping the ‘little troops’ in line!
Sophia was helping to keep the kids contained.
After we had dinner we all headed back to Jen and Marcos’ house for the gift exchange and games.
Before we began I found these 3 in the back room jammin’ out! 😛
Every year we give Jared’s parents the same thing, an ornament you can record a special message on (recorded by the kids) with a place to put their picture in. They LOVE it! I think the 1st year we did it Rita must have almost played it to death! LOL!
The 5 Kitch kids were all given the same gift from Mamaw and Pampa this year. It was a Family Cookbook with some of her most famous recipes and we can all add to it. I’m SUPER excited about this!! 😀 Rita is an EXCELLENT cook!
Rich and Rita live fairly close to Dublin, TX where they make Dr. Pepper with REAL sugar and not syrup. I don’t even like Dr. Pepper but this stuff is awesome!! They brought a couple of cases with them and they didn’t last very long! 😀
Jen is giving us her Dublin Dr. Pepper modeling debut! Hahahaha!
A month or two ago Jared and I hosted a ‘Minute to Win It’ game night with some friends. It was a BIG hit and so we thought we’d play it again with the family…but we played a few different games! 🙂
Julie and Luke playing ‘High Roller’. You had to swirl your dice around inside your cup and get them to stack one on top of the other. It was WAY too hard. Neither one could do it.
Jake and Luke played ‘Junk in the Trunk’. We had played this one before. You have to shake all the ping pong balls out of the Kleenex box. It was HILARIOUS!
Luke had his own special ‘technique’! LOL!
The girls were in awe and we were all in stitches!!
Michelle and Jake played ‘Backflip’. Jake made this look WAY too easy! You start with 1 pencil and move up to 12 pencils by placing them on the back of your hand and catching them. Adding another pencil each time you catch each set.
Walker and Jonita played ‘Movin’ on Up’. You have cups and one is different (marked black on the top rim in this case) you take one cup off the top and move it to the bottom until the marked cup reaches the top. Jonita just squeaked out the win. 😛
Michelle schooled Little Jared in ‘Magic Carpet Ride’. This game is a race on an over turned bath mat.
Alayna wanted to give it a try too! 😀 Cutie!
Walker and Jared tried to play ‘Hangnails’ but the nails that we had weren’t flat on the top and wouldn’t hang on the string…so they played another game.
This picture is so cute! 🙂
Ok so 2nd try…Walker and Jared played ‘Loner’. Here you are basically bowling with ping pong balls but the pins are one suction dart each on the opposite end. They were very serious competitors!!
Jared just ‘barely’ won. Walker gave him a run for his money!! 😀
I love capturing ‘moments’. This was one of them. Brother and Sister enjoying each other’s company! 😀
Especially since we don’t usually see Jeff ‘let loose’. 🙂
Me and my handsome guy! 🙂
Jeff showing his stuff in ‘High Strung’. You have to carry an egg with a string from the top of one 2 liter bottle to the other side of the room and place it on the top of another 2 liter bottle. This was messy so we moved to plastic eggs!!
However…. I skunked him!! LOL!
Jen and I playing ‘Pennyhose’. I rocked it! 😛 This game has pennies at the bottom of each foot of a pair of pantie hose. With out using your hand to help the other hand you reach in and grab the penny and shake them off while holding on to the pennies.
Nicole and Joe playing ‘Sticky Situation’. The picture pretty much explains it. You bounce a ping pong ball and try to get it to stick to the peanut butter on the slice of bread. 😛
Nicole was a Rock Star! 😀
The story behind this pic is Jen bet her brothers and sisters she could get their mom to sing and dance Beyonce’s song ‘All the Single Ladies’ in front of everyone. To everyone’s shock and hilarious delight she DID IT!!! We were in tears from laughing so hard. She was a GREAT sport! 😀 LOL!
Can you hear it? Whaa-a-oh-o-o-o!!!!
Sophia and Marcos played ‘Suck it Up’. This game was really hard. You had to suck an M&M up with a straw and carry it over to another table and place it on the top of another straw. Marcos took the win! 🙂
Julie and Jake played Jared’s personal favorite game ‘How’s it Hanging’. Julie had everyone falling out of their chairs with her innocent comments and difficulty controlling her banana..Hahahaha!
The object is to swing your banana and knock your oranges onto the mat before the other person.
Jonita and Allen played ‘Chocolate Unicorn’. You have to stack all your Ding Dongs on your forehead the fastest without them falling. Jonita had great balance! 🙂
The next day, the ones that were still in town got together for games. We played lots and lots of games this year! 😀
We decided to have everyone over to our house since Jen had hosted most of the week. It was nice to have some alone time with Mamaw and Pama too.
Alayna is just eating up all the attention! She had made them a poster all by herself about a month before they came. She was telling them all about what she drew. It was pretty cute! 🙂
This is how the boys spent most of the reunion…playing the Wii!
All the girls decided to have a Spa Day where we did home facials and pedis!
I think this scared Jared a bit…he stayed far, far away! LOL!
Walker on the other hand, saw how much fun we were having and wanted to join in! Hahahaha!
They look a bit ‘Shrek-ish’! LOL!
Everyone was wearing their cucumbers but Alayna decided they made for a better snack!
For New Year’s Eve we got together again at Jen’s.
The kids toasted with Sparkling Apple Cider at 10pm AZ time…But it was 12am in New York! 🙂
The last of the family left on Jan. 2nd. Before everyone left we took a final few snapshots.
The AZ family! 🙂
These two were inseperable!!!
The Alcala’s with Mamaw and Pampa before they headed back to Texas! (Natalie was taking a nap!)
The Kitch’s with Mamaw and Pampa.
The week went by so fast and we spent a lot of good times together. We talked about possibly flying Mamaw out in the Spring and maybe even flying our family out in the Fall. I hope we can make it happen. I really want our kids to know their Grandparents. I really didn’t know any of mine very well. I feel the Grandparent/Grandchild relationship can be so very special and I want both of them to have that! 😉