Dave and I have eight siblings each.

We have lucked out this summer to spend some serious quality time with all 16 of them along with their spouses and families and both sets of our parents who made it all possible.

Man alive we are blessed in the family category. I don’t think it’s really that common to have two such big families where everyone adores and is so respectful of one another.

Dave’s family is a little bit further along than mine is, meaning they have older kids and therefore more grand-kids so far. We don’t get together with ALL of them as much as we’d love to because logistically it is tough to do.

But this year we got to all go to Aspen Grove together. (It is an awesome family camp up in one of the most beautiful spots I have been.) They cook for you and clean for you and you’re just responsible for hanging out together and getting all caught up and inspired while your kids have the time of their lives together in their groups.

Sounds like Heaven, right?

We stopped at BYU first where Dave and I (and many of his other siblings) went to college.

Wow that is a gorgeous campus.We went to “J Dogs” for lunch which everyone aside from me was pleased as punch about…I had to stick with my Subway sandwich since I cannot eat hot dogs. It’s a psychological thing.
While Dave ran another errand I took a walk down memory lane with our kids.

We went to visit the apartments where Dave and I fell in love all those years ago.

This was Dave’s:
And here’s mine. So many good memories within those doors.(And some kids who were good sport to pose for me as well, don’t you think?)

That’s our apartment building behind us below:
(It’s called “Stonebridge.”)

See that “Y” up on the mountain?
Some day we’ll hike up to that thing as a family.

On to Aspen Grove…
Dave’s family is what you call athletic, competitive, and very active.

So this kind of a trip is PERFECT for them.
…and perfect for me to sit on the side-lines and take pictures.
The adults hiked up to Stuart Falls:

It is close to where Dave and I got engaged which endears it to us forever.Dave’s Dad with eight of his nine kids:
Is that beautiful or what? It was SO green from the amount of snow they had this year.

The kids got to go on hikes with their groups too:
Dave has a new tennis partner:
I don’t blame him because she is much better than his old one (me).
Max dusted off his racquet and did pretty well as well.

Could there be a prettier place to play basketball?The five-on-five b-ball champions:
Dave still has the hops:
We had a birthday celebration for Dave’s wonderful mother.
It was complete with a slideshow and a book to commemorate the countless things she has made brighter and lighter through her life.
I am so grateful for this woman’s influence in my life.

The grandkids had some serious quality time together.I love watching how nice they are to Lucy:
And I love watching when Dave puts Lu to bed:
Dave’s little brother blessed his new baby:

Dave and I have been to Aspen Grove quite a few times before, but this was the first time we did the ropes course.

I was pretty nervous about those ropes holding me up but somehow some little teenager helped me feel better.
And we survived with flying colors.It was fun to realize how scary what our kids have done a few times actually was.

Claire’s group did their own version of climbing:

“Frontier Night:”
The kids were very entertained watching all the skits and presentations:

We had some “family history” nights talking about grandparents many of us never had the opportunity to meet.
The girls figured out a good way to stay still while listening:Lots of games were played:
…and discussions were had:
It was just such a great way to be together.

And we can never thank these guys enough for making it happen:Thank you, thank you.

We love you!

On to my half of the 16 siblings soon…

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  1. Wow, that looks like it was a blast! I've always wished for a big family. (I only have one sibling.) I guess my husband and I will have to get going on that. 🙂

  2. Oh wow, that looks fantastic! And oh my what a beautiful place! So many great pictures of all the things you did. So nice to see where you and Dave met. The one of the 3 boy cousins trying to look cool for the camera made me laugh.

  3. Looks like you guys had an awesome week! I love Aspen Grove! I love that you took the kids to our old stomping grounds! So many fun memories!

  4. That's an amazing jumping picture!! How in the world do people have time to make a lotus pose while they're in the air?!?

    Also, it made me happy to see one of Dave's brothers wearing a Phillies shirt. 🙂

  5. What a great family! I grew up with Stephen, and its great to see his family! Thanks for sharing all of your families traditions, it gives me great ideas for my own. Also I loved seeing where you guys met, because that is the same place I lived when I met my husband. We had our first kiss in front of apt. #109! Thanks for helping me remember!

  6. I've always wanted to go to Aspen Grove! We too are so so blessed, I am one of 7 and my husband is one of 8 and we all get along and love each other! Didn't realize how rare it is until recently. Off to back to back family reunions with all those siblings!

  7. seriously, this is AMAZING!!!
    I have 6 siblings and there are 19 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren and we all have a hard time getting together. in fact I don't know if we have in YEARS! it's so hard! one lives in Kentucky, one in WI, I live in IL and the rest in upper MI….we need to make it a priority!
    love these photos!

  8. Pretty sure I just said to myself out loud, I want 9 children to have a family like this someday. YIKES! I have a long way to go!!! Your family is beautiful and I can't get over how awesome that Aspen Grove is! It is peeeerfect for a family reunion. Gorgeous pics yet again!

  9. You are so very lucky to have such great in laws and great family and to all get along and have such fun together.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Oh how I miss those BYU days! I can't believe it's flown so quickly … and what's this? No pictures of Camalot?

    Every time we go to the bookstore, we let our kids pick a candy and re-affirm, "You want to go to school here, don't you?" Total brainwashing but if it inspires better grades … I'm game.

    Miss Aspen Grove. We've had some good times there as a family.

  11. I am surprised we didn't meet at college- I lived at Stonebridge after my mission- I have seen Dave with several of our friends in photos (I think Clark Gilbert, Will Cardon etc. from Washington Place if I remember a post correctly)

    We probably crossed paths a billion times. at Stonebridge and never knew it. I used to hang with Will quite a bit-right before I met my husband…small world!

  12. oh man, that looks like the perfect place for some quality family time! I am a little envious of the trip to j-dawgs, it's one of the things I've missed after leaving Provo a year ago. Lucy is darling in each of these pictures, looks like she really enjoyed being surrounded by fun cousins!

  13. What a gorgeous setting! I've heard wonderful things, but never been. You are truly blessed to have such abundant family. Great photos.

  14. "Man Alive" do I love Aspen Grove! My family used to go when I was a kid, and once our kids get a bit older we plan on having our family reunions there.

    My husband and I both went to BYU at the same time, but didn't meet until after we graduated. We sometimes wish we had met while we were there because it's such a magical place. How fun for your kids to see where it all began!

  15. Great place to vay-cay! I know this isn’t Friday question time…but since you showed the pictures of where you both lived when you met… How did you two love birds meet? Church? Live near each other? Mutual friends? Nothing more fun than a true-life love story!

  16. OK, here's my Friday FAQ — HOW do you get the 'jump shots?' ?!?! First, the AIR that every participant seems to attain – is it camera angle or sheer antigravitational talent?! And then getting everyone to jump SIMULTANEOUSLY?!?! Is there some sort of secret??

  17. Shawni, BYU, Aspen Grove, and Stonebridge Apts! All my favorite places! Your adventure just shimmers. What a joy to be with everyone. You do such a great job in setting those stones of memories in your memory lane. Peggy

  18. WOW! I forgot about what a lot of fun Aspen Grove is! It's spectacular. What an amazing group of kids and parents…and GRAND parents too!

  19. I just have to leave a comment – I found your blog from a pinterest link on your group games. I looked at your header pictures and recognized your family from Aspen Grove. Our family was there the same week with your family. So i looked through your pictures and several of our family members are in the background of your pictures. And your guys played our guys in the basketball tournaments. what a small world.xy

  20. I lived in that exact same apartment in the Stonebridge in 2002. small world! I wonder how many students have lived in that exact apartment?!

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