Friday, June 16, 2017

June 11 - June 16 Parcell Family Reunion- Montana Style

We We My great uncle Bob has a beautiful piece of property in Condon, Montana.  It is so beautiful here and I am so blessed to have such an amazing extended family.  We hiked, played games and just enjoyed seeing each other.  On the largest night, we had over 80 family members.
After we arrived in the boys ran around and played until well after their bedtime, Logan burst into tears and said we are not going to get to see all of the animal skins. The next thing you know, I turned around and Logan was wearing the coyote skin that Bob had killed.


My boys had previously met Lisa's kids, but don't remember them as they have not seen them in quite some time. Sullivan is only eight days older than Logan and they became quite the friends during this week to play together.
On Monday morning, a group of about 30 of us drove down to do the Holland Falls hike. It was about 3 miles round-trip, but totally worth the view. Normally, to get a hike with this pay off – you have to be willing to hike significantly further.
The group above from left to right is my mom, my niece Maggie, my mom's twin sister Connie, Sierra, and Catalina's boyfriend Wes.
Joining us on the hike are my amazing grandparents who are 85 and 87 years old.
Check out that pay off!
We got a later start than anticipated, so by the time we got to the top, all of the kids were starving.
Snack time in the shade. From left to right – Hunter, Logan, Sullivan, Jonah, and Maggie.
The view from the other side of snack time
My mom, my sister Kerri and myself in front of the falls.
 My cousin Lisa, Aunt Connie and me
My parents with all of the grand kids except Jimmy up by the falls.
I could've sat there for hours and just stared at the Mission Mountains with Holland Lake just below – I seriously could move here tomorrow.
My dad with Hunter relaxing before we head back down.
My parents will be celebrating their 44th anniversary on June 30. Here they are kissing in front of the waterfalls.
This kid is a total reflection of me – his heart and soul come alive when he is outside. This week has been so good for him to watch him blossom and shine and get to be who he truly is in the complete outdoors! I may never get him to leave the state. – Unless he moves to Arizona with Cascade :-)
 As we drove to uncle Bob's house, all I heard about was how quickly they were going to be up in the tree fort. When your dad is a great lumber man and an ex marine – he really knows how to build you a very cool tree fort. In that fort,it has a ladder that can be lifted up in order to keep the critters like bear and mountain lions out, and Bob's kids used to spend the night up there.
There were actually two tree forts.  How does life get any better than that?  
You know you have a very cool family when included in your family reunion is acts throwing.

Hunter even gave it a try.  
Even cooler is when you're 87-year-old grandfather steps up to the plate to throw the acts and hits the target.
My uncle Bob loves to tell stories of his adventures in the Marines, as a county sheriffs deputy, or retail old family stories.
On Tuesday, it rained, so we went to my Aunt Connie's rental house and played some games, some pool and did some much needed laundry.

Summit and Cascade came over as well – which made all of the kids happy.

We have heard about the hungry bear steakhouse in every Christmas letter for the past 10 to 15 years. On this rainy day – we decided to try it for lunch and it was very good.



There were lots of taxidermy animals scattered throughout.



I loved being able to meet my cousin Jeremy's two boys at the family reunion – Jonah and Landon.
Well we did have a good bit of rain on Tuesday, we were able to get a fire going. Catalina is helping Landon roast his marshmallow.

On Wednesday, we did another hike up to Glacier Lake. It was 10 miles back on a dirt road. Logan's sweet soul has loved every minute of playing with family, who has now become friends. He loves to have the freedom to roam around. Montana has been so good for both of my kids because they have the freedom to roam around and try all kinds of new things.

Due to the amount of rain that they have had up here, many of their Creeks (we would call these rivers in Georgia) have an abundance of water in them. On two different occasions on this hike, we had to improvise in order to be able to get over the water.
Here is one of the bridges that we had to cross to get over the creek. The girl said it was flowing much faster today, then it was earlier in the week.
David and my brother-in-law Patrick.


We probably had 30 people on this like – 10 of which were below the age of 10.

When we got out to the lake, we had it all to ourselves. Here is Cascade with my two boys. They will hardly leave her side –. David was able to take his drone up for a little bit and get some aerial views of glacier lake.


These are some of the waterfalls that we crossed.
This is a panoramic view of the lake. We were much smarter this time and actually took our lunch with us rather than on planning to have it when we got back. We were thankful that we did as the kids were starving by the time we got there.
The love of my life

My mom, Connie, and me.
When we got back to the house, the kids would always play with each other and with any of Bob's kids! They loved all of his kids – but particularly the girls.
Getting ready to help with dinner – Dad, David, and Patrick
I don't even know what game they were playing here – but Cascade has a way of wrangling them all in.
Here we are playing Kan Jam – Logan is on a team with my grandfather and I am on a team with my brother-in-law.

He suckered Cascade into playing basketball with him – even though she just had knee surgery three weeks ago.
Hunter and I out talking to Bob's horses
We had a bonfire and all of the kids were able to pick up any thing that they could find that would burn and throw it on the pile. Do you any idea how happy this makes my children? In the picture below, you can see the size of the pile compared to the size of my children.
We had a pig roast on Thursday! The man arrived at 6 AM to start preparing it.
1 PM was the time that they needed additional help to flip the pig.
We had a little bit of rain, but that did not stop any of the children from flocking to summit.
Logan with his new friend found cousin friend – Sully. 
Summit, Logan – and the dog Stitch. At the beginning of the week, the kids were not necessarily able to touch the dog, so Logan was thrilled when he was able to hold him.
My grandparents with their great grand kids.
Cascade and my two boys
From left to right – my cousin once removed Vera, aunt Connie, my cousin once removed Vicky, my grandmother, my mom, my cousin once removed Greg, and my grandfather.

The bonfire caught!
After the bonfire was going, we headed out to Holland lake because the kids thought that they wanted to swim – did I mention that this is glacial run off? Do you have any idea how cold that is? They only got in up to their knees :-)

When we got back, Maggie played around with the antlers.
My great aunt Mabel and my grandmother.
Not only do we throw axis, we also use them to see how quickly we can split firewood.
My sister with Landon. 
This is the restroom we use most of the week :-)
Uncle Bob teaching Maggie to shoot the rifle.

Above is Logan, Hunter, and Sully.
Below is my brother-in-law Patrick, my aunt Marie, myself, my grandfather and my nephew Jack.
These were all of the Parcell grand kids that were in attendance.
These were all of the Parcell great grand kids that were in attendance.
These were all of the Parcell great – great grand kids that were in attendance. All of these belong to the Smetzer line of the Parcell family tree.
On Friday, we headed out on a trail ride. Logan's horse was named Lakota.
Mom had a Palomino named Trigger.
Hunter rode a mule named Rusty.

We had rain the first five minutes of the ride in the last five minutes of the ride – everything in between was beautiful.


Did I mention I could move to Montana?

This is all of us at the top – my horse was named was Caleb.
My mom and her twin sister used to show horses when they were kids.

When we got back to uncle Bob's – we did what any good family does at a family reunion and started shooting semi automatic rifles.
Of course – David was amazing and hit the target repeatedly.
In case anyone wanted to know – I did hit the target on the first try and multiple times there after.
My uncle loves to impart knowledge and wisdom on his family – particularly on topics that he knows a lot about. He gave instructions so well that my mom was also able to hit the target.
In conclusion, we watched my cousin Johnny do a lumberjack exhibition that he does when he competes in shows. He stands on top of the log and uses the acts to see how quickly he can get the log to break – it took him 31 seconds and he said that was slow.
I had a fantastic week and I loved spending time with family that I don't normally see.  I can't wait to do it all over again sometime and I hope that happens in Montana.

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