This summer we enjoyed the 2018 Hatch Batch Reunion. It's been a few years and Jordan opted to spearhead the big event and BIG it was. It was amazing! We were able to have every one there except for Cody who is attending summer classes at BYU, darn.
Jordan found an Air B&B for us at Indian Bear Lodge, Walhonding, OH. This is basically SE of Manfield, out in the boonies, no cell phone towers and it was ideal.
Here's the info letter he sent out:
Where:Indian Bear Lodge (altho we stayed in the Little Rock Lodge...all to ourselves. PLUS we had the lake basically to ourselves as well) 8300 Sq Feet of Rustic luxury.
3483 McCament Rd.Walhonding,Ohio 43843Bedrooms:Robert & Susan - King RoomMarissa & Hank - Queen Room #2Trefethen Kids - Full Room #1Dawn & Ken - Queen Room #1Barrett Kids - Full Room #2Jocelyn & Steve - Master Suite Room 1Christensen Kids - Master Suite Room 2Cara & Jake - Route 66 RoomKennedy Kids - Bunk RoomJordan & Hillary - Horse Room & Nature RoomAgenda:
- Sunday 6/24
- Check-in at 4pm & T-shirt Pickup
- Dinner presented by the New Hatch Batch Smoked meat with all the trimmings
- Monday 6/25
- Breakfast presented by the Christensens Homemade Granola
- Schedule the activities for the week
- Lunch presented by the Trefethens Happy Dogs
- Dinner presented by the Kennedys Pulled Pork and everything.
- Tuesday 6/26
- Breakfast is BYOB
- Lunch presented by the Hatch Batch Walk Away Tacos
- Dinner - Dutch Oven Cook-off (I'll bring enough charcoal for everyone)
- Wednesday 6/27
- Breakfast presented by the Hatch Batch Sheet Pan egg sandwiches and potato cakes
- Lunch presented by Barretts BLT salad
- Dinner presented by the Christensens Red White and Blue BBQ...all very 4th of July
- Family Testimony Meeting presented by Susan & Robert Hatch
- Thursday 6/28
- Breakfast is BYOB
- Clean up & Check-out at 11amOther cool stuff to know before you arrive:
- The family presenting the meal is also responsible for presenting a short spiritual message and prayer (hopefully from the cousins).
- The family presenting the meal is also responsible for bringing the required disposable plates, cups, bowl, utensils required to consume the meal they are preparing for the whole family (33 mouths).
- There is a long list of amenities on-site and families have all volunteered to lead various activities. On Monday, we'll schedule when to do those activities depending weather etc. Rock painting that happened every day, Balloon Animals, Creative learning games, Leave IDing, Faux Calligraphy maybe
- The closest grocery store is 25 miles away.
- I'll bring a bag of charcoal that will be enough for everyone to use for the dutch oven dinner night.
- Clown costumes are encouraged but not required.
We attended church at home and then took off. I think it was about 2.5 hours to get there IF we knew where we were going because we sort of kept circling without real good GPS help but we managed to arrive just after the NHB and the Barretts. The place was amazing. There were beds for everyone, futons all over the place so the teens could just play til they dropped and sleep wherever. There were some switching around and basically everyone had a good sleep each night...late nights for them, early mornings for the wee ones and Robert and I were stuck somewhere in the middle.
This fine fellow greeted us throughout the day. These lights had been strung across the doorway but I think when the teens slept in the area that could be closed off from the kitchen proper, the lights were decorated around him.
Wonderful kitchen with everything we would need to cook and eat altho we used a lot of paper plates and cups, etc. Why waste time washing up dishes needlessly.
The game room...empty for a second.
The fully stocked kitchen.
Always time to gather
Evan and Robert try their hand at pool. I had challenged all the older kids to pool but they skunked me so much that I finally gave it up.
Look at Marius' smile. He's thrilled to be up high and to have found this heart window.
Papa had fun with Coy playing tickle toes.
Remember that swing/play set? The one with Val smooching his mom? Well a bit later, a brick which should not have been in there, up on a shelf, came down and hit him o the head. He had already been attacked by the edge of the door which ripped his little foot. Some cousin came running in for adult help and Steve went running, saw the blood and said, "Do not let Jocelyn see." He got him pretty much wiped up and then Dawn, trusty Dawn with her huge first aid kit, got an ice pack going. A huge bandaid was attached and he was good to go. Again. It was only a scalp wound which you know bleeds fiercely but still it was scary and bloody and not what you want to happen.
Ad back at the ranch.... Marissa took to playing 'dead' with the Scythe hanging over her head. I think she was just avoiding me taking one more picture.
Here's a panorama of the porch. It was actually huge.
Ken is so good with the wee ones!
Can you see the joy in Hazel's face? Nothing was too fast nor too high for this one!
The kids got their face 'painted' in rainbow colored sun tan lotion.
After all those hours on the lake, I enjoyed the hot top with these tadpoles...Rob, Honor, Lily.
Jacob arrived with the family but they came in 3 cars. Jacob went swimming with us all on Monday afternoon but then he had plans to leave. For the longest time I thought he was leaving because he had to go to work. Poor Jacob has missed so much of our activities through the years but ALAS, he was returning home for surgery on his knee Tuesday afternoon. And it was a serious surgery and he ended up being in a lot of pain.
So right before he left right from swimming to go home, a few of us gathered in the teepee and Jacob received a blessing from Robert and Jordan.
Sam and Peter left on Tuesday evening to head home so they could leave with their stake's Youth Conference to Nauvoo. Sweet Peter didn't really want to leave the family cuz he was having so much fun. I said "but Peter, your folks have already paid for Youth Conference." To which he replied , "Yes, but they also paid for this, too, and I'm having more fun here. I've already been to Nauvoo." But Sam should not have driven all that way alone so Peter went too. Boy did we miss these two.
After every meal, we always found Robert in the kitchen doing up the dishes. I really had hoped the grands could have seen this, taken note and remembered to do likewise when they are grown and grey. Better still...it would be great if they'd do this for their moms NOW.
And Dawn has learned this well herself. She's usually the first off the seat and into the kitchen. Her Gunner would be very proud of her.
Everyone got in on the pool...wee ones as well as Robert and Ken. They managed to find a quiet moment in the game room and it appears they were uninterrupted.
A little shuffle board, Robert and Steve?
We were fortunate to have not just one lifeguard on duty but 2...Dawn and Sam. During the Tuesday night Dutch Oven Cook Off (which every one won) Dawn demonstrated how she could use the heimlech on Jordan to save him from choking. Marius seems concerned.
So many dutch oven meals and each so very tasty. I'm telling you, I've raised kids who are great cooks...with all methods of cooking, even on charcoal...THAT they did not get from me.
I was worried to pieces that Hank would lose his hand as he used the end of an old shovel to slice up some kindling wood. But his fingers survived.
Dawn also practiced something on the 'dead' again Marissa. I think she's asking Marissa if Marissa gives her permission to treat her. We agreed Marissa was either dead or unconscious and couldn't agree but we could.
At some point Hank had to leave for a job interview but returned after it was all over. Could he be anymore handsome and relaxed. He had another interview Thursday so they left late Wednesday night, having missed nothing at all.
How fitting that Evan donned the Seminary Shirt from Robert's seminary class a couple years ago. IF is still the bigger word in the English language. Oh IF only we could continue with this reunion forever.
And did I say rocks were painted EVERY SINGLE DAY!? Look how serious
Hazel was on her large rock! Robert had collected rocks from 'our' beach in Sheffield Lake, along with 5 large blue rocks, one for each family, to go along with the tee shirts as a remembrance of the hours and years our family spent there. No better place on earth.
Look at Coy Boone step out. He was ready to catch up with all the running of the cousins!
Jordan provided a family game for us (Kahoots) where we had to guess who the baby or person was in each picture. If we had had better wifi connection, or any at all, it would have been played more by the rules but even without it (and boy were we glad there was none) we had so much fun looking at pix and laughing.
Would you look at all that meat? Great bbq-ing Steve!
The Red White and Blue BBQ was set up. So much bbq'd meat and all the fixings Great job Christensens. The decorations made the dinner an event for the reunion and upcoming holiday.
The wee ones as well as the oldsters loved the glow bracelets and necklaces.
Hazel was attracted to the lights on the pole as the sun started to dim.
Sweet Oskar got his groove on and danced like a disco man, all lit up.
Wednesday would be our last dinner all together. Thursday was Ella's 19th birthday. We wanted to be sure to make the moment and Ken kept asking about a cake. Jocelyn, Dawn and I got in the car and attempted to get to the country store that was about 4 miles away. Maybe as the crow flies but certainly not the way I drive, nor the detours, and road constructions but we eventually located one. I picked up the cake mix and icing mix and then saw a bunch of cookies and thought, 'why not a cookie cake'? So back went the mix and honestly who wanted to bake a cake and then the surprise would not be had.
I signaled to Henry to follow me with a large sectioned plastic service dish and he and I put together the 'cake'. He was so sweet and so excited about being able to help and to be part of the secret. When dinner was almost oven he and I slipped out of the kitchen, lit the candles and and Henry walked in carrying the 'cake'. I think we first saw Hank and asked him to start singing with us and then everyone joined in. I think Ella was surprised. She blew out the candles before I could get my camera ready because the group only sang one verse. I ask you, who in my family ever only sings one verse. Strange. So we lit them again but one of the wee ones, maybe Val, understood the lit candles and blew them out...so we lit them again and staged the picture. It was a lot of fun especially because Henry was in on the preparations.
After all the celebrating, we gather one last time together in the game room to hear testimonies from our soon-to-be missionaries. Elder Barrett and Sister Kennedy. Both talked of their love for the Lord and how they were looking forward to serving Him and preaching the gospel. Connor sweetly mentioned those who had gone on before him, his dad, Papa, Uncle Jordan and how he hoped he would be an example for the younger cousins as he goes forth. I think they both will be so amazing.
After dinner a few of the family went on a nature walk specifically to pick wild black raspberries to be eaten with the remaining ice cream. And the last of the ice cream was eaten for breakfast the next morning before we all left.
This Wooden Indian was outside our bedroom. Every time I passed him I had to sing the Charlie Pride song, Kaw Liga, to myself
Adelle fell in love with the lodge cat. She said she wanted to take it home with her...thankfuly she didn't. Not sure Pepper would approve of that. First it was nicknamed Cinnamon Toast and then White Chocolate. No clue what it's real name was.
Before she left, Ella wanted to be sure she's still taller than Kipp...maybe...but just by a hair. Probably won't be the case in 18 months.
Definitely she's taller than I am but then I've lost 3" in the past 5 years! Bummer
Perhaps Honor left this as a remembrance as well!
This had to have been my favorite secret treasure. A carved church right out in the front garden. No announcement but a lovely reminder of the Lord's hand in my family's lives every day.