Every year, the extended family of my great-grandmother, Ida May Jarvis Keefe, get together for a family reunion on some land on the Llano River between Junction and London, Texas.
Ida May was one of 12 children to W.T. and ‘Lizzie’ Jarvis. We average around 100 descendants each year, gathering at the river to celebrate family bonds. Some of my cousins have put together an awesome website with lineage and more information if you are interested!
For as long as I can remember, we head to the river every 4th of July weekend. I’m not even sure exactly how I am related to most of the people (3rd cousins twice removed, etc!) but they are family. And it always feels like home at the river.
This is the first year I have been able to take my children, and boy was it an experience! So this month’s 10 on 10 is Llano river style!
On the way. Good old Texas Hill Country!
Within an hour of arriving, Jarvis skipped nap and Uncle Patrick, Aunt Jackie, and Ranger took him down to the river.
The rest of us sweat it out up at camp!
Our camping set up for the weekend! The RV is where my mom, Jace, and the babies slept.
Jarvis and I shared this tent. It was his first time in a tent and most of the night he had a death grip on my neck!
Quite a bit of the weekend was spent like this. Ergo’d baby and chasing a boy. (this was taken by my brother! we are in the ‘camphouse’ which is just really an open kitchen with a couple of cots.)
Meeting cousins for the first time and attempting to share! Sweet little Jack Henry!
Later that day, we all head down to the ‘rapids.’ I remember these being much bigger when I was younger. It’s also where we used to ‘bathe’ before they put in the bathroom and shower back at camp a couple of years back!
Three hours after bedtime, we toasted our first marshmallow and saw our first fireworks. Then he crashed, hard, in the tent.
Sitting around listening to my dad play his guitar and sing his own songs. perfect.
Each ‘family’ is in charge of a meal, the Ida May family gets Sunday morning breakfast. Most of the family hits the London Dance Hall Saturday night, so it’s usually a small, groggy crowd on Sunday morning.
Jarvis entertains himself with diggers and rocks while our crew gets cooking in the camphouse. 10lbs of bacon, 12 dozen eggs, 3 loaves of toast, 60 tortillas, 80 coffeecake muffins, and a whole lot of coffee.
Meanwhile, Ranger continues to enjoy camping, and the babies hold hands. They always do that. It melts my heart.
Uncles are the best. and so are big Jonah smiles!
Best way to beat the heat? Kiddie pool with cousins. Oh, and stealing another one of Aunt Jackie’s apples doesn’t hurt either!
Every Sunday afternoon we do ‘awards’ for the kiddos. Jarvis made some new friends during the ceremony, haha!
And he was asleep before we even hit the first gate out. That’s how you know it was a good reunion!
Hope you enjoyed! There are even more on facebook for those who are my friends!