Every Fourth of July, the Searles have a big family reunion with all of Aaron's siblings. It is by far one of our most favorite times of the year! This year was extra special because everyone was able to meet Chloe for the first time...and of course they all thought she was adorable and fought to get there chance to hold her. The family usually comes out for 1-2 weeks and that time is always packed with shopping, playing, gabbing and eating.
The Fourth always begins with waking up early to catch the big parade in Provo. Robin always is always nice enough to get up early (or even go the night before) and get us a great spot along University Avenue. People go crazy here for this parade and many even camp out the night before to get a good spot in the shade...as far as parades go, this one is pretty good. Usually, by the end of the parade we are all dying of heat exhaustion, but this year it was overcast and so the temperature was quite pleasant.
After the parade we all headed down to the Searle's house for dinner and games. Alison, Paula and Angela were in charge this year and they did a fabulous job. In true Utah-weather fashion, right in the middle of dinner, a huge storm with crazy wind gusts and rain hit us; we had to rush to put up a tent and cover all the food. As frustrating as this was, it sure did cool the temperature down for the rest of the evening. The theme for the reunion this year was "Fear Factor." We all broke up into teams and participated in Fear Factor-like challenges that involved crickets, goldfish, big gobs of frozen mayonnaise, ice and muddy worms.
For the first challenge, everyone was blindfolded and had to fish out as many gummy worms out of a pan filled with real worms as they could. The next challenge involved a big bowl of goldfish. They told us that we had to walk across a tarp blind folded with our bare feet and try to not step on any of the fish that had been scattered out. After we all squished our way across the tarp, we took off our blindfolds to discover they had actually thrown down mandarin oranges. The rest of the games required us to eat what we thought were big bowls of ice cream (which actually turned out to be frozen mayonnaise), stand for as long as we could in buckets of ice and drink crazy concoctions of all kinds of condiments. And just so you know, Devon's team, "The Terrible Tapeworms," won.
Unfortunately, because of the storm, we weren't able to do fireworks that night, but instead we played a special Searle Version of The Family Feud. We ended up doing fireworks the next night and Chloe really liked them! She got so excited whenever a really loud one would go off.