Family Picnic

Every month I team up with U.S. Cellular and share a little about my Samsung Galaxy S8 Smart Phone. This is one of those posts.

Each year my extended family gets together in August for a family picnic.  I love going and actually always look forward to it.  Each year we go to the same location, Pilot Knob State Park.  It’s near Forest City.  Long ago when part of the cousins lived in Iowa and park in Minnesota, it was deemed the “central location”.  It still is for the majority.  Of course we’ve had some move off to other states but for the majority, it’s not a bad drive.

This was Carver’s first time coming.  He got to see his aunts, uncles and so many more.

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My kids love seeing their cousins.

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I enjoy seeing mine too.

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The people I go most to see though are my Aunt Agnes and my Aunt Betty.  They are the two left from the oldest generation.

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It’s fun to see my cousins kids growing up….and even their kid’s kids growing up.

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The highlight this year for me was when my cousin John brought a box of family memorabilia.  Much of it hasn’t seen daylight for years….pictures of my grandparents and some of my dad when he was a kid.

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I didn’t go on the trip to the tower this year…typically I’ve relegated myself to the older generation that stays off the trails and simply visits with each other.  Kalissa and my sister in law Wendy made the trek.

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So did Carver.

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He loved the wind!

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Isn’t this the cutest picture ever??

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I’m so glad he enjoyed his day.  I’m hoping this means he’ll want to come again next year!!

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We attended a state park.  How fun would it be to trek off to a national park.  Did you know the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees on August 25 to celebrate their birthday.   U.S. Cellular has some great tips for you if you are heading off to visit a park.


How technology can help you on an outdoor trek:

You can find one of 465 national parks by visiting  This site shows the parks activities and amenities so you can pick one that is right for you.

GPS Essentials can help users navigate routes on the road and on trails so you don’t get lost.  Another one is the Compass app.

Take amazing outdoor photos. Being outside is perfect for selfies! The most flattering light for a gorgeous selfie is natural, indirect light. But make sure that you pay attention and are aware of your surroundings.

Also your phone can be a handy flashlight with the app Brightest Flashlight.


Use your smartphone as a safety tool:

Download the First Aid app from the American Red Cross, which provides basic first aid tips and advice for injuries, burns, sprains/broken bones and other medical emergencies.

Bring along an “offline survival manual” that contains information on how to make fire, build a shelter, find food, treat insect or animal bites, and other useful content in a case of emergency.

Stay aware of your surroundings. When you are capturing that cool photo, remain aware of your surroundings. Stay on the trail, avoid steep cliffs or ledges, and always keep an eye out for dangerous animals.

As a best practice, use your smartphone to check in with a loved one regularly so they know your whereabouts, the route you’re taking, and the time you’ll be back home.

I’m trying to put together a visit to my cousin John’s house in the near future…there were so many pictures of my family that I want to see again.  We didn’t have the best turn out for the picnic….I’m hoping a better turn out next year.  It’s funny though…regardless of who does or doesn’t come, I always have fun.  I miss those that weren’t there, but still I have fun.


4 thoughts on “Family Picnic”

  1. The family picnic looks like a fun gathering and seeing some old photos is always interesting. I think the picture of Carver with his parents up in the tower is just pure happiness. Thanks for the tips about some apps for our phones, I just downloaded the Brightest Flashlight.

  2. I hate that so many families are living so far apart that these family gatherings don’t happen much any more. I have cousins that I have not seen in years, but as our family grows and moves away, getting together is no longer as easy as it was when most families lived close to each other…here in the south, even on the same family farm land that had been in the family for multiple generations!

  3. Looks like you had a fun family reunion. Great pictures of Carver! He’s getting to be such a cute little guy. :o)

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