Every year, Mark's family has a wonderfully large Coots family reunion. Mark's Mom is the youngest child and only daughter to 9 brothers (: I will freely admit that I absolutely love my in-laws and extended in-laws family (:
This year, the reunion was in Brason, Missouri at the Westgate Branson Woods Resort, and our very first evening there, we got to go to dinner and a show in the Activities center. It was great! We got to sit with over 40 of our favorite people (: When she asked if anyone was new to Branson, pretty much the only hands raised were the large collection of Coots. The kids all sat up front and got up multiple times to dance to the music. There were entertainers from several of the most popular local shows that came out and did a single performance for us to advertise their shows. The last performance was for a show the next night in the same room, done by the Polynesian Fire Dancers. Of all the excerpts, that was the one I was absolutely certain I wanted to go to!
And at the end of the evening, they had a raffle for prizes from the ticket stubs that got our meals. My youngest won a free entrance (worth $25) to the Stuff 'n' Fluff activity on site! (It's like Build a Bear, without the trademark and cost there of.) The next time they'd be doing it, and the only time we'd be able to partcipate, was on Thursday at 11 am.
That morning, I was already planning on taking the youngest cousin and my other son to participate as well, when two of the older cousins (10 and 13) decided to come along and keep us company. Both of them have previously actually done Build a Bear and as we got in, talked my oldest out of it as a 'little kid' activity... until the potential animals were set out. When my 9 year old saw the horse, he was hooked... and when the 2 older ones saw the penguins, so were they (lol).
So then the gentleman brought out the clothing. My youngest son chose a cowboy outfit for his lion, my older son chose a different cowboy outfit for his horse and my youngest nephew chose a tuxedo for his tiger. That's where the gleam of pure humor came into the eyes of the two oldest-- who chose to put tuxedos on their penguins.
Then the kids started stuffing their soon to be new toys. The older ones announced it was MUCH better than build a bear because you add the stuffing by hand. Apparently, the other is a tube that does it for you. Then, each of the kids got a 'birth certificate' for their new pets.
(For my oldest) The horse is named 'Lightning' and he's filled with courage and strength.
(For my youngest) The lion is named 'Tornado' and he's filled with Super Strength!
(For my younger nephew) The tiger's name is 'Tiger' and he's filled with Magic....
and then it was the peguins' turns... and you could tell the older two had been plotting and planning.
So it's now my nephew's turn to answer about his penguin in a tux: His name is 'Peng' and he's filled with 'fluffy goodness' (which made the man writing it smile).
Then my niece had her turn and her penguin is named 'Ping' (because they're penguin twins) and it's filled with 'fish!' (Swedish fish, to be specific) and that outright made the man filling out the form laugh.
As we walked back to the rooms, they made up a song and dance with their penguins, specifically to annoy two of their older second cousins (lol).
All in all, it was an hour of absolute fun, for everyone involved (: