Welcome Address

Source: Family-Reunion.com

Whether your reunion is large or small, it's nice to have a "Welcoming address" to kick the thing off.  
It doesn't have to be long... 5 - 10 minutes unless you have a really good speaker in the family.  
Here's a few things you might put in a welcoming address...

Welcome everyone to the reunion, and thank them for coming.

Mention which different families (or family lines) are at the reunion.

Give a general outline of the day's (or weekend's) festivities.

Thank the people who helped put the reunion together.

And of course, add a few well placed jokes or inspirational thoughts.

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Jokes and Inspirational Thoughts
 
If you get "volunteered" to be the Master of Ceremonies for your reunion,
here are a few one liners, jokes, and inspirational thoughts
to help pad out your welcoming speech.
 
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One Liners

A family reunion is an effective form of birth control.

You might be a redneck if you attend your family reunion to pick up chicks.

You might be a redneck if your family reunion is held at a rest area.

Heredity: Everyone believes in it until their children act like fools!

We put the "fun" in dysfunctional.

Relatives are people who come to dinner who aren't friends.

If you have trouble getting your children's attention, just sit down and look comfortable.

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Jokes

A married couple was celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. At the party everybody wanted to know how they managed to stay married so long in this day and age. The husband responded "When we were first married we came to an agreement. I would make all the major decisions and my wife would make all the minor decisions. And in 60 years of marriage we have never needed to make a major decision."

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Her husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months yet she stayed by his bedside every single day.  When he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer. As she sat by him, he said, "You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times. When I got fired, you were there to support me. When my business fell, you were there. When I got shot, you were by my side. When we lost the house, you gave me support. When my health started failing, you were still by my side. Well, now that I think about it, I think you're a jinx!

~~~~~

Father: Don't you think our son gets his brains from me?
Mother: Probably, dear. I still have all of mine.

~~~~~

Joe had asked Bob to help him out with the deck after work, so Bob just went straight over to Joe's place. When they got to the door, Joe went straight to his wife, gave her a hug and told her how beautiful she was and how much he had missed her at work. When it was time for supper, he complimented his wife on her cooking, kissed her and told her how much he loved her.

Once they were working on the deck, Bob told Joe that he was surprised that he fussed so much over his wife. Joe said that he'd started this about six months ago, it had revived their marriage, and things couldn't be better. Bob thought he'd give it a go.

When he got home, he gave his wife a massive hug, kissed her and told her that he loved her. His wife burst into tears.  Bob was confused and asked why she was crying. She said, "This is the worst day of my life. First, little Billy fell off his bike and twisted his ankle. Then, the washing machine broke and flooded the basement. And now, you come home drunk!"

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Every Saturday morning Grandpa Walt found himself babysitting his three grandchildren...all boys. The kids always wanted to play ''war,'' and Grandpa somehow always got coaxed into the game.  His daughter came to pick up the kids early one Saturday and witnessed Grandpa take a fake shot as Jason pointed a toy gun and yelled, "Bang!''  Grandpa slumped to the floor and stayed there motionless. The daughter rushed over to see if he was all right. Grandpa opened one eye and whispered, ''Sh-h-h, I always do this. It's the only chance I get to rest.''

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One day a police car pulled up to grandma's house and grandpa got out. The officer explained that this elderly gentlemen said he was lost in the park.   ''Why, Bill,'' said Grandma, ''You've been going there for over 30 years! How could you get lost?''  Leaning close to Grandma so the police officer couldn't hear, he whispered, ''Wasn't exactly lost. I was just too tired to walk home.''

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One bright, beautiful Sunday morning, everyone in the small New England town got up early and went to the local church. Before the services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews and idly chatting about their lives, their families, etc., when suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate. Everyone quickly evacuated the Church, except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew, not moving... seemingly oblivious to the fact that God's ultimate enemy was in his presence.

Now this confused Satan a bit, so he walked up to the man and said, "Do you not know who I am?"

The man replied, "Yep, sure do."

Satan asked, "Aren't you afraid of me?"

"Nope, sure ain't," said the man.

Satan was a little perturbed at this and queried,  "Why aren't you afraid of me?"

The man calmly replied, "Been married to your sister for over 31 years."

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The children of a prominent family chose to give the patriarch a book of their family's history. The biographer they hired was warned of one problem. Uncle Willie, the "Black Sheep," had gone to Sing Sing's Electric chair for murder. The writer carefully handled the situation in the following way: "Uncle Willie occupied a chair of applied electronics at one of our nation's leading institutions. He was attached to his position by the strongest of ties. His death came as a true shock. - from Ka Pupa Nihonih (Mayflower Quarterly - Nov 1990)

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A lawyer was reading out the will of a rich man to the people mentioned in the will:

"To you, my loving wife Rose, who stood by me in rough times, as well as good, I leave her the house and $2 million."

The lawyer continued, "To my daughter Jessica, who looked after me in sickness and kept the business going, I leave her the yacht, the business and $1 million." The lawyer concluded, "And, to my cousin Dan, who hated me, argued with me, and thought that I would never mention him in my will - well you are wrong. Hi Dan!"

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Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to God's kids. After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the first thing He said to them was: "Don't."

"Don't what?" Adam replied.

"Don't eat the forbidden fruit." God said.

"Forbidden fruit? We got forbidden fruit? Hey, Eve...we got Forbidden Fruit!"

"No way!"

"Yes WAY!"

"Don't eat that fruit!" said God.

"Why?"

"Because I'm your Father and I said so!" said God, wondering why he hadn't stopped after making the elephants. A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and was angry.

"Didn't I tell you not to eat that fruit?" the First Parent asked.

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you?"

"I dunno," Eve answered.

"She started it!" Adam said.

"Did Not!"

"DID so!"

"DID NOT!!"

Having had it with the two of them, God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed. But there is a reassurance in this story. If you have persistently and lovingly tried to give them wisdom and they haven't taken it, don't be hard on yourself. If God had trouble handling children, what makes you think it would be a piece of cake for you?

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An old man was laying on his death bed. He had only hours to live when he suddenly smelled chocolate chip cookies. He loved chocolate chip cookies better than anything in the world.  With his last bit of energy he pulled himself out of bed, across the floor to the stairs.  Down the stairs and into the kitchen.   There his wife was baking chocolate chip cookies. As he reached for one, SMACK across the back of the hand his wife hit him with a spoon.  "Leave them alone, they are for the funeral!"

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After a young couple brought their new baby home, the wife suggested that her husband should try his hand at changing diapers.  "I'm busy," he said, "I'll do the next one."  The next time came around and she asked again.  The husband looked puzzled, "Oh! I didn't mean the next diaper. I meant the next baby!"

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GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED

No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.

When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair.

If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.

Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.

You can't trust dogs to watch your food.

Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.

Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a tic tac.

Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time.

School lunches stick to the wall.

You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.

Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.

The best place to be when you are sad is in Grandma's lap.

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GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT LIFE THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED

Raising teenagers is like nailing JELLO to a tree.

There is always a lot to be thankful for if you take time to look for it.

For example, I am sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.

One reason to smile is that every seven minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.

The best way to keep kids at home is to make the home a pleasant atmosphere... and let the air out of their tires.

Car sickness is the feeling you get when the monthly car payment is due.

Families are like fudge .. mostly sweet with a few nuts.

Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

Laughing helps. It's like jogging on the inside.

Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely.

If you can remain calm, you just don't have all the facts.

You know you're getting old when you stoop to tie your shoes and wonder what else you can do while you're down there.

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One day, a little girl is sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly notices that her mother has several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head.  She looks at her mother and inquisitively asks, "Why are some of your hairs white, mom?"  Her mother replied, "Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white."  The little girl thought about this revelation for a while, and then said, "Momma, how come *all* of grandma's hairs are white?"

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One Sunday in a Midwest city a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew but were losing the battle. Finally the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer the one called out loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"

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A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, he looked at the old pages as he turned them. Then something fell out of the Bible and he picked up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that has been pressed in between pages.  "Momma, look what I found", the boy called out.   "What have you got there, dear?" his mother asked.  With astonishment in the young boy's voice he answered: "I think it's Adam's suit!"

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My friend is a rather old-fashioned lady. Always quite delicate and elegant, especially in her language. She and her husband were planning to attend a family reunion, so she wrote to a particular campground and asked for a reservation.  She wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped, but didn't know how to ask about the toilet facilities. She just couldn't bring herself to write the word "toilet" in her letter. After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old-fashioned term "bathroom commode." But when she wrote that down she felt that she was being too forward. So she started all over, rewrote the whole entire letter, and referred to the bathroom commode merely as the B.C.. "Does the campground have its own B.C.?" is what she finally wrote.

Well, the campground owner wasn't old fashioned at all, and he couldn't figure out what the woman was talking about. That B.C. business really stumped him. After worrying about it for awhile, he showed the letter to several campers, but no one could figure out what she meant either. So the campground owner, finally coming to the conclusion that the lady was talking about the location of the Baptist Church, sat down and wrote the following reply:

"Dear Madam,

I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take the pleasure of informing you that the B.C. is located nine miles north of the campground and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt that a great number of people take their lunches and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. If you don't start early you might not make it in time. The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded that we had to stand the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now there is a supper planned to raise money to buy more seats. They're going to hold it in the basement of the B.C.. I would like to say it pains me very much not being able to go more often, but it surely is no lack of desire on my part. As we get older particularly in cold weather, it gets harder to go. If you decide to come down to our campground, perhaps I could go with you for the first time, sit with you, and introduce you to all the folks.

"Remember, this is a friendly community!"

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THE SIGNS OF "ADVANCED MOMHOOD"

used with the permission of the author, Liane Kupferberg Carter

Maybe it starts when you realize rock concerts give you a headache.   Or that you're offering to cut up other people's food.  Or you catch yourself ending a discussion with, "Because I'm the Mother, that's why!" You've reached a new level of motherhood. All the warning signs are there. You know you've crossed the threshold into advanced "Mommydom" when:

You count the sprinkles on each kid's cupcake to make sure they're equal.

You want to take out a contract on the kid who broke your son's favorite toy car and made him cry.

You have time to shave only one leg at a time.

You hide in the bathroom to be alone.

Your child throws up and you catch it.

Someone else's kid throws up at a party and you keep eating.

You've mastered the art of placing large quantities of pancakes and eggs on a plate

without anything touching.

Your child insists that you read "Once Upon A. Potty" out loud in the lobby of Grand Central Terminal, and you do it.

You hope ketchup is a vegetable because it's the only one your child eats. (It's not - tomatoes are fruits --Mister Spiffy)

You can't bear the thought of your son's first girlfriend.

You hate the thought of his wife even more.

You find yourself cutting your husband's sandwiches into unusual shapes.

You fast-forward through the scene when the hunter shoots Bambi's mother.

You become a member of three aquariums because your kid loves sharks.

You obsess when your child clings to you upon parting during his first month at school, then obsess when he skips in without looking back the second time.

You can't bear to give away baby clothes... it's so final.

You hear your mother's voice coming out of your mouth when you say, "NOT in your good clothes!"

You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.

You lose sleep.

You use your own saliva to clean your child's face.

You read that the average five-year-old asks 437 questions a day and feel proud that your kid is "above average."

You hire a sitter because you haven't been out with your husband in ages, then spend half the night checking on the kids.

You say at least once a day, "I'm not cut out for this job," but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything


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Inspirational Thoughts

A Tribute to our Ancestors

Roy Stockdill 1997
from "Rhyming Relations: Genealogy in Verse"

THEY did not choose us, nor we them; we never knew them, nor they us; yet we are inextricably bound together for all eternity and there is no law in the universe, no metamorphosis physical or spiritual, that can ever alter this inalienable truth.

OFTEN we may wish for different ones and feel moved to deny the ones we have, but this is as futile as it is foolish to invent spurious ones, for our deception will surely be unmasked, if not by others, ultimately by our own conscience.

WE owe everything, our very existence, to our ancestors, and yet we know next to nothing of them because mostly their lives were so humbly recorded.  It is good that we seek to expand our knowledge of their lives so that we may better understand our own.

THEY made us, body and soul, and we must accept without complaint or rancour what they were and what we are, for nothing and no-one can ever change this fact and it is barren folly to dwell obsessively upon it.

WE recognise that the legacy of genetic inheritance is a double-edged sword. We should be grateful for those gifts of personality and disposition our ancestors bestowed upon us which we find beneficial and not rail against those traits we find less appealing, for it is surely in our own hands to change them.

WE should take pride in our ancestors and their achievements wherever possible, whether high-born or low, rich or poor, prince or pauper, and not seek arbitrarily to revile or condemn them for acts of which we know nothing of the causes.

WE must learn from them, from their mistakes as well as their successes; from their tragedies as well as their triumphs; from their sins as well as their virtues; from their hopes as well as their fears.

POSTERITY and history are irrevocably interwined in the present. No coherent vision of the future can exist without an affinity for the past and cognizance of the lives of our forebears.

REMEMBER that we, too, are the ancestors of those yet unborn and we should seek to leave for them a heritage of which they can be as proud as we are of that which our forebears bequeathed to us.

WE bless and thank our ancestors for the legacy of the good things they gave us, forgive them their errors and pray that we will endeavour to use wisely the knowledge which they handed down to us.

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The Station

Robert J. Hastings

"Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows, we drink in the passing scene of cars or nearby highways, Of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling meadows, of city skyliners and village halls.

"But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour, we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering - waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

"'When we reach the station, that will be it' we cry. 'When I'm 18.' 'When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes Benz!' 'When I put the last kid through college.' 'When I have paid off the mortgage!' 'When I get a promotion.' 'When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after'...

"....Sooner or later, we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

"'Relish the moment' is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: 'This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.' It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

"So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough."

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