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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Memories 2009

In previous posts I mentioned a few things that our family does for Thanksgiving each year with my husband's side of the family. The three days (Wed., Thurs., and Friday) are filled with many traditions, which we all look forward to each year.

 The first tradition  is on Wednesday night. Family members who live out of town arrive in time for this worship time, which is an hour of praise in song. Others in our church family also have relatives in town for Thanksgiving, so it's a special time for them, as well. 

After the worship time, our family goes to my in-laws house to eat finger foods and play games.  Thirty-three of us were able to attend the Wednesday evening singing and get-together...there were only two not in attendance - pretty amazing! Several family members help out by bringing appetizers for the evening. This Cheese Ball (or log this time) is one of the things I take each year.  Click here for the recipe from my recipe blog.  Our favorite games are Liverpool (a type of Rummy), 42, and this year we tried a new one - Last Word. This new game was a lot of fun!

Thanksgiving morning our family has another traditional time - a Fun Run and a 5 K (3.1 mile) Run, called a "Turkey Trot".  Some walk the 5K instead of running.  Prizes are awarded to the children for the Fun Run and a plaque is passed on to the winner of the 5K each year.

Some of the kids are getting so big, they've moved on to the 5K!  Many of the runners also run in races throughout the year and not just at the annual "Turkey Trot".

Either before the run or afterwards, everyone enjoys a homemade cinnamon roll.  Usually my father-in-law makes the cinnamon rolls, but this time my brother-in-law did.  They were great!

Next comes Thanksgiving Dinner.  Notice I posted the dessert table picture first!  There were lots of yummy desserts.  The one on the left bottom is Pumpkin Cheesecake.  You can find that recipe here.

With thirty-three mouths to feed and to have leftovers around for a few days, there is a LOT of food.  Look at that huge bowl of mashed potatoes!  Home grown green beans are a family favorite from my in-laws garden.

Homemade rolls.....actually, in my husband's family they are always called "Hot Rolls", whether "hot" or not!  His dad makes the rolls each year, but I think this year another brother-in-law made them.  I've always been fasinated by the consistant shape of the rolls.  One year my father-in-law was sick and we all pitched in to help make the rolls.  We had some really strange shaped rolls!

We just live a few blocks away from my in-laws, so each Thanksgiving Day afternoon, we all head over to our field.  Our home-grown pumpkins are gathered and placed in a pile.

The cousins (this picture is minus 6 cousins) take an annual "cousins photo" and then the "Pumpkin Bash" begins.  I wrote about this recently and called it "Pumpkin Baseball", but it actually is a "Bash"...not that it matters.

The pumpkins were fewer this year, but they were also the messiest!  It made for some great pictures and one of our nephews even made a video of the event.

This year we had a new family member in attendance - our niece married in August and this was her husband's first time to be at the "Bash".  He was initiated into this tradition in fine fashion.  He got to hit the first pumpkin and his brother-in-law picked out a nice (and gross) rotten pumpkin for him to hit!  He was a great sport and seemed to enjoy the "Bash". 

After the "Pumpkin Bash" it's back to the in-laws for more games and food.

Friday morning some head out to shop "Black Friday" specials.  Others sleep in later.  In the afternoon, most everyone goes to a movie together.  Then it's back to the in-laws for more food and games.  By the third night of staying up really late, eating more than we should, and playing games and more games, everyone is exhausted!

Saturday all of the out-of-town family members head for their own homes.

Posting all of this reminds me of the song "Precious Memories".  Typically this song is used at funeral - probably because when a loved one passes away, it's the memories of that person that keep them close in our hearts.  This year was a special Thanksgiving for our family.  Last year in December, we were all (minus 2) able to go to Colorado together to celebrate my in-laws 50th anniversary.  In January, my husband's grandmother passed away.  She lived a long and healthy life up until the very end and was at all of the Thanksgiving Day gatherings except for the last one, I belive.  She was a big part of the Thankgiving traditions established many, many years ago.

Then, in the spring, my father-in-law had hip surgery and it was found that his prostate cancer was no longer being controlled with medication.  He began chemotheraphy and is continuing it still.  He seems to be doing great now and is getting stronger each day.

Each Thanksgiving we are able to get together is a blessing.  God has richly blessed us with another year together, but also He has given us another year to live for Him  May we always remember that it is because of what He has done that we have those "Precious Memories".

(Note:  This post is about my husband's side of the family.  If you would like to read a funny post about my side of the family, go to my recipe blog that I share with my mom and sister (mentioned above with recipe links).  My mom has posted "A Recipe for Disaster" which is sure to make you smile!)

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

well done! Hope no one thinks we're bragging about all the fun, but I love to hear about other families traditions and maybe our blogs will encourage other families to start something like this!

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