Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Quick Trip, Lasting Memories {Thanksgiving 2015}

I'm going to get back to Christmas in a minute.

Or in a day or two.  ;-)

But I'm on a mission this week to finish certain blog posts before the calendar says 2016, and Thanksgiving is one of the posts I don't want to leave for next year.  As a matter of fact, I don't want to wait until January 1 or later to post about Christmas either; but tonight, since it's already late, I'm choosing to do Thanksgiving because I can finish it up more quickly than I can do the Christmas one.  I only have 104 pictures from Thanksgiving to sort through, after all; and that's much easier than dealing with the 287 from Christmas Day!  Aren't you glad I don't post all the pictures I take?!  ;-)

In regards to Thanksgiving, so far on the blog, I mentioned Benjamin's crying jag on Thanksgiving and shared one group photo from that day.  But that's it!  And now it's time to change that.  :)

I always like to take pictures in the van as we set out on our journey so I can remember who was with us and how they looked that year.  Of course, the new passenger for this trip was our dear little Benjamin; and he got to ride next to David.
On the other side of David was my mother...

...and in front of her was my dad.  Every year as we celebrate holidays and other big events, I can't help but wonder if my mom will be able to be a part of them during the following year, or if her Alzheimer's will have progressed to the point that she'll be unable to join us.  How grateful I am that once again this year, she could go along with us on this trip!  Thank You, God, for this blessing!
Jeff drove as he always does...
...and I got to sit beside Josiah in the row behind Benjamin, David, and Mother.
In the back seat were Shav...
...and Tobin.
And that leaves Moriah, who was sitting to my left.

I always like to take a book along to read to the family during part of the trip so that the time will move along faster; and on this trip, The Long Winter was the book of choice.  I do love this series of books so much!
By the time we reach my brother David's house, we are always feeling a little wild from the trip, so it is a great relief to arrive and spill out of the van!  :)  And of course the best part is seeing that branch of our family tree again--what a treat!

Lori, my brother's wife, is so efficient that she had the meal prepared when we got there, so we didn't waste too much time before we got down to the business of eating the delicious Thanksgiving feast.  It's the kind of meal that seriously makes a person wish they had four stomachs like a cow so they could eat four times as much because IT ALL TASTES SO GOOD.  :)
Some of the kids got to eat at this table...
...and the rest of us were at this long one.

And this is when I got to have a prolonged interlude with Benjamin in an upstairs bedroom as he wailed his little heart out and refused to be comforted.  It still puzzles me when I try to figure out what caused all of that.  Regardless, eventually he started calming down; and when I came back downstairs, Jean, Lori's mom, left her place at the table to reach for him and spend some time rocking with him.
I was so grateful!
Then of course, the after-dinner coma began to set in, as evidenced by the bodies strewn around the living room.  ;-)

Moriah sure loves her Uncle David.  :)
Benjamin was content enough by this point to have a little time on his playmat...

...while some of the family watched a football game...
...and others played soccer outside on the gorgeous, warm day we were having.  Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania is not always such a pleasant day weather-wise!

Moriah loved jumping on the trampoline...

...and Shav checked out the toys indoors...
...while some of the ladies congregated in the kitchen.
Before it got too late in the afternoon, I requested that we gather in the backyard for a group photo.   Everyone just LOVES when I do that.  It's their favorite part of Thanksgiving, I'm sure!  ;-)
It takes a little while to get everybody together...
...but finally everyone is in place.
 I made the mistake this year of not taking along a tripod, so I set my camera on a fence post and used the self-timer.  I couldn't see what the camera was seeing (because I would have had to climb over the fence to do so), so I aimed and fired, so to speak.  I wish I had done things differently photographically speaking; but despite my ineptness, I'm still glad we have these pictures.  This group of people is precious to my heart.
 After a few regular pictures, someone called out, "Let's do a silly one!"  So we did...except Shane and Brandon went off to play soccer again.  Silly indeed.  ;-)
 It was such a lovely day that some of the group decided to go for a walk "down by the riverside."
 I stayed home and watched them from the window...
 ...then went with Moriah to the backyard again.
 That girl sure does love a trampoline.  :)

 She also got inspired by watching her older brothers and cousins play soccer earlier, so she and I kicked a ball around for a little while, too.  She was in a giggly mood and laughed and laughed during our silly play.
 When she started jumping on the trampoline again, I noticed the colorful leaves and decided to try to spell our last name by tearing out the letters in leaves.  I started...
 ...and did two letters...
 ...then paused to admire this sweetheart as she walked toward me...
 ...then did another letter.
 And then it was time to go inside again, so I didn't get to do the last 3 letters of our name.  No biggie.  :)

We ate yummy snacks and desserts until we were stuffed to the brim again.
 After taking the Davids picture...
...we finished packing up and saying our goodbyes.  We finally tore ourselves away and headed south again, full of good food, fresh air and sunshine, and love and gratitude.

It's such a quick trip--up and back in one day--but it's worth it to get to spend a few hours with people that we love so much.  The time we are together speeds by, but the memories of Thanksgivings spent in this way will last and last and last.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Thanksgiving post!! Can't wait to see the Christmas Day one! :)
Happy New Year!! :)