We had a very happy time over Thanksgiving with a great big extended family gathering which this year included four generations. We all arrived in Virginia either late Tuesday night or in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday. There was time over the four and half days we were there to talk, cook together, eat lots of good food, play the traditional Thanksgiving morning football game (mud football this year), walk, watch a movie and a few good old Dick Van Dykes, play games, knit, shop a little, give and receive massages, drink lots of tea, pore over ideas for a special project soon to be in the works (thanks, Lindele!), and laugh a lot! The cousins and Kay even made a late, late night trip on Friday into DC to walk on the mall and view the monuments by night.
How thankful I am for each of the people that was there this year. Coty's parents hosted us with 25 around the tables on Thanksgiving Day; Lindele and Ed, Amber and Daryl opened up their home for late night cousin Wii games and I don't know what else; Laura and her boys came on Thanksgiving afternoon, and fiance, Bruce, drove down from New Hampshire arriving in plenty of time to get to work in the kitchen!
Clara was, as anticipated, the belle of the ball. She was passed all around, her smiles made us smile, her fat cheeks just made some of us want to eat her up! Oh, what a sweet little girl, and how special to see Erin and Luke moving so gracefully and confidently into parenthood. I really loved seeing Clara's face light up whenever her Daddy walked into the room. He can sure make her smile.
We really missed having Jonathan and Kandyce there, but their absence gave some folks who will remain nameless the opportunity to discuss wedding pranks. Better watch out, you two. These days, it could be dangerous to have that assortment of people in the same room in your absence! You never know what they're capable of coming up with.
We all headed home on Sunday and all made it back safely to our various destinations - NY, GA, SC, NH, ME, CO, NC...
Looking back at the pictures reminds me once again of the goodness of God in the gift of family....
566. Multi - generations - the oldest and youngest among us this year.
567. Happy mom, happy baby, happy uncle
568. Time to talk
569. Dancing cousins
570. Fun tradition
571. Loving great-aunt
572. Plenty of time to love on this sweet baby girl.
573. Big sister, little brother - now reversed in height and now mother and uncle.(fuzzy photo - sorry)
574. Grampa kisses, baby smiles
575. Adoring uncles...
So, so thankful....