As usual, our Thanksgiving plans were to go to my parents house in the morning and the Hills in the evening. Unlike last year, we started this one out a little earlier and headed up to Bentonville on Wednesday night in order to spend time with my brother and his girlfriend as they were in town for the holiday. That evening the weather was so good (71 degrees that day!) we were able to sit out on the front porch and watch the Christmas light show. My dad has a TON of lights and lighted figures in his front yard and they are all set to music. Chaz LOVES it!! Yes, my father is turning into Clark Griswold. Yes, my family (parents, in-laws, myself, etc) had Christmas up before Thanksgiving this year. I have to say I am enjoying it. There are technically only 3 weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. If you know me, you know I LOVE to decorate for Christmas so this year I decided to get a jump on it so I could enjoy it! It was a GREAT decision in my opinion. And my family followed suit. (pictures of my house will be posted in a separate blog)
The next morning was a different story. Apparently, mother nature decided to switch the thermostat and dropped the temp down to 28 degrees that night. Needless to say, we had a little fall out over the rapid decline in temperatures, very cold, wet, icy weather the next day. Clark wasn't to happy when he figured out the turkey still needed to be fried..... Poor daddy!
Lisa and Chaz were nice and warm playing inside. Chaz thought he would be funny and hide under the chair as the guests arrived.
My uncle was in charge of carving the turkey.. he made out much better than Dad who was still outside frying another turkey.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of them but we were able to welcome my cousin and her family into our house for Thanksgiving lunch. I haven't seen her in years. It was great to visit with her, even if the time was limited.
Once Sidney arrived it was time for Chaz to school her in the ways of the ToysRUs big book. If I haven't mentioned this yet, this boy has been carrying around this newspaper flyer for almost a month. It came in the paper at the beginning of November and it pretty much has not left his hands. He has one (plus a backup) at our house and one at Gaga's house. To say he is obsessed would be an understatement. He was trying his best to show Sidney all the cool girl toys in the book as well as explain to her "how Santa works" but all she cared about was hugging on him. Adorable!
as you can tell he was far more interested in the big book. I told you..obsessed!
She didn't care. She was able to hug up on him and that made her happy. What a sweet little girl!
This year mom and dad decided to have lunch in the media room. This required us to move all the couches, tables and chairs out of that room in order to make room for the banquet style seating. Yes, we have THAT many people (picture to come) In doing this, the couches and recliner ended up in my parents room. The kids decided we needed to hang out in there, which makes sense to me seeing as how there is the proper "hang out" furniture in the room. They played a game of rubbing their bellies on the carpet, then tinker toys, then a little couch jumping--two and three year-olds are weird! Next up-LUNCH! Why wouldn't you drink orange juice with Thanksgiving dinner??Here it is... the banquet hall (aka, the media room) I wasn't even able to get it all in this shot.
Chaz told me he needed to go potty in the middle of lunch. "Ok, go for it." He can manage this alone now. I realized he had been gone a little longer than normal so I went to look for him. I found him at the other end of the house playing. I guess he was done!
After lunch we had enough muscle that we decided to move some of the furniture back so everyone could comfortably watch football. Meme decided to take the opportunity to dance a jig in the empty room. God love this woman!
The boys were able to relax once the furniture was back in place.
Can you say trytophan?
A standard practice for our Thanksgiving is a good "friendly" game of 31! The game is usually still going on when we have to head out to the Hills so I cannot confirm a winner. But if I had to bet I would put my money on Meme.
and of course there are "friendly" games of pool as well! If I had to bet, I would bet that Lisa beat Shane :)
And then we were off, off to the Hills. Let me tell you the sound level goes from a 5ish at my parents house to about 45ish at the Hill house (note: this is on a scale of 1 to 10) When you have this many kids the sound level is simply unexplainable. But I love each and every moment of it!! As we were setting the "Kids table" (yes, we have enough kids to do a kids table) the kiddos decided it made a great place for demolition derby. Again, noise level was about 44 1/2. Watch their faces throughout the series of photos below. I laugh out loud everytime I look at them. They are simply hilarious kids!! Oh, and I am pretty sure my kiddo was the ring leader of this chaos.
All the while my MIL was trying to have a phone conversation IN THE SAME ROOM! Insanity!Anna being her silly little self. And why wouldn't you wear a ballerina outfit to Thanksgiving dinner? I would if I could!
So, I guess there is a theme of the evening....series photos. It looks like I took a bunch of "sets" of photos but they make me laugh so hard I just can't stand it. I love that these little ones have BIG personalities. Below is the set of Chaz, Anna and Jackson. They were all sitting on the same chair and hamming it up. Throughout this entire set I am saying "Hey guys, smile at the camera....open you eyes.....look at me....say cookies!" Well, I tried. And here is what I got. Hilarious if you ask me!
Yet another series... our little tech savy kiddos decided to watch Little Einsteins on the iPad. How stinkin' cute are they all crowded around the iPad??
I actually got a shot of all the kiddos sitting on the couch and MOST of them with their heads turned close to the right direction and they are all HAPPY. YEAH!!
Super sweet hugs between Mike and Brandon.
What is that? What are all the kids looking at????
Baby in a basket!Hugging up with my sweet boy!
AND back to the chaos! Mike is notorious for doing this... just when everyone is winding down and about to either get in pjs or head home.... BAM! Mike attacks!! Yelling, tickling, wrestling, laughing, tossing kiddos left and right.. What is funny is, now all the kids wait for it, they know it is coming!
You can't even see Mike in this picture because of all the kids on top of him. TOO FUNNY!!!LOVE HER!!!Ryan decided to take bottle duty with Campbell. Her Uncle loves her very much!!and so does her cousin. Chaz could not understand why we put Campbell on the floor. He was afraid someone would step on her and hurt her so he sat right next to her the entire time. He would tell her "It's ok baby animal, I won't let anyone get you" Melt.my.heart!
On Thanksgiving everyone always asks what they are thankful for, I think mine is pretty obvious. I LOVE my family! Both sides are pretty amazing. I love spending time with all of them, no matter the chaos. They teach me to be humble, kind, loving, generous and grateful. Needless to say, this year has been trying. The holidays will inevitably be hard for us but I have to find the light. I have to know that no matter what happens I have a wonderful family who loves me very much. I have amazing, irreplaceable friends. I have a wonderful husband who makes me smile, laugh and feel loved every day of my life. AND I have the most amazing little boy anyone could ever ask for. I am thankful, I am blessed.
My father-in-law said a prayer this day that really hit home. In it he said "be thankful for what you have, not for what you don't." It brought me to tears for obvious reasons. I did think about what I don't have, the baby that was currently missing from my life but in that same instant I thought about what I wonderful day I had and remembered just what I do have. Lots of love! I am thankful. I am blessed.