10:00am Family Thanksgiving worship service: led each year by a different nuclear family and accompanied by some soulful, albeit painfully off-key, singing and emotionally charged share time. Predictably punctuated by an hour-late start and Ngo minh, our adopted Vietnamese cousin with cerebral palsy, getting us all choked up as he sings Amazing Grace at the top of his voice.
1:00pm Family Football competition - the boys (and a few brave girls) take over a local elementary school's football field and proceed to compete to the truest sense of the word. More often than not, there is a moderately serious injury (broken arms and such), and a bitter brotherly battle over who cheated or who was a little too rough with their two-hand-touch tackle.
4:00pm Family Dinner - For most families, this may be the main event - everyone gathered around one big table sharing grace and a meal. But when you have 60 people ages 7 months to 87 you find an open spot at one of the 6 tables, shovel in the heavy Thanksgiving goodness and then offer to hold the baby of the mom who hasn't made it through the line yet. This is no time for lingering over stuffing and mashed potatoes because before you have had your 3rd bite, the teenage boy cousins are already ravaging the dessert table and you just might miss a taste of that chocolate ganache tart you've been eyeballing.
|Just to give you an idea of the number of people, my dad snapped a few photos with his phone of the pre-dinner prayer|
|Who can spy a cute Baby Girl?|
|Then this happened. I think they were watching the Cowboys lose miserably. Sad for the Texas cousins.|
12:00pm Annual family trip to Chartroose Caboose - the family favorite. The one by my uncle's house nearly closed a few years ago and he seriously considered buying it for fear we wouldn't have somewhere to overtake on Black Friday. It's possible that our yearly visit is marked in their calendar as their boost in sales that makes up for a deficit the months before. Personally if I'm gonna pay $7.00 for a chopped beef sandwich, I'd rather scoot on down Metcalf a mile or so and get me a Poor Russ from Jack Stack. Now THAT's a sandwich.
2:00pm Family softball/kickball/basketball or some other competitive sport for the boys, Black Friday shopping for the girls. Because the broken bones and bickering from Thursday have been forgotten and the boys need to release some more testosterone, and if there's anything the Snyder/Kahler girls love it's a good deal. Upon his review of this post, the Husband informed me that I neglected to mention that he was awarded the title of Softball MVP. A coveted award to be sure.
5:00pm Family pizza night- the traditional post-Thanksgiving meal. Although this year we were celebrating the engagement of cousin Zack (hooray!) so pizza night was postponed until Saturday.
11:00am Family baby shower - every year at Thanksgiving there is at least one pregnant mama. Last year there were 4. This year only 3. At this rate, the next generation will outnumber us in just a few years.
The rest of the day Saturday is usually spent playing games, shopping, napping, talking, and eating leftovers.
Needless to say, our family really likes being together. You would think we would get sick of each other by the end of the weekend, but we don't. I think we just know how to share. Share time and space and stuff and conversation and food. Unfortunately we also shared something else this weekend. The most contagious flu bug ever. We're not sure where it started, but the first round it took out 16 of us. At last count, there were only 12 of the 63 people who remained well. None of those 12 were in our house.
Poor Baby Girl got sick, too. It's so sad when she's sick! It's even more sad when I don't feel good either and I can't comfort her the way I want to. I thought there was some rule that mommies and babies aren't sick at the same time. Or at least that mommies and babies AND daddies aren't sick at the same time. Maybe we're just the exception to the rule. Just so you're not so sad thinking of her all sicky, here's a picture of happy, pre-puking Lila:
There. I already feel a little bit better. Don't you?
I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and lacking of puke!