If my calculations are right, this is the first Thanksgiving meal I've made since our first year of marriage. Back then we lived in a tiny apartment and had two of the most interesting people on planet visiting with us (that's my shout out to Ruth & Aaron!). No children. No relatives. Calm and quiet. I think the turkey was edible and the gravy pretty gelatinous.
So, for round two ten years later, we again had some very interesting visitors. They came in the shape of one sister, one brother-in-law, one sister-in-law, one grandmother, one aunt, one uncle, and seven children under eight years old. Oh, and one bun-in-the-oven around 32 weeks old. Phew! It was far (oh, SO far) from calm and quiet. The gravy looked more like gravy and less like beige jello, and the turkey tasted remarkably like turkey.
On all accounts, it has to be up there as one fo the best Thanksgivings we've ever had.
Having so many turkeys in the house at one time, can be confusing, but I usually managed to tell them apart.
My sister, Beka, came all the way from Wisconsin to spend a quick two days with us. She has had a crazy first-year teaching in Milwaukee, and I was so thankful she could come here and take a little breather from it all.
While the turkey was cooking, the mister took Ben and Tori and all the little cousins to the park for some exercise before the feast. I believe he told them to look lovey-dovey here. Ben honed right in to that!
Micah is only a couple months younger than Lily at seven years old. Love this little man.
Our neice, Julia, the only girl amongst three boys, can hold her own!
My Lily bean. Gah! Too big!
Addy showing off some of her skilz. Log walking, check!
Magnolia, up from her nap, was ready to chow down.
Some of the spread. My girls decorated the table with hand drawn pictures and little leafy nests.
The day after Thanksgiving, Aunt Sarah and Uncle Bob stopped in to witness the full house. They fit right in with all the crazy.
I had no idea that when I married into the Hickok clan, that game-playing was a requirement. It has become one of my favorite things about my mister and his siblings. We played so many games! Quiddler, Settlers, Carcasone, Dominion, Spoons, Gobble-Gobble, Hide-n-Seek, the Feather Game, Pig, Battle Ship, and Uno.
Here is a big Thank You to all our dear family that joined us this year. I learned so much from watching you all this week. I saw two brothers talk and play Legos until the wee hours of the night. I saw Tori get down on the floor and play countless games with the children when little spirits started to get too ruffled. I saw my mister keep calm amidst all kind of chaos. I saw my mom have ready hands to help in every situation, before I could even ask. I saw my sister on the bottom of numerous piles of children, all laughing and giggling like, well, like crazy little kids. I saw Bob and Sarah play games until way past their bed time, while delving out all kinds of bizzare word and food trivia. I saw kids jumping in to clear the table, help the littlest ones get around, and serve each other in lots of different ways. I got to have coffee with kindred spirits, talking about God and his many unspeakable gifts. A sweet slice of heaven, my friends.