11.23.2011

An early Thanksgiving gathering-- Part One.

Last Friday and Saturday, we celebrated an early Thanksgiving with my husband's family out at his parent's place. Both of his sisters and their families traveled to our hometown to gather together. We haven't been together as a family like this since I guess last Thanksgiving, so it was really nice to have the whole family together again.

My in-laws live out in the country on a small lake and it is a slice of heaven. We enjoy getting to make it up this way and relax in the peaceful setting of their home. And the grandkids...they absolutely love it. There are endless outdoor things for them to get into and do together. And Pop enjoys giving the kids rides on his big tractor. They all love it. It's really nice for us now that Noah is getting old enough where he can keep up with his older cousins. But even with that, we still have to keep a close eye on him when they head down to the lake or when his grandpa, Pop, builds a fire in the fire pit.

As you've probably heard, Texas has been in such a terrible drought, there have been burn bans everywhere across the state, but luckily for the grandkids, they lifted the burn ban just last week, so Pop got to build the fire for the kids after all. They enjoyed roasting marshmallows (and a few dinner rolls) around the fire and Noah worked around the clock gathering leaves to throw into the fire to keep it going. We were all laughing at how serious he took his job.

Here are some special photo memories from Day 1 of our Mask family gathering....


Pop keeping a watchful eye on the fire pit and the grandkids...

Noah with his cousin, Ben, enjoying the hammock.


My niece and nephew, Ashley and Tucker...these two were about to head down to the lake to tromp around and gather some shells and old cans.


My nephew Ben taking a little break on Pop's hammock.


Ashly, Tucker and my other nephews, Will and Judge spent most of the day out on the pier digging for shells and fishing.

Will

Judge



Ben worked hard to try and teach Noah how to sit and swing on a hammock...I think we still need some lessons.  He flipped off of it shortly after this and wasn't too keen on getting back on the hammock after that.  ;-)


Jody's sister, Teresa...she and her hubby are pet lovers...they adopted this precious miniature pot belly pig a few weeks ago.  They named her Oreo, so we were happy to finally meet Oreo while there--we had heard so much about her.  She is too funny to watch---she just followed my brother-in-law Roy all around the lake.  She got all kinds of attention from everyone.



Firewood is cut and all ready to go for the winter.


Noah taking his job of gathering leaves for the fire VERY seriously...


And here's 'ole mama trying to keep a watchful eye on our son the entire time...you could usually find me camped out here on the front porch or sitting beside the fire pit most of the day.  Our dear son has zero fear when it comes to getting around the fire pit and the lake.  It's always hard for me to sit in the house and socialize with my sister-in-law's in the kitchen when I know my rambunctious 5 year old is out there tromping around unsupervised.  When he gets a wee bit older, I think I'll not be as up tight about him being around the lake and the fire.

Jody, with his Dad and brother-in-law Matt...chit-chatting by the fire.   You know...all that guy talk they do.  ;-)











Later that night, we all gathered together in the warmth of my in-law's home for a wonderful meal.



And then afterwards, the kids headed to the back room of Janet and Pop's house to watch the movie Thor together.  Noah is still a little too young to sit still for an entire movie, but he was so excited to hang out with his cousins, we let him sit with them.  About halfway through the movie, one of his older cousins came into the den where all of us adults were and very politely informed us that Noah was throwing popcorn at everyone and messing up their movie time.  I had to chuckle at first, but I knew it was probably time for us to get little man out of there and let the bigger kids watch their movie.  Noah was not happy about it (naturally), but Jody and I could tell he was getting really sleepy and it since it was way past his bedtime, it would most likely just go all downhill from there.  So we decided to call it a night and head on to bed. 

Day 1 of our family gathering was great fun...I look forward to sharing more pictures and special memories with you from Day 2 in the coming days. 

Until then...I hope each of you have a blessed Thanksgiving with your friends and loved ones.  And if the thought of getting together with family makes you a bit uneasy or break out into hives (if you've seen this hilarious movie, you know what I'm talking about)--maybe take this time to mend a broken relationship with a family member or friend.   What better time than this season.

I know for me, this has been a special holiday trip already--it has allowed Jody, Noah and me quality time with our extended family---to draw closer to them and to feel of their love. A tender reminder of what is most important in this life... the endless blessings of family and freedoms we enjoy by living in this wonderful nation and more importantly, for a loving Father in Heaven who so graciously and tenderly watches over us all.

"It has seemed to me fit and proper that (God's gifts) should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens...to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens."
-Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863


Have a blessed day, my friends...
XOXO,

Jennifer

1 comment:

  1. Looks like y'all had a fabulous time! This is no consolation, but you look like me keeping a close eye on a boy(s) with no fear....I'm afraid it doesn't get easier as they get older. The stunts only get more dangerous! Let's just say, the boys have a lot of fun at Boys Scout camps, but they tell me little of the details! I love to see them outgoing, but BOY (pun intended!) does it test my faith! Enjoy the moments!
    -Abby

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