For Thanksgiving 2016, the Andrus/Wilhoit/Wheeler clans all gathered in Salt Lake at a vacation rental near the mouth of Parley's Canyon. Just before Callie headed to the airport, she sent a text asking if Eila needed her snowpants. Thinking about the warmish weather we'd been having, I told her no.
Boy was I wrong! A glorious winter storm hit with such fury that we almost didn't make it up the hill to our vacation home that evening. Here's what the place looked like in the morning.
Despite the snow, we didn't hole up for long. Brooklyn and Eli were singing for a nondenominational Thanksgiving service at the Federal Heights chapel, less than a mile from our Avenues home. Even though they were headed up to Idaho later in the day, Charles, Susie, Christy, and Jason's cousin Thad all met us there. Afterwards, we headed to our Avenues home for an amazing breakfast which Christy prepared. Check out this shakshuka, an Israeli breakfast dish topped with eggs. Delicious!
Christy even baked the amazing bread. No wonder LDS Living tagged her as one of the "8 Most Interesting Mormons in the Food World."
Here we are lounging after breakfast. Cousin Thad, a commercial airline pilot, had a few hours to spend with us before heading back to the airport for his next flight.
The Wilhoits made it and are ready to dine! From right to left we have Adam, Eila, Callie, Kara and Christy.
We also dropped by Virginia Avenue while in the area since we had just barely placed an offer on the property. While not perfect, the home certainly has charm.
Here's Kara trying to decide whether this charming living room makes up for a notable lack of bedroom space and the garage sized for a Model T. Let's hope it does!
As for Papa Kay, he came equipped with a trivia quiz. Thanks to a recent Thanksgiving unit in first grade, Eli passed with flying colors.
Of course, everybody's favorite part was snuggling with cousin Eila. Here's Brooklyn bonding with her cuz.
Papa Kay cleared the slide for Annie, snow and all.
At last, turkey was done and it was time to dine. Three cheers for the cranberry relish!
Can't forget the sweet potatoes! (Or Adam.) With the exception of pie, everything else on Thanksgiving is optional.
The next morning was likewise quite special, thanks to the nickname breakfast Papa Kay planned. Here's Eila/GoGurt eating a Cheesestick (Eli) with a glass of Eggnog (Callie) to go along with it.
Cheesestick seems pretty pleased with his nickname.
Of course, ReddiWip really likes hers as well. We also served buttermilk (Brooklyn) pancakes, ate cheesecake (Annika), and passed around milkweed (Kara) seeds.
After breakfast, it was time to head to the Gateway Center to see Moana on opening day. They even had dancers and giveaways to celebrate. Amazing!
On the way back, we swung by the planetarium for a few minutes of play. Just like a little kitten, Eila enjoyed chasing the lights.
In the evening, we headed to Temple Square to see all the lights. Kind of a bust, to be quite honest. It was CRAZY busy! We headed up to the tenth floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building for a bit of breathing room where we found this awesome fountain to explore.
Posing for a picture in the lobby.
With Baby Boy Wilhoit well on his way, Callie let Adam tie her shoes.
Aren't they the cutest couple?
Eila doesn't seem convinced about the whole snow thing.
Papa Kay looks like he's in his element though, pointing out many of his old stomping grounds.
Pondering the valley.
Brooklyn certainly looks ready for mischief.
On our way back, we walked past this, ahem, unique spectacle.
Definitely one of a kind. Wouldn't want to live next door, though.
Took this picture just for you, Janet. Poor snowman is trapped!
Or maybe she's just jealous because Annika keeps stealing all her Momma's snuggles.
Later in the morning, we headed to the Leonardo for some building creativity. Many thanks to Callie and Adam for the membership!
It's not often that Callie gets to do tall favors for those who can't reach.
Constructing our own pendulum machines.
Back at home, it was time to explore all the treasures NomiAnn brought. Annie absolutely loves her new fishy swimsuit.
Eila just loves taking everything out of the boxes.
And as for Eli, well, Vader's never looked so cute. (Rest in Peace, Carrie Fisher. We watched Episode VII last night in your honor.)
Speaking of resting, Jason sure liked snuggling in with his niece.
Last but not least, some lovely cousin photos in the new Christmas dresses/suit that Papa Kay bought.
Just don't fall!