Sunday, December 31, 2017

Much to Be Grateful For: Thanksgiving 2017

Before we ring in the New Year, I'd like to express my gratitude for Thanksgiving.  This year we were so thankful to have NomiAnn and Papa Kay drive all the way from Omaha to celebrate with us.  Forty-one years of marriage, and still the cutest couple.

NomiAnn and Papa Kay met us at Liberty Park, then we took a quick walk over to Banbury Cross for a treat before choir practice.

The kids were rehearsing for their annual Thanksgiving concert at the Federal Heights chapel.

Best part about this performance is that it's close enough to walk.  Well, next to the fact that I get to hear my kids sing, of course.

After the Thanksgiving concert, we headed to the zoo to witness the animals' special feast.

The sea lion show was particularly spectacular, but since I didn't take a picture, this polar bear will have to sub.

Trying to get a cousin picture.  Too bright!

We had more success with this shady rhino.

Thankful for family and animals.

Back at home, it was time to break out the appetizers.  Our cranberry salsa lives on!

With NomiAnn's help, we set the loveliest table.

Even the kids pitched in.

Meanwhile Papa Kay read lots of stories...

...and took a little nap.  We decided he needed company as he snoozed.

Happy Turkey Day, Spark!

Our house never looked so festive.

Turkey's done and it's time to eat!

Justin, Brianna, and Ruby joined us for our feast.

Cutest kids' table around.

Let's see, I spy green beans, salad, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and turkey.  Nobody went hungry!

These mashed potatoes are so creamy!  Thanks, Bri.

Num, num.

Wouldn't be Thanksgiving without pie.  With pumpkin, apple, and pecan gracing our table, we were delightfully set.

Some families are known for their turkey bowls.  We engage in silly string wars.

The next morning, it was time to burn off a few of those calories with a walk up City Creek canyon.

Next stop, Wheeler Farms.  These carved tree stumps are pretty spectacular.

Definitely cozy.

Being the oldest daughter of an oldest daughter of an oldest daughter creates plenty of sass.

A bit chilly, but could be worse.  (Trust me, I know.  Omaha is predicting -40 with windchills today.)

I was excited when Papa Kay started telling stories about his life on the farm, but this one was tragic.  Apparently he lost his Grandpa Doman (his mother's father) to a mowing machine like this one shortly before his parents married.

On a happier note, these lucky turkeys survived Thanksgiving.

Gobble gobble!  Great news, at least until Christmas.

Next stop, South Towne Mall to check out their Harry Potter Christmas.

There was a long line to get inside, but once there we got to play quidditch...

...and visit Honeydukes.  Many happy munchkins.

When Saturday rolled around, the weather was perfect and we didn't have any plans, so we embarked on a big project.  BIG.  Rather than carve it into a tree house, we decided it was time to drop the rest of our locust tree.

Here are the menfolk watching some youtube videos on how to fell a tree safely.  Plus one adorable photo bomber.

We rented a twenty inch chainsaw from Home Depot and got to work.

Not surprisingly, the job was much harder than expected.  It took a second trip to Home Depot to sharpen the saw and acquire a gigantic crowbar.

Meanwhile the kids watched from the upstairs window, composing their own song with the lyrics "May the tree fall swiftly and safely, may no relatives be harmed."

I'm glad to report that after lots of sweat and a few tears, the tree did fall safely without taking out any homes, fences, decks, or people.

Bravo gentlemen, bravo!

The kids thought their new jungle gym was great.   Let me just say, this tree is BIG.

I'd been hoping to go somewhere and take photos for our Christmas card, but when the tree project usurped the entire day, we decided these impromptu pics would do.

Most of all, we were thankful that the day didn't end like this.

With the tree safely down, it was time to enjoy some delicious turkey soup.

With one tree down, it was time for the next tree to come up, ringing in the season.

All in a day's work.  No matter the season, we are thankful for you all.