Once again, we're back!Another week, another terribly long blogging pause. Sorry!! We spent all of the glorious Thanksgiving weekend in our mountain condos/timeshare things. So much fun!!! 50+ cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, and 7 condos. Games galore, way too much food, generally awesome times.
How to recap such an amazing and richly blessed time? Just dive in the middle, I guess. There were 54 of us up there for Thanksgiving dinner. Holy cow, that was a lot of mashed potatoes! You always err on the side of preparing too much, but when you multiply that little extra by all the dishes, there were a lot of leftovers! My grandma has 9 kids, and 8 of them were there with their families. There are 6 babies in the 4th generation (3 of them mine) so our days of being able to all get together are limited--as more and more cousins get married and start families it just gets too big! So this might have been our last year, and it was so fun.
Like most families, we have our favorite games that we always play. In this clan, the game is Shanghai, a card game with 7 rounds and collecting runs and sets--basic card game. But we play constantly when we're all together. My immediate family has the reputation throughout the group as the Shanghai card sharks. Undeserved! We're good at it, but not intense and anal, as some people claim. So Uncle Doug (or UD as Steve calls him) set up the First Official Annual Family Shanghai Tournament. We were very official--scorecards, semi finals, and the most intense final round ever! All of my siblings plus mom advanced through the ranks to the final playoff. It was me, mom, brother Jevan, Andrea, one uncle, one aunt, then the wildcard--16 year old cousin Hayley. For the final round, there was a crowd of probably 15 people watching, chanting 'Hayley, Hayley' periodically. Led by my husband! She was the underdog...
But we so triumphed! The four of us came in first, second, third, and fourth!!
The rest of the weekend was spent in pure blissful relaxation. Games until 3 am almost every night, long conversations, football games. IOh, and speaking of football games, my darlingest husband made two touchdowns, including a rolling catch in the endzone!! It was so great. One of the best parts of the whole trip is that everyone participates--it doesn't matter the 'generation' you are, it's all just family. You could walk into any condo and find people to play with. I love my family! The kids had a ball. They hated to leave, but I'm once again glad to get back to real life.
My favorite quote from the weekend: I was teasing Hazel on Thursday morning, asking her if she wanted Top Ramen for dinner. She got a very earnest look on her face, looked into my eyes, and declared, "FEAST!"
I took pictures, but I got a new memory card and I'm having a hard time getting it formatted. Maybe some other day.
Oh, my other favorite part. We had church services in the lodge with everyone. It was so humbling to worship as a family like that--so intimate and personal, and it really hit home the love and bond that we share. Singing I am a Child of God with my grandma, aunts and uncles, cousins, sisters, brothers, husband and children. Now there is something that no amount of money could ever replace.