Thursday, November 25, 2021

It's the People

 It was sweet to meet with all those who were within driving distance. We were able to chat with JaRissa. In the end, it's all about the people.  As we twenty-three gathered around the table Michael led us in a discussion of what we were thankful for...and again, it's the people. After we ate and played games, there were CAKES. Lots of cakes. God has been so very faithful to us. It was good to gather with hearts of gratitude and remember. 

CyRi showed up first - around 11:30 or so. They've been in the Caribbean for a few weeks (maybe only 2) but it was good to see them! Cy went to work blowing up balloons and Carrie jumped into the kitchen fray.  CoRielle showed up about an hour later. Cory fixed a delicious turkey and brought his signature Almond Roca dish - and more. I lost track of who was arriving when at this point. 

It was so sweet to spend time with this little gal. She's grown so much this year. 

Annie (BreZaak's) LOVES her jerky 

RISK - always somewhere in the mix  - Michael & Jamin

It was a BLESSING to have Nolan and Alex home for Thanksgiving. McDonald's chose to close for Thanksgiving. Would you BELIEVE people were calling the store on Wednesday to COMPLAIN that McDonald's would be closed? Buy your hamburger a day early. 
Danny & Nolan

A quick look out the window showed there was fun inside. 

This tradition continues...decades ago I purchased a cheap white tablecloth and had our Thanksgiving guests sign it.  It's fun to look back at it and see family,  airmen, friends, fellow members of the chaplain corp...years when Michael was missing, years when new ones were added - those are the best. This year the boys and Allie signed for the first time. 

Once grandpa found his chair he was happy to have all the activity swirling around him. 
KrUke brought a Burrito toss game...

It involved cards, burrito brawls and burrito wars. Arielle and Nolan are about to get into a brawl here and Danny seems unsure about finding himself on the outside of the circle. 
Arielle, Cory, Stacia, Allie, Danny, Nolan, Krista, Livie

Bre planned some fun crafts for the kids. 

They moved the Burrito Brawl to the table. Here Bella assists Nolan and the burrito was flung across the room at them by Allie.

Birthday Boys and their smash cakes. 

I tried to get a shot with all the grands, but I'm missing one in each shot....this is the closest...Gideon's provile is at Bre's elbox, Jojo, Bella, Annile, Livie, Danny and Benny. 

Benny offers helpful tips to Brother on how to EAT it. 

I think the fondant's texture confused the boys.....Danny got a finger off the handprint....

...and began dipping it into the cake and licking off the crumbs. 

Meanwhile, Jojo GROWLED when the others touched his cake. LOL  He figured it out! 

Benny and Gideon try to show Jojo how to do the cake thing....

Next up was Benny's rocket/ planet cake...this is the back side...

Coolest ever! Planets INSIDE the cake. 

Finally, Papa had his 61st birthday ice cream cake with several different flavors. 

The pig hat finally appeared. LOL 

Checking back in with the babies and they have figured out the cake thing....they simply had to drill down past the fondant. 

At some point during the day the helium balloons ended up in the ceiling fan. I was happy to leave them up there with the mistletoe from last Christmas....but Josiah and Benny helped Michael get it down before they went home. 

I'm told we watched a bit of netflix after everyone had gone home...but I was dead to the world and roused myself only enough to stumble off to bed. 

 This time of the year still makes me miss Mom G, Dad G and Mom badly.  I know Dad was also missing her. We were especially mindful of sister in laws who both lost dear ones last month. Something amazing happened this year...our gathering number grew. I was busily planning for the typical 15 we have when we have our monthly family gatherings....Arielle pointed out there would be 25 people. In the end there were 23 people around the table, on the floor, in and out of the house. We didn't gather for Thanksgiving in 2020.... The growth of this year's gathering is a visual of the year we've had. A year of births, weddings and life lived together. 

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