Posted by on Nov 30, 2009 in Reflections | 6 comments

The festivities started on Thursday morning with Divine Liturgy. From there we traveled all of five miles to my parents' house where we gathered with my immediate family and several old and new friends for some splendid food and conversation. There were a total of 32 of us, eighteen of whom were under the age of twelve. How in the world have we been so lucky, or so blessed I should probably say, to have had the privilege of getting to know so many interesting and inspiring individuals throughout the last decade? For this, I am indeed quite thankful! 

Thanksgiving 1
 Pies a la Paige and Kristy

Thanksgiving 2
My mother, totally working it with her vegetable peeler

Thanksgiving 3
Isn't my dad the sweetest?

Thanksgiving 4
Priscilla, taking her "setting the kid's table job" oh so seriously

Thanksgiving 5  

Elijah, with some of the awesomest kids ever !

Thanksgiving 7
Troy and me

Thanksgiving 8
 The scene in my parent's basement when a movie was put on while the adults ate dinner upstairs.

 

Thanksgiving 6
      Our table, set and ready

Early the next morning we headed to Michigan where my husband's parents, grandmother, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, had congregated for their own Thanksgiving feast. We missed the meal, of course, but made it in time for the annual brisk walk through his uncle's  neighborhood in the afternoon and "Twelve Days of Christmas" light display that evening. Their an amazing bunch, my in-laws – so kind, so generous, so devoted to one another. Thanks again for your hospitality, Neil and Rebecca! 

Thanksgiving 11
Getting started…

Thanksgiving 9
Elijah and his cousin, Nathaniel, looking way too grown-up

Thanksgiving10

Benjamin and his cousin, Isaac, after dipping their hands and feet in that frigid water

Thanksgiving 10
The only shot I managed to get of the "squirrelly girls" – Priscilla, and her cousins, Lydia and Anna

Thanksgiving 15
Downtown Battlecreek, all lit up and lovely

Thanksgiving 16
So much to see!

Thanksgiving 19
Little Mary, on a monument erected in memory of the Underground Railroad

Thanksgiving 22 

A pensive Elijah

Thanksgiving 20
Benji on the ever accommodating shoulders of Troy's cousin, Andrew

Thanksgiving 21
Mary again, with her best buddy, Papa

Thanksgiving 17
      The whole lot of us (or most of us, anyway)! 

From there, it was just a short drive to our godparents', with the super huge backyard, whom we spend most of Saturday with. I can't tell you what a treat that was for Troy, the kids, and me! The Frigerios were very instrumental in our conversion to Orthodoxy. Mat. Janine and I lived only blocks away from each other in Chicago where we often spent afternoons in her apartment rocking our newborns and talking, talking, talking about motherhood. We only get to see them now about once or twice a year (Father Joshua is the priest of Holy Ascension Church in Albion, Mi) but I relish whatever time we have to visit together, both with the two of them and their five fantastic children. I left refreshed and, yes,very, very grateful for their love, support and friendship!

Thanksgiving 24
Now, what could possibly be cooler than a homemade potato launcher?! 

     

Thanksgiving 25
Elijah was only too pleased to help!

Thanksgiving 26
That spud FLEW!!  Here's Elijah and Ben running out to retrieve it

Thanksgiving 27
 The weather was perfect for throwing around a football

Thanksgiving 28
…and climbing their tree house

Thanksgiving 29
Mary and Juliana stuck with dressing-up and coloring   

We finally pulled into our garage at about 9:30 pm, completely beat. What a lot of activities we somehow managed to cram into a mere 72 hours!  

Peace to you as you unpack, yourselves, and prepare your hearts and homes for the Blessed Feast of the Nativity!