Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Gift of Thanksgiving

Man, Thanksgiving was so fun this year!
We normally have a great time with my Aunt and Uncle in Yuma, Arizona, but this year, we go to spend the holiday with the "Rest" of the family :0)
I was in total heaven.  Who would have guessed we would leave that family get-together with so much joy in our hearts.

Now that we live in South Dakota, a mere 2hr drive from our Minnesota family, they might as well get used to being on the blog ;0)

Sorry Mom.  She is gonna hate me for putting that picture in here, but that is what you get for trying to duck out of the way instead of being a good little subject and smiling for the camera.

That fabulous lady in the purple...or is it blue...I think it is purple...anyway, she is my mom.  There are those that would call her my step-mom, but since she is no longer married to my dad...she is simply the woman that cared for me from the time I was three, was my best friend all through high school, and is one of two women I call Mom.  

I have long skated around the crazy relationships I have with both of my moms, but I am becoming a loose cannon as I get older and I no longer care to keep things like this inside.  The sweet woman who gave me birth, I saw for the last time when I was seven.  Years later my older brother tracked me down, my senior year of high school as a matter of fact, and I finally got to see my mommy again.  We never forgot or stopped loving each other, just as I simply cannot stop loving my step-mom mom that raised me.

Don't try to keep track.  Some times I will say my mom in Utah or my mom in Minnesota, but most of the time I don't bother explaining which mom I am talking about.  I just say mom and expect my friends to just know which "Mom" I am referencing.  I love them both with my whole entire heart, much like I love each one of my children with my whole entire heart too :0)  Isn't the human heart amazing!?!

Back to this particular fabulous family...
The crazy thing about this insane bunch is that I have very little, and in most instances, no blood relation.  Yet, they welcome myself, my husband and my children with hugs and love, making us as at home as any other relative.

I am so blessed!

The lovely lady in the red is my grandma.  I guess we can say my Minnesota Grandma just to keep things straight.  Auntie is the cutie in the purple.  She is Grandma's sister.  They would be SO embarrassed to know their picture is on the internet.  With the three days they spent cooking our fabulous meal there was no way I would leave them out of my Thanksgiving post.

This is my favorite apple pie ever.  Madison {my 14 yr old} makes it for me when I say, "Pretty Please!!!"

Just for kicks and giggles, I have included the recipe.

It is called Topsy-Turvey Apple Pie and the recipe was found HERE.

I totally love it!  I am trying to think of how to get MORE brown sugar and pecans in the thing :0)

We celebrate our family Thanksgiving on Saturday after the holiday so that everyone is free to go where they need to on the real Thanksgiving.  Saturday morning I took all the {teenage} girls over to my mom's house to make hair flowers and try hairstyles from Pinterest while Madison made my pie.

We came back to Grandma's and hung out before "dinner" was served.  {I say "dinner" because here in Minnesota, dinner is actually lunch.  They say Supper when they are talking about Dinner.  Understand?  Don't bother.  Those Minnesotans are CRAZY!}

This lovely lady is my younger brother's fiance!  Yep, fresh blood to torture {note all the nephews surrounding her}  :0)
I have to say, I didn't think she would be able to handle our wild bunch of relatives, but apparently, she fits right in.  

This handsome guy is my younger brother Chris.  Isn't he cute playing blocks with the little girls???  What a good uncle.

OK, so after our fabulous meal was over and cleaned up, we had crafting time!
It was awesome.  Grandma's house is just a little thing and to see so many people crowded around her table having fun crafting together, it's no wonder I couldn't stop smiling the whole 2 hr. drive home.

Do note the cute hair and hair flowers the girls are sporting!

The lovely red head in the, is my little sister Kallie.  She is surrounded by her family all busy working on their set of presents.

I have one other sister that belongs to this family, but she is working the Renaissance Fair circuit and could not get home in time for Thanksgiving.  Did I mention that we were a very colorful bunch?  No family would be complete without a hippie renaissance carny :0)

I could not leave my other little brother out.  The only picture I have is blurry, but meet David.  He would say hi, but he is comatosed by the turkey at this moment.

Above, fiance, cousin and Aunt Mary all hard at work on their wooden presents.

Even the boys were excited to craft!  Good job cousin!  
Did I mention we are making Snowmen at our Christmas feast???

Don't worry Uncle Ed.  I managed to squeeze you into the picture with your fabulous wife Amy ;0) 

After a whole lot of noise, mess, and laughter, we ended up with some really fun Christmas decorations.

You may remember this project from last year.  I cheated a little and decided to do the presents again this year because they are easy to cut out.

Don't you just love how each set turned out totally different!?!

After we were done crafting, I finally remembered we were going to get some pictures of the newly engaged couple.  It was already pitch black outside, but we went out anyway.  Keep that in mind when you look at was, black, black. you think they like each other?
I totally love the look on Chris's face.  It reminds me of when he was a little kid.  I have missed that smile.  Sister-in-law-to-be, I don't actually remember him looking so happy and in love EVER.

I don't think I mentioned the temperature.  It was 18F degrees outside.  Between the darkness and the temp, we only got a couple shots.

This is me giving up on a noise-free picture and just going vintage with it.  I love it, don't know if anyone else does, but I love me a vintage print!

Fun, fun, fun.  Now, I need you two to come to Sioux Falls during the day so I can get some GOOD pictures!

So there you have it, the fabulous Thanksgiving celebration of 2012.  I am normally a sentimental, grateful person.  But to get to spend three days {starting with a wild Black Friday shopping trip in Mankato} with family after so many years of living far away in the desert, my heart was filled to the brim with gratitude for all of my family.  I missed the ones that were not here, but thoroughly enjoyed the family I got to spend time with.  This Thanksgiving truly was a gift to me, better than I could have dreamed of.  

Happy Holidays everyone!


  1. What a neat thanksgiving! Love the presents and your family!

  2. i usually never comment on people's blogs -- i just stalk you :) anyhow, i loved this post. we moved to colorado a few years ago from arizona and i never realized how lucky i was to have holidays with my family. oh how i miss them! your post just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside - i think my grinch heart even grew two sizes! :)

    i just adore your crafts ... if i could get dh to 'get' my crafting obsession (when we moved, my one INSISTENCE was that i get my own craft room ... i did and i am thrilled with it :) ), i'd buy each and every one of your wood pieces that i can paint.

    quick question before i stop rambling - do you sell the wood pieces? (the cut-out thingies) i'd love to get a bunch and do a crafting party ... kind of a copycat sewcakemake party. my e-mail is

    ~ jannet

  3. Love this post! And might I say I am totally impressed with how you made those pictures work despite the challenge you had to work with! :)

    1. By "challenge" I can only assume you mean my little brother. He is a really big pest ;0) He used to sit next to me on the couch and scratch my mosquitoes bites! I see many noisy toys for his kids {when he has some} coming as a special payback to him from his loving big sister.

  4. I loved your blog! It was very warm and tender. Thank you for including both your Moms, that means a lot to me, and I love that your family had a get away and enjoyed such a great Thanksgiving. You are a very loved person, with so much talent bursting out of you that everyone wants to gather around you and your cute little family.

  5. So fun to see pictures of all the family I've heard about! Glad you had such a good time. Love the wood presents, of course!


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