Early Graduation Gift
Fun with the Fam

Oh-So-Blessed and Thankful

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I am blessed and oh-so-thankful!

We were blessed to have 29 of the House family together for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day celebration at my sister Barb's house.

 

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Barb and John went all out to be sure everything was welcoming and perfect!

 


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Both of our out-of-state siblings made this holiday extra special by their presence...Maria with her kids Seanna and Wyatt stayed with Mama a few days before Thanksgiving....

 

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And Mark's family...Ethan, Scout, Alli, and Blaise...divided and conquered, staying at our cabin and Kristoffer's house.

 

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Half of my clan and most of Barb's converged in Bloomington....

 


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...for a fantastic and memorable day.

 

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The day before, I baked 8 dozen yeast rolls....

 


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Kristoffer with his Grandma Lois...

Mama was cold, so Mark gave her this scarf to wear...and she didn't want to take it off, as you will see its appearance in many photos....

 


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Maria, Mama, and Barb's granddaughter Mira...


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Barb's primitive bird painting always gets dressed up for the holidays.  In the summer, it wore a bikini.  Now it's a pilgrim....

 

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Barb's house looked so festive!  

 


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Barb's two children...Brett and Sarah, with husband Joe...

 


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Barb's grandson Austin will be graduating from high school in December.  Wow...how is that even possible?!

 


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So happy to see this antique bench, a House family heirloom, find a perfect new home in Barb's brand new four-seasons room addition.

 

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Food was not in short supply!  Our family is blessed with amazing cooks!!!

 

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Kristoffer and Dana...

 


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These cousins don't get many opportunities to hang out together!

 


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Calm, quiet living room before football game time...

 

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Full bellies and football with family...doesn't get much better!

 

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Emily and Dana check out the Black Friday ads and plan their shopping strategy for later that evening...

 

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Dana and 6-year-old Kassie...


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Game time for the cousins...

 

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...while the adults gathered in the kitchen for laughter and conversation.

Mark runs the ROTC program at New Braunfels High School in Texas, a huge school with the intimidating mascot Unicorns.  We are probably the only family in the country where the adults spent a good 15 minutes discussing the history, physical characteristics, and (as Mark puts it) the mystical and magical abilities of unicorns.  

Yes, discussions like this are how the House family rolls....

 

 

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Then we moved on to True Confessions.  The baseball made its way around the table, and when it got to you it was your turn to confess something.

 


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Barb had so many she needed to make, she didn't know where to begin.  

Me, on the other hand, had nothing to share...  :)

Suffice it to say, we all were enlightened....

 

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All too soon it was time to begin the various treks home.  Maria and her family were leaving for Florida directly from Barb's, so they wanted to get on the road before dark.

Of course, we had to have a sibling photo before she left.  Mark did not like this photo because it appears there are halos on the heads of Barb, Maria, and me but none on his.

Which is totally understandable and accurate....

 


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But we did move outside to get rid of the halo effect.  What Mark wants, Mark gets...it seems it's always been that way with our baby brother.  But we still love him!

 

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Maria bought Mama's vehicle, so since she had an extra driver with her in her son Wyatt, she drove it back to Florida.

 


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Barb's family...that's Sarah and her son Austin in front of Barb...

 

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...and her son Brett with Mira, Maci, and Megan.  They stayed a couple of days longer before heading home to St. Louis.

 

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I love Thanksgiving...a day set aside to truly appreciate what God has done in our lives.

I am oh-so-blessed and thankful.

 

Comments

Mark

What a fun time it was to be with family! Well worth the 22 hours of close-quality time in the van getting there... and another 22 hours of fun driving back;) Barb and John were wonderful hosts! It was nice to have some overlapping time with Maria and her kiddos. It was fun and cozy in Terry and Kim’s cabin. And Tine with Mana is so important for all of us, but especially for those who love far away.
Thanks, everyone, for participating in this wonderful holiday!

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