Sunday, December 25, 2011

Thanksgiving & Christmas 2011

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, my brothers, cousins and their families gather for our "Blair Family Thanksgiving Feast" in Southern California.  "Blair" is the maiden name of the 3 sisters to whom we are all related, the eldest was my mother ... Mary, Opal and Davine.

The night before, I drove to meet-up with my youngest brother Gary and his wife Mary at an RV park near Palm Springs.  They flew in from Missouri.  On a whim, Gary left a voice mail for another brother Ray and Kay who were flying down from Washington that afternoon.  Much to our great surprise, Ray and Kay showed up at the RV park early the next morning.  Unknown to any of us, they had stayed at a hotel less than a mile away ... how fortuitous!

Like me,  these brothers have the wandering bug.  So, we left early and took the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway to our Thanksgiving gathering in Temecula.  We stopped at several overlooks and a campground as we drove through parts of both the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.

View from the Palms to Pines Scenic Byway ...
part of Hwy CA-74 in the foreground, then Palm Spring, the San Andres Fault
and Joshua Tree NP beyond the far ridge.

Mary and Gary ... very chilly

Ray & Kay ... cold and windy!
Don't fall Gary!

I do love being with my family of origin at Thanksgiving ... brothers and cousins.  We tease and laugh, eat good food and catch up with each other.  We just have a good time together.
Brother Glen and Kelly making gravy.
3rd Cousin John dishin' up the rolls that are
traditionally thrown at the Thanksgiving table ...
even though everyone knows it is going to happen,
we still all hoot and holler with laughter over it!
Almost ready!
From the right, brothers Kyle and Ray are ready to dig in!

Cousin John and wife Laura ...
if there are any shenanigans going on,
 you can bet that John is in the middle of it all!

Thank you Bob and Donna (2nd cousin) for hosting us in your beautiful home once again this year!

After celebrating in Southern California, I drove back home to spend Thanksgiving Day with more family at Rick and Laura's park-ranch in Yelm, WA.

Sister-in-law Laura checking the turkey's temp
Walking to the barn ... Joe, Rick, Jasper in the foreground
Echo, Luke and Lane in the distance

Jasper saying hi to Sunny, while Joe lets
Luke know that the fence may be "hot"!
Jasper playing rodeo rider on Sunny

Lane riding Sunny while Uncle Rick leads and
Aunt Laurie, Daddy Joe and Mommy Echo look on.

We had lots of yummy food at a beautiful location ... a wonderful visit ... so much to be thankful for!

For Christmas, John likes to dress up as Santa for the grandkids.  This year, he was invited to play Santa Claus for the Redmond Albertson's annual holiday open house.  I went as his side kick, Mrs. Claus.
Santa John at the Albertson's Open House
We kept with tradition and enjoyed Christmas morning at our house.  It's chaos, but I do love having all of the grandkids over.  We shared an egg/cheese/sausage breakfast casserole and then opened gifts.
After the morning excitement, Grandsons Lane and Luke are tired now.
Our little Christmas Tree
All in all, we had a wonderful holiday season!

originally posted 1/27/2012