The drive to Thanksgiving is nine hours long. We'd only made it 20 minutes down the road before we had to stop.
A sizable speeding ticket wasn't the best way to begin our trek, but it was, thankfully, our only hiccup. The four mountain passes were crossed with ease and we plowed straight through, only stopping once (after the ticket) to fill up.
The next morning, Thanksgiving Day, started with the Turkey Trot, of course.
Christopher is my annual running buddy. None of the kids joined us this year.
Instead, they were doing things like building a snowman or writing up plays for the Turkey Bowl.
The Turkey Bowl participants also signed a "Turkey Bowl Compact," written by Jonas, committing themselves to good sportsmanship.
But before any footballs could be hiked, a feast was to be consumed. Just look at my plateful of beautiful food:
Jonas and Caleb waiting for the prayer:
After all bellies were filled, the kids hurried outside. Three cousins had matching Columbia jackets. Two of them were practicing their smolder while posing for this picture:
This year's Turkey Bowl was played at Carroll College. I think the boys had fun.
At least the winners were happy.
Watching my kids adore their cousins is without question my favorite part of our gathering-for-Thanksgiving tradition. They love each other so much, they can scarcely stand to sit in separate chairs.
See what I mean? Just look at all of this chair-sharing:
The weather had been unusually warm on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. But on Saturday, the temperature plummeted and a rather fierce storm blew in buckets of snow.
The girls tried to play in the snow but only lasted ten minutes in the sub-freezing winter wonderland.
We decided weather like that called for a trip to Starbucks. We were stunned to hear that our cousins had never been. Guess they don't have them on every street corner like we do at home.
Goodbyes are always hard. The Johnson's were the first to leave. Some of the remaining cousins went out on the porch to give them a send-off.
It was a Thanksgiving much like all the others before it. Simply wonderful.