Monday, December 12, 2016

Our Thanksgiving Weekend 2016

We started off our Thanksgiving Day with flag football. Tyson played and the girls and I played at the park near by. I always think it's a great idea to get out in the morning (after the Turkey is in the oven!) and enjoy some fresh air before the feast. 
These guys played for hours and had a lot of fun. Thankfully, no one was hurt!

Back at home, the table was set and it wasn't until days later that I realized I forgot my little white pumpkins in my table scape :( But I still loved how it turned out. 
The girls couldn't wait for our guests to leave because they wanted to have the job of blowing out the candles. They kept asking if it was time for our friends to leave :/

2016: The first year we hosted Thanksgiving. 

2012: Our first "Friendsgiving" in Williamsburg with the Dansie's 

2011: SAIS Johns Hopkins Thanksgiving in Italy Part 1 and Part 2

It's crazy to go through these photos from past years and see how much we've all changed!

Taryn was a great little helper. The day before Thanksgiving, I started prepping lots of the food, including this crunchy apple pie. Taryn was quick to say, "I want to help!" So I put her to work, peeling the apples. 

The beautiful pie dough. 

Seriously, I love how it looks and tastes!

I had a lot of prepping to do so I needed to find ways to keep the girls occupied for more than a minute. This painting activity was a great fit and I love this little scene. 

 We also found out that Taryn is allergic to Juniper Berries... or at least that's what we think she is. While I was cooking my brine to dissolve the salts and Taryn walked into the kitchen and said she couldn't bend her fingers. When I saw her hands, they were all puffy and swollen and so were her feet. So I drained the brine (the house smelled of Juniper berries- that's why we thought it was the brine's fault. ) Then we got out of the house after opening all the windows. As soon as we got to a store nearby, Taryn's swelling had gone down. So crazy!!! Thankfully Juniper berries aren't used much in anything.

A few days before Thanksgiving, we had a Family Home Evening about being thankful. I had cut out leaves from construction paper and everyone went around writing (or drawing in Haddie's case) what they were thankful for. We heard things like Health, kitty cats, friends, chocolate, car & jobs etc... Taryn and Haddie really loved helping put up the leaves on our wall tree. 

The day after Thanksgiving, we headed to Luray Caverns. We were happy to find out our friends the Bratts were going there as well so we met up with them and enjoyed our days with friends. 

This is what the kids do on a 2.5 hour drive :)

These caverns were amazing. The girls loved it and Taryn always amazes me with her ability to remember facts. She was pulling out information the tour guide has told us and asking very great questions the whole time. 

This reflection picture makes it look like you are seeing something like the grand canyon. But in reality, it's just a few feet of water- clear as day- reflecting the stalactites from above. 

Because we were all the way out by Shenandoah Mountains, we decided to do the famous Skyline Drive. It was beautiful, even though all the fall leaves were gone. Taryn was a trooper and stayed awake despite our busy day, jumping out at look out stops with us along the way to see the view. 

She grabbed her crayons and paper to draw what she saw. Love that girl!

And while we took in the beautiful views, Haddie crashed in the car and caught up on some much needed zzzZZZzzz's.

One of my favorite pictures of Taryn. 

And these as well. They always make me smile. I feel like they perfectly display Taryn's personality :)

" Follow the yellow brick road"

On Saturday, we went to Oz. I love Thanksgiving weekend. It just keeps giving! We were able to have so much time together as a family and we explored all around us. 
This park was amazing. 

They really took this Wizard of Oz theme and ran with it. Our girls loved it and played until they were starving for lunch. 

They seriously thought about everything!

We had a fun filled day, again, meeting up with friends and laughing together. 

We came home that night and crashed. Finishing Gilmore Girls- the reboot, was the perfect "chill" we needed. 

Thanksgiving was wonderful and I felt blessed to be surrounded by friends and family. I really enjoy cooking and baking, and sharing a great time with those you love. 

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