Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend

Our Thanksgiving weekend celebration started with a big family meal at Tom's sister Chris' home.  It was fabulous!  There was a ton of delicious food!  Tom and I were ecstatic because we got to have actual conversations with relatives at this reunion (instead of making sure our kids weren't breaking something...probably because some special Aunties Patrice and Chris bought the kids gifts!)  I told Tom afterward that it was our best get-together with his family and extended family ever.  But did we take any pictures?  Nope!  We were so busy talking that we didn't break out the camera.  But you can imagine how wonderful it was, right?

Anyway, after the meal, we drove to my sister Rose's home in the mountains.  Last year there was 2-3 feet of snow, but this year the ground was mostly clear, with some melting snow in patches.  That's was enough snow for the kids to play in, without us having to get them in full snow gear.  And it was also warmer than last year (although much colder than we're used to in Orange County).

There was enough snow to make a very short snowman.  Of course, the boys picked the longest carrot in Rose's fridge for its nose.

But at least they ate the carrot.  Poor snowman!

The boys loved having Uncle Gary read to them.

Natalie is all ready for a hike after her second Thanksgiving meal on Friday.

Here's our group, out to walk off some turkey.

Natalie did great on the hike (lots of practice walking to school).  We had Dominik in the stroller, until Natalie couldn't go any further, then she rode in the stroller while we carried Dominik in a baby back pack.

This was another hike, on Saturday.  We drove down to a part of the road that is closed for the winter, and walk right down the middle!  There's a great view!

Konrad found some acorns.

Beautiful Kings Canyon in the background.

Dominik was happy to be out of the stroller and walk around...but then I had a hard time keeping him from falling off the cliff... it was back in the backpack!

On Sunday, Tom, Gary, Lukas and Konrad had a boys' hike while Rose and I stayed home with Natalie and Dominik.  They saw a lot of big trees!

 Tom captured an older sequoia on the left and a younger sequoia on the right.  You can see how the crown changes to become more round as the tree ages.

Lukas is interested in it all!

 The boys enjoy a snack.  Lukas has his hat and Konrad his Batman sunglasses...

...and then it's time for silly faces.

Natalie and Dominik are happy to welcome them home upon their return.

We saw a large herd of deer as we left Rose and Gary's home.  I have never seen so many deer at once!  And they all looked healthy, which is great.  This one actually came toward our van.

Here you can see more of the deer.  I think there were seven or eight.

And these are the kids, enjoying the trip home.  By the time we reach LA, there were lots of "are we there yet" questions.  This picture was taken before that!

One of our best Thanksgivings ever!  I hope yours was as good!

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