Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving at the Ranch, with 25 nieces and nephews. That's not a typo.

I come from a small family. Two parents and one sister. I married a guy who is the youngest of six children, each of whom has from 3 to 8 kids. 

So, my Thanksgiving dinners went from nice, quiet affairs to this:

Yep, that is what 16 adults and 25 children looks like. (Okay, not all of them are pictured, but you get the idea.)

I'm in the upper right hand corner, with my arms folded. You can see I wore my nice sweats for the occasion. (The one with the pink shell strategically placed over my left... um... sister.) Because at Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for pants that give a little.

How, you ask, do we fit inside one house? The answer is, we don't. We all drive to the family ranch in central Utah. 
Okay, I did not take this picture. If I had, the lake would be ice, and it would look like it was 15 degrees outside. 

Here's one Sam took:
Can you tell how cold it was? Just spit at that picture, and you will see the spittle freeze on your computer screen.*

*The above statement is not FDA approved. Please do not send me bills to replace your computer screen

Kid B and Kid C love it here. They get to ride horses:

They get to laugh at their mom, whose saddle lurched to one side when she hoisted herself up on the horse. 
The saddle was loose! I swear! Stop looking at my butt!

And then, when we're bored, we get to shove our kids into a hole in a rock. (Thus, the origin of the phrase: "Why don't you just shove it in a hole in the rock!")
They got stuck there. Between a rock and a hard place. (Which happened to be another rock). 

The boys are still there. We told them Santa Claus will first appear at that rock, and if they're not there, Santa won't go to any houses, and there will be no Christmas. Don't worry, we left food and water.

How was all y'all's Thanksgiving? Anything discover really random things you're thankful for? 

For instance: I was Thankful for Kraft Roka Blue cheese spread for my famous cheese ball. I didn't know how thankful until they stopped producing it. Stupid Kraft. I always knew I shouldn't trust anyone who spells Craft wrong.


  1. If my entire family got together, it would resemble that picture but with a lot of brawling too. I'm the youngest of seven and I have 32 nieces and nephews. Good times, good times. I hope you're sensing sarcasm with that last statement because Corey and I decided to spend it alone just with ourselves and our cats.

    I sure hope Kid C and B have blankets along with that food and water.

  2. We were going to be in Utah with our own 13-adults-13-kids nightmare... but the snow convinced us otherwise, so we had a much better ratio of 4 adults to 3 kids. Lots more leftovers that way, and I still didn't have to cook!

    My family only has three of the six of us reproducing at this point. If the three of us can make 13 kids, wait until the younger three get going!

  3. I got to spend the first part of Thanksgiving with my family that I'm not related to which, this year, numbered about 20 people. Sadly I got stuck at the "adult" table. I got an apology and explaination that it just worked out better that way what with a good portion of the family being left handed and all that. Fortunately I got to sit next to "Uncle Eric" who needs a new name as his son has a kid now and, so, his nephew Eric is now also Uncle Eric. I spent some time after dinner discussing what exactly I could do that would be childish enough to get sent back to the "kids" table next year (with Nephew Eric and the rest of the kids who are all grown up and studying things like theoretical mathematics or music theory and composition or write computer programs for a multi-million dollar investment firm) but wasn't so bad that I would get disinvited. Of course, if I threaten to not bring pie next year, I can probably sit anywhere I like. Both the Eric's had to be shooed away from the pies multiple times.

    I spent the rest of the day hanging out with another family I'm not related to. (Yes, I got two Thanksgiving dinners and three rounds of dessert.) Again, more fun. This one was complete with Mom who brought late 80's/early 90's school pictures for us to laugh at. There's something to be said for living in a different time zone than your own rather embarassing school pictures.

    And, what I'm thankful that I'm not related to; cold and windy Sunday nights that drive the youth group indoors and force us to play fellowship hall wiffle ball (and my upper deck, final inning, grand slam home run that pushed Team 1 over the top and allowed us to win the game!) and a sweet little middle school girl who was all concerned that we (particularly me for some reason) were going to get in trouble for throwing a ball inside the church. Fortunately, I'm just a volunteer and not ultimatly in charge of anything.

  4. Jenni- Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without a little brawling. And you and Corey aren't anti-social. Cats are people too

    Robin- "My family only has three of the six of us reproducing at this point." It sounds so industrial! :)

    Wow, Rue. That's some Thanksgiving! I'm going to need a road map to keep track of all the Eric's and families that aren't families.

    At least you survived!

  5. Thanksgiving was nice and quiet for us this year. We opted out of the big family thing and LOVED IT! Only bad thing was that my husband made is amazing pecan pie and I gain 10 pounds. Oh well it was worth it. Sounds like you had a great time. Glad your home safe.

  6. What a fun Thanksgiving! I can't think of a better way to spend it!

  7. You're so lucky to have such a great spread there! Looks like a blast. Sorry about your cheese ball. Really. You can't count on those big names. So what did you do instead?

  8. I love the huge and wild family get-togethers (just added #30 in the niece and nephew department). Wouldn't have holidays any other way :)

  9. Anne- I've heard Pecan Pie weight is mostly water. So, it's totally worth it!

    Lulabell- I agree. Kid C talks about the ranch all year.

    Cath- I'm so glad you asked. I put cream cheese and roquefort cheese in the blender, added water, and proceeded to turn my world famous cheeseballs into a milky, liquid mess.

    Many four-letter words were shared. Because Thanksgiving is all about sharing.

    Melissa- Large families, with their circus get togethers, have totally grown on me!

  10. Yes, well, reproduction is very important to my family. My mom's parents have over 30 grandchildren from six kids. Might as well make it as efficient as possible.... :)

  11. What an awesome idea! We should totally build a ranch. My parents built a cabin but in the winter, you have to snowmobile in. That doesn't work so well when you only have 1 snowmobile and a few four-wheelers--especially with 25 people. =P

    Glad you had a wonderful holiday!!

  12. Robin- Good point.

    L.T.- I think everyone should build a ranch! (Said the girl who didn't have to pay a cent to make it happen)

  13. So funny, especially the part about spitting on the computer screen. He he. I do need to clean the thing now. Hmmmm. Maybe you should put the warning first next time. :)

  14. Leisha- That's so weird. My spit usually comes out as windex. Maybe it's something in my diet.

  15. Looks like fun. Do you hit the ranch every year?

    I discovered I'm grateful for candied yams. I only have them on T-day, when I heartily devour them. My kids on the other hand, are grateful for candy. That's what they ate all day. How do other people get their kids to eat real food I wonder?

  16. Heids- My kids won't even eat mashed potatoes, which is like my favorite food ever!

    And yes, we go every year.