Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Family, Food and Football - Yep, Thanksgiving

 November 11 - 25, 2023
Tombstone, Arizona

Despite the sad repercussions of the natives sharing a feast with the refugees from Europe, the tradition of having a day to focus on gratitude is one of our finer traditions. 

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. When the house is ringing with the sound of little people laughing and playing (and even the occasional less-than-happy expressions), the fun conversations with your adult children, the smells of rich and savory cooking, the extra days of football, and the pleasure of leftovers (!) - one doesn't have to look far to find a LOT of gratitude. 

I didn't take all the photos I was planning, including not a single one of the bountiful feast and family around the table :-( . We have our meal on Tuesday so everyone can enjoy a couple days of leftovers before they leave on Friday. It also means no competition from the football games in the other room. Bill barbeques the 20# turkey and makes two pans of his sausage dressing (both his specialties that we all love), leaving the less labor-intensive side dishes of candied yams, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce and rolls - you know, "the usual" to me. 

Smokey on the outside, juicy on the inside - perfect!

We're blessed with great weather for the week so the kids spend time racing around on the driveway. Shalise and Ezra take a couple hours to play in Tombstone, and we all hang out inside where the boys wrestle non-stop (so glad we have nice thick carpet!).

Bill's able to drive to dialysis, leaving me home with the family. He's bummed to miss the time, but we're making it work. 

"No help"

"I did it!" - flexing muscles :-)

Ezra had fun trying on his inner cowboy.

Matching bracelets from their fun day.

Ezra's getting good at taking photos too!


Who's having the most fun?

More than one way to ride.

A moment of calm.

So sweet.

Got it for toys, but this works :-)

Afternoon smores.

Mastering his technique with help from Mom.

Sharing fun videos.

It's never long enough, there're always "things" that didn't get done - but I'm really glad we had the extra days of leftovers to share with the family :-) They load up the Subaru (including the large dog) and head out on Friday. They'll make one stop then get home on Saturday to beat the Sunday traffic. I'm always relieved when I get that end-of-trip text that tells me "Home safe!"

Best of all, they will be back for Christmas, with Jeff joining us as well - woohoo!!

Time to get our Christmas on!

Reese is already four!!

Little sister turned two in October!

Oliver snuggles with Mom and Dad


  1. Looks like a great time was had by all! Ezra made a great cowboy.

  2. So much fun had by the family. I'm sure all enjoyed that awesome turkey and the trimmings. As usual your grands look GRAND!

  3. How wonderful that the family joined you for Thanksgiving and an added bonus--they will be back in a few weeks. Great photos!

    1. Thanks Janna. We're excited for them all to be back soon.

  4. I love your first paragraph it's absolutely the best introduction to thanksgiving. And I would be very happy to eat some of that delicious looking Turkey. It appears everybody and especially the kids had a great time.

    1. His turkey is the best I've ever eaten (as many who eat it agree) and it was so fun to share it with the family.

  5. Love your second Bill's turkey, love Ezra's cowboy impression, love the playing brothers, love the footstool reuse, love DIL's quick hair color changes, love the smiling birthday girls!

    1. LOL, Shalise is the master of changing beautiful looks :-) We all had such a wonderful time, I'm grateful to have the blog for capturing it all. And of course being able to share it with dear friends.

  6. What a sweet post Jodee…happy to read all is going well in Tombstone.

  7. What a wonderful Thanksgiving message and so great to see that some family was able to visit for the big day. Nothing like the energy of children to keep things moving. Love the photo of Bill with his turkey:) Sweet photos of the grands!

    1. And boy do they keep things moving!! I'd love to have their energy and imagination :-)

  8. Jodee, this was such a fun post to read, filled with so much happiness! I love what you said about how wonderful it is to have a day focused on gratitude. The kids are absolutely darling—and hilarious!

    1. OMG those kiddos keep us laughing all the time they're here! Even when we're really not supposed to :-)))

  9. Omg, I can’t believe how many grands you’re blessed with! You’re Thanksgiving sounds yummy!