Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Break 2011

WARNING: Be prepared for the longest post in the history of posts! :)

I had a fabulous Christmas Break this year. Started out with a 6 am flight to Redding. Wouldn't recommend such an early flight! I survived. The family picked me up in Redding and we headed to Wade's tournament in Hamilton City. They lost in the Championship game, but it was fun to watch him play.
Home Sweet Home
Soon after we arrived home... the baking began! Pinterest will be the death of all of us... but we enjoyed making a few of the "Thackeray's favorite things" to give to people.
Troy and I with the "elf" hats... you can see all the craziness happening in the background! 
We got to see Troy's Christmas play at the school.
We also helped make treat bags for the Ward Christmas party.
Making the Popcorn Balls
After the popcorn balls were finished... we made graham cracker houses!
Getting ready to begin...
My "Barn" (that Wade later used for an FFA project)
And during after the cake decorating...
 We crashed!
Cooking wears you out! :)

Next big event was... CIDER PONG!
Watching the action...
The supposed "champions"... apparently they talked a little too much trash prior to the event!
Game Faces!
Tracy and Tandy had it... and then we won't talk about the ending... Tracy claims to have not known the rules. It was a tragedy. 
Before you knew it... Christmas Eve was upon us! We pretty much had everything finished prior to that day, so that was nice to have a relaxing Christmas Eve!
The boys enjoyed a game of basketball!
 Getting ready to go to Grandpa Berry's
 Cozy in the back of the car
 Annual family picture
Christmas Eve Tree
 Entertaining ourselves
 Just Dance
 American Idol
It was a great evening at Grandpa's. The nightcap consisted of watching "The Grinch" and a rousing game of Phase Ten that went until all hours of the night... We determined three things that night....
 1. Phase 10 Hates Christopher (as Troy so kindly pointed out)
 2. (We already knew this... but it was just reaffirmed) Jill WINS Phase 10! :)
And last but not least... with no picture attached...
3. Santa does not visit houses unless everyone is asleep. Santa, I'm sorry if you had to circle the house a few times to wait for this game to be finished... I know you are a busy guy! Especially on Christmas Eve! But clearly you weren't too upset because you hooked us all up the next morning! :)
 Opening our stockings before Church.
 Mitch "Tebowing" before opening presents
 All the loot! Santa and the family never disappoint!
The grandparents and Aunt Janene and family came over for Christmas dinner. Normally we do "brunch" but we decided to do dinner. It was delicious.
 It wouldn't be a successful Christmas day without a little basketball... (and the Lakers getting beat!) :)
Finished the night with the extended Thackeray family! Ate good food, enjoyed good company, and had a wonderful time!
 Blair was fast asleep and this is how Jane was holding him... so sad! But yet... kind of funny! :)
 Jane and I
We spent the rest of the week lounging around, watching movies, playing games, and relaxing. One day Wade had a game. We were able to watch all four teams play. I miss the days of four games in a night! :)
 Staci and I at the games
New Years Eve they branded cows... love this picture of Wade. What a nerd...
We had another family get together... this time at Sam and Jenny's.

Fireworks to bring in the New Year!
Well... if you made it to the end of this novel of a post... Congratulations! It was a great end to 2011! Here's to an even better 2012! Happy New Year!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I have very fond memories of Thanksgiving over the past few years. I have spent a majority of the Thanksgiving's since graduating from high school in Southern California with the Rainville family.
 I've ventured to Wyoming to visit Uncle Dale and family. (2009)
 Last year I headed home. (2010)
This year, Tandy had a tournament the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, so we decided to have our own "cousin" Thanksgiving here. We were cooking all the food! I was nervous! It turned out to be a fantastic week! Who knew we could do it without the "adults". 

Wednesday, everyone arrived. We headed to the BYU vs. Wisconsin women's basketball game. After the game we got pizza and hung out at my apartment.
Thursday we woke up and began dinner preparations. The Park's so kindly offered their home so that we would have more room to accommodate everyone! There were fourteen of us total! So a pretty good size.
Yes! We used paper products! Would you expect anything less from me? The best part about it... NO DISHES! :)
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without NAME cards! :) And trail mix... in Dixie cups! :)
The food...
And dessert...
Prior to dinner... we sang the traditional "We Gather Together"...
And thoroughly enjoyed our feast! We played cards, watched football, relaxed, and ate dessert afterwards!

Here are some pictures with those in attendance :)
We attempted some sibling pictures... with our past history of family pictures... we were lucky to get out with a semi-decent picture! :)
Friday, we enjoyed sleeping in, and then headed up to Tandy's basketball game! We dropped her off so she could warm up and then headed to do a little bit of shopping. We did NOT brave the craziness of early morning Black Friday shopping.
(However, Mitchell and Tandy did on Friday night when they went to grab a Red Box from Walmart... this is the pictures they sent us!) SOOOO many people!
We headed back to her game after our afternoon shopping trip. They won by a lot! Fun to see her play in college! She's the one with the dark hair... #32. :) We kept looking for the blonde...
 The cheering section...
That night we did a little bit more shopping and then headed back to Aunt Janene's and enjoyed homemade Cafe Rio and watched the movie Red.

Saturday we went to Tandy's game, they lost by ten. It was quite a memorable experience. One of the members of her team passed out and had multiple seizures on the court. Thankfully we were warned ahead of time! It was still completely traumatizing and apparently happens frequently. Crazy! I probably shouldn't have taken a picture... but I had to send one to Mom. So why not document it? Tandy... don't tell anyone!

After the game we headed to the Pizza Factory (much to the disdain of others)... but all in all had a pretty enjoyable time!
 Free breadsticks... for our wait! Well worth it...
 Mitchell made us stop at Cabela's on our way home...

Sunday, we went to church, came home, enjoyed Thanksgiving leftovers and everyone was on their way home! It was a completely enjoyable week! Weird to actually be in Utah for a holiday! Enjoyable nonetheless.

I love Thanksgiving because it causes people to reflect and truly be grateful. I wish it happened more frequently than just around Thanksgiving. I know I'm guilty of it. But I truly am so blessed and so grateful for the wonderful people and opportunities that I have in my life. It was a fantastic week and I'm grateful that I was able to spend it with my family!