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Posted by Sandra on November 12, 2008

Reason #72 why I love a big family. 

Only two more weeks before we prepare for the trek to visit the relatives.  My wonderful husband has six brothers and sisters, all married, all with children.  Some with grandchildren.  Add to that close friends of the family, their spouses and children, and anyone else that happens to be invited, and we have quite a gathering at his parent’s home.  We ready for the nearly three-hour drive with pillows, books, handheld games, DVDs, coolers, thermoses, and snacks, then head out in the mid-morning for a drive.  Mama always has to drive, it’s a control thing – I think hubby likes being the passenger, he can engross the kids in driving games, help with the baby, or just read by himself and enjoy the relaxation. 

When we arrive with our clan and our contribution to the feast, we’ll be greeted by dozens upon dozens of joyous faces.  The hugs take an hour to complete, catching up will take all day.  Pictures will be taken, games will be played, football will be watched.  We will all gather in the huge kitchen (yes, we manage to fit, somehow!) for a prayer, and line up for the bounty.  The children will grab their share and dash to the lower level, where tables are set up around the video games and board games, and they can be as loud and as silly as they want.  Adults will light wherever an available seat is – and often move several times during dinner to talk to others and catch them up to date on their lives. 

We’ll gather later to watch the teens play some ball in the yard, or wander over to a neighboring home (a sister or brother’s home, several live close together) to see a new litter of kittens or a new rabbit.  We may take a walk down to the barns to see the livestock, or just to walk off some dinner.  The countryside is so calming, so beautiful.  The girls love watching the cows and horses roam the grassy hillsides.

The noise, ruckus, and chaos is music to my ears.  Never have I seen so many people in one place (that wasn’t a movie theatre!) so happy, so full of love for each other, so pleased to share this holiday, or ANY day, together with the ones they cherish.


Someday I hope to be Matriarch of my own chaotic holiday celebration.  I can envision hours of cooking, then the start of the children arriving… Brett lumbering up on the porch with his wife and five children (this is what mama wants!), Justus with his wife and only child, Autumn and Ayla proudly carrying their babies in slings with their toddlers afoot.  Husbands bringing in the crockpots and platters with food, children toting bags of toys.  My brothers and sister will arrive with their family, their dishes, and we will spend hours laughing and joking and loving. 

What else in life matters as much as family?


Ah… back to current day.  Then we will do a headcount of our own children late in the night, gather our belongings and head back home.  Why?  Well, mama can’t sleep in another bed except her own!  Every trip “down home” requires a morning trek and a nighttime trek – I have no problem with the drive, I love to drive.  And it’s always nice to wake up in the morning in our own home.   The children can sleep in, while I make a big breakfast feast like I do every weekend, and our day can begin anew right here, laughing and cherishing our little branch of the huge family tree.


We will always reap a harvest on what we sow.

Give, and it will be given to you.


2 Responses to “Thanksgiving…”

  1. Deanna said

    Which reminds me, we will be at mom’s for dinner the Saturday after Thanksgiving, you guys are coming, right?

    And by the way, you know it will be rare that I actually bring a “dish”…hahahhaa…ah, you never know, maybe I’ll be domesticated by then!

    I love you!

  2. Leigh said

    Wonderful post, you really pointed out the true meaning of family (and thanksgiving for that matter)!

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