Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Tolbert/Burgin/Hanks Thanksgiving

I know, this is over a month late, but here's my Thanksgiving post!!

Thanksgiving celebrations started off in early November when we made our traditional "Thankful Tree". The girls love making new leaves and thanking God for all of our many blessings.

Anna Kate had a great time at the Thanskgiving feast at Bethesda. Her class dressed up as the native Americans. She enjoys spending each Monday morning with these sweet friends!

This year it was Burgin family Thanksgiving, and as many of us as were able met up at Stephen and Rachael's home in Norfolk. We sure missed Mom and Dad and Andy, but we had a fantastic time getting all NINE cousins together! The last time we were together was Christmas and we only had seven then (Eleanor and Micah were on the way, but not born yet). We spent a couple days with just Stephen and Rachael and Leah, Bekah, and Micah before the Hanks family arrived on Thanksgiving morning.

Wednesday's highlight was going to the Winter Wonderland at the mall (complete with pretty convincing fake snow)!

Once the Hanks arrived, we jumped right into Thanksgiving festivities! We read the story "Cranberry Thanskgiving" and then made the delicious Cranberry Bread from the recipe in the book.

All 9 kids at the lunch table together.

I captured a sweet moment between Caroline and baby Micah!

Rachael was the chef extraordinaire for our Thanksgiving feast and Sarah and I were glad to assist as needed =)

After dinner, we got all the cousins together to sing a song that they'd all been practicing. So special!

As soon as we finished eating our turkey, we thought we would kick off the Christmas season by going out to a drive through lights display. I tried to get a picture of all the kids before we left. And this was the best I got...

We then packed all 15 of us into 2 minivans to see the lights and had a great time!


As we were putting the kids to bed, we realized we hadn't seen Bekah in a while. Wesley found her with her finger in the whipped cream!

For the kids' Christmas gifts this year, we decided that we would do something a little out of the ordinary. We really liked the idea of giving them an experience together, rather than separate toys. So on Friday morning, we bundled them all up and headed out on an adventure!

First stop was IHOP for breakfast! And as you can imagine, it was a little crazy with nine kids six and under, but the kids all LOVED their special breakfast!

After that, we went to a huge bounce place called Kangaroo Jac's. The kids bounced and slid and bounced and slid to their hearts content! Even Eleanor got in on the action and loved it. The most special part of our time there was how much fun Leah had with all of her cousins and how much they were able to include her in their special time. Anna Kate and Leah went down the big slide many times together and AK was INSISTENT that we get a good video of it!

After the special kids time in the morning, we let the daddies go out for a few hours by themselves. I heard they had some pretty great burgers!

Friday night, it was the mommies' turn (well, we took Micah too!). We went to a paint-your-own pottery place and each created "You are Special Today" plates for our families. We had a classic red and white one growing up that we always got to use on our birthdays and other special occasions and we wanted to recreate those memories with our own families.

After painting our masterpieces, we went out to a lovely dinner at a French restaurant. So fun to have sweet sister time!

We had a fabulous time with you all and can't wait for next time.

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