We got our kids home for Thanksgiving in phases.

We always love to fill up the house again, especially so quickly after we had to let our missionary girl Claire go. Oh we sure thought about that girl in her new Australian home, and prayed for and missed her so much!

I must say for memory sake that phew! We sure worked our tails off getting situated before everyone arrived. Thanksgiving is for sure the busiest time of year for us and Dave and I so wanted to be present with everyone when they came. There’s so much going on for the turkey trot and hosting so although I don’t have any pictures, it was a race to get all situated before everyone arrived.

Of course, we were still swirling with activity with all the moving parts of everyone here, but oh how we loved it.

Grace came first since her friend was getting married here in the desert. Let the fun begin.

Sorry Dave, that BeReal cut off part of you up there. Oh how we love that girl of ours and getting a little time with her.

Next came Abby and Murphy. Because hey, their timing was flexible and we wanted them for as long as we could possibly get them.

I was dying to get my hands on that baby…and see her new fun accessory 😉

She has this little pink helmet that should really get a post of it’s own, but I’ll just say it’s to help her head round up a bit. Honestly I think it’s a little bit of a pain for Max and Abby, but I think she looks so adorable in it! She’ll wear it for just a couple months. And hey, you can always use a little extra head protection when you are an emergent sitter, right?

Sorry but none of us can get enough of this girl who is all smiles and sunshine.

Are you even kidding me?

Abby, with her artistic flair, drew up a bucket list with Lucy and Max’s input and I think we did just about every single thing on that thing.

One of our sunset Bo Jangles walks…on her birthday (hence the crown which she was pleased as punch about, ha!). More about that soon.

My sister-in-laws, cousin and nieces came over to hang one afternoon and love on Murphy.

Then these three arrived.

And the party continued.

Turkey Trot Prep

We got into full Turkey Trot prep.

My brother-in-law and his family paint the thankful board for us every year for which we are so grateful! Grace was in charge of the beautiful “I Am Thankful” writing (you’ll see the finished product in the next post about the Turkey Trot).

Turkey Trot Packet Pick-Up

I can’t find my picture of earlier when this packet-pick-up area for the Turkey Trot was packed to the gills, but it’s always a big part of every Thanksgiving getting all the racers organized. There were 5,500 signed up this year, our biggest event yet.

So grateful for all these awesome volunteers and so many more who make it all happen.

It was so fun to meet this other BBS family, also fighting to save their son’s vision. So glad they came to support our Families Fighting Blindness efforts.

Survivor Night

I think I’ve mentioned before how our kids have like 30+ cousins up in Provo.

For real.

They get together every Wednesday night to watch Survivor which I think is perhaps one of the sweetest things. I am so grateful for that village of kids who look out for and love each other up there.

Anyway, fast forward to when all those college kids were in town for Thanksgiving, our kids decided we better host a Survivor night here.

So the invite went out (one of them whips up a funny invite every week, this one was featuring Elle and Carson who miss out on this usually-Utah gathering):

And I came home to this full house after packet pick-up:

That was just the kitchen part.

Survivor mania.

Sure love those cousins.

The aftermath past midnight.


Sourdough bread-baking

In the middle of all that Survivor hoopla I was trying to finish my sourdough bread making debut.

Don’t ask me why I chose this moment of life to start messing with “starters” and all the folding and letting sit mumbo-jumbo. Maybe because Elle and Abby have both been dabbling in this art and I wanted to give it a good college try.

Half way through all those steps I wondered even more why I was doing this because do I even like sourdough bread??

But I gotta admit, I think I had a little bit of beginner’s luck because it turned out pretty delicious and such a mild, yummy flavor.

I was pretty proud of myself until I tried again this week and it was a flop. Ha!

Any sourdough bread makers out there, send me tips!

By this time the tiredness was kicking in and I still needed to figure out table settings and all the details that went with getting the house set up, borrowing tables and chairs, tablecloths, etc. But all those Survivor kids were such big helpers and I sure love them.

The Turkey Trot

Then it was on to the Turkey Trot early on Thanksgiving morning. All about that coming soon.


How Thanksgiving wend down is also coming soon.

Post Thanksgiving Happenings

A post-Thanksgiving baby/dog run through the slanted-sun filled neighborhood:

The giant mess of trying to return all the stuff I borrowed for tables, getting wax from the candles out of tablecloths, clearing out all the Thanksgiving decor…

…and moving right in with Christmas.

My favorite Christmas decorating helper:

Yep, that’s spit-up. I loved Elle’s comment the other day “she spits up like it’s her job.”

Sorry Abby and Max, that’s a trait inherited from us for sure…

Post-Thanksgiving volleyball tournament for Max:

A boating adventure

Some boating in the chilly fall lake but so perfect for family time.

Puzzling and watching Elf and playing “wavelengths.”

Dave and Max were apparently enthralled 😉

Some bowling:

Sunday brunch:

So many of my favorites lined up next to me at church, my favorite thing:

My other favorite kitchen helper:

Sunday walking:

We got to talk to Claire on her second ever pday in Australia.

I think we sure made her a bit homesick being there all together, but oh it was so good to talk to her! I hope she knows how much we all adore her and MISS her and sending so much love her way.

Annie for dinner and ready for the hot tub:

Plus getting ready for the big relief society dinner coming up on that porch behind.

Casino Night

Had to wrap things up with casino night. And of course one of our many batches of chocolate chip cookies.

Ok, and another family workout…

And pickleball 🙂

Oh and dinner at our favorite spot before running these Utah kids to the airport. Lucy looks happy in this picture, but she was sure sad to let those first siblings go:

Thankfully Elle and Carson are around for a tad bit longer since he had a huge test here in the desert, and now has a little break from school for Christmas, and Elle can work from anywhere. (Loving this).

Yep, we sure squeezed in as much as we possibly could with this crew.

Oh how I love to have the house filled up. And phew! I’m tired!

Similar Posts


  1. What a wonderful Thanksgiving you had with your family! I know you’ve likely mentioned this a million times, but would you mind sharing a source for your circle table and chairs? It looks like it comfortably fits 8 and looking for something similar! Thank you!

    1. We had the table made years ago but found the best guy who can make one for you if you’d like! The chairs are from CB2. We love them.

    1. Is this couching a dig inside a compliment? Why is noticing such a thing necessary at all? I thought we were beyond this.

          1. I’m sure in your little world you tell people what to do and they do it. Doesn’t work here.

  2. Why don’t you have a life size cardboard cutout of Claire like you did for Max… so she can be there for Thanksgiving?

    1. Oh poor Theresa, that jealousy of yours just makes you look ridiculous. And your silly little comment to me was even more ridiculous. Why do you even read this blog if you just want to act superior and point out all the little things that you think are wrong? Maybe you’d feel better about your own life if you found some other hobby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *