Friday, November 26, 2010

Celebrating our Heritage, with Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving morning, we inflated Mr. Gobbles in our front yard, then hit the road to Cousin Shelby's home in Eastborough/Wichita, Kansas.
 The kids were fabulous the whole day, three hour car ride and all.  At Shelby's house, they seated themselves strategically beside the munchies. 
 Gobble gobble Gryffin!
 We sat around the island as our small family.  The kids ate well.
 Aunt Laurie's trying to convince Lorelei to like the sweet potatoes she made.  Lorelei tried them, and they went over pretty well (lots of marshmallows).
 Our family of four.  We have so many things to be grateful for--our faith, our beautiful kids and family, our health, our country, our courageous ancestors whose quest for freedom we celebrate today... and we are mindful of our blessings each and every day!
 Gryffy sitting on Cousin Maura's toys.
 Mommy was assigned the kids' craft.  Here are Gryffy and Maura coloring their Mayflowers.
 Lorelei and Maura showing off their crafts.  Our ancestors' names, beginning with William Brewster, form a paper chain of 16 generations (direct pilgram descendants highlighted)...
William Brewster & Mary (spiritual leader of the pilgrims, both on the Mayflower Voyage)
Jonathan Brewster & Lucretia Oldham (traveled later on the ship, Fortune)
Benjamin Brewster & Anne Dart
William Brewster II & Patience ?
William Brewster III & Metchel Ables
Constant Crandall (1721-1762) & Hannah (Brewster) Crandall
James Redmond (1747-?) & Anna Crandall (1747-?)
James Redmond (1760) & Hepsibah ?
Richmond Crandall Redmond (1800-1840) & Poley Borden (1806-1863)
Richmond Cadwell Redmond (1836-1891) & Mary Ann Sherman (1837-1892)
Albert Redmond (1864-1934) & Rubie Griswold (1865-1957)
Rollo Shorthill & Olive Redmond (L & G's great-great grandparents)
Donald Luksa &  Marilyn (Shorthill) Luksa Witham (great grandparents)
John Garrett & Debra (Luksa) Garrett Bieker (grandparents)
Mark Connelly & Wendy (Garrett) Connelly
Lorelei Connelly, Gryffin Connelly
 Pretty in polka-dots.

 Watching the game (not really).
 Gryffy's digging the cars--good thing, because Santa's stocked up on HotWheels this year.
 Our Grammy, Marilyn, celebrating her 80th bday! (The day before Thanksgiving, the actual day, we had a brunch for her too.)
 Cousins Wendy, Daphne, Shelby, and Lindsy.
 Happy Thanksgiving!
Every Saturday following Thanksgiving, from the time I was a little girl, the women in the Shorthill family (and there are loads of us) have the annual Cousin Party.  This year's was at Aunt Jennie's house.

 Before our white elephant, Lorelei and the other kids open their presents.  Grammy got Lorelei some books and jewelry, which she loved.
 The Birthday Girl, our Grammy, enjoyed a third celebration of number 8-0. It was bittersweet because her sister, Auntie Jean, passed away this year. We missed her, but felt her presence.
 Such a proud Great-Grandma!
 And that night, I celebrated with another birthday girl, Sonia.  I met Sonia on one of her speaking engagements (she survived the holocaust and several concentration camps), and we became friends.  Tonight, her kids, family, and 35 of her friends threw her a wonderful 85th birthday bash.
 I wonder what she might have wished for.
 And Mr. Gobbles came down, replaced by the holy family and wise men.  The kids love our new nativity scene, and Lorelei begs to go outside to play with the animals! 
 She carries the figures around, rearranges them, and cares especially for the baby Jesus inside the house, before he is added to the scene on Christmas Day.
 And now, let the true Christmas season begin!
11/28 UPDATE: Someone stole the animals from our creche.  Our four year old is heart broken.  Bah Humbug.  (Good thing Baby Jesus is safely swaddled indoors until Christmas Day!)

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