29 December, 2008

Family Fun - Day Three

We split the group today. Greg & Jeannea got up early to go to Antelope Island. We had people at work, school, shopping, and visiting friends. Sara & I went shopping for the chili & cornbread makings. While we were at the local grocery store, I saw yet another new (to me) vending machine - for movie rentals. (Chad tells me there's one in some airports that sells iPods... I'm going to have to look for that one!)

We spent lots of the day cooking. First getting the chili ready and into crock pots, then baking the cookies that Jeannea had already mixed up. Two kinds of ginger/molasses cookies for testing - there was supposed to be three kinds, but we ran out of time. Dave helped with the cookies, rolling the dough balls in sugar and swapping the trays. Sara helped with the chili and cornbread. We pulled the bread out of the oven just 15 minutes before we needed to head out to Auntie Dianne's house for the party.

The rest of the evening was a blast! All my cousins except two (and their families) were in attendance, with spouses and babies in tow. I think the group of cousins (not counting spouses, kids, or parents) is about 22 people - so if you add in the rest... I think we're looking at 60-80 people. It was great to see everyone - it's been quite a while since I've been able to attend one of the big Family Gatherings. I do miss visiting and catching up. I wish we had more time this trip (I wish this every trip), as I'd arrange some one-on-one time with people to do more than "party chat". I absolutely *love* seeing everyone and getting the hugs - seeing how we've changed and yet are the same. I just wish I had more time. Maybe on the next visit.
We had loads of great food and spent time chatting and catching up. Then it was on to the important stuff - the talent show & gift exchange. One of the cousins-in-law recited The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service; Aunt Bonnie did her family rendition of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas (a tradition I haven't been around to hear for *years*); and the Killpack brothers put on animal puppets and got the kids to dance around. It's interesting to see that so many of the little kids respond to the same music - it means there's enough interaction between the families that activities, music, and learning items are shared. Like a great, big family! =)

Greg got a tub of cookie cutters and I scored a great travel game (that we're going to use on the trip down to Zion this coming weekend). I was hoping that we'd sing some Christmas carols - the whole reason I started the tradition in AK was because I miss singing with the cousins. We have lots of fun when we do it at home, but it's all about enthusiasm as there's no time to get together and practice or do any "serious" prepping. We did try to get a couple songs in, but it was amidst the chaos of people starting to leave and calling for a group photo since this is the most of us that's been in one place in almost 10 years. So I heard the ghost of memories past, and made lots of new, wonderful memories - it'll have to be enough for now...

On tap for tomorrow: Shopping and hanging out. Skiing was cancelled, as Greg & Sara both opted not to go (and now Sara has a cold).


rubysunflower said...

Sorry we didn't get the caroling in! You'll have to come again next year! We'll do a special rendition especially for YOU! Thanks for coming down! It was SO good to have almost ALL the "Partridge" family together!

Penny said...

Auntie Di, you throw a *fantastic* party (love the new digs)! I appreciate that you tried to get some caroling in just for me - Thank you!! And I had a marvelous time just getting to see people and reconnecting after so long. I'll try not to take so long between visits next time. =)