Thanksgiving 2010 - St. George, Utah

In Casey's dad's family there are 7 brothers and 1 sister. And for years the entire family (and offspring) have been getting together for Thanksgiving. On a typical year, that means about 130 people or more! This year was smaller year, with only 90 Willards. But it was still plenty fun and plenty yummy.
His uncle Bob has a huge house in St. George, Utah with an octagonal room built just for these get-togethers. We can fit tons of folding tables and chairs and there's always room to run around in the acres of backyard.
The best part about Thanksgiving (aside from the turkey of course) is seeing all those fun cousins we don't see very often. Such cute kiddos!
The siblings rotate every year with who is in charge of the event and this time around it was Parry's turn (Casey's dad). So instead of showing up Thursday afternoon for the meal, we drove up early on Wednesday. We had a whole extra day to check in on the yummy meal prep,
And I got to watch the guys dig up the turkeys from the pit! Quite interesting.
It's their tradition every year to bury 4 turkeys in a huge pit in Bob's backyard and let them cook all night with hot coals.
Then they take off the lid, pull them out,
unwrap the birds,
have funny conversations,
And eventually the turkeys are driven back on the truck while the boys walk back to the house, still telling dumb jokes to each other.
Then the boys huddle in the garage where they carve and prep the birds for dinner. More jokes and sampling go on at this stage as well.
While the boys did their thing, I went for a brief walk. St. George is so picturesque with that pretty red rock and small town feel.
Back at the house, Nicole and Linda made centerpieces from a box of twigs,
old canning jars,
and thankful leaves clipped to each branch (each person wrote what they were thankful for and attached them). They were really cute and so simple to do!
Uncle Brady and Owen wore similar shirts and well, we thought it was funny.
Lucy and Owen love hanging out with Uncle Brady (and just saying his name). Owen looks like his attached twin here.
We all waited patiently for the yummy food.
And made funny faces. Jilly has the best expressions.
Lucy with Jacqueline and Jillian (her two cousins who live in Riverton, UT). I wish we saw these girls more often!
Finally, it was time to eat! Mmmm. Delish.
Later that night we sang songs and ate pie. And in the morning, we went back to Bob's house for games and fun.

Sisters-in-Law. Lauren, me, and Nicole
First the kids had a treasure hunt, planned by Lauren and Chad (Casey's older brother)
The kids ran around grabbing all sorts of hidden goodies. It was perfect! Eden looked just like a snow princess. Such a pretty girl.
And then the Willard boys spent an hour playing "knock that bottle down with a frisbie". I'm sure there's a more official name. But that's what it looked like. And I'm sure Casey was not competitive about it.
Parry and Uncle Paul helped the little kids launch foam rockets in the air.
And Owen absolutely loved it (though he looks kind of grumpy in this pic).
There was plenty of baby holding time,
and snuggling with Grandma on the couch (next to Kettle corn I bought at the Santa's Workshop boutique. Yum Yum!)
That night was "Silly Song Night", with Kevin's family doing the best rendition of Bust a Move (with their own unique lyrics) that I've ever heard. We were only sad that Lexie wasn't there to show us her amazing dance skills. We wrapped up the night with The Song Game (where you all start singing a song on the same theme, such as "Michael Jackson", until no one can sing anymore). Quite fun. And finally we took a huge family pic! We'll have to do this every year, though I'm not sure how we'll fit when there's larger attendance.
And before driving home on Saturday, we did some impromptu photo shoots.
Jeff, Nicole, and their kids:
cute pregnant Nicole (#4 is due in January):
Chad, Lauren, and baby Henry:
Seriously, this has got to be one of the most adorable kids I've ever seen.
Such a doll; like a cute Gerber baby.
And that was our weekend! We hit up Cafe Rio on our way out of town and got stuck in Vegas traffic for 3 hours. But that's all part of the fun too (I think). I hope you had a great Thanksgiving too!


Nicole said...

Great recap!!! It was a fun weekend. Also, those pictures you took of Henry OH MY goodness, he looks soooooo cute! He is one cute kiddo. Their family pics look great too.

lyndsey said...

wow, i don't know what blows my mind more...90 people at one dinner, someone who has a whole ROOM in his house dedicated to this, or the fact that you buried turkeys in the ground to cook. awesome! and your hair is soooo long i can't believe it. looks so pretty :)

Lexie & Sharrid said...

That's right, NO ONE does Thanksgiving like Willards. Dana, Great pictures. I LOVE St. George so muc. It's a special place for me. I don't think I could have danced very well this year. I'm getting bigger by the minute with this pregnancy ha ha, BUT I would have definitely killed everyone on that song game with the Michael Jackson themed section! I know EVERY ONE of his songs and probably would have blown everyone out of the water with with a few of the B sides alone ha ha

I'm determined to come next year, Cannot miss two years in a row of Willard Thanksgiving!

Connie said...

Great post- I love your photos around Bob's house. I love St. George, it's so beautiful. It was so fun to see you and your cute kids! Eden had a blast with Lucy.

Anonymous said...

How fun! LOVE Saint George. My husband's family is there. We'll be visiting in a couple of weeks! That house looks SO familiar. is it anywhere near S. Morningside Drive?!

soydiosa said...

beautiful pictures! especially the one with the pie crusts through the mirror. you're amazing! thanks for sharing.

Jenny Sage said...

Great pics and thanks for sharing! We have the best family and Thanksgiving tradition ever!!!

Jean said...

Sooooo much good food!! YUM!!!! And I love the ridiculously ginormous group photo. I think that's the largest Thanksgiving dinner group that I've ever seen. :-)