So Thankful

When we made plans to have 14 family members join us for Thanksgiving, we had no idea how we could fit them all. Additionally, the house was still a meswith unopened boxes from our move. Thanks to my wife’s organization and “gentle” push for me to get going, we were able to be ready to receive our guests to celebrate the 2013 Thanksgiving. This was to be a special celebration for several reasons. Amongst them, several of us have not seen each other for as long as 22 years; and Stephen (my niece’s husband) was to be deployed once again – this time to Kuwait – a few days following our reunion.

Having 14 additional persons come to your home and stay for a couple of days can present some challenges. Happy to report that we had a great time and talk, laugh, celebrate, eat and reminisce. We were surprised how well the house accommodated all. Having three full bathrooms does help and all seemed to be very comfortable with their sleeping accommodations. We had cold weather for Greenville, but outside of a very brief snow shower, we had good weather to get out and go around downtown.

As usual, I am posting some pictures below, the difference this time is that I am adding a few old pictures of some of us – boy do we change in some ways, but at the core we remain much the same.

For my cousin Victor (green vest) it was the first time he saw all the little ones. Just all getting re-acquainted.

 

When I was a kid I remember spending lots of time with my cousin Victor, he used to fly (flight attendant for Braniff) a lot and went to so many places outside of Peru; I always thought is was super cool to hear his travel stories.

 

This is my cousin Victor with me, my mom (right) and my Aunt Blanca…a long time ago.

 

My cousin Victor and his god-daughter Natita; the last time they saw each other was 22 years ago.

 

My cousin Victor with Natita during her baptism.

 

My oldest daughter Sarah anticipating eating beef. She is not a turkey meat fan so we cooked the roast beef especially for her – can you tell she is happy to see it?

 

My youngest daughter, Jocelyn, with her boyfriend Andrew. Jocie is being goofy, Andrew is probably wondering…what are you doing crazy lady?

 

Sarah and Jocelyn a few years back. They always got along real week. How can’t you love them to pieces?

 

My wife and I love cooking, so getting the big meal ready was fun. We also had great help setting the table and getting the decoration just right.

 

Andrew expected to have a lot of Turkey; well, not this much Andrew. Put it back…

 

yum, everything come out well, but the best was to chat and have a great time together.

 

My niece, Rafaela and her husband Stephen; both in the Army. Stephen was to leave for Kuwait the following week. God guide you and protect you Stephen; thank you for your service to the both of you.

 

This is Rafaela a few years back in Peru. Cutie, hey!

 

Meet Victoria, Rafaela’s oldest daughter. She has her mother’s eyes for sure. Yes, those little morsels on the plate are Peruvian empanadas. My sister made 50 delicious empanadas…yum. yum and more yum. A favorite of all.

 

Cutest smile from my great grand niece Valentina. Valentina is Rafaela & Stephens’ youngest.

 

Ok, my cousin Victor is on the right and my sister in the middle…see next picture. The young man on the left is Natita’s dad.

 

Here they are today; they always had a especial relationship. It was great seeing them together again and doing some heavy duty reminiscing – I am talking … until 2:30 am on occasions.

 

When we bought these hats we figured they would embarrass our daughters, but ended up being a big hit with everyone. Just about all had a picture of themselves with one of them. We thought they were way funny.

 

Natita and her husband Leandro. We will be visiting them next year; happy they are not too far from us (Florida). The next three pictures show their three wonderful children.

 

First the oldest; Francesca. As beautiful as they come.

 

Next is Lucia. She has the sweetest face and smile on her 99% of the time…

 

…and then, Lucia’s twin brother Luca. This was not the norm for him, but reflects how tired he was at the time.

 

Lucia’s favorite pose (touchdown) – she did it quite often and had most of us doing it with her.

 

However, I must give Valentina first prize for the most enthusiastic touchdown of all.

 

The younger crowd ready for bed! It got really quiet after this…lol.

 

Here we have the whole gang. Must do it again next year. Hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving with your loved ones.