Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. Of course, I love food. That's no secret, and my sister in law Chelsey puts on an amazing spread. But what I really love, is that besides the beach, it is the one other time in the year that the whole Mattingley family is together. With various siblings now trading off on Thanksgiving, we especially celebrated this as being an "on" year where everyone attended. My sister in law hosted and put on a beautiful table!
Like the year before, we had two turkeys to feed our bunch. A deep fried and a yummy roasted variety. Joel and Jason did us the honors and carved them up for the gang!
The amount of food we had was unbelievable! Chelsey thought of everything and really out did herself! While we went up for a second trip, we were sometimes still trying something for the first time because there simply wasn't room on the plate the first time around!
Dessert was no exception. As a family we chipped in and each brought a pie. I brought a homemade cheesecake for the 2nd year in a row. It's the only time I make it - it's a lot of work! But worth it... it's delicious!
This year, the kids were asked to make pies as well. No help from adults, they were to make a pie for the Mattingley Pie Contest.
For the rest of the days that the cousins were visiting, Minecraft and the iPads played a big part in it. Autumn and her oldest cousin Jordan especially bonded over Minecraft and video games. It was a really sweet sight and Jordan was so sweet with her.
For Christmas this year, instead of doing individual gifts and mailing them all on, etc. my mom decided to do a big huge group gift. The men? A day of paintball! All the boys old enough to go spent the day in Leesburg paintballing. They had a blast!
For the girls and the rest of the younger kids, my mom sent us all out for a day at the ice rink. Unfortunately, it was bitterly cold and windy that day. Of course the rink wasn't heated, but once we started moving, it wasn't too bad. It certainly could have been worse. We just wanted to make the most out of it! Autumn had never skated before, and it had been some many years since I had. Autumn never really picked it up, but she did make a go of it a few times and the cousins were sweet to take her around a few times!
Aunt Jodi. Always up for a selfie.
Following skating, we all headed to McDonalds for hot chocolate. It was another great week as a family!