Our family Thanksgiving turkey trot has changed greatly over the years. We used to gather as a family at a local school with fake racing bibs and an unmarked route.
My brother-in-law started a turkey trot in his community to benefit our nieces foundation and we went from running at a school to running at a retention basin. And once the retention basin just wasn’t big enough the trot was moved to a large mall. Each year it grows and more people participate which creates more awareness for the two charities they raise money for.
Similar to last year, I was heavily involved this year with the trot. From logos and posters, to backgrounds and shirts, I was vested. And it’s such a payday to attend the event and see it all come together.
Lucy’s (our niece) foundation received an overhaul and they rolled out the new name, “Families Fighting Blindness” complete with Lucy’s signature red glasses. The family sported new t-shirts to create awareness and we wore them with pride in her support.
My family isn’t much for running but we did the family fun run (one mile walk) so we could justify an extra roll (or two) later on that day.
Nothing says lets run like donuts and churros! And the kids enjoyed both!
Hunter enjoyed the snow machine they had blowing near the finish line. It’s as close as he’s going to get to snow for a while!
The whole group! Getting them all in a picture at one time was quite the accomplishment. Having to gather them from the play area, the churro stand and everywhere in between took determination. Out of the nine kids in the family, this picture is just missing one sister whose car broke down on her way to Arizona and one brother who was celebrating with his family back in Wisconsin. That’s quite the support system.
As part of the Families Fighting Blindness booth – my brothers-in-law built a large wall for people to share what they were grateful for and people were happy to share their thoughts. Hunter made sure to make his mark and there was little surprise in his gratitude. My only question is if they’re ranked! I have a hard time believing he ranked family above legos!
It was a fun morning. We gathered for a great cause and we enjoyed being there together and being surrounded by so many others who share a passion for service and giving back.
Several years ago I made a “Be Grateful” banner out of wood. I loved it so much but there was one small problem – I made it out of pine and that thing was heavy. It tore many Command strips off the wall! This year I reprised the project and made it out of thin underlayment – plywood.
I had Home Depot cut the plywood into strips and I used the miter saw to cut the triangles. Working with plywood like this can be a bit tricky and it leaves plenty of splinters. One side has a much nicer finish after the cutting process – I stained that side.
The other side, which wasn’t so nice, got a couple coats of chalkboard paint.
I debated how I should put the letters on: hand paint, vinyl letters, burning with a hand tool or a foam stamp. I went the easy route and what was readily available to me. I then carefully painted the edges with a metallic gold paint.
It hangs on the entertainment center with two small command strips and so far the weight hasn’t been a problem. Not only that but the wood tones look much better than the painted white “be grateful” banner I previously did.
I always dread taking Halloween down because the decorations are so fun and interesting – and then we move on to Thanksgiving decorations which are a little dull for my liking. But we decorate nonetheless to remind us what season we’re in. (When really every fiber in my being wants red and green to throw up all over the house…but I’ll wait until it’s socially acceptable – but not a minute later!)
Here’s some turkey love from some of our creations over the years. Just goes to show not all Thanksgiving decor has to be boring!
Back in our dating days, Steve and I worked at a recreation resort in Zion National Park. For a summer we pretended like we were outdoorsy! And although most of it didn’t stick, we did fall in love with the beauty of the park…as well as rappelling.
Our friends here in Arizona share our love for rappelling (although they embrace everything outdoorsy) and we’ve gone out with them a couple of times. While my sister was in town for Thanksgiving, we spent one morning rappelling.
Hallie has been before and she was anxious to get started and to go down the 120 foot drop with Steve and then her friend.
Hunter was also anxious to go, although we didn’t anticipate him trying it. Our friend was kind enough to set up a small kids rappel so the younger kids could go down a 5 foot wall. Hunter thought he was so big. After the first time going down he was ready to conquer something bigger.
I knew he was capable of going down the big mountain, but we didn’t think he would like it. He begged. He wanted to go down so bad. It was one of those moments as a parent that you think, “Kid, you have no idea how scared you’re going to be once we get to the top of that mountain, there’s no way you’ll want to go down.” So I agreed to go with him (going down with a kid takes some serious work and upper body strength because you’re helping them out the whole time, and they don’t typically come off that mountain very quickly!)
We climbed to the top and he looked out over the edge. I kept giving him every out – we could easily walk back down. But he insisted he wanted this so bad. We waited our turn and as we started to get harnessed up I thought he might start to get nervous. I was still trying to talk him out of it. But in all reality, he could do it physically and he was willing mentally and I knew he would be safe. So we went for it. The first five feet are by far the scariest as you back off the mountain and it was right after this that Hunter was ready to be done! At that point, it’s easier to go down the mountain than to try and get back up!
I did some coaching and sweet talking and he did great. My arms were as sore as can be as I fed his rope through slowly inching down the mountain.
We made it to the bottom where he could relax. I asked him if he wanted to go again and he said, “No thanks!” Great. He had made up his mind he was going to do it. He did it and he didn’t need to do it again! Some things are only taught by experiencing them. No matter how many times I told him, “Its a big mountain and it will be hard and maybe scary”, he had to see for himself. I truly enjoy letting my kids make decisions in these type settings where I’m there to help, coach and somewhat control the environment for them while they learn that decision making process.
Bennett on the other hand wanted nothing to do with the harness and instead played…and possibly ate dirt!
Cannon was missing his nap time and wasn’t too happy but food consoled him!
Right before we were leaving I gathered my family together for a quick picture. My sister was behind the camera and after we go situated she realized how dirty Benentt’s face was and started looking for something to clean him up. I stopped her. Just take the picture – this is how we truly are today; tired, dirty kids and all!