Thanksgiving Hoo Ha 2014 Part 1: Bocci Ball Bonanza

IMG_6978.JPGYup! I am one truly blessed woman. Look at these beautiful people who chose to come to our house to eat, laugh, play games and reunite. We live in South Carolina, California, Pittsburg, Colorado, Georgia and New Jersey. We live different lives, but remember that we are one family. My sister Annie and her gang weren’t able to make it this year, but they were with us in spirit and via FaceTime.

After an over abundant meal, Jim organized the annual Bocci Ball Tournament. Everyone put in $5 to participate and Jim randomly paired the teams together.

IMG_6993.JPGFor the majority of the participating teams, it was a friendly affair. See, here are Uncle Martin and Adam taking on the Brown brothers, Mason and David. Competitive, but in a nice way.

IMG_7013.JPGThey had a sense of gentlemanliness about them.

IMG_7021.JPGEvery now and then measurements had to be taken.

IMG_7020.JPGWhen not involved with one of three matches going on, people watched.

IMG_7004.JPGMy sister Laura.

IMG_7006.JPGWe laughed.

IMG_6994.JPGWe talked.

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IMG_7017.JPGWe played with this cutie patootie, Hudson. (I wish I could share the other two adorable little guys, Aiden and Easton, but I somehow erased pics. Erggg.)

IMG_7009.JPGEven sweet Sam hung out with us.

IMG_7022.JPGBrooke showed off her mad girl powers.

IMG_7019.JPG And true sportsmanship was displayed during the final matches. Although big money was to be had, the majority of the contestants made me proud.

IMG_6995.JPGTHEN there were these two.

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IMG_6998.JPGSmack talk…

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IMG_7003.JPGAnd ridonkulous celebration…

IMG_7012.JPGWho is this man?!?

In the end, we had to call it a draw. It got dark and pretty cold outside, so they decided to split the pot of money between the last two teams standing: Jim-Thomas and Matt-Brooke.

As neighbors drove past Thanksgiving afternoon, they saw a yard full of people laughing, talking and playing games. They saw family of all ages- FOUR generations building memories together. For this, I am so thankful!

And I appreciate you dropping by! Next post I will tell you all about the ottoman! See you then!

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Thanksgiving Hoo-Ha 2013

20131205-173322.jpgYou may asking “What, pray tell, is a Thanksgiving Hoo-Ha?”

20131205-173511.jpgIt is the gathering of family, near and far. This year we even got a few surprises! Matt, my handsome-ponytailed-world traveling-nephew, decided a week before the Hoo-Ha to hop on a plane and surprise us all!

20131205-174214.jpgMy grand-nephew announced that he will be a big brother in the upcoming year! (I realize that this picture is blurry, but this kid will not stand still. He is a very busy 16 month old!)

20131205-174455.jpgA Hoo-Ha is the welcoming of friends, old and new. My sister, Jane, gathers our new friends…Sunny, Bunny, Anika, Brayden and Nina, around her.

20131205-174716.jpgMary Claire brought home two Taiwanese exchange students from college, Chen Po-Jung (Sunny) and Hsiang-Ying Lee (Bunny). I put them right to work making name tags and rolling the silverware. I think it was a good way to get them involved.

20131205-175158.jpgBunny immediately found a friend in Sam.

20131205-175251.jpgSpeaking of Sam….she was a great helper during the turkey carving. She made sure no bits of the bird jumped off the cutting board and hit the ground. She was very attentive.

20131205-175420.jpgWe ate an amazing feast! Although I get a few items ready for the meal, my sisters are wonderful about pitching in as soon as they walk in the door.

20131205-175627.jpgLook at all of these desserts! Yum!

20131205-175707.jpgRemember that handsome nephew of mine? Well, he doesn’t fall far from the tree…here he is with his dad setting up the teams for the annual bocci ball tournament. A Hoo-Ha won’t be complete without a Bocci Ball Tournament.

20131205-175949.jpgMy brother, David, gives the girls a quick lesson on how to play the game.

20131205-180033.jpgBrayden and I set up the spectator chairs.

20131205-180143.jpgSpeaking of Brayden…I love how he just loves on old Daisy. Even as a three year old, he recognizes that Daisy is kind of fragile like him and needs a gentle touch. I love this kid!

20131205-180338.jpgTeams are formed, so let the games begin!

20131205-180422.jpgEveryone plays, no matter how old or young you are.

20131205-180532.jpgMy beautiful niece, Rachael and my mom cheer on their favorite team.

20131205-180622.jpgOh, and believe you me…this is serious stuff. Measurements are taken and scores are kept.

20131208-080529.jpgCan’t leave old Daisy out of the fun.

20131208-080606.jpgThe Thanksgiving Hoo-Ha means warming up by the fire pit out back.

20131208-080719.jpgTaiwan does not have Black Friday shopping?!? Well, no matter where you are from, college age girls have gotta shop!

20131208-080932.jpgThe Hoo-Ha is a special time to hang with the new generation.

20131208-081026.jpgBeing a tropical island, Taiwan doesn’t have ice skating rinks. Lucky for Sunny and Bunny, Spartanburg has a rink!

20131208-081242.jpgAfter a long day of playing paintball, the guys just want to come back, eat wings and watch the big S.C. Football game, USC vs Clemson. While the football games are playing, a puzzle is being put together. It’s a full family activity with people walking by, giving the most dedicated a hard time because the puzzle isn’t finished. And yet those protagonists stop and try their hand at finding a piece to fit.

20131208-081915.jpgUnfortunately, Sunday rolls around and we have to say good-bye.

20131208-081958.jpgThankful I don’t have to drive the three hours to take my boy back to the Citadel! It becomes a verrry long drive home. So proud of these guys!

20131208-082122.jpgWhat a blessing it was to have these two girls share in our Thanksgiving Hoo-Ha. I hope they know they will always be welcome “home”.

20131208-082257.jpgThe weekend was chaotic, noisy, busy and tiring, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am so thankful that God has blessed Superman with the gifts of business. We have a beautiful, big home in which we can host a gathering of 36 friends and family. Although Superman is an only child, he has lovingly adopted my family as his own. I am so blessed to have his support. (Ok…I have to pause as I wipe some thankful tears.) I have these three beautiful, funny, loving, children who embrace the chaos, give up their beds, share their toys, happily help, go out of their way to make all the guests feel welcome and call this weekend as their favorite of the year.

Now I need to go crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and go into a cocoon of depression. See you when I emerge. Wahhhhhh!