We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving at Alan and Charla's house in Colonial Heights.  Because of Jackson's basketball schedule, it was a quick trip this year, but a very enjoyable one.  River also joined us this year.

We spent another wonderful Thanksgiving at Alan and Charla's house.  I went for an early run, then played football with Alan and the kids in the front yard.  The kids also kicked a lot of soccer.  Amy had prepped a lot of food before our drive the night before, but she also joined Alan and Charla in the kitchen as they prepared our meal.  Dinner was amazing, the Cowboys and the Steelers both won.  We got to see both Jesse and Wesley, as well as Sherri, which was nice.  It was an all around great day.

For the second year in a row, we celebrated Thanksgiving at Alan and Charla's house.  The food was fantastic, the company great, River traveled well and behaved himself while visiting.  River and I went on a walk to the river that morning, then ran bandit for part of the Turkey Trot 5K.  Ben, Jackson, Jimmy and I shot basketball at Tussing, then after dinner and the Cowboy's game, Nicole joined Amy, Jackson, Ben and I when we went to see Creed at the movies. 

Even though this was our first Thanksgiving without Hama, we had a really special holiday thanks to great food and lots of time spent with family at Alan and Charla's house in Colonial Heights. We played Texas Hold'Em, football, disc golf, soccer, frisbee, Catch Phrase and Uno.  We ate out, we ate in, we snacked in between.  It was a really nice trip.

With my uncle Mike in the hospital following a ruptured brain aneurysm, we gathered at Hama's house in hopes of giving Maddie, Parker and Gabe as normal of a Thanksgiving as possible.  Amy, Deana and Melanie did all the cooking and brought the food to Hama's house at lunch.  We had a great meal and it was very nice to spend the day with Hama, although everyone missed Mike and Jennifer greatly.  Mike surprised her with a phone call that afternoon.  The rest of the day was filled with football as we played the traditional game of two hand touch in the bottom across the road.  (football photo by Deana)

After all those wonderful years of celebrating Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, in the same well, worn tradition at my grandmother's house, we were forced to celebrate in a new way this year as Hama joined her daughter and family at the beach for the holidays.  The boys lamented the loss of our football game heavily.  We decided to travel to Colonial Heights and were guests at Alan and Charla's house.  Alan cooks a mean bird and it was nice to spend time with family there.  It wasn't the same and we all missed Hama, but it was nice and we were very grateful for Alan and Charla's generosity.

Another wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Hama's followed by the traditional football game.  We had perfect weather this year.  Many of this year's photos were taken by Jackson.

Amy's brother Alan and his family joined us this year for Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful lunch at Hama's house with the rest of my family, plus my uncle Mike and his family, followed by our third annual two-hand touch football game.  Later that evening we enjoyed a 2nd traditional Thanksgiving meal at our house.

For the second year in a row we had great weather and a big football game in front of the house. 

Friday, November 28, 2008.  Following a wonderful meal at my grandmother's house, the big kids and adults played football across the road while the little kids played in the front yard.  It was a perfect Thanksgiving Day spent with family and friends.  We left Hama's house around 3:00 so that we could get home in time to pop a ham in the oven for our dinner with the Eads later that evening.  They arrived at the house at 6:00 for round two of wonderful traditional Thanksgiving food.  Amy, along with everyone else that cooked, did a wonderful job.  I think I'll be full for two days.  It may also be that long before I can move after playing football.

Friday, November 23rd, 2007Once again, we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving at Hama's house.  Ben again rode his four wheeler all over the yard, trying to run over anything that would run away from him.  For much of the time, he did this while waiving a sword with one hand and eating turkey with the other.  The photo of Ben and his cousin Seth sharing the four wheeler puts Ben's size into perspective.  Seth is a full two years younger than Ben and almost the exact same size.  Jackson played basketball with his cousin Caleb.  I won't give his dunk secret away, but the photos are not altered.  Jackson could have done that all day long.  Amy ran five miles earlier that morning, so she opted to stay in the house helping Hama rather than chase the kids around the yard.  I ate enough to keep me full for two more days.  The photo of the cakes are, in order, Amy's white grape juice cake, my sister Deana's chocolate cake and my sister Melanie's apple cake.  After lunch and after everyone else left, the boys rode with their Papa to his farm and helped feed the cows and donkeys while Amy and I spent the afternoon visiting.  It was a small crowd this year, but the food was, as usual, perfect.

November 23, 2006.  My grandmother has to be the best cook in the world.  I was really disappointed when I got full and was barely able to eat dessert.  Amy brought a new recipe this year, a really good butternut squash casserole.  Plus a pineapple casserole, pumpkin cake and a pea salad.  A couple of the branches were not able to make it this year, but we still had a wonderful time eating and visiting.  The weather was fantastic, reaching almost 70F/21C, which allowed the kids to play outside all afternoon.  Later in the evening we met at our friends Jeff and Timmesa's house for dessert.  Unfortunately I was still too full to sample as much as I would have liked.   

November 24, 2005.  Another wonderful Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house.  I guess I am most thankful every year that we can still spend Thanksgiving on the farm and enjoy Hama's chicken and dumplings.  Two new babies joined us this year, our nephew Seth and my newest little first cousin Maddie.  Amy brought her pumpkin cake and pineapple casserole again this year.  We later enjoyed another Thanksgiving feast with friends across town.  Between Amy and our friend Timmesa, they had enough food to feed an entire street.  Amy made sourdough butter biscuits, a chocolate brownie/strawberry/pudding/truffle desert thing, macaroni salad, potato bake casserole, and sausage balls. 

  Madeline Heath - Thanksgiving 2005 My grandmother's house on Thanksgiving Day 2005

November 25, 2004. Almost all the other holidays change as you get older, but one that stays the same year after year is Thanksgiving.  Because I have never missed celebrating it on the Heath farm in Claudville, it has become one of my favorite traditions.  So much wonderful food.  Hama felt a little under the weather today, but still managed to fix her famous chicken and dumplings, along with turkey and tons of other sides.  Amy made two Paula Deen recipe's, Pumpkin Gooey Cake and Mac-N-Cheese, plus a cranberry salad and pineapple casserole.  Later in the evening after returning from Claudville, the whole family sandwiched together on the couch with a bag of popcorn and watched Frosty The Snowman.  Jackson snuck Zorro pieces of popcorn while Benjamin kept his arm buried in the bag.  Ben LOVES popcorn.  So does Zorro.


November 27, 2003.  Spending Thanksgiving at my Grandmother's house is just the best tradition ever.  The food is unbelievable and where better to spend the holiday than on a farm.   Amy's brother Alan and his family, Charla, Jimmy and Nicole are visiting with us this year, so they joined the Heaths for the big feast.  I think everyone had a good time.  The kids played football, jumped on hay bales, saw a newborn calf, rode 4-wheelers, and just enjoyed their day on the farm.



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