OK, are you ready - this is going to be a long post.
A while back when the DeJong crew started marrying off, it was decided that we would each try to come back together for a family holiday gathering each year - Thanksgiving one year and Christmas the next, allowing the other holiday each year to be "the inlaws" time. This has worked out fabulously with one tweek, Thanksgiving always turns into a whole weekend to include Thanksgiving and Christmas gift giving. We even crafted a new name for the holiday: Thanksmas.
This year, it was hosted by the Mt. Pleasant DeJongs. After carefully planning, they were able to piece together five tables in the kitchen and spilling out into the living room, three for the adults and big kids, and two for the littler ones. The two of us families with three kids each were quarantined in the kitchen, while others were deemed neat enough to eat over the white carpet of the living room.
While we had everyone together we ventured out for a full family picture. I LOVE how well it turned out. None of the little girls look super happy, but everyone does look simply fabulous. I wonder how many more years we will be able to pull this off?
And while we were outside with beautiful weather, some football:
Every time we get together, we often find ourselves taking pictures of the triplet cousins. Here they all are sporting their new Calvin wear from Grandpa DeJong and Oma Chris. (Don't mind the see food from Becca - she is only two after all.)
Friday the four of us ladies took off early in the morning to hit the outlet mall. We left the guys and kids home to play and pick up a Christmas tree.
We had a pretty successful trip.
And the kids had some wonderful Uncle time.
Then it was time for Christmas. We decorated the tree and each of the six (non-baby) cousins came with a gift to exchange.
Jon got a cars book with mat and car figurines.
Michael got a ping pong set that can be set up on a table surface.
And Becca got some fun play-doh and equipment. Boy, their cousins (or aunts I guess) really know my kids well. They all loved their gifts.
And we tried for a Christmas picture with the cousins. It is officially impossible to get all 8 smiling at the same time, but they are all adorable.
Saturday, the three families with kids stuck around and headed to the new indoor water park in the area.
With all the fabulous pools, water sprays, climbing equipment, and lazy river, this slide was the favorite of most of the kids. I spent a good hour supervising the climb up and the slide down of child after child.
Overall it was a fabulous weekend and Jon especially can't stop talking about when he can see cousin Cody again.