Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Memories – A Report on a Few Current Conditions

These are not black and white photographs.  This is the real color of our world.  Calvin thinks it looks like hell frozen over.  I think it looks like a winter wonderland.  Sometimes we debate who the optimist in our family is, but on foggy, wintry, cold, snowy days there is no dispute.  This morning while he was grumbling about the fog I suggested we move some place without fog.  He said he hates moving more than he hates fog.  Winter wonderland it is then.

Our Thanksgiving could not have been better. We had all of our kids there except Abe. Call me irresponsible, call me short-sighted, call me what you will we did not get a picture of all of us. But family picture or not, we had a marvelous time. Seven highlights from it:

1. The food. No picture, but you all know what prime rib, turkey, dressing (do you call it stuffing?), gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a multitude of vegetables and pies look like anyway. Thanksgiving is all about food. (. . . and figuring out what to do with all the trash that the food generates. I was amazed at how many bags went out, I’m guessing there were at least two dozen bags full. I meant to take a picture, but that would be embarrassing to have a picture of the trash but not the family so it’s for the best.)

Ty, Michelle, Seth, Calvin, me

2. The people. Four of us sisters and our families ate Thanksgiving dinner together. A fifth sister, Lynn, joined us Thursday evening to visit. Ty, Michelle, Calvin, and I went to see my nephew and brother while we were there, too. (Good thing Seth insisted we take a picture.)
I’ve always been impressed with the Osmond family’s ability to get along – the fact that all nine children have functioning relationships with each other and, after fifty years, can still get on a stage without one throwing a fit or boycotting the show is remarkable. While we may not sing and I can guarantee someone would boycott the show if we tried to pull one off, we do have one great success: we can pile high and deep when we go on trips. Once when we went to see my sister Rachel, 22 of us stayed in a double-wide trailer with one and a half bathrooms for 4 days, and this past weekend 17 of us stayed in my sister’s three bedroom home. In the words of Ande, “This is what we do. It may not make sense, but it is how we do it.” Saturday morning I asked Ray how the 11 of them slept up in the loft and he said, “It was like sleeping in a zoo. There was barking, growling, and snoring all night long.” Next year we’ll hand out ear plugs.

Michelle and Ty

Crissa, Trent, and Kiara
3.  The barn garage dance.  My niece and nephew, Haley and Ryan, organized a dance for Thanksgiving night.  And since it is as Ray says, “Nobody cares whether or not you’re good, they only care that you participate,” we had a great time.  We hokey-pokied, two-stepped, swung, lined, polka’d, and limbo’d. 

Bruce insisted his new hip could do anything. 
Please note my nephewJake wrapped in the blanket behind Bruce since it's the only picture I got of him, and Marcia right under the light since it's the only picture I got of her, too

Would you believe the two with the longest backs won the limbo?  Ty and Ray can go very, very low.  Which just proves that stories with unexpected endings like the hare and the tortoise are true.

Grace and Chris

Nieces, Charlie and Haley

4. The shopping. Chris runs Black Friday shopping like a captain. She had everyone look at the ads and clip coupons on Thursday afternoon, and by 3:30 a.m. Friday morning was honking the car in the driveway. 

The 4:00 am stop was J.C. Penny’s for 45 minutes, with the instructions to not be late so we could get to Fred Meyer’s 5:00 half-price sock sale. On and on and on we went; Chris taxied and organized us the whole day.

Cali, Ande, Michelle

It was nice.  By 8:00 am we were hungry and by 10:30 am it felt like 3:00 pm, there is no doubt that Black Friday shopping, sleeping in a full loft, and late nights are tiring . . .   

Michelle on a Fred-Meyer bench

. . . but we had a great time and found some real deals. 

Grace and my niece, Jenny

5. The Black Friday swap. Thursday we drew names for a gift exchange and Chris gave everyone five, dollar coins with which to buy a present. It’s a fun, fun tradition. Last year we felt bad for the men who watched us exchange, but didn’t have any gifts. This year Chris had the men exchange names too, but since they were going hunting the Black-Friday women did the shopping for them. Their limit was 3 dollars. That night we gathered to swap gifts. Oh ho. What a funny time. What a fun tradition.

someone was not thinking when they gave Ty this bow and arrow

Michelle (protecting us by holding the arrows) and Grace (with her new scissors)

Joe happy as can be with mega jerky and Ande

Michelle, Cortney, Nikki, Trevor, and Cali (showing off her new earrings)

Ray, Haley (showing off her new earrings), Ryan

6.  Calvin’s 60th birthday.  Nary a picture (hence a favorite from the archives),

but we celebrated it.  We turned the leftovers into Hawaiian Haystacks, had a birthday cake, opened presents, played games and watched football.  It’s pretty amazing how much celebrating you can fit into 48 hours when you’ve a mind to.

7.  The drive.  Saturday morning before we left, we took a drive to show the kids where I grew up, where Calvin and I lived when we were newly married, and where they were raised. 

Chris and Bruce

It was an incredible weekend, thanks to Chris and Bruce for their warm hospitality, enthusiasm, and generosity.  Thanks to everyone for taking care of each other and making it fun.

My apologies to those who I didn’t get a flattering picture of and to the memories I did not record (like Jake sitting in the hot seat, or sighting in Ray’s gun [my ears are still ringing a bit], or Marcia doing the Filer fight song, or the drive in the snowstorm from Idaho). Call me short-sighted, call me irresponsible, but call me happy and grateful that we had such a great time.



Deanna/Mimi said...

What a terrific trip I just had with you. Your pictures and words made me feel like I was right there with all of you! What a great family you are one of the most happiest families I know. God bless the Paynes.

Jill said...

Your winter wonderland pictures are spectacular!

It is a gift that all those families were willing to cram into such a small space for those days! It looks like a nonstop party to me.

Ande Payne said...

This was the very best Thanksgiving! I'm so glad you blogged about it. It was so much fun and just felt so good.

Susan said...

I love when all the family gets together!! And I love it even more when we all get along!!

Congratulations on both of those!!

Anonymous said...

I keep wondering if you were in the same place we were, weathering (?) out the storm. We were in Filer, went to the Black Friday sales, and saw your sister at Relief Society! Than we were snowed in! The county doesn't maintain the road going into the subdivision where Scott lives and there was no way we could get out. So grandson Jacob was late getting back to BYU but we were able to get out on Monday morning as planned, thanks to the Stake Patriarch, whose son Jacob had ridden there with. In good Idaho farmer tradition, he brought his tractor and cleared the way! Wondering if you were there in that wild wind, too! Always fun and energizing to read your blog! Miss seeing you. Loye

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said...

WOW....that is one busy Thanksgiving! However, I know how it feels our was action packed also!!
(I'll have to blog all about it!)

deidra said...

I'm fairly certain you went shopping in Twin, and I love that I can picture all of these places in my mind's eye.

Somehow I still can't imagine the snow and the cold, since all we've had is rain, thunder storms and wind. I think we're going to freeze when we head home here in a little while! (And I totally loved Calvin's line about hating moving more than he hates fog. Ha!)

Lucy said...

I can't believe the weather you guys have. Pretty, pretty pictures.

Looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'd have happily participated in all of it except the Black Friday shopping. No way, Jose. :):) But the dancing? Count me in. All family gatherings should have dancing and people sleeping on floors.

Becky said...

That sounds like so much fun! Love the documentation you did get.

And while it can be crazy, we had 30 people eating Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's three-bedroom house and 22 of those people slept there one does have a basement which helped since 15 of the 22 were kids ages 18-months to 15-years.

Becky said...

P.S. Your first winter wonderland photo is just stunning!

Katie said...

Hi Jane!
I've loved reading your blog and learning more about you and your family. When I read the 100 random things about you, I had to comment! I made the HS National Finals Rodeo too- 3 years in a row! Yes, I'm a rodeo girl and rarely meet someone else who was/is (especially at a scrapbook retreat!)

Truly enjoy your pictures and especially your blog :) Take care!

Katie Allred, Royal City

michelle said...

Jane, this post is full of gems. First of all, your winter wonderland photos are amazing! Stunning.

I tend to think of all the snow as being a winter wonderland when I can stay inside. When I have to shovel and go out in it, then it starts to look more like hell frozen over... I love that Calvin hates moving more than fog. I'm convinced that there is a lot of moving in hell.

I cracked up over you saying that it would be embarrassing to have a picture of the trash but not the family. Indeed.

I have no interest in Black Friday shopping, since it involves the worst kind of crowds and getting up in the middle of the night, but I can see that it could be fun if done with people you love. Especially if you have someone planning it all out.

LOVE that old photo of Calvin! Love it.

And I also love how much celebrating you can cram into 48 hours when you have a mind to.

Cassidy said...

Oh man, that sounds like sooooo much fun. Why do live so far away from family??????????????
I think my favorite is the line dancing in the garage. classic.

Emma J said...

Okay, so I am working at not coveting your great traditions and family togetherness. Ido love my family but can't help admiring all the fun you have with yours. And those snowy photos!!

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Rachel said...

I am SO SAD I missed this. :( It looks like you all had so much fun! I totally would have joined Aunt Marcia in the fight song...V!I!C!T!O!R!Y! We're gonna win this game to-nIIIiiiiIIIIght!HEY! I know it all, except for the one line in the middle that everyone mumbles. Maybe next year...

Mindy said...

What a great Thanksgiving! We also visited family and we squish into some close quarters to do so as well. "It's what we do!" Ha Ha!