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Thanksgiving Weekend Wrap-up

December 2, 2010

A week ago we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family. Now it’s already December and the Christmas season is upon us! But I’m getting a little ahead of myself…

To make things easier, we alternate between our two families for Thanksgiving every year. This year we made the 5-hour drive from Ohio to Illinois to be with my family. My parents and two siblings (and their families) all live in the same small town where I grew up so it’s always fun to go “home.”

(One of these trips I’ll have to go around town with my camera so I can show off the cute little place that is my hometown — preferably on a day that I won’t get frostbitten fingers for not wearing gloves.)

My brother’s house is the official family gathering spot since they have the space to fit all 12 of us and, more importantly, don’t have cats that bring on Jeff’s allergies (like at my parents’). My mom’s birthday is always near Thanksgiving, but this year they fell on the exact same day. After the delicious turkey dinner, we had cake along with pumpkin pie and watched Mom open presents.

My family isn’t huge into pictures, but Mom obliged me with a few shots:

Mom with her birthday cake -- and my sister and half of my brother

Showing off her new sweater and stone duck family

On Friday, one of Mom’s best friends, Lynnette (whom I’ve written about before) treated us to lunch to celebrate Mom’s birthday. It was fun to also see her daughter and my childhood friend, Kate (down from Chicago), who is just a year older than me.

Jeff and I joined my parents for the “Yule Like Peoria” holiday walkabout in downtown Peoria on Friday night after dinner at the fabulous One World Cafe. It’s a pretty cool event: they open up several of the commercial buildings downtown to host various exhibits and entertainment including lots of live music. I think the Richwoods High School Madrigal Singers were my favorite. They did a fabulous rendition of “Carol of the Bells” that gave me the shivers!

Ice sculptures and lighted trees at the Courthouse Plaza

Gingerbread houses on display in the Civic Center:

My favorite by far


A covered bridge! How cool is that?


Marquette explored around Peoria and there is a grand old hotel named after him there

However, our first stop was to see the Civil War dancers:

The couple in the red dress and gray coat are friends of my parents


Mom practicing for the audience participation dance with Larry


A Civil War reenactor dog! (Sorry for the blurry picture.)


On Saturday we spent the day in Springfield touring Lincoln sites, but I’ll cover that day in a future post. We left for home on Sunday morning with unfortunately no time for church if we were to get back in time to pick up the doggies. All in all it was a very nice visit.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2010 8:24 pm

    sounds like a lot of fun… and fun for me to see peoria pix… ;)

  2. Lynnette permalink
    December 2, 2010 9:10 pm

    Sounds like you packed a lot into the time here. I should like to see your pictures/comments about Washington!

  3. Mary permalink
    December 2, 2010 11:46 pm

    Can that dog come to our book club?

  4. December 8, 2010 9:12 am

    Your story and pictures of your Thanksgiving weekend are great! I have people in that same state, north of Peoria. Thank you for sharing!

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