Thanksgiving started with a bang with many family members participating in the 3rd Annual Mini-Cassia Turkey Trot at West Minico Junior High.
Here's a picture of MacKenzie, Austin, and Lilia before the race.
Lilia, MacKenzie, and I ran/walked the race in 50 minutes. At first, their only goal was to beat Grandpa C. Every time Grandpa would catch up to us, MacKenzie and Lilia would run faster so as not to be out ran by a 66-year-old who two years ago had open-heart surgery. But Grandpa was a locomotive, always chugging along. MacKenzie and Lilia pooped out by the third mile and Grandpa handily beat them. Chrystel on one leg and crutches even beat the little girls.
Uncle B.J. won the race in something like 16 minutes. Uncle Ed took second. Many wore a silly hat, par for the Christenson course (see below).
The best part about running the local 5K races is running into old friends. I visited with Andrea B. and some other friends from high school. We even ran into the notorious Heiner brothers, who have both broke many of our hearts, sniff, sniff.
Running the race made us feel better about ourselves when we indulged in the feasting later that day. Grandma's legendary cooking reared its head again. Here she is making her awesome rolls.
The rest of the day was filled with puzzles and merriment. Kulani, B.J., Ed, Amanda, and I went to the late-night showing of the new Bond movie. I fell asleep, but the parts I saw were really good.
The next evening was the Christenson Family's annual Christmas party. I hadn't been to this party in years. It was great seeing everyone.
My dad is the second youngest of nine children. All of his siblings except one lives in the Mini-Cassia area. My dad's dad was born in 1898. Grandma C. was born in 1906. When Grandma Christenson could no longer live by herself in her little house near the highway in Heyburn, each of the siblings took a turn watching Grandma around the clock. For six years they cared for her night and day. It was a real testament to their love for her. She was the heart and soul of the family. She died in 2003 at the age of 97, but the siblings continue the tradition of the Christmas party.
The Christenson Christmas party always consists of a pot-luck dinner and talent show. This year, Aunt Norma was in charge. She gave a nice presentation to the oldest sister Neoma for her 81st birthday. Here's a picture of my dad with his oldest sibling Neoma.
Aunt Loreta also presented each of her siblings with a hand-stitched quilt. Here's a picture of my dad with his quilt. Next to my dad is my Uncle Larry who is about 7 to 10 years older than my dad, but looks just like my dad. It frustrates my dad when people confuse them for twins. Uncle Larry inherited my Grandma C's good genes that enables them to keep their dark hair and younger looks.
This is a picture of my grandparents' oldest and youngest grandchildren. My brother Edward is the youngest at 20 years of age. My cousin Craig Zemke is the oldest at around age 62. Grandma and Grandpa had 52 (or was it 53?) grandchildren.
This is a picture of my cousin Chet and his son Bryson. Chet and I have many, many great memories together, as we grew up only blocks from each other and were in the same grade. As they say in redneck country, a girl's first love is her cousin. Just kidding. Although I do remember when Chet had a crush on a girl named Leslie when we were very young, and he used to say he was going to marry her at Kmart. He wisened up through the years and married Michelle Osterhout in the SLC temple; a step above Kmart. He works for the Idaho Department of Labor in Burley, moonlights as a truck driver and horse shoer, and lives in Paul. I still consider Chet one of my best friends.