Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving with the Christensons

This post is more for those family members who were not with us this Thanksgiving (read: Mary), and for others who might be wondering, "Whatever happened to those darned Christensons?"

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.

And here is a picture of all my family sans my sister Mary's family and my brother Doug's family. I love you all!


MarySquare said...

Cindy -- thanks so much for the recap. Especially all of the pictures. It is great to have all of Dad's siblings in one picture together. And holy cow, what a turnout by the Norvel Christenson family. Was the church packed?

Oh dear, you made me miss being home. We went out to dinner at a buffet with Erik Aagard's family and it was actually nice and fun. I miss Mom's cooking though. I did make myself a chocolate cream pie, and rolls, that I mostly ate myself, to remind me of our family.

Morkthefied said...

The church was packed. Aunt Norma set up some craft tables for the little kids, which relly helped the adults to be able to visit.

No one ate our pumpkin pie. It always blows Kulani away that no one in our family prefers pumpkin pie over the other pies. Chocolate cream pie is always the first eaten. Mom made a really good banana cream pie. I had a discussion about the proper sweetness of whipped cream with both Mom and Doug. They brought it up both times, and Mom ended it with "Dad likes the cream sweeter," and Doug ended it with, "Amy likes the cream sweeter." Funny stuff.

MarySquare said...

I made my own chocolate cream pie and while I was eating it, I thought, "I should have made the cream sweeter." Ha!

And yeah, unfortunately, the pumpkin pie always loses. As does pecan. Two years ago I got a giant pecan pie from Costco for Thanksgiving at Mom's and I'm the only one who ate a piece. So it goes.

MarySquare said...

Oh, and by the way, I'm starting Weight Watchers again today. They have a plan for nursing mother's. Actually, they just add 10 points on to your point limit. But, I decided that after gaining five pounds back after delivering Eddie, I need to get with some program. Just because you're nursing, doesn't mean you can eat anything so they tell me. Wish me luck!

Amo said...

Ok, I just made this long comment that somehow got erased. So it boils down to this: Mary, by the time I got there on Friday, there were no leftovers remaining so you can imagine the feasting that took place on Thursday. Also, my rolls are better than Mom's as I still make the mouthwatering roll recipe and she uses the Mormon cookbook version. Hers are more yeasty (ask Dad, he'll confirm). Also, cream is better sweeter!

We missed you, but it was good to see so many at the Christmas party. Every sibling had several people there so it was fun to visit with so many.

My banana cream pie was not as good as Mom's (the cream wasn't sweet enough and the crust wasn't cooked long enough), butthe rest of the food I prepared for the Smedley Thanksgiving fest at our house was pretty good. It was exhausting, however. I don't know how Mom does it every year!