A couple of late evening donations from some of my favorite former Alaskans....
I'll go ahead and apologize ahead of time...there are going to be a LOT of pictures with this post. No way I want to split this trip up into two different posts. Just too many great pics and stories to share.
So for Thanksgiving, we wanted to go down to Texas for the first time since 2008. I really missed Lisa and the girls during my quick trip down for Mammaw's funeral. I'm not aware of any organized effort for this to be a family reunion but it sure ended up that way! I think it was Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the Brown clan headed to see Mammaw's grave site. I don't know how this became a tradition but every time we head to or from the McLeroy grave site, we make a stop a Buccee's. What is a Buccee's?? I think it's safe to say it's a Texas thing. We had a good time grabbing lunch and eating out of the back of our trucks.
I believe this was the first time back since Mammaw's funeral in July. Unfortunately, the gravestone still had not been delivered. But it was still an excellent chance to take the girls to where so many of their relatives have been buried.
Well it didn't take long before the girls were introduced to another Texas tradition, the burrs.
There were definitely some tears.
On the way back, we wanted to go through College Station and do some shopping. I realized that we weren't too far from where they were building the student run off-campus bonfire. So we took a slight detour and got to see the bonfire just a couple of days before it was to be lit! Very cool to see. Last time we saw bonfire was 1998, the year before the stack collapsed and 12 students died. Seeing this smaller version brought back lots of memories for all of us. My dad worked on bonfire when he went to A&M
66-68 and my first memory of Texas A&M was going to bonfire when I was pretty young. Lots of history we got to share with the girls that day.
On to A&M so we could load up on some A&M gear. Tired of ordering A&M stuff online, I wanted to go to the source and get some new clothes for the fam. But we couldn't resist while we were there recreating a picture in the flag room at the student center. Check out 2012 vs....
The picture has more meaning than just PawPaw with 5 of his very tired grandkids piling on him. I like to think about it this way.... my dad studied in that very room about 45 years ago. Lisa and I studied in that room about 15 year ago. Which one of these grandkids are gonna study in that room 5 to 10 years from now????
It was getting late but we couldn't pass up the chance to go out to the bonfire memorial.
The next night back at my brother's house, we decided to get all the families together. It ended up being a good rehearsal for Thanksgiving dinner. This first picture is as my cousins started arriving and we went from a full house of 16 to a FULL house of 32!!
The granparents were in heaven. Here's PawPaw getting some quality time with Katy...
Uncle Cary (who married me and Lisa!!), Mom, Christin, and Rae.
My nephew had recently celebrated his birthday. We thought it would be a great time to have a family birthday party like nobody has ever had! You can see Tyler in the middle thanking everybody for coming...FOR HIS BIRTHDAY! Awesome Tyler!
Time for cake!!
Honey and PawPaw with all the grands at once..first time since 08.
All 32 Brown and Smith clans
Thanksgiving Day!!! We had an insane day! We rented a bouncy house for the kids so they spent most of the time outside while food was being prepped and the guys were watching football. :)
We had SOOOO much food!!! I think it was 2 turkeys and 2 hams and enough sides and desserts to feed an army.
Great picture of Tom and Christin
Tom Photobomb #1
Making turkey cookies.
We took the reunion up another notch on Friday...meeting up with extended family at cousin Kay's brewery. ...Southern Star Brewing Company. What a FANTASTIC place to host a reunion!! Not sure if Scott was seeing if he could take one can out....like a big game of Jenga. Seems like a solid idea.
Excellent selection of beers to try.
My Pappaw made an appearance, the girls' great grandfather. It was the first time Pappaw got to meet the girls....another very special moment.
Cousin Kay bartending.
Tom Photobomb #2
52 people at the reunion!! Amazing!
Pappaw with his grands + spouses.
Grands + spouses + greatgrands!
Pappaw and his three kids.
Pappaw and the 15 great grandkids.
Thanks again Kriedermans and Tom for your donations today...and thanks for giving me a reason to finally go back and share these pictures from Thanksgiving! We'll wrap up our fundraising on Monday...so just 3 days left to give!!