Monday, December 1, 2008

The Highlight of Thanksgiving Weekend...

Every year, my family looks forward to the highlight of Thanksgiving Weekend...
It's not my dad's delectable pumpkin chiffon pie or my aunt's mouth-watering orange rolls.

It's not the hilarious conversations around the Thanksgiving table with my cousins, sisters, and grandparents. (During the middle of dinner this year, in the midst of a conversation completely dominated by me and my chatty sisters, my grandpa suddenly announced, "Ryan, I wish you would SHUT UP once in a while!")

It's not sleeping in late and then snuggling with Ryan for another hour.

It's not chilly jogs around the neighborhood with my dad, Ry, and my brothers-in-law.

It's not the new release movies that Dad pays for us to see at the theater. (What a treat! We saw two this weekend!)

It's not even gabbing with my sisters, who are my best friends in the world, until all hours of the night. (Aren't we pretty in this photo?:) )

The highlight of Thanksgiving Weekend is always...drum roll, please...the Annual Knock Out Tournament with the Labondes!!

The LaBondes are my cousins from Grand Junction, Colorado who are so fun to be around. The kids are significantly younger than us, but they have been a huge part of our lives, and they are actually more like siblings than cousins. Unlike the clumbsy, uncoordinated Westover side of the family, the LaBondes are actually amazingly athletic, so every year at Thanksgiving, we have a Knock Out basketball tournament with them on our driveway.

Highlights of this year's event included...
-My dad getting "knocked out" by six year old, Marcus.
-My aunt almost peeing her pants when running after the ball. (I have to admit, she is the one member of her family who is not athletic, and she claims that it gets harder to control your bladder at her age.)
-My little sister actually winning one of the games (with much help and cheating from one of the youngest LaBonde cousins.)
-Ryan beating the LaBondes in two or three games. (Finally...someone athletic in our family!)
-Me making a few "swoosh" shots from the free-throw line. It was a complete fluke.
-Chanting, cheering, jeering, and celebrating...the neighbors think we are insane!

To be honest, I'm not sure why this tradition is so much fun, but it is always my favorite part of Thanksgiving weekend.
P.S. All of the above traditions that didn't make the "highlight" status are actually also highlights!! I love my family. They are so much fun!!


  1. Well it was fun to read all the traditions that didn't make the highlight too! That basketball game sounded fun. So where are you from? That's cool that you got to go home for Thanksgiving. (Oh, and your Grandpa sounds hilarious!)

  2. We do have the best family ever! I wish I hadn't been feeling so rotten on Friday. I missed the big tournament! :( Oh well, I got everything else! Love you!

  3. What fun post! What your Grandpa said to Ryan cracked me up. I've heard so many different names for knock-out, in washington we call it bump but then in Idaho my cousins call it lightning. I'm not sure about lightning but I do like the name knock-out, makes sense ya know? Alright, I'm done with my tangent haha.

  4. I meant to say what "A" fun post, me and my grammar, jeez.

  5. Hi Rach! I'm glad you have a blog so that we can keep updated on the fabulous life of Rachel and Ryan! Eli and I are living in Payson, UT. Not what we were expected to happen, but we are back in Utah and Eli's getting his masters in Public Health. He didn't get into med school this year - he was waitlisted in Vermont up until the first day of classes in August. So we waited, and waited, and waited, and finally decided at the end of July to come here and live our back up plan. I found a job in about a day at a school I student taught at in Payson. That's why we live here. We like it but it's tough knowing that we have the rest of grad school and then med school after this. Life is one big adventure! Merry Christmas!!! Oh and yes, being a first year teacher while being pregnant is EXHAUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!! But someone needed to make the money for the baby!

  6. Hi Rach! So glad you got to go home for Christmas. I'm sure your dad just LOVES having his girls together.

  7. Did I really say 'Christmas'? Do you get to go home again? Off to Idaho? Please send me your address. Love to you!

  8. Rachel! I found your blog on Barbara's and Sara's. That's so great that you're teaching and still so involved in service! You were always a role model to me in high school. Cute pics of you and the hubby. Keep in touch! -Jessica

  9. Ha. Ryan will be a star in the BB tournaments. Your gym story wow. I feel for you. I do the same thing sometimes once you start crying you might as well get it all out. We miss you both!


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