Some details about how we celebrate have emerged through the years, like our annual 5k Turkey Trot that happens around a lake not too far from Malenovice.
Then there's the annual football game back up at the hotel, played in varying conditions. Some years we've had full sunshine, and others a field full of snow.
This year the conditions were were soggy and foggy!
It's been 10 years since Tyler has been here to celebrate a JV Thanksgiving. Where did all those years go?? And it makes me wonder where all the places were over those years that he celebrated instead!
It's sure special to have him back, with his family, to celebrate with us again.
Back inside, everyone is making last minute preparations for the meal. With 140 of us here this year, we'll have eight turkeys, an untold amount of mashed potatoes, and a whole lot of side dishes and desserts that everyone brings to share.
Claire and I have already added our traditional dishes (stuffing, broccoli salad, bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese, roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin bars!) so we have a moment to stop for a photo with Judah!
Each year when 1:30 arrives, that signals that it's time to gather in the restaurant here at Malenovice for our feast.
We always begin with Dave's reading of a Bible passage about thanksgiving, and then he gives us time to share with someone what we're thankful for.
Then we pray and sing (this year it was the Doxology!) and take a group photo before diving in to all the great food that's waiting!
We used to all gather to eat in the same place, but there are so many of us now that we're split into two places: the restaurant and the meeting room downstairs.
Families with kids are in the restaurant.
But of course older kids like to eat with their friends so they're spread out in different parts of the main floor at Malenovice!
With this being their first JV Thanksgiving with us, I joined Tyler, Lara and the boys for our meal. Do you know how fun this is for me, to have some of my children living here to share this holiday with?!
More traditions happen after the meal like a taped football game to watch upstairs for all those who love that American tradition! The kids go down to the big meeting room to watch a movie, which was Incredibles 2 this year.
I didn't make it to either of those traditions, but DID get in our traditional photo and afternoon chat with these lovelies!
Here's a new tradition that I loved seeing!
|Claire and Lara, sister-in-law's, getting to have an afternoon chat while the boys nap!|
There is no official program during our JV Thanksgiving gathering, just lots of time for conversations and fellowship!
However there is one big tradition that takes place in the evenings! It's so special that it gets its own blog post.
It takes place downstairs in the big meeting room, and involves a whole lot of JV Kids!
More on that to come.
But hey...did you happen to see this year's annual Turkey Trot t-shirt??!!! I died laughing when I saw what my niece in Slovenia, Kendra, sent in as her entry for the t-shirt design. It was the one chosen this year, and couldn't have been funnier!
Recognize the face on it??? 😂