Thankful for these boys and their smiles
Cousin F being a good sport. Please note his awesome penguin hat.
The Nugget's thankful chain for 2011 included:
Bear planes - they carry bears to Grammy and Grandpa's hometown to have a parade
Riding on an airplane at Christmas
Grammy and Grandpa
Grammy cooked up a feast for 29 (just one side of the family, if you can believe it), with the help of 6 crock pots. The Nugget remembered second cousins he hasn't seen in years, and spent a few happy hours playing babies and Legos in the basement as well as soccer in the backyard. He watched "The Polar Express" for the first time, astonished and captivated.
We went to the zoo and another cousin shared his popcorn and a carousel ride with the Nugget. The Nugget was dismayed that his favorite feature at my parents' zoo (a rope bridge) was closed for repairs, but found solace in a slide and a stationary train. He eagerly rang the brass bell on the train by pulling the rope, but insisted on his headphones with panic for the very quiet carousel bell. Cousin F handed down a huge bin of toys and coloring books for the Nugget to take home and even sweeter, left his favorite carousel tiger to sit with the Nugget on the bench. I don't really know why the Nugget prefers the bench, but each time he rides a carousel now, he yells, "Let's sit on the bench!"
At yet another family gathering, the Nugget built a train track and stacked a marble run with my brother and his girlfriend. His ears practically perked up like a dog's when he overheard talk of chocolate pie and clapped with glee when given his own slice. He dragged another good natured cousin outside for hurry-catch-catch, hula hooping, and chalk art. He chased down Great-Grandma D for several big hugs before she left.
We took the Nugget to one of my favorite childhood restaurants for dinner one night. It is one of those places where the food may not be incredible, but the nostalgia makes it taste better. Waiting for dinner, the Nugget traded funny faces with a baby at a nearby table, laughed uproariously at Grandpa saying, "Soda," (apparently another to add to his funny word list), and did some coloring with Grammy. We enjoyed fried fish sandwiches and hot salty pecans on top of cold rich ice cream while the Nugget chowed down on chicken fingers and rainbow sherbert.
We have so much to be thankful for, but always at the top of my list is the gift of being the Nugget's mama, Hubby's wife, my siblings' sister, and my parents' daughter.