Thanksgiving Weekend 2013

Twas Thanksgiving 2013.  The Bontrager house was filled with excitement, for Stoltzfus relatives were coming from the East.  It would be a wonderful time.  It was a wonderful time!  
[there was cooking]
[there were big pots of food]
[there was monopoly- for hours and hours]
[there was pie]
[there were 10 pies of various kinds-pumpkin, pecan/chocolate chip, apple, bumbleberry, and custard, to be exact.  They were consumed with relish throughout the weekend.]

[there was a friend- Mrs. Hoppe]
[there was Grandma (here instructing yours truly on the science of un-salting too-salty gravy.:)]
[there was a big, beautiful table for all to gather round]
[there were huge, soft crescent rolls]
[there was delicious salad]
[there was Thanksgiving dinner]

[there was hymn singing]
[there was a birthday gift from one sister to another]

[there was much eating and drinking (hello pots and pots of coffee!), and gratefulness to be together- it had been nearly 10 years since the last time the whole Sam Stoltzfus clan visited.]

[a not to be forgotten moment: there was Jared's amazing display of rice crispy bar stacking skill.]
[there was conversation around the table]
[there was Rook]
[there was online Black Friday Shopping]

[there was truffle-making]
[there was little-girl play of all sorts, for two whole days]

[there was the lovely coffee shop trip]
[there were holiday drinks]

[there was a Mexican buffet]

[there was SWAT.  Even for people who "don't play games" (ahem, Jared:).  It started getting pretty silly, and very loud at about 11pm.]
[there was much swatting- with gusto]
[there was a waffle brunch]
[there was Take One]

[there were sister pictures]

[there was Dutch Blitz.  And you've never seen Dutch Blitz so animated, even violent.:)  We played for about 3 hours straight.]
[there was Settlers of Cataan]

[there were jokes]
And, best of all, there was joy.  
There was family.
There was laughter.
There were more gifts from the Lord than we could count.  


  1. Love it! Everything looks so delicious. Has your family ever considered putting out a cookbook? I think that what we really need is to attend the Bontrager cooking school, but we would definitely order up several copies of a cookbook if one ever came out and give it a try:)

  2. I've GOTTA comment!!! This post was WONDERFUL!!!! I totally LOVED it!! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday!
    Looks like you guys had a blast too!!! What fun. The pies look WONDERFUL! -Mary

  3. Looks like you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.:) Sounds like a lot of fun. Loved seeing all of the pictures and those pies looked so good.

  4. So glad you all had such a memorable time together! =) Ah, so grateful for family. Mmm...your feast looks amazing, your chalkboard is beautifully encouraging, and it looks like many fun memories were made. =) Blessings!

  5. Don't even do this to me. It sure looks like you had fun!

  6. Omg that's so amazing! I truly love all of the pictures! I want some of those pies! All of the food looks so good!! Glad you all had a great thanksgiving!
    In Christ,

  7. Love love love all these photos! Especially the one of Alli and her grandma. So sweet. :)

    And might I ask: how exactly does one unsalt too salty gravy?

    Also, another inquiry... what is bumbleberry pie? This is a new one to me... :)

    Aren't family times so wonderful? I really adore all of the various moments you all managed to capture. Makes for sweet memories.

    Oh, and BTW, that chalkboard art is LOVELY!

  8. Hey Alison!
    Your comment makes me smile.:) I was despairing of having any sort of decent gravy after I used some pretty salty ham broth plus put more salt in.:) Grandma to the rescue: ad a little more water and cornstarch and some sugar.:) It did the trick.
    And bumbleberry pie? You really must be introduced.....it is rhubarb, apple, and whatever berries you want (I did blackberry). All the lovely tastes and textures of several different fruits put together- so yum.
    I hope you can join us around our table some day!
    the other Allison:)

    1. Allison,
      Join you around your table someday?! Oh, I surely hope for that, too! I feel extra enlightes in my kitchen knowledge after atrianing those facts... ;) Truly, though, I find the salty gravy trick quite amazing. Does your grandma give cooking lessons?! :) heehee
      Much love,
      the other, other Alison :)

  9. Yes. What Jordan said. That is all.
    Miss you guys!
    (And...was that a beard I saw on uncle Marlin?) :)
    - Marissa

  10. What a fun post!!! Love keeping up with ya'll's blog. :)
    See ya soon!!!

  11. How beautiful. :') So happy that you got to enjoy these precious times with special people. However, seeing these pictures made me miss you all soooo much I almost cried.

    Love you all very much! God bless you, family! &heart;

  12. A-
    Oh yes! I miss you too girl! Wish you could come visit us again- it's been SO long.:)

  13. Hi Bontragers,
    How come all the girls wear skirts?


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