But, it's our Thanksgiving! It is, of course, worthy of at least documenting for us to remember in the future.
I did do something a *wee* bit different this year -- but certainly not surprising.
Each year, Marc, my dad, and my brother (Joel) fry our turkey. Usually, my mom, my sister-in-law (Amber), and I are inside, preparing food & entertaining kids.
So....to burn off some energy before our big meal, I decided to bundle up our kiddos & myself and head to the zoo for a brief visit. And, let's just say I'm glad I did. Luke, Kate, and I had a good and COLD visit, albeit a fast visit!
After showing our membership card at the entrance, I asked the zoo employee how many had gone through so far (this was only 10 minutes after the zoo opened)....she responded that we "were the 5th, 6th, and 7th people so far". (We did end up seeing at least a *few* more people during our visit. But personally, I like being at the zoo with very few people (and so do our introverted kiddos)).
We weren't there even 5 minutes before Kate's crying made an appearance. In all fairness to Kate, she had fallen. But still -- it NEVER takes long with her. (And -- let's be honest....it does indeed try my patience)....
We first stopped at the Penguins because we knew they'd be just fine in the cold air. Yep -- we were correct in that assumption....
We then went to the "amphibian and reptile" building because we knew we could warm up a bit since it's indoors!
We read that the "King Cobra" snake can be up to 20 feet long. Luke figured out that this snake was longer (taller) than his Daddy AND longer (taller) than Goliath (from the Biblical story of David & Goliath)....
We then went through the long North American part of the zoo! The nice thing is that obviously, these animals are completely *natural* to our climate...SO, we saw quite a bit because they were ALL outside; however, I didn't take any pics.
We then headed to the leopards & tigers -- which were also all outside!
Look VERY closely! A tiger is in the background in this next pic!
We then went quickly to the African section. The giraffes were the only animals outside in this section. We had to go inside to the wonderfully heated African building to see the elephant, rhinos, and hippos!
Lastly, and skipping over many other zoo parts because of time AND coldness, we quickly went through the Australian and South American sections. In all reality, these two areas aren't the *best* in the winter because so many animals are off exhibit for the season, BUT I'm so glad Luke wanted to. I was able to get this AWESOME pic of Luke right next to a wallaby -- the closest we've ever been able to get. Had Luke gotten any closer, I'm pretty sure the wallaby would've darted. I could tell he was a *wee* bit nervous about Luke's closeness. Fortunately, Luke is a gentle boy and was very careful around him. Luke would be one of the last people on the face of our awesome planet to hurt this wallaby!
We then headed to my parents' for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner! The turkey was nearly done frying by the time we got there; therefore, I never did get a pic -- Boo :(
Somehow, my brother has gotten the job every year of carving the turkey. He does a good job. SO, in my humble opinion, he can permanently have this job until Luke takes over, I guess...
We all then ate too much as we do each year. After some clean-up, mostly by my mom (thanks, Mom) -- the pies came out! My personal favorite -- my mom's lemon meringue. YUM-O!
The cousins played & watched movies together. Kate, who tends to easily get overstimulated in loud situations, offered to take a nap -- which she did the for around 2 hours!!!!! (Thanks Kate)!
Around the time for the sun to go down, we headed home, tired but happy and hopefully thankful!
Luke wanted to watch "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" one last time for the year and before the official switch to "Charlie Brown Christmas"! Kate sat on her daddy's lap and read books -- which is sheer awesome for this Mama to watch!