pichard.a.thon 2012

once upon a time there were three cousins... laura lea pichard murphey, ley ann pichard laface, and lea noblin marshall. all with similar names. and a GREAT family heritage that they wanted to preserve.

so the concept of the pichard.a.thon was born. there would be competitions. each "family unit" would play for the honor of their "pichard bloodline." my family is team clarence. for clarence pichard, our grandfather. there is team marion. and team david. and we added team claude in the last two years bringing in some more family members.

each team brings a highly secretive and highly competitive game for us all to play. and points are tallied and smack is talked. and a pink tree is handed out for the victors to keep for a year. and the point of the whole exercise was for the cousins to all learn to love each other and know who they are in this lineage and where they came from... and for us all to have a great time.

and i think it is working. we meet at laura's house. they have a lovely little house on some lovely spacious land. it was cold last night. but clear. which is good. because we all could NOT fit into laura's house. or anyone's... we are a bunch o' pichards...


and here are the competing teams in our team colored pichard bros. tshirts...

first there is playing around while we set up crock pots of soup. greet everyone. and comment on how HUGE everyone's kids are getting... and talk a lot of thsmack talk about how we are going to RULE the pichard.a.thon this year.

then the games begin. game 1 was brought to you by team clarence. it was a fear factor inspired eating competition. adam visited his friend who owns a korean grocery store in town and procured some lovely tasty "treats" for this event. each team submitted its best and least picky eaters. and then there were 4 rounds of play. every player ended up eating every thing... until the last round. the ash cooked duck egg. only team marion's was able to have EVERY contestant eat that egg. with those noses held. though my brother max made a valiant effort to get that duck egg down....

next was team david's "dress the elf" relay... the photos speak for themselves...

then came an alphabet game and a fishing for the candy cane game. and i am sad to report that team clarence did not win a single game. we came in second to team marion. they are strong competitors. we are going to have to go into strict training this year to best them next year. or plan to cheat.

then it was time to eat. the call to the table with conch shells horns. a short? speech by uncle david, prayer by uncle jay, then crock pots full of soup. corn bread. hot chocolate. hot cider. dessert table. and the pichard.a.thon champion cookie cake.

family... it is one of the reasons why we moved to tallahassee. to live in a place where we are related to half the town (or so it seems sometimes). we are a group with diverse political, religious, and every other kind of view. but we don't choose our family. we learn to get along because we have to. iron sharpening iron. they are a good gift from God. a difficult gift at times. but that makes these times of joy and laughter and bowls full of soup even the more wonderful.

You don't choose your family.  They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.  {Desmond Tutu}

not sure i agree totally with this next quote... but it is worth thinking about.

The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due, I believe, to their isolation from the larger family unit.  No two people - no mere father and mother - as I have often said, are enough to provide emotional security for a child.  He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond which he cannot break if he could, for nature has welded him into it before he was born.  {Pearl S. Buck}