Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving 2010 was another fun holiday for the Party of Five.  We had a lot of fun relaxing and enjoying our day together - can you believe I actually used the word 'relaxing' for a holiday that entails cooking loads of food?

My obsessive compulsive disorder of making lists and planning ahead actually worked to my benefit this year, and I really was able to have most all of our preparations completed by Wednesday night - leaving Thursday to make pumpkin waffles for the kids to gobble up, watch the Macy's parade (the highlight of every Thanksgiving morning), set the table and put out all of the pretty china, crystal, and silver, and make a few holiday crafts with the kids.

I put together a little Thanksgiving activity book for each of the kids (that started with the idea from Kathy - recognize the front coloring page?)  I found all sorts of fun themed activity pages (from coloring pages to word searches to mazes) as well as some 'how to' directions for making pilgrim hats, bonnets, and Indian headdresses.
Crafting activities on Thanksgiving morning.
 Anna enjoyed them the most (big surprise) and really liked her bonnet. She ended up wearing it all day long.  James, well, he scribbled a bit on his Indian feathers, but was much more interested in getting outside with Daddy to help set up the turkey fryer.  He did wear his feathers with pride though, and I wish I'd been able to snap the picture of him when he was playing by himself in the back of the yard.  I had a great vantage point from my kitchen window - when I looked up from whatever it was I was doing at the sink, I saw this brightly colored set of feathers bobbing up and down.  My little explorer James - who otherwise would have been hidden amongst the leaves and branches in his brown play pants and shirt.

A few pictures of our table - and the now infamous sugar cookies we make for just about every holiday imaginable.  See my pretty pumpkin pie? With the "perfect" Martha Stewart crust and leaves?  I was so proud - displayed it on the dessert table among the cookies, roasted pecans, and pecan pie.  Only to find that little fingers had somehow danced across the top of the pie - see those?  My sweet James - his new nickname is "Fingers" because he has to touch everything. 

Our Thanksgiving table, and our bountiful feast!  Fried turkey, green beans, Grandma Shelby's macaroni and cheese (the only thing that James ate) and caramelized sweet potatoes, cornbread, apple, and sausage dressing, mashed potato casserole, apple cinnamon cranberry sauce, pickled treats (the only thing that Anna wanted to eat) and gravy (cue the angels singing - I actually made gravy this year that was lump free, tasty, and the right color.  I always knew Martha would get me further in life...
Here's Deonne with 'ole Tom - getting ready for his bath in hot peanut oil.  Doesn't a raw turkey hanging from a pole look like a freaky naked cat?  I love fried turkey - I do not love looking at it or rubbing it with spices the day before.  This year we were smart - the baby gate came in handy in keeping curious onlookers away from the hot fat.

Jack was less than thrilled to wear his Indian headdress....

So my attempt at making a pilgrim hat for James looked more like Frosty's hat.  Thankfully Deonne had the wherewith all to re-craft it and make it look more like a pilgrim hat. 

Watching Daddy take the turkey out of the fryer.

Now the turkey looks much better!  And I must say, was one of the best
turkey's I've eaten!
Deonne's family arrived in late afternoon, with plenty of time for the kids to run around and squeal and play hide and seek and do whatever it is that kids do.  They had a ball, and are already looking forward to seeing them again soon.

After dinner, we let everyone play some more, then eventually bathed the Party kids, and snuggled together on my bed to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special.  We finally tucked them into bed, with full tummies, thankful hearts, and joyful spirits.

We have so much to be thankful for - and so many blessings to count.  That reminds me of one of the songs from my favorite Christmas movie ever "White Christmas."  You know the song, the one where Bing croons to Rosemary to 'count her blessings instead of sheep' when she suffered from insomnia... I tried to remember that when the quiet seeped in - and I was left with a clean kitchen, and thoughts of my mom and dad. 

I tried to be thankful for the many special Thanksgivings I shared with them, both as a child and an adult.  And while I'll always feel cheated that my dad had to leave so soon, and that my mom had such a severe stroke, I am truly thankful to have the memories and the values they instilled in me.

So this Thanksgiving, I pause to remind myself that I am blessed to be the mother of three lovely children, and the wife of my best friend.  And I'll always be proud to be the daughter of Don and JoAnne.


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  2. What a lovely holiday! I'm so glad you were able to make the holiday you wanted for your family but enjoy it as well. Your pie was indeed, beautiful! The first photo of your darling kids in their Thanksgiving outfits made me smile. Could they be any cuter?