I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday.
We celebrated with my sister’s family in Upstate New York. She has six kids and we have four so it’s always a “party” when we get together. We usually have our other NY cousins here, but it was their turn to be the other side this year. We missed them, especially Mari she’s really good at the details, like planning things for the kids, table decorations…it just wasn’t the same without her.
This was the first year we’ve done Thanksgiving dinner with only our two families, it makes for a lot of cooking. Good thing I’m fond of cooking.
Merry and I did all the shopping Wednesday morning and then I made 10 pies while she took her two youngest boys to the doctor to get some medicine for their sinus infections.
Her husband, one of her daughters and her two youngest sons eat gluten free so two of the pies we made this year were gluten free. We also gave two of the pies to one of Merry’s friends who is going through a hard time right now.
I made two coconut cream, three french silk, one peanut butter, an apple (that got a little burnt,) a pumpkin, a gluten-free key lime, and a zebra pie. Merry and I made a gluten free pumpkin one together, she did the crust and I did the filling.
Making the pies took a good portion of our day. I was planning to make rolls, cranberry sauce and my start my favorite cranberry salad on Wednesday also, but that evening, we sent Merry and her husband on a date to celebrate his birthday (it was the day before) and when they got home they brought us some amazing brownie ice cream sandwich things and once I ate that, I vegged out on the couch and was pretty much useless the rest of the night. I did manage to crush the cranberries and put the sugar on them for the cranberry fluff salad, but I told myself rolls and cranberry sauce could wait for morning.
So, Thanksgiving morning I made rolls while Merry worked on Gluten-Free rolls.
Her husband, Cody, put the turkey in. Cody really knocked it out of the park with the turkey. It was awesome. The most moist and flavorful turkey ever. He used my steps for making a great turkey and added about 6 cloves of garlic into the breast area. It was Awesome! Cooking your turkey breast side down makes a huge difference.
Merry made the stuffing, I made a cranberry jello salad thing that Merry likes (It’s not my favorite) and my nieces Anna and Summer helped me prep everything for my Favorite Green Beans. Summer also peeled 15 lbs of potatoes for us.
We don’t really know how to cook for only two families.
Also, no matter how fond of cooking you are….making an entire Thanksgiving dinner is exhausting.
While we were cooking, Cody and Sim were busy keeping kids entertained. They made a fort in the woods behind the house…
….and then had the kids make pilgrim/Indian costumes out paper bags, markers, tape, glue and feathers. The novelty of the feathers left us with all Indians and no pilgrims.
I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of the cute Indians in their costumes…they were impressive! The girls even braided their hair and put feathers in it. Some of them made skirts to go along with their vests. One even made moccasins and ear rings. My boys made vests and head dresses but didn’t wear them because they said they didn’t fit. Darn those paper bags for not being in their size.
The paper bags they used are from a grocery store out here called Aldi. It may have been that I was really tired and loopy but when I heard that my niece Summer called her sister Anna, Sacaja-Aldi instead of Sacajawea, I almost died laughing.
Somehow between prepping and cooking everything, time flew by and our hope of eating at 2:00 turned into eating at 3:45. Merry had gotten out some of her nice place setting things and set one table with it for adults and older kids. We also had a small card table set up with plastic plates and cups for the four youngest children (that don’t sit in high chairs.)
My kids had been running around in grubby clothes all day, I tried to get them to change into something a little nicer or at least clean for dinner. Charlotte was especially against changing. I pointed out that Megan was wearing a nice dress and then she decided she wanted a dress. Luckily aunt Merry has bins of cute girl clothes in almost every size, so we reached into a bin and found a cute soft black dress. When she saw it Megan said, Hey, I have one just like that.” She ran and put it on and they were cute little twins for the rest of the night.
When it was time to eat, and we were setting everything out. The Children took advantage of our distraction and we found them all sitting at the nice table.
We started to explain who would be sitting where but they were all heartbroken at the thought of not having a pretty cup or place and the whining of hungry kids who had waited a long time for lunch/dinner was more then the exhausted cooks wanted to deal with. Merry pointed out that we (the adults) could have a much more peaceful dinner if we took the table with only four place settings….who needs fancy cups and place setting when you can have peace? Done.
Some missionaries from church were going to stop by at 4:30 to share a message about gratitude and have some pie. The door bell rang before we knew it. In fact I’m pretty sure I had just barely sat down.
The message they shared was pretty great. It has stayed with me all day and I keep thinking about it. One of the missionaries shared some thoughts about when Christ healed the ten lepers. He referenced a talk that was given in a general conference. The overall message was that there is healing power in being grateful. When Christ healed the lepers only one came back to say Thank you. The others were still healed (skin deep) but he was the only one who was made whole.
I can’t stop thinking about that. I have some things in my life that have been hard to overcome completely. I’ve often felt like I was healed” from it, just to have it rear it’s ugly head again months or years later, and then again I will feel like I have resolved the issue and again it is back, months or years later…..not really gone.
His thought caused me to really ponder the idea of being healed “skin deep” vs. being “made whole.” I can’t wait to spend more time studying, reading, pondering and praying about the story of the Ten Lepers to see if I can gain more insight into how to completely work through my own personal “Leprecy.”
All night I kept thinking about how grateful I was that that missionary chose to share that thought with us last night. And how grateful I was that we were here for thanksgiving and that my sister and her husband invited the missionaries over to share a thought and have pie with us.
We also went around the table before we ate yesterday and everyone said what they were thankful for. It is always fun to see what the kids say. Charlotte was thankful for her pretty dress, Conner was thankful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Thatcher was Thankful for No School.
After dinner Cody ran out to Target and Best Buy for a couple black friday deals, Sim did the mound of dishes, Merry worked on feeding Nate and Sam who had been asleep when the rest of us were eating, the older kids worked on cleaning the house (under Sim and Merry’s direction…they didn’t just have that idea on their own.) And I hid in the living room and took a small siesta. I felt a tiny bit guilty but not enough to get up and help with anything.
Conner wanted me to take a picture of the excellent job he did cleaning the family room. He even vacuumed the couch.
Once everything was clean the kids played a few games. Twister was a hit. They also played a fun drawing game Anna taught everyone.
Merry and I ran out to Kohls for a couple hours, more for the fun of getting out then that we needed anything, but we did manage to find a few things we couldn’t pass up.
I hope you had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving!
Keep it Real!