I’m sitting in a quiet house for the first time in over a week.
I can write again!
Our three older children were back home from college for Thanksgiving break and I’ve been busy, because we were able to host Thanksgiving dinner again this year. The kids helped in many ways, especially in distracting me from my unfortunate tendency to get anxious over how everything would turn out. They helped by: coming down with hives, needing to go to football practices, piling up dirty laundry, putting interesting movies on for me to watch, being funny and entertaining, arguing over the newly arrived Playstation, forcing me to play lots of games of bananagrams, and so on. The weather was also a factor as it dropped down into the teens for days. Life is good.
It was son David who had the hives. I never had a child with hives before. For no apparent reason his hands and feet would become painful and itchy, break out in spots and a rash between his fingers, and then clear completely, only to return 3 or 4 hours later. This went on for a solid week. I put in several calls to the Pediatrician just to give us all peace of mind that he was okay and that he wasn’t contagious for our guests.
He felt fine except for the episodes. In fact, he felt good enough to find a Sharpie and create Neville Squashbottom:
That’s Dave crossing his arms in the background and saying, “NOW we can’t eat him for thanksgiving.” Maybe this was his way of perhaps getting me to NOT make squash, which he doesn’t like? He created a Thanksgiving Mascot.
Over the next few days I would come across Neville in random places and the children became attached to him. I just laughed to myself. Of all things, a squash.
Thanksgiving morning. I woke up, Rich made me coffee. Seth was awake so I put him to work tearing bread into pieces for turkey stuffing. Sarah had mentioned that she wanted to do it, too, but she was still asleep and I never wake a sleeping child unless absolutely necessary. Somehow she woke herself up, came slowly downstairs to the kitchen, and sleepily began breaking bread. After about five slices I noticed her stop to stretch and say to herself, “I’m not even awake yet!” They filled up the bowl with bread, Squashbottom watching them, while I stood at the stove and sautéed onion and celery (which Jacob helpfully chopped the night before) in plenty of butter. I poured them into the bread, added plenty of salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, and a touch of broth, tossed it together with a wooden spoon, and then stuffed our 24 pound turkey with it. The smell of thanksgiving morning is my favorite.
Just three short hours later, brother David arrived with my parents.
And I found Neville on top of the fridge with a mortal stab wound.
Grace, laughing over the cheese tray.
Seth and Grandpa saying hello and catching up on each other’s news.
Sarah, shooting some hoops. The basketball hoop doesn’t get played with unless it’s on the closet door, right by the kitchen. These kids just love me way too much. (by the end of the day, the “by grace alone” plaque had flown off the wall.)
Rich found me cutting the squash into quarters and took a photo to document his end.
The ladies; Sharon (Abbie’s church friend), Brittnee (Jacob’s girlfriend,) Amanda, Abbie, Grace, Naomi, my mom, myself, and Sarah.
Dad and Sarah
Rich was at the sink washing pots and pans, he was my number one kitchen-cleaner-helper this year!!! As soon as Mom and I threw a dirty dish in the sink, Rich washed it.
We put all the food on the kitchen island and served the meal buffet-style, after we all stood together and joinded Dad for a heart-felt prayer of gratitude. We loaded our plates, the adults sat in the livingroom, and the children sat around the table in the dining room.
My extensive collection of fiestaware was put to grand use. All three gravy boats, lots of casserole dishes and platters, too! More than enough plates for everyone!
A pleasant game of football was on tv-but kept on mute so we could still talk and laugh and hear each other.
After dinner was over we took some time to shoot our annual “Who are the Guests of this Year’s Thanksgiving” portrait, and some other photos, as well.
Rich and I with our children.
My sister’s family.
Amanda with her daughters.
me with my brother Dave and our sister (our brothers Nate and Isaac couldn’t come this year)
I love this photo of my mom and dad with their dog Kublai Khan.
Mom likes to pretend she’s jealous of Kublai so this was what happened when my sister said, “Lets put Kublai in the middle!”
Heads togehter, looking at the camera to see how the portraits turned out.
we played Apples to Apples
Mom was reading through the family genealogy and we decided that David looks just like one of our ancestors. Especially with his ears that way.
Jacob and Brittnee braved the cold for some photos outside.
Sarah went out to play and was so cold she came back inside again and kept her coat on. Here she is, enjoying Grandma’s homemade pickles made with her own garden produce. Mom saved this big jar for our feast and let me keep it, too! (pickles are gone and the jar is washed and put away).
Our beautiful thanksgiving day was over. After many hugs, Mom and Dad left with Dave to go back home, and Amanda left with her family, too. Rich and I relaxed on the couch for the rest of the evening and then we all went to bed except Jacob, Grace, and Brittnee, who went out at midnight to go shopping.