Our family traveled 750 miles to Denver, Colorado, to spend the Thanksgiving holiday. The kids did great with our long day of traveling. An audio recording of Farmer Boy, along with two copies for Tobin and Charis to follow along in and see pictures, definitely helped pass the time.
We stayed with Ted's mom in her new condo. The kids found a great "hidey-hole," a triangular-shaped area along the corner of the living room that is blocked off by her couch. They had more fun playing with Grandma's toys back there and took turns sleeping in the hidey-hole each night, too!
Joel and Sarah came over for Thanksgiving Day, and we enjoyed a leisurely day celebrating with family. Rhonda prepared the turkey and homemade dressing, Sarah brought corn pudding, broccoli casserole, and pistachio salad, and I made dessert, an apple pie and pumpkin pie crunch. I also made make-ahead potatoes, but we didn't have them on Thanksgiving Day; we baked them the day after since Rhonda always makes her gravy a day after Thanksgiving so as to scrape off all the turkey fat. Good idea! Charis and I set the table and placed little candy corn favors out for everyone, and Rhonda found a turkey centerpiece that had obviously seen many Thanksgiving Days over the years but was still in good shape. Charis had fun helping put it together for our table.
After dinner was over, we spent some time writing things we were thankful for on apple cut-outs that I had brought. Last year we wrote on leaves, but I didn't have time to cut leaves. :-) Charis and I made a "Blessing Tree" out of posterboard and put it on one of Grandma's doors, and she happily taped up all of our apples after we took turns reading what we wrote on them. Charis filled up all 6 of her apples, and Tobin even wrote 4 of his own apples, then asked us to help him with the other 2. Arden called out a few things from the other room that we put on apples for him, as he was much more thankful for Grandma's toys than for the opportunity to sit still at the table a moment longer than necessary! It was a fun activity, and as this was the second year for us to do something of this nature, I'm guessing we have a new family tradition. Apples or leaves, we'll make a Blessing Tree each year!
Of course, Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without football, a tradition in both my family and Ted's. Unfortunately, we watched our Broncos suffer a terrible defeat that evening...sigh.
On Friday Ted, Joel, and Rhonda hit the slopes for some quality snowboarding and skiing while the kids and I spent time at Sarah's house. They had a blast "helping" Sarah decorate and oohing and aahing over her Christmas collection, which I also admired. I worked on stamping some of our Christmas cards, which may not actually be mailed off until New Year's at the rate I'm going with holiday preparations, but at least half of the cards are ready now!
On Saturday Ted and I took the kids to meet his high school friend Bill and his wife Mellisa and their three kiddos, all about the same ages as ours. We spent a few hours visiting at their home and also at a nearby park, as the weather was gorgeous. Then we finished up with a trip to CiCi's Pizza before heading back to the condo for some mandatory rest time (for me, anyway!) so we could be ready for services that evening at Joel and Sarah's church. After a hearty dinner at Red Robin following church, we said our goodbyes and headed back for a good night of sleep before hitting the road Sunday morning.