Thanksgiving dawned cold and rainy here in Ohio, and we were thankful to have a warm, cozy house to be together in! We enjoyed a leisurely morning, sleeping in a bit (Lucan woke us around 7 a.m.). Ted and I got the turkey and stuffing ready to go in the oven around 9:00 and spent most of the rest of the morning just relaxing, reading, and playing with the kids. Oh, yes, and of course watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade! The kids really got into it this year--Kenna yelled for us to come see every float as soon as she saw it on the TV, LOL. Guess she doesn't quite understand that Mom and Dad couldn't care less about seeing a ginormous Spongebob floating above the streets of New York! But we did score a great new recipe shown during the parade, Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels from Pillsbury, that we made with our leftovers yesterday--YUM! The kids were so excited when I told them we could make them!
We had a late breakfast and planned for our big meal right after Lucan's nap, which gave us time to set the table nicely without little fingers grabbing all the items as soon as we put them in place!
Our menu included turkey and gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, garlic carrots, and cranberries. Before we ate, we went around the table and read some Bible verses relating to thankfulness, an activity that Lucan was not terribly impressed with, LOL. But he managed to be patient, and soon enough we were enjoying our culinary efforts. It was quite gratifying to fix a big meal and see our kids eat most of it heartily! I remember when the older three were closer to Kenna's age--they simply would NOT eat turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, etc. I think we mostly stuffed them with rolls and cranberry sauce, LOL. In fact, this was the first year Ted and I have done a turkey on our own; usually we've had one of our moms around to help us, and the years my mom or Rhonda weren't around, we've made ham! I must say, though, we did a rather good job--the turkey roasted beautifully! About the only thing I was a bit disappointed with is that the gravy just was not like Mom used to make, although it was good enough, and some of the kids even ate it. I'll have to get her instructions for that for next time.
Clean-up was remarkably easy, and Charis had plans for us after that was finished. She had selected some Thanksgiving songs that she wanted to play on the piano while we sang, so we sat around the dining room table and gave it a go (some of the songs were quite obscure, LOL). Then we played some games she had prepared. I think she got some of the ideas from one of her favorite web sites, familyfun.com. The first was "Pin the Feather on the Indian." She drew an Indian on poster board and gave each of us a feather with tape, and of course we were blindfolded and dutifully spun around. The kids giggled when I motioned for Charis to set Daddy off in the wrong direction, and when he headed to the opposite side of the room and began wondering where the poster was, we were all laughing!
Next there was a kind of "duck, duck, goose" game that was called "The Hunter and the Deer," followed by "The Fox and the Rabbit." Then we played "Where Did the Turkey Lay Its Egg," which involved sending one person out of the room, hiding an "egg," and then bringing the person back to try to locate it. We were to say "Gobble, gobble, gobble" when the seeker got closer to the egg and "Giblet, giblet, giblet" when the seeker got further away (which, by the way, is incredibly hard to say fast!). When it was Tobin's turn to be the seeker, Ted set the egg on top of one of the blades of the ceiling fan. It was hysterical to watch Tobin's face as he crossed the center of the room to a chorus of frantic "Gobble, gobble, gobbles" when there was NOTHING (that he could see) in plain sight that could possibly hide an egg!
We spent well over an hour and a half with the singing and games, and it was truly one of the best parts of the day. I loved hanging out with the kids and being silly together! We definitely made some fun memories. The kids also took some time to explain their thankfulness collages that we had made the day before, which is good because this year the Blessing Tree simply did not make an appearance! So the collages gave the kids an opportunity to share things they were thankful for, which is the whole point anyway.
We enjoyed dessert and story time in the evening, finishing the fourth book in the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series and working our way toward the end of Sign of the Beaver, one of our Sonlight books. We also watched a family Thanksgiving favorite, the Veggie Tale Madame Blueberry. All in all, one of the best Thanksgivings ever!
One of the biggest things I am thankful for this year is being able to be together as a family for the holidays. With the very real possibility of Ted's being deployed next year, I realize that togetherness is not something we can take for granted. Only the Lord knows where and what we'll be doing for Thanksgiving 2011, but prayerfully it will include giving thanks to Him no matter what our circumstances!