Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Highlights 2011

a post by Jenni {aka Mom}

Every Thanksgiving is different for us. I have heard of people that have the same crowd and same food every year, and I have had seasons in the past in which I was one of them (back when everyone always went to my mom’s), but for the last 7 Thanksgivings our household has had a delightful amount of variability.

We try to open our home each year not only to family but also to friends and acquaintances. We try to make sure to include those we know who don’t have family around to share the holiday with. 

This was really easy when my husband was in the Air Force, because almost none of us had family nearby. That season was also great for my ego, because the young, single airmen who came for Thanksgiving Dinner were thrilled to have a home cooked meal – though my cooking left much to be desired at that time – and they heaped their plates with food and my ears with compliments. Needless to say, it was always a joy to include them!

This year’s crowd included both family and friends. We had a laid-back open house style day instead of a formal dinner, and I have to say that it was one of the most enjoyable, relaxed Thanksgiving celebrations we’ve ever experienced.

No drama. No catastrophes.

A miraculously smooth and enjoyable day with people we love.

The downside to that is we have no fodder for tall tales in the future, yet the upside is so full that none of that matters.

Here are a few memories and highlights:

- Bird made the fruit-kebab turkey, which brought on all sorts of laughter due to the fact we had to “poke all those sticks in the turkey’s butt.”


- I still like having my mommy around to prepare for events. Her extra set of hands and our Lucille Ball-esque laughter and antics make food prep that much more easy & enjoyable.

- Grandpa helped to peel potatoes, and by helped we mean he blew us away and peeled through 10 pounds like it was nothing.

I felt like Julia Child in the scene from Julie & Julia in which she attends cooking class and all the other students are flying through chopping onions while she daintily sliced hers, realizing how far from a chef she actually is at that point.

The rest of us unanimously decided that Grandpa must have been in an awful lot of trouble when he was in the Navy, and that’s where he was able to develop such amazing potato peeling skills ;-)



- The boys were awestruck to learn that Aunt Ginny is not only willing to do things like play basketball, but she actually suggests it – and she’s a great shot, to boot! Nana's not so bad, herself.

Both of them definitely scored some cool points with the kids!


 - Granny had the opportunity to see Plato in his new home, and was amazed at how much he had grown. 

I was reminded how much Gran loves big dogs when she asked that we let our Bullmastiff out and proceeded to massage her and let her climb in her lap! They both seemed to love every minute of it. 

- Some good friends of ours were able to stop in who we hadn’t been able to visit with in a good while. It was downright refreshing to our souls to see and fellowship with them!

- Our Peruvian friend experienced her 1st good old American campfire and her 1st s’mores. After dark we pulled out the telescope and the group, including her and her children, was able to get a good look at Jupiter and 4 of its moons. Her excitement and joy are contagious, and I especially enjoyed sharing those experiences with her.

- In addition to the smorgasbord of American food, our aforementioned friend brought us one of her UH-MAY-ZING homemade cakes. It was the style of a Tres Leches cake, but with caramel and pineapple filling (if it sounds odd to you, it did to me too – but it’s crazy good!). Definite highlight for a cake-lover such as myself!

- The kids had a blast with friends. At one point our friend’s 16 year old son was engaged in a soccer game against ALL the other little boys. He was such a great sport with them!

All-in-all, it was a wonderful day. I am very thankful for how smoothly it went, naturally, and I am especially thankful for the loved ones we were able to spend time with. Each person who came is special to us in their own way, and holds a special place in our hearts.

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