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Our Special Thanksgiving... simply!

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Our Special Thanksgiving... simply!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Special Thanksgiving... simply!

 This Thanksgiving was very different for us this year... and yet, very much the same. 

The same in that we were just us.  We usually are.  No family near by.  Friends invite us to join their big dinners, but we haven't in years. 

But different?  It was different because for the first time in years (since kids maybe) I made a point to make the day special.  Just for us! 

Very tasty stuffing... my first attempt.  Can't wait to eat the left overs!

We've been reading about and talking about Thanksgiving for more than a week now.  Learning about the pilgrims, etc.

Maybe next year we'll do some sort of count down.  Every night the kids would ask if "tomorrow" would be Thanksgiving. 

It worked because at 7:15 I heard all sorts of noise coming from down the hall as the children had awakened each other excited that it was Thanksgiving... soon they were running into my room, leaving a very displeased baby alone in the dark! :)

Mmmmm... and I may have heavied on the pecans... it was like Pecan pie on sweet potatoes!  

The other thing I did to make it special, was to plan ahead!  This isn't something I'm always good about following through on.  And not everything got done.  But some did... for instance, the sweet potatoes were cooked and in the fridge a couple days ago, only waiting for they very yummy topping to be added this morning (I subbed our Evaporated Cane Juice for the brown sugar, real eggs for fake, and left out the lemon extract.)

Last night I was making cherry pie and the cinnamon rolls we had for a special breakfast. 

My Beloved smoked this chicken on our grill... yum!
We simplified!  It was just us, and even though part of me wanted all the traditional bells and whistles for our special dinner, our little family of 5 doesn't need that much food!  We left out the mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and even let the cranberries go at the last minute for sanity and energy's sake!  Having a "let it go" attitude about some of those things helped me stay a nicer and less stressed mommy!

We also ate chicken instead of turkey.  Monday or Tuesday I realized we hadn't picked up our free turkey from the grocery store... and they are always frozen.  Instead of freaking out or taking a stress causing chance, we decided to pick up the free turkey later and planned the chicken I already had thawing in the fridge for today! 

An extra step in simplifying for me was to let My Beloved prepare the bird!  He enjoys being in the kitchen (I'm blessed!) and with my permission to do whatever he wanted, it's even more fun for him.  We borrowed a smoker and put it out on the grill!  Mmmmm...

My first attempt at cherry pie... in a new pie plate.

 Yet another way to make it special???  Factor in family favorites!  My Beloved has been making little comments about cherry pie for years.  This year we actually bought a bunch of sour cherries to put up, but I had yet to try a pie.  As you can tell, it didn't go great... and it was way too sweet.  I think we'll cut the sugar in half next time, or just try a different recipe entirely, but it was special because of the heart behind it. 

Special dinnerware and glasses can take it over the top!
Another way I worked to make it special was to set a pretty table (disregard the boxes behind!).  Yet without loosing the simple.  The picture at the top shows our simple table.  The addition of a colorful table runner, candle and the napkins I let my daughter pick out for today made it pretty!  The extra special glasses that even the children got to drink out of made this a meal they were super excited about.

When asking what she was thankful for, my little Sweet Pea (3.5 years) said she was thankful for her drink.  Plain old apple cider in a stemmed glass!

Found this little idea... kids love them!
I'm not a crafter by nature... not with the kids anyway.  Limited patience and a bit of OCD that I got from my mother (she knows) makes me choose reading with them over crafting most days, but they saw this one in an email I had up the other day and have talked of nothing since.  They even deliberately saved the toilet paper rolls!  Every day I say, yes, we'll do it, but not right now.  Then yesterday I decided it would be a special thing to work on today.  We did have fun... and it took, off and on, all day!  :)  I helped a lot, but they felt like they were doing it and they are enjoying playing with them.  It was dark when we finished, but maybe I can get some better pics tomorrow outside!

Lavender... never flowered, but maybe I can save this!

Speaking of outside... the rest of our day was so delightfully spent... outside!  When My Beloved stepped out around 11 to start up the grill, he called back in to ask if I'd been out there yet.  I'd been cooking, changing diapers and crafting all day... I'd barely looked out.  But it was beautiful.  He grabbed his guitar and said I could send the kids out.  They were thrilled!!!  

Then I decided to join them with Little Man and finally pruned back my lavender.  It was  a little out of control!  I saved a bunch of it to dry. 

Cleaning up the yard for me.
 The rest of what didn't look as nice I tossed on the grass and Tornado gathered it up for me when we were done.  Such a helper!!!

That was our Thanksgiving... in gory detail! I hope yours was as special!


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At November 24, 2011 at 11:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful day!!! And, I love the little "people". Glad you all had fun! Ma

At November 29, 2011 at 12:33 AM , Blogger Kristin said...

Fun, fun! Looks like a wonderful family day. My kids were looking forward to Thanksgiving just as much as Christmas, I think.

And for future reference, our local news did a story on cooking turkey. They said that if you forget to thaw your turkey, you can still cook it at time-and-a-half. So if you are cooking your turkey for 3 hours, you'd cook your frozen turkey for 4.5 hours. Who knew?!


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