I know most people (including me from time-to-time,) have already gone into Christmas mode, but Happy Thanksgiving! We had a great week of Thanksgiving, and I will, since it is my blog, take the liberty of sharing it with you now.
Linker Thanksgiving Adventures 2010
~ As I mentioned in my last blog post, we kept Stacey for several days before Thanksgiving, so she was in on all of the craziness, I mean fun!
~ On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, Tiffany invited us to a Harry Potter premier party. Although we did not go to the movie with them, we most definitely went to the dinner portion! (Just for the record, because I know that this is a hot topic between Christians sometimes, I am not anti-Harry Potter, nor am I a Harry Potter worshiper. I’ve read the first 4.5 books, and if you read them like I do, for entertainment, as an adult, than I think that they are just that, entertaining. I would prefer for my children to not read them until they are teenagers so I can make sure that they are grounded in the difference between reality and fantasy and able to understand the elements in the series that may not fit in our Christian worldview…as well as the elements in the series that promote good morals! I chose not to go to the movie because we don’t have the money, I prefer to read a book before I see its movie, and to be honest, I’m a pansy and don’t handle movies that are “scary” or suspenseful well at all! OK, back to the party, just wanted to clear that up for you!) ANYWAY, the idea was for dinner to be like a big Hogwarts holiday feast, so my contribution was yeast roles and pumpkin pie. It was my first time making double batch of yeast roles…and they were the best roles I have ever made!
Yumm!!! We finished them up the next morning with butter and honey! (Sorry, no linkies – it’s Betty Crocker’s recipe!) A little secret about my pumpkin pie…it was a butternut squash pie! I went to pick up another pie pumpkin, and the store didn’t have any more! So I bought a couple butternut squash instead! I cooked them the same way that I did the pumpkins (they were harder to cut open, and I think I had to microwave them for 20 minutes instead of 17), and found that a butternut squash actually yields MORE glop than a pumpkin, so I have lots of squash glop in my freezer for future goodness! The pie came out tasting just like pumpkin pie, so now I know that butternut squash is a perfectly acceptable substitute! (From my research, I’ve found that most canned pumpkin is actually made from different varieties of squash, but it’s still easy to be skeptical that a squash can actually taste good in a pie!) Oh, and we had fun at the party, too!
~ Sunday night we invited Tiffany and her girls to come over and help us start our Thanksgiving crafts! I cut up some of Josh’s old undershirts, and we made cloth napkins for Thanksgiving dinner! (OK, so they sort of had a rag-like appearance, but it’s totally the thought that counts!) I hot glued napkin rings out of scraps of T-shirt (left-over from Izzy’s Peter Pan costume), buttons, and craft feathers, and Tiffany and Josh were troopers and led the process of 5 kids painting 32 cloth napkins in the garage!
That’s a true friend!
Here is Stacey modeling our finished product!
I chose this craft because A) it was something that actually could be USED at Thanksgiving, as opposed to a craft that will just be clutter and take up space, B) it is something that can be used AFTER Thanksgiving, either as napkins or as cleaning rags, and C) I already had most of the supplies! We had the shirts from well, when Josh wore them, the paint from painting our pumpkins, the feathers were also leftover from Peter Pan…so I think for this craft, I spent a whopping $1 on a bag of buttons! (OK, so I also bought a hot glue gun, but that doesn’t really count since I’ve already used it on something else and will be using it for many years to come!)
~ Josh took all of Thanksgiving week off, and Monday and Tuesday we had a staycation! It was glorious to just have a week together as a family! We took the kids to the park on a picnic, had friends over for chili, and had plenty of time to pack for our trip “home” for the holiday!
~ Tuesday for lunch we went to Ava’s preschool to eat “Stone Soup” (all the kids bring in a can of vegetables and they make a soup out of it) and watch Ava’s class sing turkey songs on the stage. I’m not posting pictures from that, mine are horrible, but I found out that Ava is the tallest kid in her class! And she did participate in the music, which is a huge step for her! We are so blessed to have her in this preschool!
~ Tuesday night we headed to our hometown for a long holiday!
~ Wednesday was really the only tiring day all week. I went ahead and did my part of the cooking on Wednesday at my mom’s house while my parents were at work and Josh was running errands. I baked a chocolate cake, pumpkin pie, and yeast roles, and prepared a hash brown casserole so it would be oven-ready.
Wednesday night, I went to Josh’s family’s house and did another craft with the kids! About a month ago, we were at the city park and I saw these beautiful pinecones on the ground. We don’t have any good pine trees near our apartment, so I got really excited and had the kids help me pick some pretty ones up. (I did feel a little conscience stricken, but decided that the landscaping people would probably just pick them up and throw them away, anyway.) Cynthia was with us, and when I say, “Let’s go pick up pinecones!” she says, “Why?” and I say, “I don’t know…we’ll use them for a craft or something!” And I’ve had them in a bag in my car ever since. At one point Josh comes in from cleaning out the van and says, “I found one of your re-usable bags in the car…full of pinecones?” and I say, “Yep.”
ANYWAY, Wednesday night, we made use of the beautiful pinecones! The kids painted them with metallic acryllics, made name cards for everyone, and we turned the pinecones into namecard holders for the dinner table! AND I had a rare stroke of genius and hot-glued a loop of ribbon to the tops of the pinecones so that the name-card holders could be converted into Christmas ornaments after Thanksgiving! How about THAT for being resourceful and multi-tasking?
(I don’t have a picture of it, but I was there Saturday when the kids hung their pinecones [after removing the namecards!] to the tree, and they look quite nice!
I had a nice double pinecone and a few extra minutes, so I also made a turkey.
What can I say, I am enjoying my hot glue gun!
~ Thursday was full of fun, food, and family! My mother-in-law invited my parents to her family’s Thanksgiving, so we were able to enjoy dinner with both sets of grandparents together! We also had nice, mild weather, so…
~ Friday we had a relaxing day and I almost didn’t know what to do with myself with all the free time! It would have been nice to go out on a date or get a jump start on our Christmas shopping with the rest of America, but it’s the end of the month and we didn’t have the money for any of that, so we just sort of hung out with family. Ava’s Gigi gave her a big treat by taking her shopping without any other kids (I’m pretty sure they’ve never had that sort of one-on-one time before!), I took Christmas card pictures for my parents (easier said than done!), and we…well, I’m not really sure what we did!
~ Saturday I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot for a family there in town (hooray, more money for missions!) we helped out with Christmas trees at both grandparents house, and then we headed back home!
~ We had such a nice, relaxing week, it doesn’t feel like we really had a holiday! For us, holidays usually mean we spend a lot of time on the road, we try to fit in as many visits with as many different people as we possibly can, and we are always going, going, going. This time, for whatever reason, we kept travelling down to a minimum and just hung out with immediate family. I’m so used to being busy, it felt almost TOO slow paced, but I think it was much needed rest! And THAT is definitely something to be thankful for!