Thanksgiving was an adventure for me this year! Doing the whole feast on my own was quite the undertaking. We had for appetizers homemade shrimp cocktail, homemade cheese crackers, and roasted pumpkin seeds. Then for the main meal pumpkin bisque, a brined & roasted turkey, homemade stuffing (from homemade bread), potatoes and homemade gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, roasted yams, spinach salad with homemade cranberry vinaigrette, and homemade Lion House recipe rolls. Oh and of course you can’t forget the homemade pies: pumpkin, and cran-raspberry-pear. Yum! I really wore myself out the few days before the feast, but it was worth it because Thanksgiving day was wonderful. The food all turned out great, and although I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, having just a small group was actually nice. Mark's sister Heidi and my dad were our guests; other than that it was just our little family, and having special time with our kids was great. I guess sometimes as we gather with larger family groups we tend to let the kids play with cousins and don’t even spend that much time with them, but this year we really enjoyed each other. The afternoon was even nice enough for us to go outside and toss a football and ride bikes. Here are some pictures of Holly and Ella helping me make some pilgrims and indians placemarkers for the table:
A picture of the table all decked out:
Josh, Mark, Heidi, Holly, Dad, Ella. If you look close in the picture you can see little tiny glasses (holding our cocktail) as well as salt and pepper dishes on silver trays, something I requested special for my dad to bring out of my mom's china cupboard so we could have a memory of her at our dinner. Bless his heart, my dad polished those silver trays for 3 hours to get off the tarnish! And of course Ammon!
Turkey, cranberry sauce, and Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole, roasted yams, spinach salad, rolls, pumpkin bisque. Potatoes and gravy missed the shot, and darn! I never got a picture of the pies...they were beautiful if I do say so myself
The customary nap after the feast
The day after we headed up into the mountains with two other families from our ward to cut down our Christmas tree. It was a really great day. We followed tradition and went to “The Gateway Grille” in Kamas for lunch, then drove further in and then hiked quite a long time before finding the perfect tree. I think it’s even better than last year’s! There was just enough snow to have fun in but not so much to be hard to walk in. And the temperature was perfect – not too cold. The kids had a great time especially because their friends were with us and we came home that night and started decorating.
Saturday morning Mark and the kids did the whole tree while I was at the temple – what a great deal! I got the rest of the house decorated and that night Mark and I watched a really good movie called “Facing the Giants.” It’s a motivational movie, similar to “Forever Strong.” It’s made by a Baptist church about a football coach/team and was really faith-promoting. I'll have to post pictures of the finished tree soon.
We visited Santa at the mall the other night, and after they all sat on his knee we were having a discussion on whether or not it was the “real” Santa. After a variety of opinions, Josh realized that Ammon had sat on Santa’s knee several minutes without crying (Ammon is usually very wary of strangers) so that was the clincher and convinced them all that it must be the real Santa. It was so cute. I'm glad we still have the magic.
We are all looking forward to a fun and festive month. Happy Holidays!