Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Giving Thanks

It's no secret:  I love traditions.  As a consequence, I've tried to incorporate several into each holiday we celebrate (Joe likes to tease that I'd create a tradition for everyday of the year, if he didn't reign me in).  The good news is that the girls are now old enough to start to remember and anticipate some of our holiday traditions.  It was no surprise, then, when they knew just what to do with these

a few days before Thanksgiving.  It's still unclear if this crew knows exactly what a pilgrim hat is or who the pilgrims were,

but they have no problem making these chocolaty pilgrim hats year after year.

Another family tradition developed over the last few years is inviting a crew of people over to enjoy a meal with us on Thanksgiving Day.  This has resulted in another tradition of  me buying the largest turkey I can find at the grocery store.  This year's turkey topped out at 26 lbs.

He was a challenge to lift in and out of the oven, but he was no match for me.

He also happened to weigh more than this one year old turkey that spent his day wreaking havoc in my kitchen cabinets and drawers.

For a moment, each year, it seems a shame to cut into such a beautiful bird. 

Then my stomach growls and I happily asked one of our guests to do the honors of carving the big bird.

Mr. Holmes (Brad's father) got right to work and carved the bird up while the rest of the spread got put out.

Others, like Beth, kept busy entertaining the nine small children, aged six and under, on the premises. 

We had several special people join us for the day:  The Holmes (Brad, Lauren, Jillian, Faith & Anna), The Tangs (CheeKin & Niina), The Holmes Grandparents

The Lockards (Jon, Julie, Ava & Andrew), Doug Noble, and the Amans (not pictured here, James, Nancy, Josh, Tim & Beth)

After dinner, we gathered in the living room to play a game of Thanksgiving Jeopardy!

Joe, sporting his Thanksgiving Turkey pin made by the girls (another kind of tradition), was Alex.

There was a lot of fierce competition between the three teams,

but in the end

the Aggies won on a question involving their favorite president and the state of North Dakota. 
To my knowledge everyone was still friends afterward. 

We were grateful to spend the day with so many special people.

We ended the day with an over the top dessert bar

provided by our guests,

and with hearts full of gratitude for the many blessings God has so generously and graciously poured into our lives. 

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