Another Thanksgiving In The Books

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  Black Friday but a distant memory.  December is upon us, in all her chaos, traditions and wintry mix.  Before we are wrapped completely in pretty bows and our favorite things let's pause and remember the day of gratitude that we celebrated.  Filled to the brim with tasty treats, scrumptious eats and loads to be thankful for. 
Grandpa and Mema joined us once again for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We started off with a time of worship and true thanksgiving at church Wednesday night.  A glorious service, with 19 new believers being baptized.  And all the people said, Amen and Amen. 
On to Thursday morning.  Our day of cooking, eating, talking, playing and remembering.  All of us spent the early part of the day gathered between the kitchen and the table.  Sharing breakfast and coffee.  There was card playing and crafting.  Lefse making and turkey preparing. 
Learning how to play poker, because of course!

The girls with an in depth lefse tutorial by none other than the Mema!

The prep work, Thing 2 and Mema converting the recipe
Once the kitchen was cleaned, and then cleaned again and all 41 dough balls of lefse prepared on the 500 degree cooker, we all were in need of some fresh air.  All 8 of us headed out to my favorite nature trail, Polo included, and hiked and laughed and huffed and puffed our way around. 
Gpa, Mema, Polo and the Things taking a rest during our hike.

Gpa and Thing 4, exploring the steep staircase together.

Our peeps.  The leaves were slippery and ice was hiding underneath.  We all needed to be careful.

Nothing to see here, just three Things climbing a tree!
When we returned home, proud of ourselves for moving our bodies beyond the kitchen, our turkey was finished cooking and we immediately began on the side dishes which were already prepared and just waiting to be heated.  Each one of the Things were so very helpful in the preparation the day before the big meal.  Thing 4 was in charge of corn casserole again, Thing 3 the homemade rolls, Thing 2 had the pumpkin pie and Thing 1 the brownie pecan pie.  So thankful for their assistance.  The girls set the table, complete with place cards and candles.  So very special. Mema out the finishing touches on the potatoes and the gravy and then we were ready.
My favorite place in the house.
Husband Jared carved the turkey, we placed it front and center because it was just so beautiful.  And tasty of course.  Then we gathered around holding hands and gave thanks for the bounty before us, the love between us and a multitude of blessings gracefully given to each and everyone of us. 
Formulating his plan of attack
Steam rising with our prayers
As we all sat around the table savoring the food before us I was overwhelmed.  I listened to the Things proudly ask us our thoughts on their contribution to the table.  I watched as they took lefse and made it their own.  I soaked in the laughter.  And as we shared the gratitude that was written on our stones my cup of joy was overflowing. 
Our meal ended but the fun did not stop there.  The table was cleared and dishes done by the Things and we danced together in the kitchen and in front of the Wii.  In hopes that our bellies would be ready for dessert. 
Gpa and Mema showing the Things how to 2 step

Pie time with sweet friends who joined the festivities! And who also brought with them the best bourbon sauce to accompany their pumpkin cheesecake.  Yum and more yum!
This might have been how we all felt after our feast filled day!
We told stories, played more games and indulged in sweets and leftovers like nobody's business.  Then we rolled ourselves to bed because Friday morning was coming early and the girl Things and Mema had big shopping plans. 
The girlies, pardon me, young ladies, rose early on Friday morning.  I was second to Mema in waking  up and as I descended the stairs to peek in on all 3 girl Things, I heard the sounds of Christmas music.  I cannot even tell you the joy this brought me.  So I proceeded to dance and hug and kiss their cheeks.  Very happy that they have taken to my liking of Christmas cheer.   

And since the day of Thanksgiving was over and the wish bone was dry, these girlies thought they'd make their wishes before our trip to MOA early in the morn. 
Fairly certain that Thing 2 won that battle. 
Armed with coffee and Christmas spirit we made a game plan and arrived at MOA, only to be surprised by an up close parking space.  What a way to start the day!  The girls were on a mission and Mema and I were there to assist them.  We made it to all the stores on the list, each Thing staying within budget and scoring some great deals! 
Mema and the Girl Things at MOA
By the time we arrived at the last store Mema, Thing 3 and I were ready to be off our feet.  We had a pit stop for coffee and juice while Things 1 and 2 scoured the racks and tried on umpteen outfits.  Once done the mall was picking up it's pace, shoppers were returning after their lunch and it was time for us to make a beeline to the car.  We refueled and then we were on to our very last market place.  Target.  It was here that we wandered and looked and tried on and this Mama had her fill.  So this happened and Thing 2 just couldn't let it go undocumented.
Relieved to be "resting" in the buggy. 
What can I even say about that photo?  We were having fun?  Maybe a little slap happy? It was nearly 4pm and we had been out shopping all day, exceeding my typical limits.  All for the memories we were making, right?  Anyhow, we accomplished what we set out to do;  we drank gallons of coffee, purchased many a present, a few groceries and had ourselves a day we won't soon forget. While we were out spending money the boys had an adventure of their own at the bowling alley and arcade.  A much better option according to Thing 4.
Look at that form!
Then we all collapsed at home and snuggled close on the couch watching movie after movie.  A sweet ending to a sweet day. 
Not quite the end of our time with Gpa and Mema though.  There was one day left, well one morning at least.  We had saved the decorating of our tree for when they were here.  The Things have their own container of ornaments collected throughout their Christmases so they promptly went to work.  Finding the just the right branch, hiding their least favorite ornaments in the back of the tree, and shouting out the significance of everyone they hung.  I sat and replaced hooks, Husband Jared took photos and we all just took in the sights and sounds.  Thing 4 placed the angel, the lights were lit and we stood back and took in the tree's beauty. 
The angel

Hard at work

The finished product!
And just like that our time together came to an end.  Hugs and kisses were given, bags packed and loaded and the "until next time's" began.  All six of us were so very grateful that Gpa and Mema spent this time with us and we are left with memories made and lots of love shared. 

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