Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Celebrations (x3)

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, my uncle used to drive down from New York and spend the whole week with us. It was the only week where my mother actually turned the heat on and cooked every meal. Both of my parents are now deceased, my uncle no longer visits, and I'm married with my own family, yet Thanksgiving week remains a favorite time.

Our first Thanksgiving celebration was a spaghetti dinner at my oldest sister's house on Tuesday. Jackson had been looking forward to this and counting it down on our picture calendar. When I picked him up from preschool, he told his teacher, "I've got to make rice krispy treats now!" As soon as I put the trio down for a nap, Jackson and I began our work in the kitchen. I merely supervised him while making rice krispy treats. He proudly said, "Look at me. I'm like a real grown up right now."  No rush in growing up, my sweet boy!

The traditional spaghetti dinner is with our extended family. My Aunt Jan surprised us by sharing one of her childhood birthday traditions. You simply soak a sugar cube in an extract of your choice, place the sugar cube on a cupcake, then light it on fire. We were all impressed with the flaming cupcake.

Thursday morning was spent in the kitchen preparing desserts and side dishes. We watched the Macy's Day parade. The kids shouted as their favorite characters appeared on the screen.

Jesse grabbed clothes for the kids. I laughed 'til I cried over not being able to button Amelia's 2T pants that she wanted to wear. I had flashbacks of trying to squeeze into too small of pants as a child. I'm afraid my stout girl will experience this many times in her future.

After the kids were dressed and the food was finished (corn, green, beans, cranberry sauce, dressing, rolls, and dessert), we drove 30 minutes to my other sister's house. My oldest brother is notorious for being late, especially if he's responsible for bringing food. Apparently the rice krispy treats and pound cake were appetizers for my starving, impatient family members.

Our nieces and nephews lined up,

waiting to dig in to this delicious feast!

I always feel obligated to photograph the deliciousness.

I hardly took any pictures, but the cousins happily played upstairs, downstairs, and outside. The toddlers love all the attention they get from their family.

Once home, our family relaxed on the couch and watched the Panthers game. This is the first year I could tell you who played on Thanksgiving, much less that I watched any part of the game. I may not be a football fan, but it's still pretty cool for your home team to be undefeated after eleven games. 

Years ago, Jesse and I ate lunch with my family, drove an hour, then ate dinner with his family. Unfortunately my mother-in-law now has to work on Thanksgiving, so we celebrate with Jesse's family on Friday. The bright side is we don't have to rush or stuff our faces twice in one day. Friday we ate another incredibly tasty meal, mostly prepared by Jesse's brother and sister-in-law at their house. 

A family that prays together, stays together.

Big girls!

Three generations of Harwood boys

Does MiMi ever get to eat her own dessert?

Mutual admiration between Maddie and Payton

This picture was actually from a week earlier, but I wanted to share their cuteness.

We could never question how fortunate we are to have so much love in our family. Our blessings are too many to count and it was a lovely week to celebrate just how thankful we are with lots of family and lots of food!

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