Thanksgiving morning ... the kids woke up early. Evan headed downstairs to the computer. Warcraft 3 was calling his name. The other two snuggled in bed with me and their dad for a while. Corrie read books to Ben, and they practiced signing together.
I have been falling behind on Ben's signs lately. I'm sure he knows over 100, because he's got the first three Signing Time books completely figured out, plus many words from the other videos. The problem is that I don't always watch the videos with him, so he starts signing emphatically at me ... and I don't always recognize the word. Groan.
We cooked yesterday and today, and made enough food to feed an army. This is the first time we've had Thanksgiving with just the five of us - usually we are with family or we do a big potluck with friends.
smoked turkey (made by H.E.B.)
spiral sliced ham (also H.E.B.)
cornbread dressing (my grandmother's recipe, with some edits from my mom and my Aunt Alice)
green beans (cooked forever, in good Southern style)
creamed corn (my mom's recipe)
sweet potato casserole with pecan topping (Nan Smith's grandma's recipe)
broccoli casserole (Mrs. Grayson's recipe)
cranberry sauce (the jellied kind from a can)
homemade rolls (made by Emmett and Corrie, with a little support from the bread maker)
Tarheel pie (mostly chocolate and pecans, Pat McNair's sister's recipe)
I noted all the recipe origins because I felt so close to home today ... even though we are hundreds of miles away from family. We used recipes that my mom has used for years, from women who were faithful members of our church in Mississippi. There is something special about Thanksgiving - about the traditions of food and giving thanks, and remembering church communities and loved ones near and far.
Corrie is a super pie baker. Before starting her work in the kitchen, she needed to model her apron in front of the mirror for a few minutes. Note the obstacle course of chairs and assorted tables behind her.
While Corrie baked, Ben climbed.
He navigated his way from one side of the room to the other, climbing on the chairs or the coffee table most of the way. Proud boy!
And here's a photo of the food:
We got out the good china, and Corrie found different Thanksgiving decorations to put on the table: a cornucopia and a mini flower pot turkey.
The next picture makes me laugh. For those of you with young children, you'll see how we arranged Ben's seating and the food. Maybe next year, we'll use the whole table.
Bless his heart, Ben was so hungry by the time we ate! He took a nap before dinnertime, and kept signing "eat!" "please!" "more!" but we tried to hold him off until everything was ready. We put him in his chair as we got all the food out, and he started praying by himself. Let me give thanks so I can eat!
By the way, I hope everyone saw the left side of Evan in that next to last picture. We didn't take any official family photos today, and he spent a lot of his free time enjoying computer games. :) He did shuck the corn for me, though.
And we all hung out together a lot today: while Ben was napping, the rest of us played a game (7 Wonders - it's a German game, lots of fun). Then after dinner, we took a family walk/bike ride through the neighborhood, then talked to family in Hawaii and Mississippi on FaceTime.
We have much to be thankful for: family, friends, health, home, church, community, and God's great faithfulness and love.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."