Happy Sunday after Thanksgiving!
The day before Thanksgiving I took off work and decided to make pies with Ina in the afternoon.
There are two types of women in the world: when making a pie they either 1) buy the 89 cent pie crust pre-made or 2) make their own and think buying a pre-made crust is completely not necessary. I am so proud to announce that this year I moved categories and after some encouragement made my own pie crusts. After the crusts were mixed, frozen, rolled out, and pressed in to the only three pie pans I own (all while shhing the voice in my head telling me I could have skipped all this for 89 cents), I recruited Ina to help me mix the filling for our pecan and pumpkin pies. She actually did a pretty good job and we mostly had fun, except for the 10 minutes where one egg miraculously covered every surface in my kitchen.
Thursday morning I woke up around 5 and had the turkey roasting before 6. I made the rolls, chopped the vegetables, peeled the potatoes, and set out all the dishes. Dan was in charge of the gravy and potatoes. Granny carved the turkey.
This made the rest of the morning flow smoothly and by noon all of our guests had arrived and we were ready to eat. After lunch the kids played outside and the adults chatted and watched football.
After everyone left I made the last minute decision to take Ina and Cora on a walk. We saw lots of neighbors putting up Christmas lights or walking their guests out to their cars. We admired to lights already up and made plans for our own house. We had to much fun that I am making a mental note to do the same next year.
A few things that worked for us this year:
Having an activity for the kids to do. Jessie brought a table cloth with Thanksgiving activities on it and they loved it.
Have plastic containers ready to send leftovers home with guests. Why do we always make so much food?
Do as much as you can the day before. I made sure to make the pies, clean the downstairs bathroom, and do the cranberry sauce on Wednesday. I should have also made the deviled eggs and cleaned the upstairs bathrooms. Oh, and laid out everyone's clothes.
As you are carving the turkey, put the extra fat and bones directly into a slow cooker on your counter and and start the bone broth process. By the end of the day you have extra broth!
The day after Thanksgiving we I took the pumpkins to the compost pile (Ina cried. She was convinced we could get good use out of them by carving Santa in one or just saving it for next year. She is her father's daughter). I had most of the house decorated for Christmas before anyone woke up. Cora came downstairs, saw the lights on the mantle and yelled, "Mom! What happened? Christmas lights!"
While I was finishing the lights on the stair rail Cora and Mira managed to take most of the ornaments off the tree and then take them apart.
Our Christmas tree will just have lights this year with an ornament or two hanging over three feet from the ground.
While we were watching The Grinch Grandma Frankie came to pick up the older girls and take them to a movie while Dan, Mira, and I headed to Home Depot to buy OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!
Outdoor lights are a new thing for our family, but the girls love seeing them on other houses so much that I insisted.
I insisted while we measured the gutters. I insisted while we drug out the tall ladder. I started hesitating a little when I actually looked at the bushes in front of the house blocking space for a ladder and came to a full blow hesitation when Dan had to climb on the roof.
Like so many things in life, I have a better appreciation for lights now that I have (kind of) put them up myself. The girls were so excited to see them on the house and they now scream, "CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!" when we drive up to the house.
That evening we went to Main Street in our town for a tree light ceremony and then headed to the Champs' to celebrate Mr. Kyle's birthday with Pad Thai.
Saturday was absolutely beautiful outside so we decided to work on the pool deck to make it not kid penetrable. We have a gate, but if a kid wanted to climb through the rungs to get up there, it would have been possible. Not anymore, thanks to the pieces of old fencing that we have laying around our backyard, Dan's tools and his handy craftsman skills.
While Dan was working I ran around the house trying to parent the girls and pick up their mess. Ina and I played cards. The younger girls fought over magna tiles. (Speaking of fighting, Mira is going through a strong hitting stage. She hits everyone all of the time. Sometimes with a ferocious look on her face and other times with curious eyes, waiting for my reaction. We have done everything from completely ignoring her to hitting her back and nothing has seemed to tamper her rage. I am praying this is a short stage.)
We ate leftover turkey enchiladas for dinner and watched White Christmas, which is appropriate, because we are now under a blizzard warning.
I hope your holiday was just a restful and productive.