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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

being thankful

There was really so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

First of all Sandi had a short break! 

Secondly, we are all healthy and intact.  Our little family of four has so much to be grateful for and amazed by.

Third, and this one grows every year as I grow older, we have the most wonderful families.

We spent Thanksgiving day on Beals Island with Sandi's family. Her mom puts on a massive spread for 22 people and makes it look easy.  We help even though she could do it blindfolded with one hand behind her back and tap dancing while whistling Dixie.  My favorite part of the day is actually the cooking and preparing more than the actual meal, and having the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on the TV. We laugh and drink coffee, consult the master list, tell stories, play with the kids and no one has anything else to do but cook food!
There was a lot to do to get ready for the big meal.

There was a table to set. Maya was very serious about her job folding napkins and placing utensils.  We all ended up with forks, knives, teaspoons and tablespoons so we were ready for anything that came our way.

Ironically, I was stuffing cream cheese into celery which I detest.

Ella played a rousing game of Hungry Hungry Hippo with Tia and Uncle Brock.

There was some drinking to be done.

And some couch sitting as well.
Ella had practiced being a dentist by spending the day wiggling her loose tooth.  I have never seen such determination in that girl.  She is brave AND tough and had her sights set on knowing if the Beals Island Tooth Fairy is more generous than the Hampden one. (She is.  Who is surprised?)
There was even a potato rocket to launch.  (Don't ask me.  Brock's from up north and I guess there is a lot of time to play with PVC and hairspray and and come up with fun things to do with the overabundance of potatoes.)

Mostly there was just so much damn love.

I'm not sure the conversation going on between Kenna and Kris here but it looks important.
Ella was joyfully overwhelmed as she considered her pie choices.

Sandi's dad, Dwight, (the main man in our girls' lives) openly talks about his empty nest and how he wishes he had "a whole charge more kids."  He was a happy man to have the chaos of having everyone at home.

Then on Sunday we were off to my sister's house for Thanksgiving with my family.  From the loud crowd of 22 to the very energetic crowd of 9.  Our families are different in a lot of ways but love is the resounding theme.

Ella informed Sandi that we needed to bring the bounce house.  "It is a Thanksgiving tradition,"  she told her.  Who knew?

My sister and I have a tradition of making pot pies with all the left overs.  We've only gotten more serious about the tradition as time has gone on.  We watch people's portions carefully to be sure there will be enough to fill the pies.  Kathryn even bought me a new pie dish this year.  Yes, she is that kind of wonderful sister that everyone should be so lucky to have.

(I am ashamed to admit that I failed to take any pictures this holiday which means there are none of Sandi, because she was on the wrong side of the camera, except this pathetic one with her reflection in the window.)
Toferky pot pie. Yum.  The secret ingredient?  Cranberry sauce.

There was even a sighting from Jasmine and Cleopatra,

and a very affectionate Snow White.
The kids felt they needed to work off some of their Thanksgiving indulgence so after some amazing chocolate peanut butter pie my sister made, they hit the treadmill.
What a lucky bunch.

For all my family, original and adopted, for all my friends who are like my family, for our great house, a basement full of wood and yummy, healthy food to eat....I am grateful.

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