Sunday, November 26, 2017

Enjoying Our Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving is over. How the heck we're at the end of November and at full steam heading towards December and the end of 2017, I don't know.  This year has flown by so fast, it seems like only yesterday we were sitting at this very same spot in 2016.

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.  Since we are thousands of miles away from our family, it was once again just the five of us but that didn't stop us from having a great meal.  Our Thanksgivings almost always go along the same route.  We watch the Macy's parade while Charles and I share the kitchen together, preparing our "feast".  Charles makes the best turkey, hands down, so that's always left to him, along with the homemade cranberry sauce.

The rest of the dinner is my job - cornbread dressing, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, and fry bread.  We cheat on the pies though and usually order premade from the Schwan's truck.  Maybe one year I will get brave and make a pie from scratch.  (I am planning to make a peppermint cheesecake from scratch for Christmas though).

Our Finished Feast, ready to eat. 
Usually, we eat around 5pm.. Then, when everyone's fat and happy, Charles and I call our parents to see how their holiday went.  Finally, all the leftovers are put away which is a job in itself, like playing tetris trying to find out how to fit it in our tiny fridge, especially the turkey.  Dishes are put in the dish washer, counters wiped down and then it's time to relax.  (Sometimes with a glass of wine lol)

Thanksgiving is also a time for family fun.  That usually means family game night.   Our new game for this year (we always get one new board game for Thanksgiving) is Battleship, so Dad taught the kids how to play.  Garrett caught on really quickly and I think it has now become his new favorite game.

Afterwards, we pulled out Ticket to Ride.  I had bought it back in June but we hadn't played it yet.  Charles has declared it's the best game he has played in a long time and really enjoyed it.

In the end, Mom ended up winning (blue trains) after completing all my tickets and didn't get the penalty. (Alyssa would have won but she had a 20 point ticket and even with the longest continuous, it wasn't enough for the win).

Ashleigh and Garrett pulled out one of their favorites, Tapple, and had a bit of fun with that before it was time for bed.

Another one of our post-Thanksgiving traditions is putting up our Christmas tree and enjoying our dinner of Thanksgiving Leftover Pasties while admiring it. Then, by the light of the tree, we whipped out a few more board games and had a bit more fun.

Most people do not know what a pastie is (Pronounced pah-stee).. These are Cornish handpies that are extremely popular in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  We spent about 3 months living in the UP outside of Houghton 10 years ago and one of the things we brought back to the south with us was these wonderful pies.  The miners use to bring these with them, wrapped in foil, for their lunches because they were convenient and was able to stay warm by the time they were ready to eat it. Traditionally, they are made with minced beef, potatoes, rhutabega, and spices wrapped into a flaky dough. However, these are made with Thanksgiving leftovers - turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

As my oldest would describe it, "Think of it as a huge Hot Pocket stuffed with Thanksgiving dinner"..  I'll do a post tomorrow with the recipe, in case you're looking for a way to use up some of those leftovers.

Another round of Battleship - per Garrett's Request. 

While my animals have it in their minds that the tree was put up just for them to sleep under.

Today, we spent most of the day putting up our Christmas decorations outside.  Charles started hanging up the lights around the house (but realized he is going to need an additional extension cord in order to hang up the colored lights) while I tackled the ground decorations.

And finally, it was time to decorate the tree.. We almost always allow the kids to do the decorating now, as they have such a fun time picking where each ornament should go.

This is the only ornament that I actually hang each year.  This was the ornament that Charles and I bought on our honeymoon at Disney World and it always has a very special spot on the tree.

And here's the finished tree in all it's glory..  We usually put ribbons on the tree, but Charles decided he didn't want to do them this year.  That's okay though, I think it still looks pretty nice without them.

Since the tree is up and decorated, tonight our Elf on a Shelf, Jack, will most likely make its appearance for the year.  Which means I have 30 days of trying to figure out something to do with the lil toy every night. LOL

We've had a wonderful long Thanksgiving weekend and we hope your family had a wonderful holiday as well. 

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