Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving Break

The kids got an entire week off of school for Thanksgiving which is different than we're used to and much appreciated! Coming from a year-round school that has a three week break every eight weeks, this traditional schedule felt like we were in school forever! It was so nice not having to rush to get everyone breakfasted and all ready for the day so we could be out the door at 8am. The kids still did their regular chores, had school time, did an extra chore and practiced piano each day, but many times we did that in our pjs or just over a much longer period of time. And we still had plenty of time to go to parks, play games and just enjoy each other's company.

And of course there was Thanksgiving and all the food to prepare for that event. We got together with the Roger's family,  who are our neighbors along with another couple and Sister Murphy who is Annabelle's church teacher and whom all of my children love. She's the one who knitted all of them those darling winter hats.
For the Thanksgiving feast we brought sweet potatoes, a couple of holiday salads (one quinoa with green onions and nuts etc, and one green salad), stuffing, cranberry sauce and 4 desserts. Scott made a caramel apple pie, I made pumpkin cheesecake (same as last year), we made Oreo turkeys and we bought a pecan pie(my personal favorite).  I love Chef Brad's version of sweet potatoes so I made those again this year. They have a layer of quinoa for added nutrition that you can't really taste, plus a yummy topping made with chopped walnuts, coconut, butter, brown sugar and flour.

 The girls enjoyed helping make the Oreo turkeys. Elisabeth's job was to stick frosting in half of the Oreos and attach 5 candy corns inside for the turkey feathers.
 Annabelle and Jane's job was to unwrap all of the peanut butter cups.
I gave Nora a nap while we worked on these which was perfect because knowing her, she would've been on top of the counter and table snacking on everything in sight. She did enjoy eating a turkey once they were all done.
 Aren't they cute? We got this idea from Our Best Bites cookbook. Love those cookbooks and that website!
 And one of my personal favorites were the salads. This is a new Holiday Quinoa salad recipe I tried out, tweaked and loved. Such a nice combination with the quinoa, green onions, craisins, toasted pecans and gorgonzola cheese with a homemade dressing . And yummy as leftovers. I'll post this recipe on my food blog....hopefully this week.

 Friday morning we went out to a local Christmas tree lot and picked out an 8ft fresh one. We normally use our 6ft artificial tree we've had for 10 years, but we thought it might look a little wimpy in this front room. It's the one we bought our first year of marriage for $20, and though it's still lovely we decided to switch things up this year.
 Turning on the lights made it feel so magical in that room. We also took out all of our Children's Christmas books that are packed up with our Christmas stuff and laid them under the tree as is our tradition. We enjoy snuggling up on the couch and reading the Christmas stories throughout December.
 Saturday I took the three oldest girls to the new Disney Princess movie, Frozen. It was good. I, of course, cried....twice. I cry in a lot of movies. Tangled, for example. And the Lion King. And the list goes on and on. I guess I am just very sympathetic :). Even for cartoon characters :). LOL!
Nora likes to climb on daddy's feet and give him a big hug.
 I love this sweet little face! Seriously. I love to cup her cute face between my hands and kiss her soft cheeks and touch my nose to hers.
 I put the December calendar up on the white board December first and this is what it looked like on that very first day of the month. And to think it's just going to get fuller and fuller as the days go by.
 Well, we sure loved having all five kids home for an entire week and we LOVED having dad home for an extra couple of days. He got off a little early Wednesday to help cook and then had Thursday, Friday and of course Saturday and Sunday off. That to me is like Heaven on Earth! And now it's back to work and school. But only for three weeks and then we'll get our 2 1/2 week long Christmas break! Wahoo!

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