Tuesday, November 30, 2010


what a blessing to be here in the old neighborhood with old friends as neighbors! emi and jonathan lent us their home for the big graham thanksgiving dinner while they went for thanksgiving with the in-laws. (we were the only ones there not actually related to the grahams, but... having known them since i was two, i feel related, anyway). they had put me in charge of the stuffed sweet potatoes, bread, and coffee. having done almost the entire dinner by myself for the past 2 years, i was amazed and very thankful that i didn't have to do more this year; i barely got it all done as it was! ok, i also made a pie and cranberry sauce, but i got those done the night before, and i was not baking bread from scratch. i guess having the three little ones diverting my attention every five minutes or less makes it more challenging than ever. i did get sparrow and golden involved, however, we are still learning a lifestyle of working together on everyday tasks. so here is what they did:

i put a big towel down on the kitchen floor and filled my biggest mixing bowl with water. then i dumped the 24 sweet potatoes out on the towel and the girls washed them in the water bowl, putting the clean ones in another bowl. i gave sparrow a kitchen towel to dry the sweet potatoes as they went along, and then we transferred them to the table and everyone helped poke holes into the skins with forks! this was a lot of fun for them and there was only one accident. sparrow also spent time with me in the kitchen during golden's nap. she was making thanksgiving cards for her friends. she would tell me what she wanted to write, and i would tell her the letters, which she would dutifully write down. she made three of them, a huge accomplishment for someone who can't actually read yet! by 3:30 we were over at the schmidt's place and everyone was already there: mr. and mrs. graham, julia's family, omi's family, and grandma sneider. the children's table was bigger than the grownups' table! which is how it should be. if it isn't, then we are not multiplying! but as it is, there were all the little ones shining and beaming around the table, and we felt very blessed.

all the food was amazing. what is it about stuffing that i love so much?! and yet it does not taste as good if i try to make it at any other time of the year... after dinner we all waddled out into the cold for an invigorating walk--it WAS cold, it was going to go below zero (celcius) that night! then back for dessert and games. there were more pies than you could shake a stick at, plus whipped cream, the aforementioned coffee, and pumpkin ice cream. the children were ecstatic. golden and sparrow came back for seconds and would have had thirds if i had let them! but they had not eaten that much dinner; it seems that the children weren't too thrilled with thanksgiving food! "the incredibles" came on tv. sparrow hates suspense in movies and can't usually handle it, but since she's seen that one before, it was alright, and the adults played games! apples to apples and wise and otherwise. my favorite "saying," made up by elizabeth (age 12) was this: "if there is fat on your hand...there is ham in your stomach." hahahaha! it was so cool of her to play games with us. she is the only "tween" in the family, and she is an amazing big sister. we were still there when emi and jonathan came back! hehe! they joined in the merriment for awhile, then there was a quick clean up flurry and time to head out into the night freeze for home. it was 10 pm.

during the morning. the girls making silas fancy.

the children at their amazing thanksgiving table
...and silas is part of the children crew too! his first thanksgiving!

mcdonnell family ready for a walk thanksgiving day

thomas walking with golden after she fell

ladies and children

running to catch up
checking the mail

zachary cozy with monty
children relaxing

golden the climber
...and slide!
i am so so so so thankful to the Lord Almighty for nursing us and nourishing us, for his patience and lovingkindness, His word, his mercies which are new every morning, His Holy Spirit which fills us daily, my husband who is so patient and hard working and such a good father, my beautiful blessings of children that i have been privileged to bear and now get to have the adventure of motherhood with! amazing friends and neighbors, the home we live in, all our mod cons (dishwasher, oven, stove, microwave, laundry, toaster, electricity, hot water, toilets, showers, computers, come ON!), and the vision and sacrifice of the pilgrims who came here to build a new world, as well as the pioneers and hard working farmers who tamed this land and made it so amazing. and of course for the soldiers who sacrificed and are still sacrificing for our freedom. God bless America, and may His name be glorified in it!

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