We kicked off Thanksgiving celebrations with the annual Parent Snack at Alec's preschool. The kids create the invitations and all the parents show up and share a snack with the kids (on the menu: popcorn, goldfish crackers, applesauce, and apple juice) and are gleefully entertained by their perfectly adorable children wielding sticks. Rhythm sticks, of course, which, I was very seriously told by Alec, "are not for hitting our friendth." The kids also can chose to wear their Indian headress if they so choose. Alec, of course, chose to not wear his. But he killed it on those sticks... on the beat and really into the performance. He never ceases to amaze me how he can be so particular about some things but can suck it up and really come through when he knows he's supposed to.
Love the tongue sticking out with concentration. His dad does the exact same thing.
Next in the celebrations was our Thanksgiving Baking Day. Michaela and Jenna each had a friend over to "help" (definition: hover around until it's time to eat frosting) and we made sugar cookies and cupcakes.
Some of our finished product (can you see the cookie that's been taste-tested?)
Then it was on to the real Big Day: Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday.
I was planning on walking it but my plans got seriously sidelined when I told the girls our change of plans for Thanksgiving morning and they both freaked out. I guess carefully cultivating a Family Tradition for 11 years and then changing it isn't such a hot idea.
A few days before Thanksgiving I told the girls that I was changing my plans and would be staying home in the morning after all.
Michaela's response: "Oh, that's too bad... you should have just told us to suck it up, Mom. We would have been fine."
Jenna's response: "Good."
We were treated to a visit from my dad on Thanksgiving morning while we were enjoying our cinnamon rolls, and he read to Michaela a beautiful passage called A Desolate Wilderness, which is excerpted from the journals of the actual real Pilgrims as they describe the difficulties of leaving all that was familiar and comfortable to set off for the New World, and forging a brand new life there out of essentially nothing. A beautiful lesson of sacrifice, courage, and standing up for your true beliefs. He reads it every year on Thanksgiving and it is always so moving.
Then we moved onto gifts... the kids each get a little present on Thanksgiving to help kick off the holiday season. Plus I love to buy them presents. Jenna got a new Rapunzel ornament and Michaela and Alec both got new DVDs.
After a bit we got dressed and headed over to my parents' for the day. It was quiet and special and relaxing and wonderful. We played games, colored tablecloths, watched football, ate tons of food, and generally spent lovely time together. My mom put together a wonderful traditional feast that we all enjoyed.
A picture-perfect day.
The next morning my mom and I did some shopping and hit awesome sales, and then we put up one of our Christmas trees in the afternoon. We bought a new taller tree for the family room and moved our old tree into the living room so you can see it from the street. No real-tree-falling-over fiascos this year! Here's our decorated living room tree:
And here's my favorite picture of all from Thanksgiving: my three greatest blessings!