Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

We had quite a large turnout for Thanksgiving this year.  My Mom flew in from California, which the kids always love!  And since I love to be surrounded by family and friends, we invited our cousins the McMullens, and our friends the Rencarges and the Deeths!  
All in all we had 21 people at various tables!

My Mom wanted to be sure to get a picture of everyone!!

Of course, everyone wanted to bring something, so I told them what the menu was and then asked them to bring something that they traditionally have at their tables!  It was so fun sharing in each others traditional recipes!

Our family tradition is to use the three days before Thanksgiving to prepare for the feast. 

MONDAY...............we peel and cooked 20 lbs of potatoes and mash them!
Of course by the evening we are all hungry for potatoes, so we make meatloaf or 
homemade chicken tenders, green beans and baby carrots and have just a little bit
of the mashed potatoes with it for our Monday night dinner!

TUESDAY.................we make the pies!!  This is my Mom's specialty, 
she loves to bake Apple Pies, so that is what we make.  
This year we made two for our Thanksgiving dinner 
and we made a third that we delivered to another family to bless them!

The girls got really creative this year!  The pies were almost too beautiful to eat!!

WEDNESDAY................we cook the first turkey!  We buy one great big turkey, 
around 23 lbs and one medium sized turkey, about 13 lbs.  
We cook the big one on Wednesday, because it takes all day and is absolutely loaded
with stuffing, which is one of the reasons it takes so long to cook!
We try to have it finished cooking by 6:00 or 7:00 and then we pick it apart
like little scavengers!!  My family just loves the skin of the turkey, and since
no one is actually going to see this turkey, it doesn't really matter what it looks like!!

We take all the meat off and scoop all the stuffing out and pour all the drippings into a container.
Then we make sure everything is put away and the kitchen is nice and clean for the next day...
Thanksgiving Day!!

This is NOT the big turkey...this is the medium one.  It is prettier, believe me!
We get up on Thursday morning and we put the medium turkey into the oven,
it will be done by 1:00pm.  Then we prepare the sides that we are doing, 
they will go into the oven as soon as the turkey comes out.  
Green Bean Casserole, Corn, Squash, Peas and Onions and
Sweet Potato Casserole!  

This year my cousin Sondra made the Sweet Potato Casserole
and she also made homemade Cranberry Sauce!  Yummy!

Our other friends brought Pumpkin and Pecan Pies, little Gerkins, Olives, 
the cutest Turkey Cupcakes, Gluten Free Stuffing, and Wine!

Gravy in the making!!

Mackenzie was in charge of decorating the tables, I think she did a wonderful job!

Before dinner we formed a circle and prayed.  
So happy to be celebrating with my family and friends!


Natalie is serious about her pie!!

Gobble, gobble!

We ended the celebration by driving down to the Country Club Plaza
to see the Plaza Lighting Ceremony!!  This was the 70th year!

Ready for the countdown!

The beautiful Plaza all lit up!

And that ended our wonderful Thanksgiving 2017!!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Homeschool Family Camp 2017

The favorite event of the year for our family is Homeschool Family Camp at Village Creek Bible Church in Lansing, Iowa.  This is our 4th year going to camp and we look forward to it every year!

The accommodations are rustic, but that just adds to the fun!
And we were lucky this year to get a private bathroom with a bathtub!!
That really helps, because our boys have a lot of fun get very dirty!!

Our favorite part of Family Camp is seeing all of our friends that we have become so close to over the years!  And also making new ones each year!

Beckham made a very special friend with Micah.  In fact he kind of spent most of camp with the Martin family!!  I was worried he wouldn't want to come home with us! 

There are so many activities to be a part of!!

The daily Ladies time is such a blessing and encouragement yo us all.

Beckham couldn't get over the abundance of seashells in the sand on the playground!

Our friend Sue brought out her kittens and puppies!  Oh so sweet!

Of course there is always Volleyball!

All the kids and even some of the Fathers love playing the Mighty, Mighty Scoop Noodle Challenge!

This was by far the biggest group of players ever!!

In fact this was the largest group of families to ever be at Family Camp!
So starting next year they will add another week long Family Camp!
This is such exciting news....but now we have to pick a week!!