Sunday, February 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

What a different, yet rewarding, Thanksgiving it was for us this year! As mentioned in the previous post, this year we wanted to "put on" Thanksgiving for my parents. They just returned from their cruise just days before, and my mom had been going through so much with the death of her parents. We wanted to make this Thanksgiving special and stress free for them. So the Arbon kids divvied up the food assignments and went to work.

Packing up for the weekend

Bryan got us our own personalized dog-tags

The night before, before Camry and Tyson arrived

I have to say that everyone was so excited and so pleased with how everything turned out! I have a new found respect and gratitude for anyone and everyone who is in charge of Thanksgiving dinners. So much work goes into making everything just right. We were running around all morning and into the early afternoon...and still started dinner an hour late. Mind you, we even had two ovens...I don't know how people do it with only one oven. In the end, everything turned out so well and it was such a delicious feast. Everyone kept saying we should do this every year. Each bite brought a new round of "yum" exclamations. And the best part...Charlie slept through the whole meal!

The table settings turned out really nice

These can-luminaries were a project idea I got from The Chew...I spray painted and then hammered in some "Thanksgiving" patterns. They were a fun addition.

This is how we spread the work: Jason was in charge of the stuffing and sweet potatoes, I was in charge of the mashed potatoes, gravy, and turkey (Jason helped me with the turkey, and I also ended up bringing the cranberry sauce and strawberry jam that Nancy helped me make earlier), Camry was in charge of the homemade rolls and she brought some special cinnamon butter from Texas Roadhouse as a special treat, Kimberly was in charge of the jello and relish tray, Tyson helped set the table and did drinks, and Bryan did the corn and also helped with the set up. Man, there is lots to do. When we presented the idea to my mom, originally, she said that sounded wonderful and wanted to make all of the pies. So the pies were all thanks to mother-dearest. We had our traditional pie night the night before...eating the pies that did not require baking, and the day of Thanksgiving we had some of the warm pies. Dad also offered to smoke another small turkey. So we had two delicious turkeys, one smoked and one cooked in the oven. 

Dad's smoked turkey

Our cooked turkey

Getting everything ready

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our yummy pies! Thanks, Mom!

Charlie HAMming it up at the end of TURKEY Day!

The next day was spent getting the house ready for Christmas. We did a lot of yard work and went to several stores looking for a tree (my parents old tree had run its course and it was time for a new one). It was quite a process...we even found a good one at Costco, bought it, realized it wouldn't fit in our car, and returned it. We finally found one at Lowes (I think) and brought the Suburban this time. 

Separating the Christmas lights

Watching us work hard

Each morning, Mom would bundle Charlie up and take him on a walk. They both loved it!

Bryan did a great job organizing parking for us

Charlie was surprised with a couple gifts to start the Christmas holiday, one was his very own Christmas Bear: 

 So cute!

...and another gift was an adorable Santa suit:

Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

The rest of the weekend was spent playing games and watching movies. A very fun weekend!

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