Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

My day began "bright" and early, as it did for many of you. I had already spent TWO DAYS in preparation for this ONE MEAL....I knew I'd need an early start to get everything done at the right time. 

I was a tad bit anxious about how I would lift the 24 lb bird out of the brine. My shoulder is still on "light duty." The "big rooster, as Benny calls it,  needed to be rinsed, dried, rubbed and then moved to the slow cooker. I needed it in the cooker by 0700 and no one was up.  The perfect soloution staggered up the stairs at 0630 in the form of Alex.

Arielle and Krista came in and joined the some point I broke away to work out and take a shower. 

We have used this simple tablecloth for Thanksgiving for over 25 has a few gravy stains...but it's special to us because of the signatures which have been collected year after year from our Thanksgiving Dinner guests. It's always fun to spread it out - and it always leads to reflection. 

We smiled and laughed as we shared memories of family like friends and lonely airmen from year's past. It was a perfect tribute to find our Mom's glad they were with us this one year....the same year that Izaak and Dakota joined.....

It is sobering to see kids' preschool signatures and realize they are now in high school or graduated....and now we add hand prints and signatures from new grand kids and son in laws....

I set up appetizers in time for our lunch.....and then brought them back out for the evening.

Pigs in a Blanket - Jamin's offering - requested yearly

Michael, Dad, and the boys checked out the Black Friday sales. Michael decided none are worth the drive to Anchorage. LOL

Here are some of the dinner grows as requests are made....many of these things only show up at holiday dinners....and then we have dairy allergies and diabetics to account for...which leads to say 2 kinds of potatoes, varied desserts etc..... Cory brought ham...yummm.....he spent the morning and this evening over working on the house..... 

Circling around the buffet line....

Our sweet Bella

Benny was the first to the dinner table. LOL 

It's still new enough to thrill us to have so many family members to celebrating together. JaRissa weren't able to be here....the other 8 Gherkins and their families were here.....and Michael, me, and Dad.

Dad (GG) and Benny make a phone call. 

Dad was remembering this is the second Thanksgiving without Mom....and how she loved to put on Thanksgiving dinner. I was pulling out her and Mom G's dishes...the memories flowed. Dad made my day when he came to me and said, "Your Mom worried about who would take care of me when she died, but she didn't need to worry. You are taking good care of me."  I am so impressed with the courage dad has shown to leave his church, friends and life in Eugene to move to Alaska with us. We are thankful to have him settling in to our crazy life.

I forgot to get a photo of the dessert table. It was excessive....4 sugar free options....cookies, candy, truffles (4 kinds), 3 pies, 2 kinds of WW mini-cheesecakes....
Peppermint, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter Toffee, Lemon truffles

Stacia suggested I take a photo of her piece of Apple Pie - so I did. Totally sugar free. 

The pies, with the exception of the chocolate pecan pie were sugar free. Pecan is the one dad wants most - though he requested chocolate and it was sugar free. I couldn't think of a way to do pecan without sugar. I am going to look into a sugar free Karo syrup sub and play with it.

WW sugar free, mini-cheesecakes.....with non WW toppings for those who choose.

 I couldn't resist this family gift.  The kids are famous for "Gherkin house rules." Monopoly is especially long and complicated...with contracts and rights of passage and on and on.  We told the kids we had found a board game with the Gherkin House Rules. It's the cheater version of Monopoly.
Nolan collects Monopolies and has several versions
Michael suggested Farkle...but I was too tired to move and several others felt the same. We visited in the living room.   These 3 embarked on a game of Risk....Benny and Dad were helpful encouragers. 
I believe Nolan won
*Annie and Gideon WERE  here....I was simply so busy I didn't capture photos of everyone. We didn't SEE Annie - she slept through the whole dinner/afternoon.

WOW - Check this out!

Um....where did I go???? 

There is no doubt our fall schedule - out of the home five nights a week; something scheduled six days a week is busy - but we were handling it well...and it's easing up already. (This week we finished pre-marital counseling with a lovely young now we have commitments four nights of the week....its the start of margin).

BUT....the reason for the absence of posts has more to do with the incredibly SLOW laptop I took Stacia 30 minutes to simply sign on to her Facebook page!!!! It took about 20 minutes to turn the computer on. Things would go missing. Grrr.....and yet....I kept posting.....

UNTIL I injured my shoulder about 4 weeks ago. I couldn't type or text....or really sit still even. I hadn't been in pain that required movement since labor 14 years ago.  I went to the doctor and was given a shot and muscle relaxants and told to alternate a couple of anti-inflammatory meds around the clock. The drugs made me sleep and I slept the first week away. I felt a bit better by the second week, but still couldn't type and was doing all I could to simply complete school and prep for Bible study, attend pre-marital sessions.....I felt good this Monday and had a doctor appointment. I avoided a shot as I could do everything requested of me in the exam....but after all the manipulations, I couldn't sleep again Monday night.....and was back taking 800 mg of Ibuprofen every 8 hours..... I also can't SLEEP for more than a couple of hours before the pain wakes me up....but THAT is MUCH better than the past 3 weeks when I couldn't lie on either my side, or my back, without pain. I've been sleeping in "my" recliner in the nook (Mom's old recliner that Dad brought up).....streaming Netflix and reading to get my mind off pain.  This is week four - and I am still in pain....but it's more of a dull ache. I have been told to go back on the meds if it hurts and to avail myself of a hot tub - which I don't have. ::snort::

Injury, slow motivation to be online. 

Michael had an appointment in Anchorage on Wednesday.  I stayed home as I was doing some serious Thanksgiving prep. He came home with TWO gifts.....

LOOK at this thing. It has a GOLD lid....and it is fast. Michael told me it would be the fastest computer I've ever used...and it is.  I was NOT expecting a Cadillac of laptops - I'm used to the Pinto of laptops. It's an I7 HP Specter. It SINGS....I've been told it has plenty of space for graphics and will be fast for editing videos too. It seems some would like me to get the YouTube Channel running again.....It took hours to edit video each night and I wasn't very good at it....but maybe I will agree to a weekly update. We'll see....first I have to transfer everything from the slow computer and return it to IDEA (Our home school charter program).  The speed amazes me! Our computers were very fast in Japan. We can't get those Internet speeds in the states (at least as civilians).....even with our sluggish Internet up here under the mountain.....this is as fast as our computer in Japan - maybe faster.

He also came home with THIS - a total surprise.  The color printer has been down for months and Michael was researching buying a new print head or a different printer. It made it difficult to work on graphics for women's ministry AND impossible to print photos for his sister....
This is a Color Laser printer/copier/scanner. 

Michael found a great "Early Black Friday" sale.....and both were significantly under normal retail prices....the laptop costs nearly 3x what I've spent on the laptops I've previously purchased.....but oh, how it sings! 

I'm motivated to work on the computer.....but first....I will work on RETREAT SESSIONS..... I don't think I've shared  I will be traveling to Mt Hermon Retreat Center to speak at the Travis AFB PWOC retreat the end of January. The computer has been so slow I've been handwriting my session notes. It's been frustrating to come back and not be able to ready what I'd prepared.....because when I get on a roll I write too fast to be legible. I'm set now. I thought I'd be escaping from the snow when I flew to snow here. I GUESS I NEED TO MOVE TO ARIZONA!!!