Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Fun

I hope you all had a delightful Thanksgiving! Here is what ours was like...

The weekend before Thanksgiving we had a really fun day. Our church collects gifts for Operation Christmas Child. It is an outreach through Samaritan's Purse where shoe boxes full of simple toys and gifts are delivered to needy children and orphans around the world. It is a highlight of our holiday season now. We bring the kids to the dollar store and let them pick out gifts they think would make others smile. The best gifts are simple things like balls, stuffed animals, crowns etc. They also love to get band aids, toothbrushes, socks and other necessities. We bring them all to the church and then have a packing party where we fill up the boxes. This year we filled 66 boxes!! I don't think it's too late, check their website if you still want to fill a box and send it off yourself!

Last Monday we had some friends over for some Thanksgiving fun. We made butter. It's really easy, all you do is shake heavy cream until it's solid. It was a good thing we had extra hands for shaking or we would have gotten pretty tired out. We had estimated how long we would be shaking for before we started. It took 12 minutes of shaking, our friend Elijah was the closest, he had guessed 7 minutes. I had intended to bring it to Thanksgiving dinner but forgot so we are slowly using it up here. It's yummy. We also made some beautiful, rustic vases that day to grace the Thanksgiving table (which I also forgot to bring on Thanksgiving day and are gracing my windowsill instead)

One of our Thanksgiving traditions is to make venison stuffing. My great grandfather used to make it and my mom has been making it every year for as long as I can remember. The kids have helped since they have been big enough to turn the handle of the grinder. It is always made the day before Thanksgiving and this year, since we couldn't be at my mom's the day before Thanksgiving, she allowed us the privilege of making the stuffing here at my house. I was a bit intimidated. I have never made it w/o my mom and I really didn't want to mess it up. The night before we planned to make it I got out all of the stuffing bread and the kids broke it up and we laid it on the table to stale overnight. They were so so so excited to grind everything the next morning. Unfortunately, sometime in the night my body was attacked by the stomach flu germ and I woke up feeling like...well...the adjectives are unpleasant but you get the picture. I certainly was not in the mood for grinding stuffing. The kids were though and they must have asked 1000 times before I finally felt up to it in the evening. (Bella took care of me and the boys all day while I was sick. She made breakfast and lunch and cleaned up after herself I was so proud of her and thankful). So I was finally feeling well enough to be up and around (thank you Jesus that the stomach flu doesn't last long!) and we started the stuffing process.
First we ground all of the bread w/ celery and onions in the antique meat grinder. Enough for 28 people, it took a long time. After the grinding was done we cooked up the ground venison and then put it all together with seasonings and broth. Then, I had to test it. The stuffing is one of my favorite things in the world to eat but not on the heels of the stomach flu. I really didn't want to test it. I called my mom and asked how I would know if it was right...she said I had to test it. I really really didn't want to taste it...but I did. For the good of all who would partake of the Thanksgiving stuffing, I tested it in all my queasiness. It tasted just like it should. I was pleased, terrible nauseous, but pleased. That night I went to bed praying that no one else would be sick and we could go and enjoy Thanksgiving.

Lo and behold, we all woke up on Thanksgiving morning feeling great! Praise the Lord! So over the river and through the woods (and down the pike) to grandmother's house we went. We had a great day. This year I particularly enjoyed cornering my aunts who are a wealth of knowledge for me. They have both taught for many many years and have so much to offer me in my homeschooling endeavors. I'm blessed to come from a legacy of great teachers.

Isabella, Hannah and Madilynn got to do a neat little project on Thanksgiving too. My sister Kimmy needed to complete an artistic reflection of a cultural experience. She had gone to see an African choir. I think they were called Pomern Village Choir and their organization is called Songs for Fresh Water. They sell their CD to raise money to dig wells in Africa for fresh water. If you click here you can find a little more information about it. She needed to produce an artistic reflection about this experience. She decided to engage the children to help her. They all listened to the CD (really neat music) and danced on a big piece of paper with paint on their feet to the music. It was fun to watch. The kids (especially Madilynn) really got into it. It was great music for dancing.

And now....for a really big announcement.......ISAAC IS READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He started reading Dick and Jane the other day and he is doing really well! He reads in classic Isaac style. He sits in the living room and reads a few words aloud. He gets stuck and runs into my room to ask for help. Then he runs back to where he was sitting and does it again. He did this for about 20 minutes the other morning. Any other kids would have just stayed next to mom, but not Isaac. He makes reading a physical experience lol. I'm so proud of him. His birthday is next week. I can't believe he's going to be 5, but at the same time I can't believe he's only going to be 5!

For December we are doing lots of fun stuff. Bella and Hannah are studying Israel. We are also going to do lots of fun activities, make lots of gifts for others and most importantly, remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. If he hadn't been born into our world to die on the cross for us and save us from our sins if we trust Him as Lord and Savior of our lives, we would not be celebrating Christmas. I'm so glad we have something so amazing to celebrate. It's such a special time of year. I love Christmas!!!


Anonymous said...

The kids look like they are having so much fun!! I am glad that your illness didn't last throughout the holiday! I hope you all are well!

Gishtu said...

I just found some heavy cream in my fridge and really want to make it into butter....

Jenn Y said...

So happy for Isaac!!!! I had the bug too and thankfully it was short lived. But you are still a trooper for making that stuffing. Glad you are all well!