What an AWESOME Thanksgiving Day!
OK, it didn't start out so well. Sometime after midnight, Gabriel threw up all over his bed, bedding, animals and everything on the bed, starting a multi-hour "hurlfest." (He pointed out that since it was after midnight, it was "definitely Thursday.") I scrambled to clean it up and set up a new bed for him on the floor while he was in the bath. He threw up twice more, once while he was up already (no cleanup) and once again in his makeshift bed on the floor (complete bedding/pajama replacement again). I didn't get to sleep until 3:15.
But, thanks to my recently acquired cooking experience and my favorite celebrity chef, I'd done most of the prep Wednesday (with lots of help), and didn't have all that much to do Thursday. Oh, cornbread here, mashed potatoes there, but these aren't big deals. Baking takes a lot longer.
So before the big feast we all walked to the small park near our house. Ryan and the boys have invented a pretty elaborate "Jedi Battle" game, and the boys were anxious to play it. Katrina joined us, and she was bursting with joy at running around outside, playing on the slides, and being tossed in the air.
The Jedi Battles are fun. It's a lot like fencing, but there are rules: A set of Jedi Judges say "charge!" when the battle starts, and watch to see if one Jedi scores a sufficient hit on the other to win. If you get your leg "cut off" then you have to hop; if both are "cut off" you have to stay in one place. Both Jedis can use The Force three times, which is thrusting their hand out and the other Jedi is forced back.
Gabriel and Julian had some epic battles, Julian with Ryan's light saber (this Uncle comes with his own light saber!) and Gabriel with his double-saber, courtesy of duct tape. So interesting watching my sons be boys together. Julian had an advantage since his single light-saber was easier to handle, but still, he has more finesse and accuracy, while Gabriel is more aggressive.
Katrina had to get into the action too.
The Jedi Judges.
Jedi Laura took Jedi Julian on while Gabriel and Katrina judged.
Then an epic battle between Jedi Ryan and Jedi Katrina!
Use The Force!
Katrina and I left the fun a little early to go home and check on the turkey. Before long, a complete dinner spread was ready to go!
OK, OK, we didn't really need this much food, but it sure was fun and we weren't lacking for variety. Turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, two kinds of stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, cornbread, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, apple galette, pecan butter tarts, and several kinds of wine, including mulled. Oh yeah, and a chocolate turkey!
Then we had a wonderful family Thanksgiving dinner together. We ate a ton (except Katrina who ate only broccoli and cornbread), drank a lot of wine, traded stories. Gabriel seemed OK, a little lower-key than usual but he wanted to eat despite his tummy troubles last night.
The most popular dish was -- get this -- the brussel sprouts! They were made from a nice simple Jacques Pepin recipe in a book that Mom gave me, and made by Ryan, who is very knowledgeable about cooking brussel sprouts. Ryan definitely has a touch when it comes to cooking.
We wrapped it up with a movie (Toy Story), dessert, more wine, more family time. This is what Thanksgiving is about!