I think we have a new tradition that we would like to keep the next few years.

We didn’t sleep in and woke up the kids at 7:30 so everyone could get ready for the 9 am Mass. Before we left I stuck the turkey in the oven and the pilaf in the slow cooker, I figured we were going to be away for an hour and a half tops (this is probably a big no-no but I do it occasionally). Most of the parishioners must be traveling, or still in bed, or cooking for the big feast as the church wasn’t even half full. We saw a few of our favorite families and KofC had donuts for after the Mass.

After we got home, Yena and Aisa helped with the veggies, the boys and Dad helped with preparing the dining room and Nino was being all-around busybody as usual. We had turkey with gravy, the pilaf, green bean casserole, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Nothing out of the ordinary, though one big difference this year was that I hardly measured anything. That must have taken 50% of the stress off for me. Instinct-cooking, I call it, same technique my grandparents and my parents use all the time 😀 .

After lunch Dad the kids wanted to watch Fearless. UGH, what a choice for a Thanksgiving movie, I had wanted to watch Miracle on 34th but they vetoed that, but hubby was happy so it’s all good. We were all cuddled together on the bed except for Paco who was doing catch-up work on his laptop beside us. Until I started complaining because I’d had to cover Nino’s eyes several times, irking him no end, so Aisa relented and let us watch a bit of Miracle. Nino must have found that boring, as he asked to be brought downstairs so he could play. Excellent time to go on our planned car-hunting trip! Nino insisted on bringing his pillow on the ride so he could sleep, and we went to a couple of car dealer parking lots to look around for a van and a car for Aisa. Right now we’re liking the Odyssey, though there was a Toyota SUV that caught my eye also. We got home and Nino was still zonked so they napped a bit while I worked on the pies (pumpkin and apple) and the brussel sprouts. By dinnertime I was feeling sick, so I had a few bites and went to bed. Eventually they all made it upstairs, with Yena begging for a game of Apples to Apples. We hadn’t had time to do our Thanksgiving “activity”, so for the next hour we recorded ourselves reciting all the things we were thankful for. We must have made it through 78 or so rounds, with me and Dad giving up around 25 so we could just listen to the kids though I interjected here and there when something would come to mind. They came up with some great “thankful for” thoughts! We could have kept going but by this time it was around 10:30 and we were all tired. The kids will be hanging up their lists on their bedroom walls so when they’re feeling ungrateful (which happens from time to time in this house!) they can look at the list and see just how many blessings they have!! Apples to Apples finally happened, and hah! I won 🙂 Yena was scared there for a minute when it looked like Aisa was going to win. We had promised them that the winner would get to pick the family gift, and Aisa had said she would get giant mixing bowls and color-coded cutting boards if she won. We still haven’t decided what the family gift would be, but the kids are (again) begging for an XBox (what’s this, 3rd year in a row?). We’ll see…

It was the most relaxed Thanksgiving ever. Right now I’m waiting for the bread to rise (to be served with pumpkin butter, as the pumpkin pie is ALL GONE). Cream cheese brownies are in the oven for Aisa to take to work tomorrow, as a thank you from us to her co-workers who took such good care of us when we dined there a couple of months ago. I’m making smashed potatoes as soon as I press “publish” on this post. The washer and dryer are humming.

And once again, no Black Friday shopping for us. I drove past Best Buy on Wednesday night and couldn’t believe the TENTS that were already set up, with people in them! So weird. I did manage to score, with Dad’s blessing, a 60D with 18-135mm at Amazon for about $300 less than the original price — my kind of Black Friday shopping, from the warmth and comfort of home. And the only person trampling me was the toddler, who does NOT like being called HIJO for any reason at all. Life is good 🙂