My the house is quiet. Cousins left in a buzz this evening around 6:30 and then our family reflected on the visit. I like "closure" talks like that because I'm always a little sad when company leaves and I know at least one of my children has the same issue. The next hour and a half before bedtime went fast with clean-up, baths, prayers, and 50 million other little things that come up in that last 5 minutes before the kids are all tucked in and our day as a family comes to a close.
I am aware of the completion of Thanksgiving because I'm already strategizing the Christmas decorating. Also, the wishbone from the turkey is drying on the windowsill in the kitchen. I can remember growing up, my mom always dried it on our kitchen windowsill too. Watching my sister-in-law and my mom combing over the turkey carcass last night after dinner was comical. They were getting everything ready to transport to my mom's where she will make turkey stock. And I had requested they pull out the wishbone. It was quite an operation.
For the record, my angel food cake turned out marvelously! It was perfect consistency and delicious. I should have taken a picture, because it didn't last long - it was consumed within 15 minutes. After I had my cake, I proceeded to have a piece of pumpkin pie. I am not a fan of pumpkin pie (or really any pie, truthfully) but I had to have somewhere to put my homemade whipped cream. I ran 6 miles this morning with Rachel, but need to run 180 more to work off all those calories.
I have only good memories of this holiday. My mother and father were here under one roof and it wasn't a bit stressful. I admit I tried not to pay too much attention to their communication or interaction, but if it had been dramatic, I would have noticed. Also, all eight children were delightful. You should know we have a tile floor with crazy acoustics so the noise level rarely goes below a billion decibels, but it felt festive, not frustrating.
Last night after the grandparents left, our family and my brother's family all gathered upstairs and the kids shared what they'd written (or dictated) they were thankful for on little papers tucked in their "Box of Thanks" craft Rachel brought for them. The ones that touched my heart the most: Joseph said "Jesus" which of course makes any Christian parent swoon with joy; Cayna said "Mom and Dad", so that will get me through another year; and Bethanie said, among other things, "Giraffes and Potatoes."
Here is Rachel and me cooking! Her chutney was simmering, my potatoes were boiling.
The kids play a rousing, just-before-dinner game of "monkey in the middle" as James carves the bird in the background. I wonder if the pilgrim children played monkey in the middle while their parents scrambled to get dinner on the table.
Rather disgusting evidence that John likes dark meat. It was NOT his mother who gave him the giant gross turkey leg, I can tell you that for sure.
Rachel and Mom working with the carcass. Ew.
Mom, me, and Rachel.
James, Dad, and Kevin. Note the water splash on Kevin's shirt - he was doing the dishes, because he is wonder-husband!