This year, to celebrate his 19th birthday, Turkey had a two-day birthday celebration! We started with a low-key observance on his actual birthday, with cinnamon rolls and Brazilian lemonade for breakfast, and one of his favorites, Stromboli, for dinner:
Today was his birthday (observed)…just like the Queen! I think I was almost as excited about him opening his presents as he was!
For dinner, we had Thanksgiving in March. This was the most normal birthday dinner we’ve had since 2019…we had three additional guests at our table, and that was amazing!
He requested a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting…and then I threw in some lemon curd as a filling. It was pretty delicious!
Even though he had to wait a day for his full birthday celebration, I think having two birthdays is pretty fun!
Time for a look at our annual three-day-long Thanksgiving celebration, beginning with a beautiful sunrise on Wednesday morning, which gave me encouragement to bake nine pies, prep two different kinds of stuffing, and make the cranberry sauce.
On Thanksgiving Day, we had fun watching the Macy’s Parade and playing Thanksgiving Day Parade Bingo, picking our favorite dogs at the National Dog Show, and playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Of course, there was dinner to attend to, as well. I thought the table looked extra pretty this year…maybe that’s because we had guests to set it for!
The menu was a mix of old and new. I made our traditional stuffing to go with the turkey, but also a new recipe for everything bagel stuffing. I also tried a new roasted winter vegetable dish to go alongside our usual green beans with almonds. Of course we also had mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and cranberry sauce:
It made a very pretty plate!
For dessert, all of the pies. Sadly, the pie I was most looking forward to trying, cranberry custard, didn’t set right, so even though it looked pretty, it didn’t come out right at all. I guess that’s the risk you run when you try a new recipe on a holiday!
This morning started with one of our favorite traditions of pie for breakfast.
I was very happy to get to go see Moose march in our town’s Santa Parade for the first time since 2019, and for the first time with the high school marching band! We honestly weren’t planning on staying for the whole thing since his group was near the beginning, but it was fun as well as short, so we ended up seeing it all!
I enjoyed having a place to wear one of my new Erstwilder Christmas brooches:
Turkey sandwiches for lunch are another great thing about the day after Thanksgiving!
And more pie:
We built the annual addition to our Lego winter village:
And had turkey soup for dinner:
After dinner, some of us went back downtown for the tree lighting and community sing:
And more pie for dessert when we got back home:
There you have it. It was a mostly normal holiday, and it was good to do things that felt familiar again!
I don’t always have photos taken of me with my students on the first or last day of school in any given year, but as it turns out, I did have a photo of Turkey, Bunny, and I from our very first day of homeschooling way back in September 2008, and I made sure to take another today to commemorate Turkey’s and Bunny’s high school graduation.
I guess the experiment we decided to try for one year turned out ok!
If there’s anything that didn’t change too much for us this year due to COVID-19, it was Thanksgiving. That’s not to say things weren’t different at all, but we never travel for Thanksgiving, so at least we didn’t miss that, and we don’t always have family over, so while we missed seeing them, it wasn’t necessarily expected either. So, a lot of our three-day Thanksgiving holiday looked pretty much the same, starting with Pie Day on Wednesday, when we baked eight pies (seven for our family, and this year, one to give away).
In the middle of the baking, the children also made their yearly hand-and-footprint turkeys…Turkey and Bunny were kind enough to play along again this year at my request, since it is their last year in my homeschool.
We watched a very different version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning (in the words of Al Roker, it wasn’t the parade we wanted, but it was the parade we needed), which we enjoyed very much because it was something somewhat familiar. The same went for the National Dog Show, which was extra exciting for me this year because the dog I wanted to win actually did! And then we got ready for dinner. One of the best parts of any holiday is setting the table:
And the food. There was a lot of food, even with the turkey mishap we had in the morning (I ended up having to throw out the turkey I had purchased to roast, and we decided to order a second Beast Craft BBQ smoked turkey to ensure we had enough leftovers).
It’s always a pretty-looking dinner!
After clean-up and Holiday Inn, I got out the pies:
I limited myself to trying two kinds. This was my first attempt at lemon meringue pie, and I was very pleased with the results!
I made sure to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and helped Franklin prepare his holiday feast:
The day after Thanksgiving has been pretty different. We didn’t get to see Moose march in our town’s Santa Parade this year, which was disappointing…I’d really come to enjoy that event. And there was no town tree lighting or gingerbread house walk or trolley ride to look forward to after dinner. This morning, though, the family traditions did continue with pie-for-breakfast:
And turkey sandwiches for lunch, which I almost like better than Thanksgiving dinner itself!
Lego building is also part of our day-after-Thanksgiving celebration…I built the free-with-purchase A Christmas Carol set we received:
I always make turkey soup for dinner the day after Thanksgiving:
And after dinner, the Fab Five built a Lego Harry Potter set to add to our Hogwarts setup in the school room.
It wasn’t exactly the Thanksgiving we had planned, but all things considered, we had a very nice family celebration!
I was kind of worried about pumpkin picking this year. Actually, I had pretty much given up on the idea of us going, and I was planning on just buying a pumpkin when I went grocery shopping, because there was no way we were comfortable with piling into a tractor-pulled wagon with a bunch of people who would hopefully be wearing masks. But then I found out that most sincere pumpkin patch in the area, Braeutigum Orchards, was not only requiring masks and social distancing, they were also offering the option to walk to the pumpkin patch, and that was something we were all comfortable with! Yesterday was the perfect fall day, so we took a break from school to find the Great Pumpkin.
Actually, in some ways, in addition to being a slightly new and different experience, it was a superior experience. We got to see some parts of the farm up close for the first time ever, and it was beautiful:
There were still quite a few pumpkins left, even though it’s pretty late in the season. One thing I love about Braeutigum’s is the wide variety of pumpkin shapes and colors they offer. Being able to borrow one of their hand wagons was a fun new experience, and made our job much easier, too, which is how we ended up with four different pumpkins in three colors!
We stopped to visit the animals while we were there…we always see the chickens and turkeys, but we don’t usually get to see barn cats…we came across at least six of them!
Taking pictures was a little different this year, what with the masks and all, but it’s a memory.
Did I mention it was a beautiful day?
Of course we picked up apple cider and apple cider donuts to enjoy at home:
This was a really positive experience in a surreal time, and made yesterday feel almost like a normal day!