Thanksgiving 2022

Time for a look back at our family’s Thanksgiving celebration, a three-day affair that always begins with Pie Day (Wednesday), and continues on through Black Friday.

On Thanksgiving morning, we watched the Macy’s Parade (which just wasn’t the same without Al Roker), and in between dinner preparations, I played a bit of Animal Crossing:

While we watched the Dog Show (we were thrilled that the adorable French Bulldog, Winston, won!), I got to work setting the table:

Instead of using a mix of stemmed glasses, this year, I set the table with our “regular” drinking glasses, which I purchased over the summer. They look pretty fancy, even though we use them everyday!

Dinner was ready earlier than I was expecting (I’m glad I checked the turkey when I did, because the pop-up timer, which I never use, had already popped), and I scrambled to get it all together. Our meal was fairly standard, with turkey and everyone’s favorite stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, carrots and parsnips, green beans with almonds, Brussels sprouts, and rolls, plus one new dish, made with wild rice and mushrooms, that I really liked!

I think it was a pretty amazing feast!

For dessert, we had our standard seven pies, most of which were our usual picks, but I did make one new recipe for a cranberry curd tart with a shortbread crust:

I chose the two main Thanksgiving flavors, pumpkin and cranberry, for my dessert plate:

The next morning, we started the day with pie-for-breakfast…this time, I chose Nutella:

Then we went to see Moose march with his band in the town Santa parade:

Nothing beats a turkey sandwich on Rye bread for the after-Thanksgiving lunch!

I also tried the pecan pie…I updated my recipe, and I just had to see for myself how it turned out (really, really well, if you’re interested!):

This year’s Lego Winter Village set is an adorable Main Street complete with a streetcar:

For dinner, I made turkey soup (of course):

And then Moose, Chickadee, and I went downtown for the tree lighting:

I love our Thanksgiving traditions!

A Look Back at the First Year of College

As of last week, Turkey and Bunny have finished their first year of college! I’m not directly involved in their education anymore, but as their former teacher, I of course have to take a look back at how they did academically. They both had straight As both semesters, which also means they both made the Dean’s List. They each had at least one professor they really liked, and with whom they were able to take a class both semesters, and I’m super grateful for that, because I think those kinds of connections are really important. They were also both asked to join the honor society Phi Theta Kappa, which is fantastic, because that can open doors to scholarships when they transfer to their chosen four-year colleges after graduation next spring.

All that to say, I’m really, really proud of them, and I also guess it’s safe to say that I didn’t totally screw up their education in the 13 years they were students in my little homeschool!

Only Nineteen but His Mind is Older

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!

Thanksgiving 2021

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!

Off to College

The day I’ve been dreading waiting for is finally here…Turkey and Bunny started college!

I’m not going to lie…I’m relieved that they’re staying local and starting at the community college, and not just for financial reasons…I’m not ready to say good-bye yet!

This is a very exciting step for them, and a new experience for our whole family, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

The Graduates

The big day is here…Turkey and Bunny are now high school graduates!

We had a small, family celebration, but I tried to make it as special as possible.

Bunny also had an Animal Crossing graduation party!

I made their favorite dinner:

And java chip Oreo truffles for dessert:

I don’t know where the years have gone, but I do know that I am very proud of them, and excited for the next chapters in their lives!

The First Day of School…and the Last

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!

18 is Golden

Today is a very special day, because not only is it Turkey’s 18th Birthday, it is also his Golden Birthday! We started the day with gifts…I’m so glad he still likes Lego sets!

His big present was a Lego pirate ship…it took him a good part of the day to build!

He asked for turkey for his birthday dinner…I made most of the traditional Thanksgiving side dishes to go with it:

And a chocolate mocha trifle for dessert:

Frankly, I’m still having a hard time figuring out where the years have gone, but I do know how proud I am of my first-born!

(Throwback) Chickadee Thursday

Today is Turkey’s 18th birthday, and I can’t help remember back to when he was Chickadee’s age almost nine years ago when I look at the two of them today!

How the years have flown by!

Thanksgiving in the Time of COVID-19

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!