Tuesday, December 1, 2009

4 year old gets a Thankgiving feast for his birthday!

Hosting Thanksgiving this year was bound to happen. I managed to get out of it for the past 11 years of my marriage. But when my mother gave me a huge counter top roaster this past summer, I knew I could avoid the TURKEY task no longer.

And so we invited everyone in our family without realizing how few we could actually fit at our dining table. And amazingly, almost everyone from both sides of the family were able to join us! Accckk! So we had to buy a new folding table, extra dishes, 3 sets of silverware, new glasses, and some more fall decor. Times like that make me glad that I'm a list person, even if everyone else makes fun of me for it! ;-)

So, since most the fam would be here for the holiday, we also decided to just have Adam's 4th birthday party that day instead of the next weekend. Two birds, one very, very large stone (actually only ONE bird - lol)! In addition to the fall decor, there were balloons to be blown up & hung, gifts to buy & wrap, and cake to bake & frost. And with Jefferson's school schedule, there was no way I was going to be able to get more than one day of lessons in with Reagan.

But at least we could do a few fun Thanksgiving crafties around here. Adam made a turkey out of feathers & play dough, while Jefferson & Reagan colored in turkey place mats (the small size of my laminator disappointed them, however) and we all added leaves to our "Thankful" tree.
Jefferson memorized Psalm 100 and sang it to the tune of a hymn for our guests. And a new tradition this year (started & planned by my sil) was to light a votive candle for each person at the table while offering up something for which that person was thankful. By the time we'd all gone around the table and parents had spoken for each of their kids, we had a beautifully lit dining environment!

But I must share the "turkey" story since my dear husband cracks me up in the way he tackles his 'projects.' He insisted that he would take care of the turkey, as long as I had a roaster for it. After pouring over the instructions that came with the roaster (for what seemed like hours although I'm sure it was only minutes - lol!), he calls to order the turkey and spends an hour on the phone with the meat department trying to figure out what size turkey would fit in the roaster or if we needed to use two smaller ones. At one point he had the person measure both the 24lb and the 12lb turkeys!! I was just doing my best not to let my 'chuckle' out through my nose while he was on the phone! His next step in this engineering process (or I could call it a 'Fogoros' process, after my mil's way of researching) was to take the roaster pan with him to the grocery and get into hours of debate with the meat ladies as to the best way to feed 12 adults and 9 kids most efficiently. Had I been there to see that,I would NOT have been able to contain myself as they squished and squashed different size and combos of turkey into the pan in as many different configurations as possible!

You see, as my un-detail oriented mother before me, I would have seen that the roaster called for a max of 18 lbs and would have ordered a 22 pounder and just crossed my fingers! LOL! Thankfully, however, I was blessed with such a man as this. He, after ordering a 24 pounder, whipped out his calculator to figure out how many hours of slow cooking this fowl beast would require. SLOW cooking, people. He wanted tender meat. So - after 17 1/2 hours at 250 degrees, we cautiously cut open the lid (it had to be tied in due to it's size!) and prayed that his brainwork had paid off. And as you can see in the photos, this bird turned out WONDERFULLY! Cooking it upside down helped keep the white meat from drying out but made it quite a task to slice since it practically fell apart when moved.
Add the perfect bird to the huge amounts of sides that everyone helped with and we were solidly stuffed in no time! Well worth the hungry wait through the afternoon!

What a wonderful day to be with family! We decided to let Adam 'rip' into his birthday gifts before the meal since we knew we'd all still be conscious and that he could hardly wait another minute. He had been touching and re-arranging them since they started arriving at 10am - just oogling over them! But then he could hardly get through opening them since he was so interested in playing with each as he opened them. After our meal (and a bit of a break to make room for the sweet stuff!) we finally sang to him and let him have a go at the candle. I find it amusing how I grabbed his neck to shove him closer to the burning candle! But it wasn't until he saw the video that he realized that Mommy "helped" him with the candle - lol!

Our 4 year old! Ka-CHOW! from DNAC on Vimeo.

The time with family couldn't have been any better! The cousins enjoyed playing all.day.long and got to have cake & ice cream also. The adults caught up with each other while trying to keep the turkey fom putting us to sleep and the aroma of hot spiced apple cider filled the house with warmth.


Our dinner verse before the meal:

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
whom he has redeemed from trouble

and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.

Some wandered in desert wastes,
finding no way to a city to dwell in;

hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.

He led them by a straight way
till they reached a city to dwell in.

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!

For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things."
Psalm 107:1-9


sbharnish said...

awesome post! Yes, you pulled it off....and WELL I might add! Everything was wonderful,and the time with family was irreplaceable! Why is it that everytime I hear a story about Dave and his shananigins, I think of Seinfeld....seriously, he should have been an episode writer.....he missed his calling.

Monica said...

I looks like a wonderful Thanksgiving that will be remembered by all. You know, they are going to recruit you again to host?:)

I love the votive candle idea! I'm going to have to steal that one.

I also love the verse on your piano, LOVE that verse!

mom24 said...

Monica - the verse on the piano is the one we chose for Adam when he was born and I was excited to find that piece of wood with it. He was to have a different name but his cousin was born 3 months earlier and they chose the name we'd chosen for him. I love the verse because God KNOWS our name, even if we don't!

Becky - thx! I might actually be able to do it again, now that my Seinfeld actually got the turkey to turn out - lol!

Trish said...

Sounds like it was a wonderful day all the way around.

Tony laughed at D's turkey story...sounds like something he would do (he meaning Tony).

Take care.

mom24 said...

Trish - there's no taking the "engineer" out of the engineers! This meal was NOT allergen free btw and you know what happens after that. Rae has been doing better than I thought behaviorally, but her skin is scratched to scabs again and she has circles under eyes again. 3 yo is just not sleeping well and is runny. Do you HAVE to keep all the allergens out for S, or can you cheat on a holiday??

argsmommy said...

What an amazing Thanksgiving! I hosted for the first time too, and it went wonderfully, but I was not able to add in all the fun and meaningful things for the kids like you did. Well, I still have Christmas...

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Trish said...

Ah, yes...they will always be engineers to the core!

I do keep out all the allergens for S...I don't have much of a choice both health and behavior wise.

I've learned a few tricks over the years and substitute everything fairly easily now. When we go somewhere I usually bring our own sides.