Our Thanksgiving break this year started on Tuesday. Emily went to Joy School in the morning and Andrew stayed home to help finish packing. We had Nathan and a friend’s two month old twins helping us. Andrew picked up box lunches from a local cafe for our trip and arrived at 11am sharp back at our home. We picked Emily up and made the 4.5 hour drive to Iowa without any excitement.
Emily and Christine disappeared immediately upon arrival. This happened often throughout the 4.5 days we were there. I will never know all the details, but Christine sent me pictures of Emily’s much anticipated manicure and I heard lots of playing doctor and gymnastics.
It took Nathan about 18 hours before he felt really comfortable, and then there was no holding him back from exploring. He climbed everything that could possibly be climbed (blanket stand, stairs, chairs little and big, step stool). Favorite discoveries this trip: the little people school bus, the broom (a favorite at our house too), the pop up house (he would crawl in and over everyone with great shouts of joy, shout inside, and then crawl out with more happy screams), the foosball table (he can reach the handles while standing on his tip toes and also grab the balls as they come out of the goal), light switches he can reach standing on a chair, and the slide in the backyard.
Emily really wanted to earn money to buy purple chapstick. Grandma and Grandpa Moose gave her the job of cleaning off all the door nobs, paying a nickel for every two cleaned. Once her money was earned, she and Grandma Moose went shopping together to make the purchase. Christine and I snuck out after we put the kids to bed Wednesday night to pick up a few last minute ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner. We ended our outing with scoops of ice cream from Whitey’s.
My mom and I can’t seem to get together without doing some project. This time she, Emily, and I serged flannel squares to make baby wipes to go along with our cloth diapers while Dad was at the Turkey bowl. Once everyone was home we headed over to friendship park to get some wiggles out before nap time.
Thanksgiving dinner was prepared in phases throughout the day with lots of chatting and keeping each other company. We had the spanish speaking sister missionaries and our new friends Sarah and her daughter Elizabeth join us for Thanksgiving dinner. There was lots of laughter, story telling, and memory making. We thought Thanksgiving might be Nathan’s favorite holiday with all the food. Nope – he did not like turkey, stuffing, or mashed potatoes and they all ended up on the floor (he filled up on rolls and winter citrus salad, minus the kale which he also threw on the floor). The missionaries saved the turkey carcass from the trash can to make bone broth, which we had to document to share with their families too.
Christine suggested we watch Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer. We put Nathan to bed but let Emily stay up late and watch it with us to kick-off the Christmas season. Note the purple chapstick mid application (it is almost gone).
Wednesday and Friday morning I snuck out around 6:20am to go on a solo run. It felt weird and glorious to run without two kids in the stroller. I made it back around 7am, just when the kids were waking up.
My mom kindly set up and provided babysitting so that Andrew, Christine, and I could go see “Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them”. This was the first movie I’ve seen in the theater since we took Emily when she was two months old. We all enjoyed the experience.
Grandpa Moose came home to play Friday afternoon. He and Emily had a catapult figured out and flew little animals onto the couches (and woke me up from my 10 minute power nap).
Friday night we celebrated Christine’s 16th birthday! We had cashew chicken for dinner and cookies and cream ice cream cake for dessert. We sadly discovered the typical birthday candles were gone so Christine improvised with a giant candle. She opened presents which included a pomegranate face peel off mask that the two of us tried while Andrew finished getting the kids settled in bed.
We packed up and returned home Saturday morning. We only got Emily to leave with promises of returning in a few weeks for Christmas. It was a Thanksgiving with much to be grateful for.