Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

It is crazy to think that Thanksgiving has already come and gone! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope that you and your family did as well! Here is a run down of how our long weekend went...
Last week was a bit crazy as I had to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (all 12 hour shifts) and we planned to leave from my work as soon as I got off on Wednesday night. This meant lots of planning and packing each evening after I got home. I left for work at 6 AM Wednesday morning and had to make sure everything was organized so Tim could load his car and meet me later that evening. When I got off of work they were waiting for me in the parking lot. After a quick stop at Culver's (great start to my weekend of eating!) we were on our way. Isaac rode with me and Tim had the other two and the dogs (two cars were needed due to Tim and the older boys coming back home to go deer hunting). Isaac talked my ear off and we had fun jammin' to our favorite songs on the radio. It was really nice to have that time with just Isaac! We made it safely back to my mom's and unloaded the car. Once that was done we made a quick visit to Tim's mom because we weren't going to be seeing her for Thanksgiving. By the time we made it back to my mom's I was beat! It had already been a long week and we hadn't even gotten to the holiday yet.
Thanksgiving Day-
Tim and I got up and got our butts out the door for a great 4 mile run. We have been making this a tradition since we started running. Rain was coming and we managed to get our run in just before it let loose. It felt great to get out there and start out the holiday with a run together. It is always fun to come back and run in our hometown... hills and all!

We did some quick stretching and got cleaned up and headed off to my Grandma's to celebrate Thanksgiving. Of course there was lots of wonderful food involved! I have to say my family sure knows how to cook! I did pretty good in the eating department though. I kept my portions in control and didn't overdo it. 
After lunch there was a little crafting by the little (and some big) turkeys.

Then it was a family game of BINGO. Grandma Betty was in her glory playing with two daughters, some grandkids and great-grandkids. Isaac proved that he has her luck and won several of the games played.
Aunt Julie got to fulfill her dream of being a BINGO caller and did a great job!
After the Christmas decorations were put up it was time for a little story courtesy of Aidan.

Aidan reading Happy Thanksgiving Biscuit to all who wanted to listen
Grandma Jane bought him this book a couple of weeks ago when they made the deal that he would practice reading it so he could read it for Grandma Betty on Thanksgiving. He did a great job!
Tim and the older boys headed for home so that they could get ready for deer hunting over the weekend. That left me and Aidan hanging out with my mom for the rest of the weekend.
We started out our weekend by heading to the Peanuts Movie.

My Aunt Julie and her husband Mark joined us and we all had a great time. Aidan loved the movie and all of the attention he was getting from being the only kid in the group.
Aidan and Mollie started the day off by being lazy bums!

I, on the other hand, got out there for a quick run. It was a bit colder and windier than the day before but it was still a great run to help burn off the splurge from the day before.

We spent the rest of the afternoon/evening doing a little shopping in town and also made a quick trip to Dubuque to get some supplies for our crafting that we had planned for the weekend.
While we were out doing all of this, Isaac was heading out for his first time deer hunting!

Isaac- first time deer hunting
I think it is safe to say he was excited! The weekend didn't prove to be very successful in the deer hunting department but it sounded like they all had a good time.
We had planned to craft all day but plans changed as my mom had to cater for a funeral. She works for the same reception hall and catering company that I did all through high school and college. Actually, she took my opening when I left and has been helping out on weekends and for special events ever since. The owner was gone for the holiday weekend so she was in charge of taking care of everything for the funeral and asked if I would be willing to help instead of asking one of the high school kids to come in. It has been a long time since I have worked there but I knew it would all come back so Aidan and I ended up helping for the day.
The ladies helping in the church kitchen loved this little man!

Aidan did a great job helping! He even told me on the way home on Sunday that this was his favorite part of the whole weekend- "having to work". I didn't get any pictures, but he was a great help once we got back to the reception hall and had all of the dishes to do. He loved helping with the huge dishwasher! We all made a great team and got everything cleaned up quickly so we could enjoy the rest of our day.
One of the rewards for working so hard was a carriage ride through downtown. 
Horse drawn carriage ride! It was chilly but it was worth the wait.
Then it was time to craft!
Peppermint candy ornaments
This was the first time making the peppermint candy ornaments and I have to admit that they didn't go exactly as we thought they would. Out of the six we attempted we only ended up with two successful ornaments. We need to work on our technique on these.
We also mixed up salt dough ornaments and got them in the oven baking which we also learned is a lengthy process. We kept checking on them all evening while we started on a few other projects (no pictures as those didn't get finished...yet!)
We worked on finishing up our salt dough ornaments by adding some paint and decorations.
you can see the two successful peppermint candy ornaments on the bottom

We made a few other quick projects (pictures to come on those) and before we knew it we needed to head for home.

Tim texted earlier in the morning that they would be home in time to go "hunt" for our Christmas tree so we had to get home for that adventure.

Once everyone was home we loaded up and headed for the Christmas tree farm. We have been cutting our own tree for several years and everyone loves this tradition. Before we get to this year's adventure, let's revisit last years "tree hunting adventure".

Last year we had some issues...

First, I worked every weekend around the time we normally get our tree.

Then, we planned a perfect afternoon to head out to get it and the tree farm wasn't open. That was our only time to get one so we ended up at..

yep, Menards!

2014 tree hunt

2014 tree hunt

the traditional dragging the tree to the car- 2014

tree hunt 2014
It was disappointing to not get to cut one down but 2014 will be a memorable year for our tree hunt tradition. In the end we all loved the tree we ended up with.

Now, back to this year's tree hunt!

It is a bit of a climb to the top but it is always worth it! The view is incredible and we always have great luck finding a tree at the top!

Mollie even got to join us for the adventure this year!
It turned out to be a great day for our tree hunt and we found a tree that we think will be perfect for this year! We got it up in the stand and it is ready and waiting for us to decorate! Our annual tree hunt is one of my favorite traditions that we have created with our boys and I look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come.

What are your favorite traditions with your family?

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