Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Family Day

This is the first chance I've had to post about our Thanksgiving Day. I tried last night, but I
guess there were just too many people on our satelite internet across the country....watching the election results. That is what my man was doing - on his computer (we don't have TV). Since we are in the country, high speed internet is not available to us. There are some companies with wireless, but we are not in line with any of their transmitters. So, we are stuck with satelite or dialup. Satelite is not very fast, but it is like greased lightening compared to dial up. At any rate, we have to share bandwidth with folks all across the country so at high traffic times I just walk away.
Our Thanksgiving day started with daughter Kath, SIL Vinj, grandson Seth, and their friend from Toronto, Trish, arriving just as we were getting up. Soon, Son Daniel was up and about (he had arrived the night before) and then his friend (MR), who was home from college for the weekend walked in. Within an hour, I was taking orders for breakfast from 6 people. MR can not eat eggs (something to do with having worked in chicken barns all his life) so I mixed up a batch of waffles for him. Everyone else had poached eggs and toast and yogurt. Vinj had already gone to bed since he worked all night, drove 1/2 hr to pick up his family, then drove another 1/2 hr to get to our house.
My breakfast was on plan - one poached egg, one piece of toast, fat free, sugar free yogurt.
Jim and I worked for the next hour or so, cleaning up, making stuffing and getting the bird in the oven, while Dan and MR played guitars in the living room and the girls disappeared into the bathroom to curl hair and apply makeup.
That whirlwind had just settled when the next group arrived....Son Rob, DIL Lana, granddaughters Emma, Elizabeth and Sophia. By then, it was noon and of course, they were hungry.....I was informed that the girls had been offered lunch but had said they wanted to wait because "Grandma always has macaroni and cheese". LOL. It is true. Although I never eat the stuff, I always have some "Kraft Dinner" on hand for the girls. So, Mommy Lana made the girls some lunch and raided my fridge to find something for herself. She commented (more than once during the day) that "it is so nice to come here and know that I will be able to find things that I can eat because you always have healthy, low fat food in the house" (Lana is pregnant and has a gallstone so needs to eat fat free).
Son Andrew arrived, without his wife.....their puppy (1 yr old) Thor had broken his leg the day before and Keltie did not think they should bring him out. A couple hours later, Keltie called to say that Thor had to stay in his pen anyway because he kept wanting to chase his tail, etc. so she suggested they could bring him in his pen. Andrew went to get her later in the afternoon.
Back to this time, the kids had set up a table in the living room and were playing Monopoly.
starting at left: Robert, Daniel, Andrew, MR, Trish, Emma
Jim, Rob, and Andrew were all hungry so I made them each a couple grilled cheese sandwiches (fat free cheese slices on whole grain bread)
I stayed on plan by having a bowl of taco soup.
Here is 8 year old Emma. She is old enough to play games with the uncles and aunts. She loves to be a part of the adult activities.
As soon as they were finished with their lunches, Elizabeth (7) and Sophie (5) went out to play. Soon they were back in asking for a basket or something so they could pick apples. (crabapples) They were so excited about this - they were going to keep picking all day and take the apples home so Mommy could make pies or juice. This is what they came up with before they tired of it. At least there is plenty left for the birds over the winter. :)
Andrew came back with Keltie and poor Thor (a purebred Staffie). Everyone was properly sympathetic as Thor was put into his pen. Since our house is pretty small, he was right beside the action for the whole day/evening.
the break is just below his "ankle"
Keltie did much of her visiting sitting right beside Thor
The Monopoly game over, the game was changed to "Skipbo". The little girls joined in this game, and by this time MR had left and our brother in law Ken and nephew Scott had arrived. Jim's sister had the flu so stayed away. Scott and Dan went outside to play some catch......
Scott - still with his ipod sticking in his ear
Dan, making a pitch back. This is not just "playing catch"....this is "see who can make the other yelp in pain when the ball hits his glove"
While the boys are playing catch, Keltie is sitting with her dog, Vinj is still sleeping, and the rest are playing Skipbo, Lana is quietly "nesting" as she calls it......she is learning to knit - her current project, a blanket in both pink and blue since they don't know yet what sex the baby is.
About the time we begin to peel potatoes and carrots (I had pre-cooked the sweet potatoes and the beets the night before), Son Michael, DIL Victoria and grandson Kaden arrive.
I can always count on my man being my main helper at any family gathering. He washed dishes constantly (by hand) so that there was no mounting pile taking up space on the cupboards as well as peeled both potatoes and carrots.
"Uncle Mike" with Emma and Sophia
Kaden - 9 months old, showing off his 6 teeth
Robert....he's been an avid Oilers fan (NHL hockey) since he was about 7 years old. This year, he was chosen (he had to write an essay) to be part of an exclusive hockey pool hosted by the Oilers themselves. It is quite an honor. As part of the perks of being in this pool, he was given an authenic jersey with his last name on the back. He is quite proud of it, as you can see.
For some reason, at one point in the afternoon, the kitchen became "the place to be". Here is an idea of how small it is - and there are at least 8 people in there!
By mid afternoon, Vinj woke up and joined us. Here is a photo of he and Kathryn together:
We had one more guest arrive late in the day - Scott's girlfriend, JR (sister of Dan's friend MR). Scott and his dad picked her up when they left to get our extra table from their house - we had lent it to them last July.
Did I mention my kitchen is tiny? Counter space is limited to begin with and made even smaller by the fact that cupboard space is even more limited - meaning the counters are also storage for things that don't fit into cupboards. Somehow, we manage to feed up to 30 people out of that kitchen without injury to one another. LOL It has become a dance of sorts. It always amazes me that so many people can work together transferring food from pots to bowls to the tables without running into one another or dropping a bowl of potatoes. The girls help with setting the table and putting the food on the table, the boys find chairs for everyone, Lana usually makes the gravy, one of the boys carves the turkey (all have been taught to do a beautiful job of it by their Dad), I direct everything with Jim being my right hand man......
Lana brought her own fat free gravy and fat free stuffing (she had served turkey dinner to her parents the day before). I kept some sweet potatoes out and mashed them without margarine or marshmellows (just a pinch of brown sugar and some cinnamon) and I put the beets in the oven without the customary butter bath. I did not measure or weigh my food, but otherwise, I stayed on plan.
For dessert, I had made pumpkin pies. I don't normally make pies - in fact, when Dan saw me putting them in the oven he just about fainted. "You made pies, Mom!? You don't make pies!? I didn't know you could make a pie!"
I made the pie with fat free evaporated milk and eggbeaters so Lana could have some. I called her and told her to bring some kind of fat free topping for herself though, because I was serving real whipped cream.
I had a piece of pie and a big spoon of whipped cream. I did not feel bad about it at all.
Clean up is done by the boys. This has become a new tradition. At first, I thought "Wow, my boys are growing up...they are more than happy to help" Then I realized why they were so willing........
Towel Snapping Wars.
They had a huge testosterone-driven war at Christmas last year and apparently, they were just waiting to have a rematch.
Scott and Michael
I have always hated towel snapping and when they were young, I forbade it...."Someone will get their eye taken out" and all that. However, now that they are adults, I really have no control over it. I think Michael came out with the most wounds this time. Vinj calmly loaded the dishwasher in the midst of the snapping. I don't know what the brothers and cousin did, because Jim washed the plates and had already washed all the pots and pans. They did assure me that they worked, though.
The evening was rounded out with Poker. Those that don't play, entertained themselves with babies and little girls - and of course, music....someone is always playing a guitar, the piano, or violin (Dan only) at a family gathering.

Victoria and Kaden, Kathryn and Seth

Seth loves when anyone plays a guitar.

People started leaving in the approximate order they arrived. Jim and I walked each group out to their car - the evening was surprisingly warm for October. Michael and Victoria stayed until quite late....we don't get to visit with them as often as the others since they don't live as close by.

So, it was a full day, a full house, and I mostly stayed on plan. (inlcuding the 3 glasses of wine) The next day I was actually DOWN from the weight I was on Sunday. However, to be honest, I think that spike was an anomoly so I will have to be honest and say that I actually gained .4 pounds - that is still the status today.


spunkysuzi said...

Looks like a great time was had by all. Even the puppy (at least he was there ;)
What beautiful pictures of a gorgeous family!!
I'm sure everyone will remember thanksgiving this year.

Ashley said...

What a great looking family!! And I maintain that small kitchens are the best (as long as I don't have to cook in them!!!). People always seem to gather in the smallest space possible, and I love it! Glad you had a great Thanksgiving. (I'm jealous that I have to wait until the end of November!)

MeltingLisa said...

What a lovely day you had!

And all fantastic pictures, what a lovely family you have. (Boooo to the Oilers jersey from the Flames fan haha!)

Well done staying on track as well, so important to learn how to deal with these family occasions and stay with our new healthy way of living.

THat was fun reading, thank you :)

~TMcGee~ said...

Loved taking a peek into your holiday. :-) You have such a lovely family and from the pics, you can tell that you all love each other. Good job on staying on plan, that's pretty awesome considering it was a holiday.

~Crystal said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving...truely alot to be thankful for with your beautiful family!! .4 lbs is nothing...don't feel too guilty about it. :0)

new*me said...

Those pictures are very special! I have to say you have a great looking family! I love the picture of everyone crowded in the kitchen. I love it!!!!! I have a small kitchen too but it's amazing how many people we can get in there ;) Now I want Thanksgiving!

You are blessed!

skinnyhollie said...

Thanks for sharing your special day! I love seeing pictures of everyone!

\vinj&kath said...

thats fun to read mom. It was a really nice day, I was glad we could come so early too:)
Good job on the photo shopping my face:)

Karyn said...

Kath the purpose of photoshopping your face was so that the blogging world didn't know you had a "breakout". Now, what was the point? :)