Monday, December 7, 2009

it's always turkey day around here

Triple turkey day, every day.

Before school let out for Thanksgiving, the second and third graders got to take part in a Thanksgiving feast together. It's neat to see holidays celebrated in school and there really isn't much of that anymore because of the potential every holiday has to offend someone. Christmas and Hanukkah are right out, we all know that, yet Diwali (Hindu holiday) is celebrated big in every grade every year. Yeah, that makes sense.

Because the feast fell on a tuesday and I am always volunteering at school on tuesdays, I helped out. The kids diced vegetables and made fresh butter and spread the butter on slices of bread. The parents took the veggies and made 8 giant pots of squash/corn/onion soup, fresh cranberry sauce, roasted pumpkin seeds, and cornbread.

It was Thanksgiving without the turkey and I wasn't in on the planning regarding that decision but I wasn't surprised because I think it had to do with the fact that so many kids at school are Indian and religiously vegetarian. Having a holiday celebration at school involving food at all was pretty unique given that everyone is normally even more sensitive (meaning paranoid) about food allergies than they are about offending someone with fun holiday celebrations in a public school.

We spent all morning cooking and then we set everything up at the huge lunch tables outside and the kids passed the dry foods around to each other while we served them soup in the mugs they all brought from home. Everything was really delicious and though there was SO much food and I thought we'd prepared way to much, the kids managed to eat nearly all of it within a few minutes.

John's entire family was here for turkey day and the girls were so excited to be able to see all of their cousins together. Allison took a particular interest in Terri's daughter Laura--that is, when she didn't "hate her ALL day!" I don't know exactly what was going on there. Allison was all smiles and literally very attached to her, then suddenly angry at her and sulking somewhere else, then back again.

And so it went. Allison was poor Laura's shadow off and on all weekend. Laura had a couple of friends from college who are from Norway join us on Thanksgiving and Allison kept pestering Laura so much that she could barely talk to them. "My mom says I have to leave you alone now," Allison informed Laura and then proceeded to sit down right next to her again. I dragged Allison away from her several times which provided Laura only short-term breaks.

But all the other cousins had fun visiting together and it was an irresistible opportunity to get some group family photos, I thought. Except that neither Allison nor Sue's two young daughters particularly wanted to be photographed and made it hard for me to get a happy looking group assembled.

We also got pictures of Dora with all the grand kids and John and his siblings with Dora.

Then it was serious food time.

And serious laying around and being full time.

Terri and her family stayed with us for the weekend so our house of 5 became a house of 10. Our three girls slept in Erin's room so that Tim and Andrew could have the twins' room. I never did get a picture of them (each about 6'2") in the twins' beds.
"Of course the guys will fit in the beds, they used to be their beds, remember?" John reminded me few days prior. Yes, these were their beds, but not at Tim and Andrew's present height. Laura had to camp on a couch while Terri and Randy had our guest room. It was cozy but worked out fine (says the person who didn't have to sleep on a couch or in a little girl's twin bed with flower sheets, and who is used to being awakened at 6:45 by 5 year-olds stomping around the hallways).

Sue and her family were staying with Dora and my girls commented to their cousin Lucy (3.5 years old), "You are so LUCKY, you get to sleep at Grandma's house!" Grandma overheard some of this and then invited our girls to sleepover on friday night also.

That evening all the girls watched a movie on Grandma's bed while Aunt Sue served them popcorn. Then they all slept on the floor in another room in indoor play tents that I brought over from home.

Meanwhile, John and I and Terri's family went to the movies to see new disaster film "2012". As it turns out, the biggest disaster of all was our spending $10 each and 90 minutes to watch it.

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