Sunday, December 7, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up – November 23rd-29th

It’s Thanksgiving Week!  That means lots of holiday preparations, lots of food, lots of shopping, and lots of fun with family and friends!

********************

The weather was so mild at the beginning of the week that I took the kids out for slushies when I picked Hayden up from school

20141124_150851

They always love that!

********************

Normally, my first order of business on Monday morning during the week of Thanksgiving is to put up my tree.  However, the boys in my house failed to bring the tree and decorations down from the attic over the weekend as promised, so that foiled my normal order of business.  Instead, I wrapped presents on Monday and stacked them up in the middle of the recreation room until such time as someone got my tree down!  That was apparently the incentive needed for them to get my tree stuff out, so bright and early on Tuesday morning, I got my tree all put up and decorated!

20141125_121734

Isn’t it pretty?  It’s all Victorian with strands of baby pink pearls, dried off-white and burgundy German statice (yes, real dried flowers!), pink and burgundy velvet and lace-trimmed bows, white lights, and hand-painted Christmas balls with Raphael angels on them.  Then there’s a beautiful lighted angel on top with a burgundy dress and golden wings.  Gorgeous!  The first year that I had my own Christmas tree in my very own house (I bought my townhouse when I was 21), these were the decorations I bought.  I have used them ever since and have carefully packed them away each year.  How I love the simple elegance of this tree!

********************

Wednesday brought lots of cleaning and decorating my Thanksgiving table, plus a last-minute trip to the grocery store for the fresh fruit that would go in my fruit salad.

Thursday was the big day!  I made 2 turkey breasts…one in the oven in a steam bag and one in the rotisserie…a half boneless sliced ham, homemade mashed potatoes, turkey stuffing, turkey gravy, green beans with bacon in my pressure cooker, homemade fruit salad, homemade dinner rolls, fresh whole cranberry sauce, and pumpkin trifle for dessert.  Yum!  I also made a Crockpot of mulled wassail cider and served a ton of sparkling cider, as well.  It was a feast for a king!  Our guests were Bob and Bunny Mallard and Margaret Stroud from church, plus Margaret’s adult son, Ken.  It was a lovely group of people with whom to share a meal!  And they each brought some dishes to share, as well.  There was definitely plenty of food this year!  We were very fortunate and thankful for that.

This was a bittersweet day for me, though.  I had myself some tears that morning, as I couldn’t help but remember that this was also my mom’s favorite holiday of the year.  She always loved how it brought the whole family together.  This is sadly the first Thanksgiving of my life that I wouldn’t get to call her and hear her cheery voice.  So I declared to my guests that I was dedicating my dinner to my mom this year in her honor.  I took our her beautiful 24-karat gold-trimmed china from England and set a beautiful table with it.  I’m always afraid of breaking something, but I just asked everyone to let me collect their dishes rather than have people traipsing through my porcelain-tiled kitchen with the plates and risk someone accidentally chipping or breaking something.  All went well!  I think my mom was watching us from Heaven, and I think she was pleased.  I love her so much!  It breaks my heart to not be able to share special things with her any more.  It has certainly been a sad and difficult year for me and my siblings.

20141127_124559

Anyway, we had a beautiful day together with friends and family, and we started at noon so that we could wrap things up by about 4:30 and then start preparing for our early Black Friday shopping!  Once we said our goodbyes and put all the food away, Hayden and I scoured the ads quickly, made shopping lists for each store, and headed out at about 5:30!  Stores began to open at 6 PM this year, so we wanted to be ready and waiting at Wal-mart when they opened the doors.

He and I had a blast shopping this year.  I was shocked and pleased by how pleasant shoppers and employees were this year.  There were no shoving matches, no one stealing things from each other’s carts, and no one getting tasered or arrested.  Those are some of the things we’ve seen in years’ past, unfortunately!  But this year was a whole different scenario, and we were thankful for that.  We were able to get everything on our list at every store we visited, and we were home by about 10:30!   That was awesome!  And we really got some great deals.  I think I spent more than I’ve ever spent on Black Friday before.  Ugh!

********************

Hayden and I even did a bit more shopping on Friday night, and we still got in on some of the good Black Friday deals!  We were amazed that so many good deals were still around.  There seemed to be plenty of people out, and everyone seemed to buying a lot, so I was rather surprised that the stores didn’t run out of any of the special deals. 

So what kinds of special activities did you do with your family this week?