Monday, January 2, 2012

Thanksgiving 'Turkey' Day!!!

Hmmm.... Jan 1st (technically, already the 2nd) and I'm getting to Thanksgiving. That's something to be thankful for. :) We did (do) have a lot to be thankful for this year.... job, home, church, Christ, each other, friends and family. It's so easy to focus on the curve balls thrown our way, but such a blessing to ponder upon the good in our lives each day and be thankful.

Food. Definitely much food on Thanksgiving. The broth for the gravy (stock) was started Wednesday. The gravy recipe came from an ancestor on my Granny's side, Mary Salina Akins. Pretty cool to be using family recipes. :)  John had fun finishing the gravy once the turkey was out. Ohhhhh, there's nothing like giblet gravy!

I suppose along with the gravy is the main guest, Ole Tom himself! This was our smallest turkey ever! We really missed our big family gatherings this year, but thankful for the five of us. Usually I'm searching for the biggest turkey I could find, and this year there were several as I scrounged for the smallest.

Granny's turkey calls for orange squeezed inside. Once I've put a nice rub on the outside and stuffed it, you can see the butter being slabbed on the skin and under it. What a beaut!

Of course, with the Turkey we have Granny's stuffing and Mom's mashed potatoes. A big batch of potatoes are a necessity.... they turn into potato pancakes for the next couple of days!

The meal doesn't stop there. Even with the five of us (two picky eaters, and poor Tim was sick), the whole Thanksgiving meal was made.... remember that in case you want to drop in next year. :)   Granny's cheeseball, Aunt Jan's asparagus (with a little twist... which she often varies hers, too), Aunt Judy's corn relish, Sharon's sweet potato casserole, and well, um, shhhhh, cranberry in a can (the boys' favorite way!)

What about dessert? Can't forget dessert! More family recipes... Granny's pecan pie, Great-Grandma's pumpkin pie, and you can see Jordan busy making the whipped cream. I loved the day Mom taught me the simple, yet yummy way of making your own whipped cream. Special moments. :)

And for Tory, under the cloth are crabs. Okay, not crabs. My Little Men always call whatever 'bread' we have in the cloth, 'crabs'. We used to tell them before prayer not to get in the cloth, or the crabs would bite. The crabs on Thanksgiving are yummy croissants. Hmmm... my favorite part of the turkey? The skin! My favorite part of the meal? Sitting down together as a family, giving thanks.

The boys did watch the Macy's Parade in the morning, while I puttered in the kitchen. Such good memories of doing the same growing up, at my parent's or at Granny's.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Some November '11 Miscellaneous Pics

I just love my boys. Here they are with their 'birds.' Yum!

Lily thinks she's getting smarter working with Joseph on a research paper. I don't think either one is thrilled with the assignment. :)

Ahhhh.... and here is our view in the fall.


Day of Festivities! Parade First and Now the Museum!

 Heading to the car from the parade (to return our many blankets), we heard the beating sounds of drums at the American Indian Festival at the North Carolina Museum of History. My Little Men and I stood right behind the stage of drummers and singers, incredible! It was fascinating watching the drumming, singing and dancing.

We finally pulled ourselves away to pack up the car and meet Tim. We were so glad he could join us from work. The boys were so thrilled to see him! Outside the museum a wigwam structure was fascinating the children throughout the day. Our boys were thrilled the museum offered a scavenger hunt again. They took their time reading the exhibits and watching the films to find answers to the clues.

My boys were intrigued to explore the wigwam homes opposed to the longhouses they were familiar with in Northern NY. I was drawn to this beautiful dress of 1807. It was so exquisite. The picture does not do it justice!

Joey and Johnny found some arrowhead necklaces to bring home, while Jordan was happy with his own dream catcher. Hmmmm... I wonder if milking a cow (I believe there were plenty in NY) was his dream? The boys had so much fun with this poor cow, lol! Bottom left, Jordan once again found a friend with which to chat. Ahhhhh, there's my husband watching the crowd gather outside the adjacent Museum of Natural Sciences due to a small fire.

The day was full of music, dancing, exhibits, films, and games! The boys made their own corn darts and threw them through a webbed structure. I do believe they enjoyed the blow darts, reminisce of Papa first teaching them. Another traditional game was Chunkey, similar to Bocce, but with poles instead of balls.

John, still interested in building his own canoe someday, was fascinated with the canoe building (burning) exhibit. This one should be finished by summer and a new one started at next year's festival. Lillian and Mike are the couple that check over the scavenger results at each 'family' day. We've really formed a bond with them and they look forward to seeing our boys. Next family day at the museum will be January 28th. Until then.....

Christmas Parade

November 19th was a busy day. First the boys and I went to Raleigh's Christmas parade and was later joined by Tim for the American Indian Festival at the Museum of History.

What a great parade! It's the largest on the East between D.C. and Atlanta. How amazing after the Massena parades (which we loved) we enjoyed! Military, Royalty, Flags, Horses, Bands, and Dancers.

We saw balloons like those seen on Macy's parade. Above our seats (excellent btw) there were traffic lights that the balloons were lowered for. Jellybeans is a rollerskating rink (Wow! 70's/80's memories). Think of the groceries that could go into the shopping cart... I'd hate to have to clean that toilet, lol!

Means of transportation... the guys got a kick out of the trolley and old cars (Tim would of loved them!) Our new mayor rode in style, as did Ronald (no King, though.... we were hoping for a Chick-Fil-A float), and biker elves?

The boys were thrilled with the Star Wars characters. It was pretty cool to travel to our galaxy and North Carolina for the parade. :)

The entertainment went on.... dogs, ponies, gummy bears, acrobats, Scooby and friends, the Grinch (3 of them.... this was our favorite), and so much more not pictured here!

 The special floats? The boys cheered the most for Swoops on the Railhawks float (Swoops turned right to the boys and waved fanatically to them.) It was great to see Christ recognized in the parade! Can you guess who the crowd cheered most for? Not Santa Claus, but North Carolina's own American Idol winner, Scott McCreery. The guys couldn't understand how he got more recognition than Swoops or Santa.

My favorite part? Spending the day with my guys. The morning started out at only 29 degrees, and was 32 by parade time. We had wonderful seats in front of the old Capitol (you can see it in the background of the tall pic). The aesthetics was simply perfect. A crisp morning, sense of family with all those around us, a beautiful setting.... next year we need Tim. :)