I really don't have time for this post, but here we go! Must keep pushing forward if I am going to get this Thanksgiving all blogged-about!
After the running, and football playing, and saying 10 things we are grateful for, and turkey hunting, it was time to transform our living room into a dining room for 30 and get the food to the table, which took the help of many capable hands!
Thankfully, lots of my friends loaned us tables, chairs, and high chairs to make the dinner comfortable for all of our guests.
This is what the tables looked like all set up. Couches and rugs were moved to the back deck to make room for all of this splendor! Take my word for it...it was quite a transformation.
Our family took one night of FHE to create these special name card pendants for each family to take home as a keepsake. It's made using glitter-infused burlap, ribbon, and card stock. Underneath each person's name, it said, "You are..." Everyone in our family wrote things they loved about each person or things they were thankful for about that person on the pendants. We did this during our special FHE, but the kids and adults in attendance also had a chance to do this right before dinner started.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, everything was abuzz!
My brother-in-law Eric was cutting up the turkey that he'd deep-fried. The sisters were all trying to help me rotate all of the baked dishes through the oven in a timely fashion and preparing their salads, etc.
The grandmas and Hank were in the midst of a major gravy conference. In the end, it all came together...and so did we...around one big, beautiful table.
My dream come true.
But before we ate, we took a moment to focus on why we were gathering in the first place...to thank God for all of His good gifts.
When I was in church on the Sunday before, we sang, "For the Beauty of the Earth," and I thought that is what I want us to sing before we eat. Singing before dinner is not a Thanksgiving tradition in our family, but I hope after this Thanksgiving it will be.
I also wanted to read a few meaningful scriptures about gratitude and praising and thanking the Lord in order to set the right spirit. Pressed for time, I did a pinterest search which lead me to Montserrat's perpetual Gratitude Calendar. Each month contains one scriptures on giving thanks to God, so I chose four scriptures from her collection to be read by the four grandparents before dinner.
So, we listened to the grandparents read the scriptures aloud, we sang together, and we ate.
What ensued was a lot of happy people "namm, namming" and making other joyful noises.
I wish I had gotten more and better photos of this part of our week, but alas, can't be all things at all times!
But it was sure bliss and happiness all around, so there's that.
Up next - Thanksgiving: Part IV - Our traditional post-dinner craft!