Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giving Thanks, 2013

Some nasty viruses and frigid temps kept the crew mostly inside this Thanksgiving, but we still had a great time!  Here are the highlights from the big family holiday weekend at Chez Schneider that was largely spent feasting and marveling how little we saw of Josie & Lyla who were much more interested in choosing their own adventures this year and how sweet Jack & Beatrice are together.

Leading up to the holiday of gratitude, we chose a poem to write on our new chalkboard wall in our kitchen. 

Miss Josephine (whose current obsession is poetry) was so inspired that she asked if she could compose her own gratitude poem next to it.  In about 10 minutes, she had drafted this gem. And only stopped twice to ask how to spell 'special' and 'gracefulness.'
Here's the full text of it and the translation:
For the amber of the world
For the peace of the light
For the harmony of water
For the love of shelter
For the sun and the other planets* (which she later changed to stars, ha)
For the things that are special
For gracefulness
And gradatude* (ha, didn't ask how to spell this one, but came pretty close)
For me

On Wednesday night we met Lou's mom & dad, brother & sister and their families at Stone Creek Dining Company for dinner. I was totally wowed by their marinated tofu & vegetable wellington.

It wiped out the kids, who ate their weight in mac & cheese and special cookies we brought from home to share.

Josie took this photo of her dessert. She was thrilled they had a way to make a peanut-safe ice cream sundae!

Late Wednesday night the Austins arrived but had to wait in the car until a giant buck was finished eating my Mexican heather!

Early Thursday AM, Grandma & DD joined the party and we kicked off the holiday with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Bea glued herself to this spot for hours!

Lou held down feast duty in the kitchen. YAY to Louie for preparing a delicious feast & thanks to everyone for pitching in with apps & desserts!!

The cousins had a great time together!! Lyla was very excited to read Little Bear to the girls - a favorite for all 4 cousins at the moment.

Soon it was time to Gobble and Gobble we did!

After the kids finished eating, all the grown-ups sat together (for the first time in six years) and finished our meals. We made the mistake of commenting on how nice it was that the kids could entertain themselves now so we could eat, until someone walked into the kitchen for seconds and discovered this.  It was worth it.

The kids also planned next year's meal.

The next morning we awoke to a really cold but really beautiful day. Bea remarked "Mama, come look at the beautiful sunset" (err, sunrise but how sweet is she?).

Old Navy's 50% off everything called us like a siren's song, and the big girls had fun scoring great deals & becoming part of the holiday display!

The wee ones stayed at home with the 3 papas while the big girls made a Starbucks run and exchanged hand games.

Then it was FROZEN time! (It sort of blew our minds in terms of overall progress toward strong female characters. While not quite there yet, it's progress people and that counts for something.)

It was Jack & Bea's first trip to the movie!

Why on earth do the previews have to be so scary?! We had serious doubts Bea was going to make it to show time! She was fine once the movie began.

We spent the remaining time together really just hanging out.

DD built a fire and he and Josie cut stairs into their 'secret trail' in the backyard.

The holiday weekend ended with late night deviled eggs by Michael, storytelling of island adventures and a healthy dose of the Old Fashioned cocktails that my sister totally mastered!

How great is a holiday dedicated to gratitude?