Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our Family Thanksgiving

Eddie and I decided we wanted to stay home and celebrate Thanksgiving in our own home this year.  We planned and prepared the menu and invited Eddie's family to come up and share our meal with us on Friday since we planned to go to the Thanksgiving parade on Thursday.  Our menu included a delicious turkey prepared by my amazing chef husband (I have seriously never had turkey prepared better than my husband's at any time in my life, ya'll!  He goes the extra mile to make sure it is well-seasoned and very moist.  This year's recipe called for cooking in a whole bottle of champagne.  What's not to love?), homemade mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and rolls.  For dessert, we had both pumpkin and pecan pie which both turned out great, I am proud to say.  I grew up loving Southern pecan pie made with the beloved corn syrup, but now we make it without the corn syrup, and it is just as good if not better.  We all ate until we were stuffed, of course, with plenty of leftovers to last several days.  That's part of what Thanksgiving is all about, right?  Well, that and being thankful.

I think Brody's mealtime prayer song that we sing at all our meals actually sums up our thankful list quite nicely.

"God our Father, God our Father,
Once Again, Once Again.
Thank you for our Mommy,
Thank you for our Daddy,
Thank you for our Evan, 
Thank you for our Brody, 
Thank you for our Baby,
Thank you for our Cocoa,
Thank you for our Grandma,
Thank you for our Papa,
Thank you for our Aunt Naomi,
Thank you for our Grady,
Thank you for our food,
Amen, Amen." (of course, he says "Oh man" here...haha!)

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Eddie carving the turkey.

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The Thanksgiving feast

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Brody wanted Grandma to blow on his food to cool it.  He definitely had the most diverse plate of all the kids.  He will eat just about anything and tried a little of everything. He treated the cranberry sauce like it was a condiment to dip his turkey in.  Haha!

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He is just a kid after his Mommy's own heart and just makes her so happy!

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The cousins had their own little table.  Grady had to sit with his big cousins.

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And he did a great job eating like a big boy too.

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Big cousin Brody trying to tickle Grady.  Grady wanted to play rough and wrestle with his cousins.

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He "mastered" the flop and kept throwing himself on the ground wanting someone to "tackle" him.

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Brody just loves cheesing for the camera.

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Grady did not want to let Brody wear the football helmet.

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Because he wanted to wear it.  Another football lover in the family?
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Trying on cousin Evan's old boots.

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Trying for one picture of the cousins together.
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Charlotte Thanksgiving Day Parade

One tradition I have never felt inclined to participate in is standing in the freezing cold to watch a big Thanksgiving Day parade.  This year, we decided it was time to try out this tradition with the boys right here in Charlotte.  I feel that we got the "full" experience complete with freezing fingers and toes by the end of the event.  The temperatures were in the low 40's here in Charlotte, and I imagine a few degrees cooler in the shade of the big buildings in uptown.  The parade lasted over two hours, and we debated leaving early but decided to stick it out.  The kids were reasonably well behaved with Brody only trying to "escape" a few times.  I think they enjoyed the parade and did not seem to mind the cold nearly as bad as their parents.  We don't really invest in warm winter boots around here, and my toes were numb with cold.  Still, we thought the parade was a good experience to do once every 4 or 5 years.  The rest of the time, I will be content watching on television from the comfort of my home.  We did catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade later that evening at home and felt that both parades had a lot to offer.

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The boys enjoying some gaming entertainment on the kindle before the parade started.

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Watching the police escort at the start of the parade.

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The giant Queen Charlotte turkey balloon.

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One of the biggest marching bands in the parade.

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A Thanksgiving cornucopia float with a local NC band.

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I hate I didn't get a picture of this pumpkin balloon with the full word "Thanks" showing.  Just really irks my OCD.  

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The Panthers were represented.

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With a big football balloon.

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These new segway balloons were the newer additions to the parade.

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Mr. Penguin was a favorite with the kids.

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My little man staying warm.

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The Charlotte Knights, our minor league baseball team.

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I guess the Knights added some additional mascots, including a King, Queen, and Court Jester, recently.  Homer the Dragon is an old favorite as we have met him on many occasions.

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Our former Charlotte mayor and current Governor Pat McCrory.  

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I loved the Charlotte Fire Department's display. 

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This Scottish bagpipe band was amazing. I love their outfits and the music.

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I love this succession of firetrucks through Charlotte's history.  

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A special firetruck honoring fallen firefighters.

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The boys loved this giant Mr. Potatohead fireman balloon.

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Patriotic Revolutionary War balloons.

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And balloons honoring the armed forces.

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And some red, white and blue stars.

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Our Boy Scout Council will celebrate its 100 year birthday next year. 

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A cute rocking horse
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The Wells Fargo Stagecoach

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Three chilly but happy parade watchers.

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A cute duck, monkey and bear bicycling down the street.

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Gus the Talking Safety Bus was all dressed for the holidays.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar may have been my favorite.
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It's Popeye the Sailor Man.

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Evan liked this big orange dog.

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And one last appearance by Queen Charlotte the turkey.

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Probably the biggest and best presented marching band was actually this South Carolina band.  Of course, most of the kids' parents work in North Carolina and live just below the state line in the Fort Mill area.

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This cute cookie making float was sponsored by our local natural gas company.


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Festive Christmas jingle bells.

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McDonald's float

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The reigning Miss North Carolina rode on this float sponsored by a big car wash chain.  Apparently, it was a special wash for reindeer.
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A cute little, umm big, elf

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The gingerbread man did not want to stand up.

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And finally, the boys waved to Santa.

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We just had to stay for the parade finale to get our first look at Santa for the year.
When the parade was over, our cold family was ready to warm up and eat lunch.  We had planned to go home to eat lunch, but since it was later than we anticipated, we decided to hit the local Cracker Barrel.  Our family Thanksgiving meal would not occur until the next day.

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