Saturday, December 01, 2012

Guilt and Gratitude...

 It's been a beautiful fall...
And I have yet to post on my summer activities.
And at the risk of offending all the people I saw, 
did fun things with and took massive amounts of photos of this summer...
I am going to skip right to the here and now.
Doesn't mean I don't love you, or I like someone better, 
just that if I don't start someplace I'll never post again.
If I magically come across a huge chunk of time
 to select, edit and create a nice post I will do so....yeah.

 In the meantime... 

It's been getting darker and darker when I leave for work in the morning.
The only things that make that somewhat bearable are beautiful sunrises 
and the opportunities to spend time with family and loved ones for special occasions.

For most of my adult life I have been fortunate to tag along to other peoples 
Thanksgiving feasts contributing a dish or two here and there.
Now that I am entering my "golden years" I suppose it is justified
 that I actually cook a bird or two and mash some taters.
So we did just that this year.
Chuck's goal was to make things easy so we could enjoy company.
Apparently mine was to try out as many Pinterest recipes as I could fit in after the "traditional" dishes.
Fortunately there wasn't that much time and besides we ended up with WAY too much food.

I DID find time to make a gratitude tree.
Complete with squirrel.
(Did I mention we have a resident a squirrel in the covered porch?)
I wanted to have a way for people think about and share things that they were thankful for without the awkward go around the table and share while everyone looks on. 

 Besides I thought the kiddos would love to color and hang leaves (which they did!)

Chuck was none to thrilled about the whole deal- too sentimental?
But under somewhat intense social pressure he conceded
 to list things for a couple of gratitude leaves...
which included listing me
  (pressure after learning I had put his name down?)
peanut butter and retirement.
Though he isn't retired yet so "technically" he didn't want to count that.

It was fun to see what people listed from silly to insightful. 
I liked it and hope to make it a tradition in years to come.

 I "thought" that I had taken a lot more photos than I did- 
and I SWEAR there were some I took that are not on the camera?!?'s the big feast in progress.

 From left: dad (grandpa Vaden) Karl & Shirley (G&G Whittier) Korven, Alicia Drew and Eliana.

 I'm also including this shot which doesn't have Eli 
because it has dad in a typical smile for the camera grimace...Ah Bob.

 Here we have the living room party of 6 
So from Left: Steve, invisible Lincoln,(who was off doing the things little boys do instead of eating). Angel sporting her new super cute haircut, Tyson, Melissa and Sarah.

I am grateful that we had such a wonderful time, good food, conversation and fun.

I am grateful for Chuck who is such a sport with the grandkids
He patiently lets them do pretty much whatever they feel like with him.

 Which is apparently an inherited trait.
Witness Drew patiently allowing three kids at once use him for a "bicycle"?
 I can't remember for sure what they thought he was, other than a lot of fun.

There are a few other traditional things that happened before during and after the actual meal.

 The guest room turned into the pre-Christmas present wrapping mess.
Having Drew & fam, and Ty & fam here to directly give presents to, rather than mailing, was a pretty good incentive to get shopping and wrapping done.

The traditional licking of the whip cream beaters.

 ... another inherited trait?

 The first and most anticipated Christmas decoration, the
annual real gingerbread house. Decorated this year entirely by Tyson.
Angel's family gets together each year and makes a billion houses (possibly more)
This year it was accomplished during a power outage. 
THAT is dedication.

And what I hope will be another new annual tradition, 
the day after Thanksgiving creme brulee fest.
Thanks Tyson!
Makes me salivate just looking at the photo.

I'm grateful to live in a free country with SO many blessings.

This is from a little ride Lincoln and I took in the Chuckmobile, I drove Lincoln slept.
I've heard people say they don't like Idaho because it gets so brown...
there are times when brown can be really beautiful.
Just saying.

Now on to Christmas...

A new Christmas tradition: the Partridge in a Pear Tree salt and pepper.

Plus the regular old traditions.

 Crazy pulling silly faces for starters.
Probably the look I have on my face every time I go in the "wrapping room".

And last but possibly best...
This leaf sums up how I feel every day.

 Thankful for family. 
Every single wacky one of them.
Thanks for the drawing Korven.

PS. Thankful to let go of guilt for the missing summer least for now.


The Desiree said...

Oh I love it. I think you guys are so cute. Solved the mystery of where grandpa went for me.
Tyson and his little family are so stinking funny. Chuck is a good sport, but so are you. I love you guys!! I am grateful for you in my family!

fat celiac said...

Smart choice to post the now stuff.
The massive catch up just never seems to come.

What a great mixed family gathering. All ages, loads of food, fun and a thankful tree to boot!

Glad to see that all the pinterest has come to some fruition too!

Thanks for sharing all the pics. Loved seeing it.

michandler said...

I'm having a hard time not thinking about creme brûlée! Everything else in the post fades out at the mention of creme brûlée. That is my fav obviously. I will order it practically any time it is on a menu. Okay enough with the creme brûlée Good idea not to try to catch up. It just doesn't happen. Looks like the T-day festivities were awesome!!
Thankful for a beautiful, talented, loving, fun sisters (well actually all my sisters but special tribute to this one!)

Hector Scout said...

I'm baking more creme brulee in the oven as I read this... mmmm

wallymom said...

Fun, fun. I love the gratitude tree

jo said...

Looks like a fun time at your house....lots of family and fun!

No guilt...sometimes blogging becomes a chore...then it isn't fun anymore!

Love your posts!

BTW...loved your Christmas card!