We are a large family, and as if that weren’t complicated enough, we are a large, blended, military family. We don’t have family nearby to visit, and planning to do anything with our out of state families requires negotiating with a high conflict ex who would rather see the children alienated from their extended family than to work in their best interest. So, unless our family comes to us, we are on our own. It’s okay though, as you can imagine, we’re used to it and we only have a few more years of this arrangement. So to recap, no nearby family, constant moves and I’m very picky about who I allow in my inner circle or trust around my kids. The few close friends we have are thoroughly vetted and are more like family.
This year, we had all of our children for the first halves of fall break, and their other sets of parents got them for the remaining half (which included Thanksgiving). So, we celebrated with our kids on Tuesday, than celebrated with our friends on Thursday. Two different dinners, but both proved to be delightful.
Round One: Turkey day?
For the first time in… well… EVER, our family had ham for Thanksgiving, much to the delight of our children.
Having a heart of gratitude is so important for me to help foster in my children. Like many families at Thanksgiving, we go around the table and share what we are most thankful for. Watch the video to see exactly how we answered.
After dinner, J had to go make an appearance at our second USMC Ball of the season, so we planned to have me take the kids out to the movies and splurge on popcorn and candy. You best believe we put the costs in our budget! I went over on snacks by $11.00, but the tickets were $3 less than we planned for EACH ticket, so we managed to come out a few bucks ahead!
Round Two: Ah, There’s the turkey… and tofu?
Our dear friend Jackie knew we would be childless on Thanksgiving (which always bums us out a little) so she asked us to join her family consisting of her grown children, her cousin from out of town and their child, and her aunt. J and I are warm people who generally get along with all kinds of people, but being around people also requires energy, and I’ve been in a bit of an emotional funk lately. We considered staying in our pajamas all day and avoid traffic and all the fuss, but we decided we would pull ourselves together, put some pants on (not an easy task after Thanksgiving Round One), and be social.
Jackie and her family are clean eaters, some are also vegetarian, pescatarian, and vegan, so there were dishes for everyone. Happy day! My normal diet is a modified pescatarian (I eat eggs and some dairy) but I also don’t fuss when meats are served to me or when my family requests a meal with meat in it. I also happen to love traditional holiday meals. I digress. We were all seated separate from our spouses in a successful attempt at breaking ice and interacting with one another. With permission from our hostess, J and I had ordered the game Vertellis in hopes of playing it during Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, it didn’t arrive in time, So I managed to look up some thought provoking questions, write them down on paper, fold them up and stick them into a bowl. I had bowl passed around the table and each person draw a question to answer. It was a hit and many people said they enjoyed it even more than going around saying what they were thankful for.