What a special thanksgiving with friends and family.

First let’s rewind to last weekend, before thanksgiving. Leo friend Zachary was over and they were playing snow.

Where are they getting the snow? Oh, of course, Lucy is pulling it out of the elephant’s butt.

This is the moment when as I mom I was faced with a classic dilemma, yell at my daughter and tell her to stop being bad, or … run and get my camera. Zachary’s mom explained to me that you can’t really enforce discipline if you were laughing and taking pictures. She also old me she would have done the same thing in this case.

I decided to make up for the parenting slip by repairing the elephant myself with a thread and needle. This was pretty exciting because we’ve just started to play monopoly and the thimble game piece was foreign to Leo. But when I pulled out the sewing kit Leo got to see what a thimble was in real life. And … the elephant got a new tail:

Thanksgiving really started Wednesday with pie making. Here are Lucy and Yahir making a pumpkin pie.

Yahir consumes so many of Lucy’s thoughts. Mom, want to see Yahir’s school? Mom, Yahir this. Mom, Yahir, that.

Thanksgiving is usually my cooking day. I make the whole thing and then Caleb gets to do Christmas which is Cassoulet.

But this year, Caleb wanted to BBQ the Turkey. And this plan upset me for two reasons. The first being that *I* was not going to get to cook. The second being that the last time Caleb and I had eaten barbecued turkey for thanksgiving we ate at midnight after putting the turkey in the oven at 9PM. So technically we probably did not eat BBQ turkey but we did wait around for it.

Grandpa Ken was actually the chef for the last BBQ turkey. But nevertheless he and Caleb seemed fairly optimistic and he even came up share in the fun.

Here is Caleb getting started.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, I was working on a gourmet set of sides that could be cooked in an oven. That is a pretty cool thing about putting the bird on the grill.

And what were the kids doing? Playing with Grandpa of course. Lucy woke up and saw Grandpa’s red shirt. I have a red shirt too she said and ran into her room to put it on.

Then the family played jenga. I think Lucy was more of a spectator than a participant, but Leo and Ken had a blast.

For dinner our friends Dan, Becca, Alex and Elle joined us. We have been having thanksgiving with them since Leo was a couple weeks old. Now Elle isn’t even a baby anymore. She is strong enough to hold an elephant.

It’s so fun watching the kids play together. Both of our kids really love comic books and spend some time sharing their books.

Here is a conversation I overheard between Lucy and Becca when she was sitting in that rocking chair reading popeye.
Lucy: The goon had a baby
Becca: Who?
Lucy: The goon!

One cool think about the kids learning Spanish is that you learn how to pronounce some pretty cool words, like Popeye = Po-Pay-Ay.

But enough of all this talk. What happened to the turkey?

Here is it, with Chef Ken carrying it himself. In full disclosure, Caleb asked that I not share this picture because the turkey is pitch black. Not too worry, you couldn’t taste the black a bit. But you could taste the applewood smoked flavor. Mm-mm.

One exciting thing about having guests is that you get to show off your special occasion dishes, like this one we got for stuffing.

And one even more exciting thing about having guests is that the kids entertain themselves. A few years ago we discovered the idea of a kids table and we are never going back!

And finally, Leo decided to make thank you cards for everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving. Caleb’s said, “Thank you for fixing the rocket.” Ken’s said, “Thank you for the microscope.” Lisa’s said, “Thank you for the ant farm.” Leo couldn’t think of anything that I gave him so this is the card he made me:

No, Leo, Thank *you*, for being so wonderful.

Leo on Batman vs. Superman

“I like Batman better than Superman because Batman uses lots of tools, and Superman doesn’t know how to fight, he just uses power for everything. Also every tool Batman has starts with ‘Bat’.”

Next I gotta ask him about Wolverine vs. Hulk.

Lucy got style

Which of these things really makes this outfit work?
– Mismatched socks with shoes two sizes too small
– Polka dots with a flowered dress with striped sweater
– pink head band on top of a orange winter hat on a not so cold day

My stylish daughter:

Family Game Night

Last winter we had a bad Chutes and Ladders game. Leo landed on and then fell down that huge chute at the end that leads you to the beginning and burst into a temper tantrum. Caleb picked up the game and shouted “we’re not playing again ’til your six!” And, honestly, I don’t remember too much game playing since then.

But now Leo is six. Caleb probably doesn’t even remember that last game encounter but today he had a hankering to play a family game, so we all headed off to Walmart to go shopping. What’d we get? One of my childhood favorites: Monopoly!

You can never start ’em too young on the capitalist instincts.

Actually, we did think this would help Leo understand money better. He still talks about 1 money and 2 monies when he is playing with change. The other day he had a Sakegeweea dollar and a 50 cent piece.
Leo: “Mom, which one is bigger”?
Me: “The dollar.”
Leo: “No, I mean, really which one is bigger?”

Caleb and Leo played their first game today. Leo took to Monopoly like a charm. See those blue cards next to him? Those are, indeed, Boardwalk and Park Place. With some good coaching from Dad, Leo bought up all the property he could, mortgaged them to get Park Place, then bought some houses, and won.

Check out the I’m winning at Monopoly dance.

I can’t wait until I can get in on some Monopoly action.

Lucy was a bit more destructive at the game. Pulling a blanket over the bank. Losing the doggy within the first five minutes of opening the box. But someday she’ll surprise me and be six too and then we can all play Monopoly as a family.

On a Lucy note, she remains quite baby obsessed. Today I told Caleb that I had an idea of something Lucy would like for Christmas. “A baby!” she shouted and pointed at my belly. Actually, I was thinking some new tights, *not* a baby.

Here is Lucy reading Clifford to her baby doll and stuffed animals next to the tent she built for them. Aw.