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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thankful for family this holiday season

The holiday season has officially started and it kicked off with Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  It began with what I call the BIG event. My husband and I and our two girls hosted our first Thanksgiving dinner for our whole family. There were 19 of us who gathered around the table eating everything from smoked turkey to homemade frosted peanut butter brownies.

The feast was fabulous. Everyone brought a dish to share which covered several tables. Our family made the main dishes including a smoked a turkey, oven baked turkey and a ham. Since my husband loves to use his charcoal smoker,  not only did he slave over the smoked turkey for 12 hours, but he also made a delicious smoked fish spread, which happens to be my sister Kori's favorite appetizer. 

We had a great time preparing for the celebration from decorating the tables to making the food. My daughters, Randi, 12 years-old and Graci, 10 years-old,  helped prepare some of the dishes including one of my favorite desserts,  Grandma Hodge's frosted peanut butter brownies.  They are to die for and the girls made it perfectly!

This year only my side of the family was able to attend our first Thanksgiving feast. My husband's side of the family celebrated in Fort Myers. It was still a big gathering since my brother and sisters are married with children of their own. As our families have grown, we decided to give my parents a break from having Thanksgiving at their house. Now each one of us kids hosts Thanksgiving every other year. The opposite years we go to our in-laws for Thanksgiving.

The tradition of  taking turns with our families for the holidays is something  we started when my sister had her first child, the first grandchild on my side of the family.  When my husband and I got married we followed right along with the tradition and  divide the two big holidays Thanksgiving and Christmas between my family and my husband's family. It works our pretty well and helps so we aren't running from house to house during the holidays. We are able to spend quality time with our families.

My girls love playing with their cousins. They all get along so well and have a lot of fun together. This year the kids prepared a show for all of us and sang songs. It was also my youngest sister's baby's first Thanksgiving. She is the youngest of the nine grandchildren at nine months old.

It's amazing to watch the kids grow up from the youngest now who is nine months old to the oldest who is 18 years old. How time flies.  Our family is so blessed and we have so much to be thankful for.  I know I am thankful our first Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch and we don't host another Thanksgiving  dinner for another eight years. When you have a big family and everyone takes turns you don't do it that often. I have to admit it was fun and I am truly grateful for my parents and my in-laws for all the Thanksgiving dinners they have prepared for us. I am also so glad we had the opportunity to host this family event and all be together.

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