It seems like last week was just Thanksgiving. Hmmmmmm????
We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. We started off with a nice meal and family gathering of the Pfundtner Clan at Steve's brother Pete and wife Cindy's lovely home in Menasha. Many of the family gathered for the day, and we brought some dishes to pass, including the famous Green Bean Casserole! It is so nice if everyone pitches in something to share.
Even Aunt Nancy made it from Milwaukee with the help of the Hrlevich kids who transported her to and from the event. All of her children are spread to three far corners of the USA and she would have been all alone. How nice to share with her.
We visited with Steve's siblings, nieces and nephews all afternoon. It was so sunshiney warm and nice. The roads were good for travelling and the traffic was light for the ones who had to come from far away around Wisconsin.
It was a good time of family togetherness and thankfulness. The day turned into evening and we toddled on home to our two waiting anxious doggies. They don't like it when we are gone that long.
On Friday, Steve and I are NOT Black Friday shoppers to say the least. Instead we stayed home and Steve hauled in the bags containing the five parts of our artificial tree.
During the last few years, the prices of real live Christmas trees went up over $40-50 around here! We retired folks on our meager budget bought an artificial one that was really nice. Pretty lifelike, plus it can be put up earlier in the season and stay up longer without danger of drying out. We got it from a fellow knitter in Shawano during the middle of summer. It was too tall for her condo that she recently moved to, and she sold it to us for a song. It went up quick as a wink, and we were soon adding his fun LED lights. He gets quite precise on placing each one where he thinks it will shine outwards to it's best advantage. A bit OCD I guess?
We got some decorations up on the outside of the house. The outside stuff goes on quick, because I leave it all assembled, complete with the bows tied on the right places in the scallops of garland. I have nice little white hooks I keep on the house year round to make it even easier.
We even got a little snow!
We decorate the inside of the front porch too,
and sometimes it is warm enough to set out there a bit during the daytime.
This is the little tree we used to set up in the motorhome.
It's called "Our Family Tree"
with each members name on an ornament.
As I set up the lights that go into each building, I noticed that the lights were very, very hot to the touch and flickered a bit. The string is about 35 years old now, so it was time for new village lights. We headed on out to Walmart and found nice cool LED lights with a warm yellowish glow (not that glaring greenish or blinding blue of some LED lights). Now I feel much safer.
This year I put it in the big hutch we have in the family room. This hutch is original to the home and was built in 1913. I think it's pretty cool to set the village up inside, so the grandkids can look at it but kinda keep it safe from tiny hands.
Many years ago, I painted each and every building and even some of the little people. Soon the rest of the village was set up, with added new people and some fences and trees from my neighbor Diane's rummage sale this past summer.
There... all done!
Saturday after Thanksgiving was our time to spend with OUR kids and grandkids. We set aside a separate day for our own close family gathering, so each of our kids can spend the actual Thanksgiving with their own little families and spouses's families.... setting traditions to remember. We do the same with Christmas too. It's not about the actual date on the calendar, but about being together and making memories.
Our daughter Erin and her husband Waylen hosted at their home in Oconto. Waylen's parents were visiting from Oklahoma and we really enjoy seeing them. They fit right in as "our kind of people". Our nephew and niece in law also came to join in. It was so great to have all seven of our little grandkids together. It's kinda hard to get them all to sit still long enough to take a photo with all seven faces smiling and looking at Grandma's Camera!
They all sat around the "Kid's Table" which Erin adorned with a Thanksgiving coloring tablecloth. The crayons were shared and they kept busy until the mounds of great food was loaded onto each of their plates. The moms watched over the wee ones while eating to make sure we didn't have a spontaneous food fight or anything. The grownups ate in the other room and the kitchen was chock full of great smells and laughter echoed throughout the house.
I made a little You Tube video clip of the fun,
and each one saying what they were thankful for:
(plus I had a chance to deliver a few special quilts, that I will write about in my next blog)
It was great to get in some snuggles,
and watch the little cousins interact with each other.
Chelsea and Allegra doing something on a tablet.
Whitney was showing us her mothering skills with a stuffed monkey.
Chelsea was showing us her first crochet project, a little hat for her sisters stuffed animal.
Silly Mason had to get in a snuggle and pull some goofy antics.
Littlest Claire wanted to see all the "family" charms on my necklace
and snuggle for a few stories,
then a few more stories,
and then a few more stories!
Yes, it's family.... and grandkids... that I am most thankful for. With all of the crazy bad things that go on in the outside world, it's so wonderful to cuddle up to these bundles of innocence, love and good family sharing on Thanksgiving.
And soon it will be my MOST FAVORITE DAY of the year... Erin brings ALL SEVEN grandkids to my house to decorate Christmas Cookies!!!!! Boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!