Thursday, November 24, 2011

"Chinese" Thanksgiving

So, we kind of like to live life on the edge here.  This Thanksgiving was no different.

We were all a little "blah" about Thanksgiving because it was going to be just the six of us.  Usually Aunt Judy comes and spices things up.  Last year we added the Tuckers and Mr. D.  Anyway, it was looking to be a dull year.  On Tuesday I went shopping and had everything that wasn't perishable packed in a laundry basket to go to the cabin. . .

On Tuesday at about 5:30pm Ed called from work.  It had been a rough day.  The Chinese delegation that they were working with had some concerns that came out at the last minute and were causing issues.  Things were back on track, but. . .  the delegation had decided that they had too much work to do to go to Las Vegas for the holiday weekend.  That's about when I started laughing hysterically because I KNEW what was going to come out of my husband's mouth next.  We had talked about it at the beginning of October, but then the plan was nixxed.  Yup.  Could we have Thanksgiving at our house?   For 30 people?

Of course!  I didn't even hesitate once I stopped laughing!

The furniture was cleaned out of the family room and packed wherever it would fit.  Our original plan was to have the children eat in the dining room and the adults would eat in the family room area.  Rob Stapleton and Colby showed up with tables, chairs, and a map of the layout.  The engineers even map out Thanksgiving!  Anyway. . . once the table and chairs were situated, I talked to Janene and we made food arrangements.  By the time I went to bed yesterday, the table was decorated and all my preliminary chopping was done.

This morning was really easy because everything was so well planned.  I am a list maker for a reason!  And yup. . . I even labeled the serving bowls with post-its because when it came time to serve everything up it was easy for people to help. 

This was potato time.  Reed was cutting up the potatoes while I was filling the big pot that is sitting on the floor.  I was not randomly spraying water!
This was just before Reed cut himself.  Not badly, but Colby took over cutting after that.  Let me just tell you that Cutco knives are SHARP!!!!
Ed was peeling the potatoes.

 Cooking potatoes for 30 is quite the undertaking.  We used our turkey fryer.  It is a wonderful cooking device, but we have NEVER used it to fry a turkey!  Maybe someday. . .

And this is Colby cleaning up after the great lentil spill of 2011.  We did a quick vacuum through and cleaned the bathrooms.  That's all the cleaning I had time to do for this event.
This is our impromptu table for 30.  I had to use paper tableclothes from Costco because I couldn't find enough flat sheets in the right sizes.  The 7 yards of burlap camoflage the joints of the six folding tables and make it look more cohesive.

Here's the mantle.  I love my new circle mirror.  I got it for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  After 8 years of having the same art up, I needed a change.

When we decided to have everyone at one table, I didn't have enough silverware.  I rolled plastic utensils up in turkey napkins with a ribbon tie.  It looked fine.  I'm not Martha Stewart.
I bought flowers at Costco and arranged low bouquets for the table. 

Split peas and lentils.  Colby was in charge of this project.  When he broke the second bag of lentils on the stairs, that layer got really wide.  And that's why he had to vacuum!
Here's the crowd as they were passing the food.  Some things vere even got passed!  It was such a zoo that I couldn't control it.  I would do that part differently in the future- couldn't do a buffet because there wasn't room for people to move in and out.
Say cheese!  According to this picture we had 31.
This is about two seconds after the last photo.  Apparently everyone wanted to eat!
Chatting in the living room.
Part of the crowd hanging out at the big table.
Stan holding court in the living room.  Explaining the 60/20/20 Theory. 
Nelson, Henry, and Gary.

Regina and Wendy were great company.

Becky.  I'll leave off her last name 'cause she's famous!!!
Blaine.  That IS a smile by the way.
Cameron and Colby.  The college boys.
Little Eddie.  The funny of the day was "When he gets bigger we will call him Ed." 
For those of you who know my Ed, this will probably be funny to you, too. 
We never got a smile out of him all day!
Jill and Janene.  Sisters who saved the day in the kitchen!
Craven came for dessert and chatting.  He always looks like he is up to something.

I had to put this in because I think it's the only picture I took of anyone eating dessert!  This little guy had his tonsils out last week, so he didn't eat much.

 We received some lovely gifts from our guests.

This is a glass horse that is a replica from the Yang Dynasty.  I think it is pretty cool and probably pretty expensive!

I absolutely love this home decoration.  It is a piece of silk embroidered with plants and ducks.  The craftsmanship is excellent and the silk is so fine that it is translucent.  What lovely reminders of a special Thanksgiving. 

It was a fabulous day and a Thanksgiving to remember. My boys all three said that they thought it was fun to have so many people over for the feast. The thing that I will remember most is a comment from one of the Chinese men who has actually lived in the United States for 20 years.  In all that time, this is the first Thanksgiving feast he has eaten.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve him, his family, and his colleagues.  It was truly a special occasion, but it made me realize how much we need to reach out to those around us. 

I am so grateful for my many blessings, but today I am especially grateful for my new friends.


Angela said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving, your a natural super woman! Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Whoa sista! I want some of your magic dust. The decorations, the preparations look fun and fabulous. Thanks for making Lehites look good! Love it.

Live From Mommyville... said...

All that work and your home still looks like a Martha Stewart Living spread! I wanna be you when I grow up...