Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Turkey Time 2012

Ah, it's not an American holiday if there are not copious amounts of food and drink, plenty of sitting around, and some healthy competition. This year we hosted Thanksgiving at our house. Yes, that table that seats 12 people came in very handy. Our competition came in the form of two turkeys, cooked in two different methods by two men. We both brined the turkey with the same recipe as a control. 
Alex did our turkey on the Traeger BBQ and Eric did his in a charcoal smoker of some sort. The end result equaled two really delicious, moist and perfectly cooked turkeys. There was not a clear winner in the end. As for the other copious amounts of food I think we had a dozen side dishes. It was all so yummy!
You would think we were having a cranberry-off with the four different cranberry dishes we had too. 
This little handsome guy was stuffed even though he didn't get any turkey. Next year he will get his fill!
We had all the cousins together which was awesome. Joel and Tonya, Owen and Charlie drove down from Oregon to see their new baby cousin Benji. 
They humored us with the posed photos. I thought it was hard getting my two to pose, then add three more!
I like this one the best I think!
Then just for fun we added some silly props. As you can see Ben was less than thrilled about his facial hair.
I think maybe this one is my new fave. So cute and silly.
She was begging me to take it off but I had to snap a few more pics first. So unlike Gemma to wait for anything, why she didn't rip it off in the first place might have something to do with the candy cane we bribed her with.

After dinner and the photo shoot it was time for the annual gingerbread house decorating. We let Goppy manage the whole thing outside with the kids. I am pretty sure my kids ate their weight in candy and frosting while Owen and Charlie did all the decorating. 
They did a really awesome job. We have learned some tips and tricks over the years. It didn't hurt that this year the kits come pre assembled and you can just decorate. In years past we struggled to keep the structure together and withstand the heavy candy.
By then we had made room for dessert and Grandma Great stopped by to join us. She loves the new addition to her many great grandchildren. I just love this one!
Now, Owen has a reputation as a baby whisperer. He always could calm Lily and Gemma and ended up holding them for an hour. I guess since Ben is such a chill baby all on his own that Owen decided to do his walking dead zombie impression. Benji is not terribly thrilled at being the prey.
Charlie had some mad cousin skills as well. Not exactly and American girl doll but pretty snuggly!
We had an awesome two days together and we miss our cousins already. It is so fun having Benji in the mix, we just love spending time with all our cousins. 

Oh and you know, since we were hosting for 13 people we decided to check off some DIY projects around the house that had been on our list since moving in. Nothing like painting a wall and installing two light fixtures the weekend before Thanksgiving!  I did a stencil on our entry way wall in the same color as the wall only in semi-gloss. It turned out really well. We installed a new entry light fixture and one in the dining room as well. You can see the dining room one in the picture up above. These projects were well over due. Now we have to pick some more projects to get moving on before another year passes!



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