Friday, December 16, 2011

Family and Friends

We had such a great time on Thanksgiving weekend.  Our friends Hans and Jodi, and their four children, stayed for the weekend.  When my three kiddos came back to my house, after celebrating Thanksgiving with Daddy and Nikki, there were even more adventures to be had.

Sophie, Heidi, Hans and Emma took a few bike rides through the neighborhood and fed some very grateful obese ducks.  Jodi and I braved the crowds and took Charis and Hannah shopping at midnight on Black Friday!  This is tradition for me and Charis, but Jodi and Hannah had never lived through enjoyed this experience before.  And it is truly an experience.  We always stop and get coffee for me and a Monster for Charis....Hannah chose the hot chocolate route and Jodi went straight for full caffeine soda!  And then it was off to Walmart, Target and Kohls.  By 4 am, Jodi and I were done.  I'm not as tough as I used to be.  By the time we arrived home, Papa and Grandma had arrived (around 1am) to stay with us for the rest of the weekend.  So at 7am, Grandma took the second shift and took Charis and Hannah out for some more shopping at Five Below!  Those girls have stamina like only 14 year olds can!  I wish that kind of energy could be channeled somehow!

Emma, Heidi and Soph....biking buddies

Hannah and buddies

Grandma, Charis and!

We loved sharing time with all of you and building memories together!  This was such a treat!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Thanksgiving Turkey Fry

I never showed off our Thanksgiving festivities....beware....some of these pictures are rather graphic and are not intended for viewers with a sensitive stomach.

I'm not a fan of raw poultry.


I do what needs to be done to prepare it for cooking, of course, but sticking my hands inside a raw, dead bird is not high on my list of favorite activities.

On the other hand, not only does Rob have a stomach of steel, he also has a great sense of humor.

Picture this:  a room full of children innocently watching TV.... and in flaps a dead, skinless, headless bird, whirling through the room within inches of them at lightning speed.....their screams could probably be heard in Massachusetts....and so could Rob's laugh!

So after performing a few tricks, we got this bird ready to go in the fryer!

The fryer was a new experiment for us.  Neither of us have ever fried a turkey before....but we have heard great things.  And of course, there's nothing like the adventure of experimenting with food when you've invited friends to your house for Thanksgiving!!  (I had a huge ham in the crockpot as the back up plan, FYI)

Fortunately, our friends Hans and Jodi and their four kiddos are always up for an adventure.  And, God bless them, they don't even look at us strangely when we propose these off-the-wall ideas.

Let the frying begin!

Oh my was fabulous!  This was a fifteen pound turkey and it cooked completely in 45 minutes.  My oven was free to bake other things the entire time.  And to top it tasted amazing!  This was the best turkey I've ever eaten, hands down.  Crispy outside, moist and juicy was perfect.

I'm sold.

This is our Thanksgiving tradition from now on.  We may even do this for Christmas!

Rob, Hans, Jodi, little Hans, Heidi, Charis, Sophie, Heidi and Hope.  And of course, I'm behind the camera.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's Friday!

It's Friday night, and I'm curled up on the couch with Abby and Nate watching The Grinch (the non-cartoon version).  (Emma is at a friend's house having a sleepover, so I just have the little ones tonight.)  I love this.  We're in our pajamas. Lots of snuggling.  Talking over each other in an effort to tell me everything that's happened in the past week.  Commenting on the movie we've probably seen 50 times.  I love this moment:  the beginning of a new week with them.  I love that they are still young enough to snuggle. I love hearing their stories.

We have so much to do this weekend:  put up the Christmas trees, assemble the Christmas train under the tree, make Christmas cookies....

But for now, we are snuggling, watching a familiar movie, and enjoying the moment.