In honor of Andy's loveable Uncle Dallas, we always say "turkey" as "turtey." Uncle Dalley (as the boys call him) was born with down syndrome. He is such a joy to be around, especially when he dances. One of Andy and his brother's favorite childhood memories of Dallas is him calling them "turteys." He's in his early 40's now (which is amazing for someone with DS) and still says it on occasion. Whenever Andy or I sat it, it makes us think of wonderful Uncle Dalley!
So, this week we celebrated Turtey Day! We had originally planned to go to Arizona, but I had the opportunity to sell my products at a craft boutique the day after Thanksgiving, so we decided to stay here. Uncle Dusty joined us, along with Uncle Eric and Aunt Karly from AZ. How excited were our kids?! Ava woke up every morning for several days asking how many days until Wednesday (when Eric and Karly would arrive). She even got to stay up almost two hours past her bedtime waiting for them. When they finally arrived, it took me another good hour to get her to bed because she was so wired! Jax, who obviously doesn't remember E & K, warmed right up to them. I think he and Eric are kindred spirits. Both are daredevils with a special love of trucks and things for said trucks to jump over.
Thursday morning, Karly and I got to work on dinner. Although, is Thanksgiving ever really dinner? In Andy's family Turtey Day dinner is always at 1 at Grandma's house. In my family, it was usually around 3. Just a thought. Anyway, Karly and I went all out, making EVERYTHING from scratch. Except the turkey, Eric and Karly brought that up from Arizona. They got it from a BBQ place near where they live. The bird was slow-smoked for three days before we ate it. YUM! For sides, we had homemade green bean casserole (which only got better each day after T-Day... mmmmm), mac 'n' cheese from scratch, bacon cheddar mashed potatoes, my special marshmallow yams (which I've been making since I was about seven), rolls, gravy and for dessert... Pumpkin Cheesecake. Holy cow, that was a good dinner. Soooo not healthy and DEFINITELY not gluten-free, but sooo worth the extra time on the treadmill!
During the days leading up to Turtey Day, our family discussed at dinner each night what we were thankful for. Ava looked forward to putting the papers in our thankful box. I look forward to being reminded of all the blessings in our life, great and small. Here's a little sampling: Jax was grateful for trucks and grapes. Ava said she was thankful for Mama hugs and books. Daddy is thankful for Mama and school. Mama is thankful for our family and a heater in our home. I think I'll keep these papers. It's so sweet to watch Ava really think about what she is most grateful for. Jax, on the other hand, seemed to know. I would ask, "Jax, what are you thankful for?" and immediately I'd get an answer. Ava was much more pensive.
Tonight, as both my kids sleep, Andy is downstairs studying, Eric and Karly are in the living room sleeping, I am so thankful for family. In about six months we'll be moving further than we've ever been from family. I am grateful that we have the holidays to share with our loved ones, while we are still close enough to do so without the use of a plane :) We can't wait until Christmas, when we'll be home in Arizona (it will always be home) spending our favorite time of year with our favorite people.