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You didn’t realize Thanksgiving was a contest? Apparently it is and we won!


Preparations began days in advance. Heath’s new culinary device of choice is his sous vide. Someone asked if we were going to sous vide the turkey and the next thing I knew, Heath was researching how. He ordered a fresh turkey and asked for it to be parted out. He did not ask for the butcher to debone it so Heath cut out the ribs while I went into another room to keep from dry heaving. *shudder*

He brined and sous vide half the turkey – a breast and leg, and sous vide the other half. The first of the turkey took its hot water bath on Tuesday. The rest bathed on Wednesday. I think he vacuum sealed all the turkey on Monday which meant that was the last day he had to deal with raw meat. That was very cool.

We taste tested on Thursday and determined two things.

  1. The brined turkey had more flavor.
  2. While sous viding made the most tender and moist turkey ever (according to Kirk), it added so many extra steps that we may never do it again. Brining then roasting is just as delicious.


Setting the tables began early as well. I did the first bit of cleaning on Tuesday and finished cleaning on Wednesday followed by setting the dining room table. We had to buy extra plates for this occasion since we only have eleven plates. One plate must have died a very painful shattering death on the tile floor of our last house. With that in mind we bought nine square plates, just in case.

On Wednesday night we were taking a much needed break by watching some Macy’s Day Parade special. At about a quarter to 9:00 we heard the doorbell ring. Heath thought it might be the missionaries since we hadn’t invited anyone over. He was right. The sister missionaries have moved on to another ward and our ward gets elders again. It’s hard enough for me to have the sister missionaries drop by unannounced. Having the elders show up to introduce themselves was embarrassing.

We were all in our pajamas. I was in my Diet Coke pajama pants and my chest was unsupported. I hope they didn’t mind that I never stood up to shake their hands or even offer that they sit down and stay a while. Heath said they were so wet from the rain he didn’t want them on the carpet anyway! We chatted for a minute or two while I kept my arms firmly crossed in front of me. Good times! *sigh*


Once the kids had eaten their breakfast in the morning, I set up this table. I could have done it sooner since all the kids stood at the counter to eat. They know what a perfectionist I can be and were just trying to help.


We can easily accommodate twelve people for dinner. One extra person made us get creative. We set the square table for three and put up a folding table for two. Parker and I chose to sit at this table. There was good conversation between the three tables and two rooms. To the point that Heath didn’t turn the Sonos speaker back on until after dinner.

Dinner components were delegated out. Everyone showed up with their assigned dishes. We managed to warm up several things in the oven at once thanks to the convection baking feature. Dayleen’s mom was impressed. She said our kitchen was amazing. It really is! The center island was filled to nearly overflowing with yummy holiday fare. The most amazing part of the whole dinner was the fact that we started on time. Parker was telling me how hungry he was. I told him we would eat soon. When I looked at the clock I told him we still had five minutes before we said we would eat. At 1:00 on the dot dinner was ready and Melina was asked to offer the prayer. It does not get any more perfect than that!


After dinner we had impromptu stations all over the house. The dining room was the crafting station where soap dispensers were turned into snowmen with the tag “We WASH you a merry Christmas!”


Games were played at the kitchen table. Grandma said she was impressed with Gwen for how well she plays games that can be difficult to understand. Gwen loves her uncle Kirk and her cousins (that she used to call her sisters when she was 2). As long as they are involved Gwen will be there. Gavin did convince Kirk to toss the football around outside during a break in the rainstorm.


In the bonus room we took turns doing hot laps.


Breena was the most entertaining to watch. She is 12 years old and we are glad she won’t be driving a real car anytime soon! She wanted so badly to race as fast as she could that she didn’t want to be bothered with driving technique. She did everything full throttle. At one point she rolled her car twice. Amazingly enough her car wasn’t too damaged. Gwen rolled her car too but the windshield immediately cracked everywhere.

Grandpa took out lots of cones, Grandma seemed to enjoy hitting the tires, and Breena sped up for the tire tower which was really funny! Heath won with the fastest lap time. I think Kirk was in second place. Grandma was about 20 seconds faster than me. My mother in law can drive faster than me! Gwen was the slowest. Breena crashed into the wall so often she got really good at reversing.

It was a great Thanksgiving. I had big plans to set up the Christmas decorations after everyone went home. I was too tired so we watched Mr. Popper’s Penguins instead. The Christmas decorations are all up now. Just the trees need to be decorated. I don’t mind blank trees for a while. The kids are enjoying the blank tree in the front room because it’s the only way I will allow the colorful lights. Once the decorations go on the tree will only be on the white light setting, thank you very much!