Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving across the Ocean

Thanksgiving. It's a holiday that for me always brings memories of lots of family all together. So I'll admit, it was hard when the day rolled around and it was like any other day. It's not a holiday in China. Ryan worked all day. I cooked traditional food in the afternoon, but I sorely missed the busyness and warmth of a big kitchen filled with my sisters - often 7 of us including my sis-in-laws! - and my mom.

But. But look what we have to be thankful for. I know I will always cherish these memories our little family made together.

 We planned a big Thanksgiving dinner with friends on Friday, since two of them had class on Thursday night. But I had to do something traditional, so made pasties. It happened to be the night I've been bringing dinner each week to a friend who had a baby earlier this month, but she also happens to be the friend who ALSO has pasties in her family tradition, so it was fun to make a big batch to share.

It was finger-lickin' good!

 Especially for this one, who recently discovered ketchup. ;)

 Our house was filled with warmth and joy as we all danced, yet again, to the song Christ is Risen! by Keith and Kristyn Getty. That song is sometimes on repeat and played nearly every day per Hadassah's request. Such a good dancing song though!

 We had to do a little turkey art too! This year we used paint, which Hadassah was pretty excited about. Had to cut it short when paint began to go in random places from her brush though - like the 6th "finger" she added to Ryan's turkey. ;)

Some friends came over to play games after kids were in bed. We enjoyed the Golden Ages until late while we smelled pumpkin pies baking. A great way to end Thanksgiving Day.

 On Friday I pulled out the candy corn mom had given us last year. Still good! I made it a preschool activity for Dassah to make letters on it. I told her she could eat one piece every time she finished a letter.

 It was a bit afraid she'd just start shoveling them in once she realized how tasty they were, but she was very obedient, and excited every time she finished a letter. I finally had to tell her we were all done - she would have made letters as long as I'd let her! ;)

 Ellie's napping less in the mornings these days, so we kept her happy in the swing while Dassah did a Thanksgiving "I spy" page. It's really fun all of the free learning printables you can find online these days!

 That afternoon I was busy baking again. I was very thankful I got to make my favorites (like this apple pie!) and not ALL of the Thanksgiving dishes. I wasn't feeling like hosting a huge party like we did our first year here, so I was grateful our two American friends in this apartment complex wanted to do something together.

 Did you know you can make the crispy onion topping for green bean casserole? That casserole SAYS Thanksgiving to me more than turkey even. So I paid top dollar to order some imported online. Only to find out they were out of stock a few days before Thanksgiving, when I checked to see why they hadn't shown up. I ordered another, but there wasn't enough time for them to arrive. So I looked up how to make them.

They're less complicated than you'd think... Soak in milk, roll in flour, and fry. Time consuming, but they tasted oh so good! This year's green bean casserole was the best I have to say. ;)

 An extra blessing was the girls waking up so happy and wanting to play together from their naps, as I was elbow deep in all the dishes I'd made while cooking the whole nap time! Dassah helped feed Ellie her yogurt, and then sweetly played with her without issues for over 30 minutes! Something to be extra thankful for!

 Homemade rolls with loads of Kerrygold butter was my other addition. Gotta take every excuse to make fluffy white rolls!

 Another friend hosted (which I was glad for!) and pulled out decorations and lovely dishes. What a feast we had!

 The kids had their own little table. Never would I have imagined when we moved here that my daughter would have such sweet, close friends.

 There were lots of smiles and laughter and amazing, delicious food. Everything tasted just how it should be, which is a lot to say sometimes when you live overseas and have to source things in a different country!

 And oh the desserts. Yum yummy yum. No easy access to the sprayable whipped cream meant I "had" to whip it myself. And oh how much better it tastes! ;) Another friend made a pumpkin cheesecake which was incredible!

We have been so blessed by these friends. It felt like we were with family. And really, they are like family. Our children call them Aunt and Uncle and all the kids act like cousins. We play together, serve together, pray together, and just live life. It's a blessing to be able to be real and grow together. So while I definitely missed family more than I thought I would, with it being our 3rd year overseas, God has provided immeasurably above and beyond what I thought possible here. We have so many reasons to be thankful.

1 comment:

  1. That looks like a really wonderful Thanksgiving! So happy these families to be able to share Thanksgiving together and make it special for each other! -- Donna Jo