For a long time, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday (tied with the 4th of July), but over the last couple of years it's slid down to something I barely think about or sometimes even dread, in large part because of where it falls in the year. I had spent most of the month thinking that this sure was a rotten time for trying to be grateful, because this is easily the month it's the hardest for me. But today in church, I realized that it was exactly as it should be. This is the time of year when I need that extra kick in the pants, and I should welcome all the reminders I get. I'll be better next year.

Of course, this year Thanksgiving Day was a lot of fun. But, before that, the first grade had their program. Moses sure makes these things more rewarding for us because he is constantly looking at us to see if we're looking at him. We give him big grins and thumbs up and whoops and he alternates between beaming at us and looking away with that proud-trying-to-be-modest look on his face.

Then we headed down to my Dad's shop for the big meal. The bounce house was a huge hit. The kids spent almost seven hours in it, only taking brief breaks to eat, ride the dollies, and in Penelope and Ryssa's case, climb the stairs to the ceiling to narrowly avert death.

Dad opened with a Thanksgiving thought including Albert Einstein, Bob Marley and scripture. Mom organized it all and made it all look nice. Woo got all the mashed potatoes one could possibly want (and the next day, and the next.)

Right after eating, we held a series of races through the two sides. Tyson, Josey and I all ripped out the knees in our pants, and Lyndy only ripped off a nail. I was the slowest adult, but somehow I came out with the best prize (a giant bag of almond m&ms--and no, that's not debatable, Brody.) Marcus was the fastest kid, and everyone else was somewhere in between.

Ruby, surprisingly, spent a good chunk of time playing "princesses" when the bounce house was a "castle," and was instrumental in organizing it into a "haunted house" later. I think I'm the only one who went through that one, which is unfortunate because I'm not the funnest person to scare (just ask Tyson).

Herbie got hurt numerous times without actually getting hurt, which was no surprise until the time where he actually got hurt (bloody nose after landing on his face.)

Linus didn't let his broken leg slow him down. He got the cast signed numerous times, and wore a hole clean through his sock running around on the concrete floor.

Penelope told everyone that she beat her Mom! Which I guess is technically true because I lifted her into the house and over all of the obstacles ahead of me.

Archie was terrified the only time he went through with Woo, but he enjoyed all of the food. Especially all of the treats.

I'm sure you all are wondering who made the best dish. The smoked turkey or ham? The bounteous mashed potatoes? The fancy pomegranate and avocado salad? The rolls? The homemade peppermint or strawberry ice cream? I think we all were in agreement that it was the Stovetop stuffing, made with all the love and minimal mixing that five harried minutes can spare.

Happy Thanksgiving!