november gratitude {part five} and a thankful day in pictures

today, i'm thankful for my family. i took many pictures of my family's thanksgiving gathering yesterday, and i was initially disappointed by how they turned out. but then i realized that this was actually a good thing... good in that it will help illustrate what i wanted to say.

like my photos, my family members {me most of all} are far from perfect. but they are perfect for me. and they are beautiful to me. and in the same way i don't fully know how to use my camera to the best of its ability, i don't yet know how to treat my family to the best of my ability. i fail them daily. but they are what i've been given on this earth, and not only are they all forgiving and gracious, they are all just plain fun. even a little crazy. {if you've seen the play, you can't take it with you, you can picture what i'm talking about.}

so i'm sharing my family with you today. i'm sharing our day of thanks together. and i'm saying here and now, i am truly grateful for every single one of them. {be forewarned... there are a lot of pics, so i hope not to bore you. i'll try to keep some sort of order to them. enjoy.}

on the way to my sister's home.
it was a cold and gray november day,
but not so inside her vintage flat.
on the contrary... it was warm
and bright in her home.

almost there!

this was the first thing i saw when we arrived...
my sister buzzing around in a flurry.

cleaning up after her cooking,
setting the table...

and what a lovely table it was.

and she also buzzed around
to make it a warm and inviting place
with candles and such.

see?...she never stopped.
this is my favorite shot {below}.
it says it all.

a whirlwind of organization and hospitable charm.
you wouldn't think this was her first time
hosting thanksgiving for twelve people.
but it was.

and she was the master chef, too!
i asked her to pause and pose
for a brief photo shoot.

the cook's a cutey, no?
she prepared a delicious juicey turkey,
and fabulous stuffing with apples and leeks.

anyway, back to the kitchen
to resume the food preparation...
but now, there's a lot more than just one chef.

it's a good thing many hands make light work.

i'm just glad there were no collisions
with all those cooks in the kitchen.

there almost was one here.

it's a good thing little blancito
whisked his new bride, bambi,
away to a quiet place so as not to get stepped on
in the kitchen -- where he'd normally be.

{by the way, congratulations are in order
for the newly pregnant couple}

oh, i digress.
okay... back to the story.

it's also a good thing some guests
chose to stay out of the kitchen
by watching football in the living room
to make room for the chefs.
takin' one for the team!
way to go!

i mean, what's thanksgiving
without football, right?
actually, that guy on the left did both.
he managed to get in some football time,
but he was also in the kitchen
from about 10:00 to 3:00
making delicious bacon wrapped dates...

and two perfect fall soups.

thanks nate!
they were all delish!

oh, and thanks for the potatoes
{white and sweet}, mom and ginger.
and the salads and green bean casserole.
everything was so tasty!

oh, wait.
i'm getting ahead of myself, aren't i

well, i did my part staying out of the kitchen
to make room for the cooks, too.
i went around taking pictures.
or at least i tried.

i eventually gave up trying to get a serious one
from these three little squirts.
{my older sister's kids}
but i will settle for these
equally adorable photographs.

gee, i wonder where they get
their goofy poses from,
uncle matt!
{ehem... clearing throat}

so how 'bout a little entertainment
from one of my nephew virtuosos?
{his siblings play, too.}

oh, and we need to get a nice fire going.
that job went to my brother-in-law.

wait... now no one's going to help in the kitchen,
'cause they'll all want to be by the cozy fire.

but, can you blame them?

okay... we're almost ready!
turkey's done!

that's your cue, brother-in-law.
you're other job for the day
is to carve the bird.

and now it's round-up time.
time to turn off the tv
and put down the good books.

time to put the toys away.

come and get it!

and now we eat.
but first...
a prayer of thanks to our God
from the matriarch of the family.

now we eat.

i think i already mentioned
how delicious everything was.
we had a lot of laughs.
and we spent some time
going around the table
to each say what we are thankful for.

oh, boy...
the food coma is setting in.

better wrap this up.
but first, a group shot.
{taken by me, but with a tripod and timer
so that i can be in the picture, too.}

one serious shot.
{click on photo to see closer-up}

and two silly shots.
{we learned from the best.}

and here are some zoom-in views.

b. and me

my two brother's with one of my sister's sons

my sister with her husband,
her other son and her father-in-law

my older sister's daughter,
my mom and my twin sister

alrighty... photo session is over.
now everyone can go kick back and rest
or play some games
{after we clean up, that is}.

well, dear angela.
thank you for opening your
beautiful, soft and lovely home to us.
you know i'm a fan of your digs!

it was truly one of the nicest
thanksgivings i ever remember.

your snap-happy sister,

oh, and lest those of you who are reading
think i did nothing but go around
and take pictures all day...
i did contribute to the meal, too.

i made this...

{instructions: portion above ingredients to your liking, cut brussel sprouts in half, place flat side down in baking pan, add shallots, bacon, pine nuts and garlic. generously drizzle with olive oil and grind on salt and pepper to liking. bake in oven at 350 degrees until sprouts are at desired tenderness. it's sort of an experimental thing i tried, so there's no set-in-stone directions.}

{click on the recipe photos for better readability}

and i made my annual
cranberry peach cobbler...

{instructions: preheat oven to 350 degrees f. combine dry cake mix, cinnamon and nutmeg in bowl. cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until crumbly. stir most pecans, leaving some for the top. set aside. combine peach filling {{or cut up peach slices}} and cranberry sauce in ungreased 13x9x2-inch pan. mix well. sprinkle crumb mixture over fruit. sprinkle rest of pecans and cinnamon sugar all over the top. bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. serves 16.}

it may be too late to make
either of these for thanksgiving,
but there's still christmas.


Hi Kooky said...

beautiful home, beautiful meal, beautiful family! thanks for sharing. :)

beth said...

what a great album showcasing thanksgiving 2009 at your sister's house....

maccandace said...

It looks like a really nice time. Your sister's house is gorgeous, that fireplace looks awesome.

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Wauw this is the longest post I ever read. But it is beautiful. I feel as if I was there with you guys the whole day. I can tell totaly that you all had a wonderful day filled with laughter.
Thank you Thank you so much for letting me have a peek into your family.

Oh if there are leftovers send some over to me to make the picture complete :-))))))

EnnythingGoes said...

wouldn't it be nice if we had one of these for every thanksgiving over the years? thank you. you're right. it was a very nice thanksgiving. i'm going to put a few photos out on fb.

Sandy K. said...

Thank you for sharing your fabulous day - mine's just starting! I wish I'd seen the cobbler recipe earlier- but I'm saving it for the next gathering. It looks delicious! Today I host our family meal - turkey and finxin's, pumpkin roll, and my own round of picture taking. The cook does double-duty! We have much to be thankful for, don't we? By the way, your sister DOES live in a fabulous flat!

Steve Gravano said...

Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving. I gained weight just looking at the all that food!

smith kaich jones said...

It was beautiful, the kind of Thanksgiving I would love to have - I love my family but making things pretty for the meal is just laughed at. I have given up trying.

:) Debi

Lisa said...

such a great post! and what a lovely family! hehehe happy thanksgiving...even though it's over. :)

Oliag said...

...This is the way Thanksgiving should be...the whole family together and everyone pitching in...Great post!

Char said...

looks like a fantastic time! so glad to hear it was a good.

Rochelle said...

looks like you had a marvelous Thanksgiving! :) so glad!!!

so thankful for you, friend! :)

april in iowa said...

Whoa-I just love your sister's home. The table setting, the fireplace, her cool chairs! Looks like a wonderful Thanksgiving. :)

Toni said...

Sounds and looks like you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! Can you substitute something else for the brussel sprouts? It looks yummy, except for those! =) Your cobbler recipe is one that I used to make quite often (sans the cranberry) = yummy!!

JLBO said...

Magnifique journée ! Magnifique maison ! magnifique famille ! magnifique photographe ! Amitiés.

Kim Klassen said...

what a fabulous, memorable post... and omgoodness... such a beautiful home... i mean gorgeous... thanks for sharing!