Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Thanksgiving Day!

On Thanksgiving, I set our breakfast "table" festively. I had homemade blueberry & banana nut muffins, eggs, the most delicious bacon EVER (fresh market rocks), and orange juice.  
The kids loved it.  Even Ty said, "This is so cool mom!"  
Nothing usually phases him.  
 I need to start using my self-timer more, so I can be a part of these memories!!! :)
 Then we headed off to the Drumstick Dash, downtown Roanoke.
 Here we are, standing in 27 degree weather.
 All kinds of people and animals were dressed up for the occasion.  
 The crowd was pumped up despite the frigid weather.  
This is where our line began! 
 Downtown sites.  
Throughout the run/walk different bands and musicians played for the participants.  
 This little girl sat on daddy's shoulders for the first 1.5 miles.  
 The famous Texas Tavern.  Ewe!!!
 Check out the insane crowd of walkers from afar.  We were ahead of these peeps.  
 See…. there's my cute walkers.  
 Near the transportation museum.  
Love the look of the crowds.  It just means CROWD x $15-$20 per person = the needy can eat!
 Heading up the bridge.  
 Mile 2.
 Love this pic.  If only I had my long lens, this shot would have came out better.
Jax was such a trooper.  He walked the entire way, minus 10 minutes.  So proud of him. It was not his turn on daddy's shoulders.  
 Another great shot of our downtown Roanoke, VA.
 A Roanoke Landmark!
 Family shots with the turkey guy!
 Jax took the above photo.  Not bad for a 4 year old.  
 A nice walker offered to take a group shot.
This experience was wonderful.  Knowing we were helping others in need made venturing out, in the cold weather, (not my favorite) EASY.  We finished our race in 1 hour and 12 minutes because we had people with little legs with us.  That was the hardest part.  Darren and I would have loved to have ran it, but there was no way to do it with Lilah and Jax with us.  Maybe next year! OR we told the kids that next year we have to beat our time below.  
After the race, we came home and watched the Macy's Day parade.  I recorded it, which was so much better because we could eliminate all of those long and boring commercials.  
 Then I finished up our Thanksgiving dinner. Stuffed manicotti.
 Then Darren and I worked on the chicken parmesan together.  
I love my kitchen helper.
 Preparing to dip the chicken: flour, egg, and bread crumb mix. 
 Oh my, I made it to a photo!
 Frying it!
Homemade tiramisu. MY FAVORITE!  I also made a homemade pumpkin cheesecake that was really delicious too.
I brought my camera to the Shaffer's home, but I forgot to snap pictures.  We were too busy enjoying each other's company. We got there at 4pm and didn't leave until a little after 10 pm. We both agreed that this should be our new tradition.  Our families mesh so well and dividing the cooking responsibilities made it so simple and stress-free.  Gretchen decorated, her home, for Christmas and her Thanksgiving table was gorgeous.  She made a homemade soup, a very colorful salad, and the most delicious homemade bread I have ever eaten.  She also made phenomenal egg nog cookies. It was a great day from start to finish.  

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Moving Our Feet, So Others Can Eat!

Our family is super excited about participating in our FIRST Turkey Dash, 5k race, on Thanksgiving Day! We are signed up to walk, so that we can remain together as a family, but I think the boys have plans of "winning", so they are begging to run. LOL!  The only thing I am concerned about is the COLD weather. I am putting myself to the test by adding a race, to my agenda, on Thanksgiving Day. Normally, it's a challenge to get everything cooked, cleaned up, and have everyone showered before eating dinner. I have a yummy breakfast planned, along with some cute Thanksgiving decor, to get us motivated to get up and out early that morning.  After the race, we plan to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade with the kids, while cooking, and then we will be off to the Shaffer's home (our pastor's family) to eat! We are looking forward to a nice, relaxing day of pigging out and counting our blessings!
This race is designed to serve those in need of food, shelter and clothing. All proceeds from this race go to our local rescue mission to help those in need. From what I understand, over 2,000 people have signed up to run or walk. There are another 500 community helpers, volunteering, to keep us safe and on track. It will feel so good to do something for the less fortunate.  It's a lonely time of year to be without family and/or food, so I am so thankful our family can be a means to help them out before we enjoy some yummy "eats" of our own. I have explained to the kids why we are participating in this race.  Sometimes I think our children have a hard time believing that some people don't have food to eat or a home to live in. This will give them new insight into that reality. I also can't deny that exercising before eating will be a wonderful, guilt-free way to enjoy the food and desserts placed before us.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipes

From: The "Fun Frogs!"

Lilah and Jaxon's teachers put together, with the help of their students "fun frogs", a compilation of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  Each student was responsible for choosing their favorite item to eat, at Thanksgiving, and explain HOW to cook it. When I read these out loud, I literally was crying, I was laughing so hard. 
 My little Chef Lilah
 She chose "mac and cheese".  Read how she thinks you cook mac and cheese!
 My little Chef, Jax
Jax chose to cook mashed potatoes. I have NEVER cooked mashed potatoes for my children, because they do not LIKE them, but I am stunned at how close Jax was to describing the cooking directions.  Maybe culinary institute is in his future?
 The rest of their classmates recipes were also included.  Keith's is so comical to me.
Do this with your own kids! I can't wait to hear their recipes descriptions.