The little boys and I cleaned house for three days straight. It felt GREAT to get some much needed deep cleaning done around the house. It is even better to clean knowing family is on the way! Monday I deep cleaned the kitchen. The boys loved helping me empty the cabinets, rearrange them, and such. I even cleaned the oven. Pat me on the back. Phillip found a packet of instant flavored oatmeal. He whipped up some oats for breakfast with milk, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic salt, and ginger. He put a huge bite into his mouth savoring his intense creation. A couple seconds later I shivered and croaked out a plea for water.
Monday night for FHE we cleaned the bathrooms. The kids had a blast cleaning the tubs with shaving cream while Justin and I cleaned the rest of the bathroom. Amelia said that sliding in the tub is the best way to work. I agree. Tuesday I cleaned the living room, halls, and storage room. After dinner we helped the kids clean their rooms. That was a short trip to crazy trying to get the kids to follow directions. Justin helped me rehang my studio curtains that Phillip ripped out of the ceiling a couple weeks ago. He ripped the drywall anchors out of the ceiling too. Granted the screws I used were not adequate, still it had to be Phillip who ripped the curtains down. I mopped the floors shortly before bedtime. Wednesday I straightened up the basement and started cooking for Thanksgiving. I baked the pumpkin for pies, made the brine for the turkeys and got the meat into the brine, made the pie dough, and got sloppy joes into the crock pot. I cooked up some apple butter overnight to spread on scones. The apple butter had too much cinnamon, it was almost bitter. Bummer.
Dad, Mom, Jana, Joseph, Jeremy, and Jared made the long trek from Utah to Nebraska. Dad has never been out this way to visit us...only took 4 years. Jana finally came to visit us in our new house of 3 years. The kids were ever so excited to see their punkles. Amelia attached herself to Aunt Jana as soon as possible. Mom helped me make a pumpkin and apple pie before bedtime. I enjoyed having my mom in the kitchen. Makes it much more fun to bake with my mom.
Thanksgiving day dawned with a fresh load of wind! Jana almost blew away during her morning run. Mom and I worked away the morning on dinner preparations. Justin helped quite a bit too. He likes to man the turkey prep and baking. He got one turkey into the smoker and the other turkey into the over after I stuffed it with lemon and veggies. Jana made an instant friend with Amelia when she stamped Amelia's nails. Amelia orchestrated several fashion shows throughout the day. I barely saw the boys! The punkles kept them pretty busy. Everett chattered around enjoying all the commotion. We had our traditional Horse Duvers for lunch. Yum. Phillip found my wedding ring he lost a couple months ago. It was hidden in the loveseat in the living room. He was very proud of his discovery. Justin put my ring into the gun safe. I can get it back once I provide a plan to keep it safe from getting lost again. Not sure I can do that! LOL. Maybe I will just keep my $5 target ring on my finger until the kids grow up. Justin and I gave mom and Dad a full tour of Sidney, including the 801 ammunition igloos north of town. We had dinner around 6 pm. Amelia and Phillip decorated the table. We counted out 4-5 blessings each with traditional popcorn kernels before eating. I felt very grateful to have so many awesome people parked at our table. The turkeys were amazing, brining makes all the difference. Dad loved the cranberry salad. The mashed potatoes with caramelized onions, sharp cheese, and gravy tasted heavenly. We were so stuffed after dinner that we decided to have pie for breakfast. All in all we enjoyed a very relaxed day.
Friday we woke up to pie for breakfast. It was even more divine the next day on an empty stomach. I think the pumpkin pie won my personal award. I went shooting with the boys out at the Webbs property. Justin and Dad set up a pistol and shot gun area. Dad mentored me on how to shoot his .22 pistol. It was hard to master in just a couple tries. He is an excellent shot. Jeremy is also a really good shot. He plowed the clays I threw into dust with my little shotgun. I enjoyed shooting my gun for the second time. Goodness I need to get out more. The highlight was when Dad tried out his new rifle and scope. That rifle was a huge monster with a large boom. It took a while to get his scope calibrated. Fun! After lunch the guys went to Cabela's for a couple hours. I took the kids for an hour to let some steam off. Phillip enjoyed spotting his grandpa and punkles around the store. Another lazy day spent with family.
Saturday I took some photos of the boys, Mom, Dad, and Jana. Jared and Jeremy are funny boys, not a serious bone in their bodies. That afternoon Dad drove a group out to see the Zowonitzers missile silo home. Their visit prompted several good discussions about our food supply and how much our food supply is corrupted by genetically altered wheat, corn, meat, etc. Mom let me go to Walmart by myself while the others visited the missile site. We enjoyed a fun time with our family. Dad seemed to enjoy our slice of small town America. I enjoyed the talking, visiting, and cooking! I am so glad Jana and Joe came along too. Amelia was crying in church today because she misses Aunt Jana so much. Poor kid. It is hard to be far from family.
**We gave Dad one of our honky pigs (the dog toys) to use when waking up the boys. He loves it as much as we do!