Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

{Edit: Welcome friends from A Place Called Simplicity!}

We live near a military base and I heard of a program where you can open your home to soldiers over the holidays.  I have always wanted to do that but with young kids, it was hard to cook a big meal and play hostess.  But this year was the year!  I was very excited and was matched up with 2 sailors.  I was curious about their stories...

Sadly, one of my sailors canceled last minute because he had duty on Thanksgiving.  When I called the office to get someone else, they said that everyone had already been placed because there were more host families than soldiers this year.  Pout pout.  {And hence my post yesterday.}

I got to cooking while Jay went to get Ernesto.  My sweet husband was so supportive and willing to open our home to a complete stranger.

He arrived and we chatted awhile and I got his story.  He had to work last night and didn't have time or money to fly home for Thanksgiving, but he will be going home for Christmas instead.  He signed up for the program because the class was highly encouraged to sign up for it and get out of the barracks.  Well he definitely blessed me more than perhaps we blessed him.  I was focused on serving and not on myself and it was a really great afternoon.  He was very nice and easy to talk to.  He has younger siblings so even chatted with kids a few times.  Jay and I felt old though... he was born the year before we graduated high school!  *gulp!*

It was a relaxing time.  Jay dusted off his old chess set and was creamed... twice!

What ended up being the funnest part was that Ernesto is Hispanic and NEVER had an American Thanksgiving!  He NEVER had roast turkey or the veggies I prepared before.  I made white potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes with pecans and marshmallows, carrots, green bean casserole, stuffing, the turkey and gravy.  I made far too much and here is a photo AFTER we all had eaten!!!

Here's my lopsided turkey all stuffed... my first time doing that.

Vienna took pictures for me.  Here I am making gravy.  Oh sweet gravy.... *drool*

Meanwhile, Ernesto had his first cup of eggnog, which he enjoyed!  And he got cozy by the fire and had a nap!  Poor guy was up on duty the night before he came!

Jay was good enough to carve the turkey in the "proper way" for the first time.  He had a book and watched a YouTube video.  haha!  He did a great job!

Look how pretty!
Ernesto was conservative with his portions and I had hot sauce available for him per a recommendation from a friend of mine!  {Thanks Julie! haha}.  I don't care for spice at all and NEVER cook with so was slightly worried that our guest wouldn't enjoy our bland pilgrim meal.  He did end up using the hot sauce on mostly everything BUT he went back for seconds!  I was very happy!  His favorite was my green bean casserole! 

We also had 3 pies for dessert because Ernesto brought one.  They were so tasty but we all felt ill afterwards.  ha!

I packed my fridge while Jay drove Ernesto back to the barracks.

Then I wobbled upstairs for elastic-waisted pants to recover.  Thanksgiving 2013 = success!


Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

love, love, love, love, LOVE.

Andria said...

That was a wonderful gift to that young serviceman, very proud of you all. Wish I could have been there. Your meal looked wonderful. So glad you enjoyed it. Love to you all. Mom

Renee said...

How nice of you to invite a soldier home for the holidays.....I am sure he will remember it and so will you. Thanks for inviting all of us into your home too. God bless.

Mom Of Many said...

As a military mom, my heart welled with joy that you opened your home to our military! You guys rock!!
What a tremendous blessing for all. I loved the carving your husband did - very impressive! And your elastic comment made me giggle. Totally get that. Thank you for welcoming us into your home. I was honored to visit.

Hanna said...

Thank you for sharing your happy thanksgiving day :)