We had Thanksgiving dinner at our home this year. My mom wanted to have it at her house and I told her how much it meant to me to have it at ours this year.
Jerome won't be here for Thanksgiving next year, he will be in a foreign country celebrating with his unit rather than sitting at our table, holding my hand and saying grace.
He won't be eating the turkey he helped me stuff, he won't be having a slice of my apple pie that he loves so much. He won't be able to sit and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade with our kids, all of them snuggled in their pajamas while I'm in the kitchen cooking. He simply won't be here ......I don't know what he will be having or how he will be celebrating but it was very important that this year.... this year he sit at our table, hold my hand and say grace.
Because next year, he won't be here.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I took our kids to the library to return some books that I had forgotten about and were overdue. It was fine free week so it was important that I cram a library trip in with the grocery shopping for Thanksgiving, cleaning and everything else I had on my list to prepare for it.
As I was standing there going through the books with the librarian figuring out which books were on which of my kids cards I looked up to look at the time on the clock but my eyes saw this picture of soldiers at Thanksgiving in a calendar hanging on the wall instead.....
It took all I had in me to not break down in tears. I know he is here now and that I am very thankful for, but these past several months we've had this countdown hanging over our heads, a constant reminder as each holiday approaches that next year we will be celebrating it apart, from thousands of miles away.
My eyes filled with tears and I felt shaky seeing that picture. I took a deep breath,opened my eyes a little wider so that the tears wouldn't fall and looked away hoping that the librarian wasn't noticing what was going on inside my head, that she wouldn't see how hard I was fighting the tears.
She repeated a question to me about one of the kids names and I could see that she saw that I was distracted. She smiled a smile of comfort, I smiled back and we finished checking in my kids library books. I pushed away those feelings and came back to where I needed to be, not thinking about the deployment and being in the moment right where I was standing....telling Katie she was absolutely not checking out a handful of books right now and then when she asked me why I smiled and pointed to the stack of books on the counter that were turned in late.
We finished up all of our errands we had to run. We went home and the kids helped me tear up all five loaves of french bread for the stuffing we had to make. Jerome and I staid up until about 2:30am Wednesday night cooking and baking. He helped me with the turkey, actually he did everything with the turkey, it was to heavy for me to lift. I made a tripled recipe of stuffing, two pans and enough for stuffing the turkey. I also made his favorite apple pie. The apple pie that I usually dread making because of the time involved.....it is completely made from scratch. But this year was different. I wanted to make this year special.
We slept in a little Thursday morning and then we all watched some of the parade. Natalie and Katie helped me fold the napkins (after using google to find out how to fold them) for the table. I bought them after Christmas last year and loved them. I couldn't wait to put them on the table this year.
All of my family arrived and we sat down to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. We all sat around the table talking and enjoying being together long after our plates were cleared and our bellies full.
Caleb enjoyed playing with his cup.
We all finished the evening up with dessert. Laci's German chocolate cake made it almost here in her beautiful cake stand, but as the brakes were hit the cake she made tipped over. It was delicious anyway....
Mom made two pumpkin pies....
Bradley and Caleb enjoyed playing with cool whip while the rest of us ate our pie or cake and a few of us will never forget the taste of the coffee Jolena made, haha. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and enjoyed it very much.
Apple Pie Recipe
Mix 1/3 c honey, 2 Tbs. sugar and cornstarch, 1 tsp. cinnamon and a dash of salt in a large bowl. Stir in 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Then add apples (about 6 large, peeled, cored, and sliced).
Mix 2c all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. baking powder in another large bowl. Cut in 3/4 cu shortening until pieces are the size of peas. In a glass measure combine 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp. vinegar and enough water to make 1/3 c liquid. Add liquid to mixed flour mixture and mix until the right consistency. Divide in half and form each half into a ball. Cool in refrigerator for about 1 hr. before working with dough.
Place dough in pie plate and pour apple mixture inside. Place the other rolled out dough over pie. Poke holes in top or make decorative cuttings and pieces and place on pie. Finish edges.
In glass measure combine 1 beaten egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush over top of pie. Sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes with foil around edges. Bake an additional 30 minutes without foil until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly.