Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Feast and Videos

photo by Tara Livesay

To celebrate Thanksgiving we went to Beth's house for a feast.  I have no idea how this lady not only figures out how to get four turkeys into Haiti but also knows how to cook four turkeys.  I've cooked one turkey in my life and then quickly made sure my aunts know that they can't die until I have daughter-in-laws who know how to cook turkeys.  I plan to never cook another one ever again.

"What are your thoughts on Jesus, the movie UP, confident are you that you could pull off cooking a turkey?  On a scale from 1 to 10?"  I don't think those will be weird questions to ask girls my sons begin to fancy one day.  Not weird at all.

Moral of the story:  Beth is a cooking saint.  She makes holidays special in a place that desperately needs some special.

  photo by Beth McHoul

The boys ate.  Ran around with friends.  Ate.  Ran around with friends.  Ate.  Ran.  Ate.  You get the picture, right?

 Aaron and I ate.  Then sat on our duffs.  Ate.  Then sat on our duffs.  Ate.  You get the picture, right?

The kids have been working on a Thanksgiving presentation to perform on Thanksgiving Day.  The curriculum we use to educate our crazy crew is called Classical Conversations.  This curriculum is heavy on public speaking.  Every Monday each child gives a 2-3 minute speech in front of all their classmates, tutors, and parents.  We've been incredibly pleased to see our kids progress into fearless public speakers.  The first few weeks their presentations were hilarious enough for the parents to mock them behind their backs.  We mocked them until it was our turn to give a speech.  Not easy.  The kids did a beautiful job today.  We were very proud of this wonky bunch.  We waited until last night to break the news to them that there would be about 75 people at Beth's house this year.  It did not even phase these little public speakers.  They were ready to go! 

 Paige was a top-notch director.  She worked with the kids for weeks.  She dominated her role as encourager, boss, and woman with the plan.

Isaac Livesay recited Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.

Hope and Hayden recited this poem:

The kids said a heart-felt thank you to Beth for all her hard work.

And our favorite?  Inspired by Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck" the kids put their heads together (along with some Haiti friends) to write their own version called...

You Might Be Celebrating Thanksgiving in Haiti if....

It was a beautiful day.  This month spent with our thankful tree, counting our blessings, and reading Ann VosKamp's One Thousand Gifts has made November extra sweet.  My word, I want to be a thankful person.  I want to see God in all things...the hard things and the lovely things.  I fail often.  Yet even in failing I'm in awe of His grace towards me.  He is good to people who do not deserve it. 

We pray you were surrounded by people you love today, and reminded of God's grace, love, mercy, and kindness.  We can never say it enough:  We're thankful for the way you love, encourage, pray, support, and fill our lives with laughter.  You pray when we're too weary to pray.  You send notes of love on days when we wonder why we're doing this, if any of it matters, when there is so much more to do.  When I am afraid or worried you spur me on, and it makes me all kinds of weepy to think that people across the water are praying for us and for our children.  God sees.  We know He does because of the way you remind us that we're not alone, we're all in this together.  Thank you for caring for us and for the women and children here in Haiti that we love so much.  Thank you for helping us bring truth, education, value, and justice to women and babies around us. You are one of the gifts we've counted this month.


Marissa Hess said...

I'm a newish reader of your blog. My family and I are working here in Mexico City. I absolutely LOVE reading your posts and your kids talking about thanksgiving and the sacrifices ($6 cranberry sauce and no electricity/water..holla!!!) that we make to give this life to our children, ourselves and the world...well, it resonates with me. My goal is to faithfully serve the world around me in the best way I can. I love the ingenuity of the ministry ya'll are involved in and would love to get connect in some way if I am blessed enough. Happy Thanksgiving...from one slightly lonely but blessed beyond measure family in Mexico to yours!!!

Marla Taviano said...

That is just awesome!! Happy Thanksgiving!! And Happy Birthday, Heather!! You and my hubby were born on the exact same Thanksgiving 30-some years ago. So thankful for you both this year!!

5 Chicks and a Farmer said...

well, i've been checking the blog off and on all day wondering how your thanksgiving was today and was about to send you an email.

i'm so thankful that your thanksgiving was filled with the sweetest of things. seeing those boys smiling and laughing is the best medicine.

we missed you all today so much. love you people.

and p.s. Beth is a rockstar. That food spread blows my mind.

BrunerAbroad said...

Happy thanksgiving! It looks wonderful!! Also, my sister uses Classical Conversations with her kids. I'm amazed at how awesome it is!! They're way smarter than I ever was at that age (5 and almost 8) and know more history than I know now. I want to re-teach myself with that curriculum!

Emma said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm glad you guys were able to make it special even with the challenges of living in Haiti. If you ever want to try again on a turkey, the secret is to brine it for at least a full 24 hours. Turkey in bag with enough water to cover, .5-1 cup salt, .5-1 cup sugar, 1 tbsp black pepper, and spices (I used parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme this year and have had Scarbrough Fair in my head the whole time). Then rinse it off before cooking and rub a mix of olive oil and all of the above spices again (.75 cup olive oil with 2 tbsp fresh or 2 tsp dry rosemary, 1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dry basil, 3 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, and 1 tsp ground turkey) under the skin of the turkey (awkward to do, but definitely a must!) and on top of the skin and roast breast down in the oven at 165C (I'm currently living in Germany) or 325F.

Seriously, it's foolproof. I've only made 3 turkeys in my life and all 3 were totally moist and perfect. Even my first one. I promise!

Kim said...

Love love love reading this! Holiday blessings go way beyond creature comforts, and "family" means much more than blood relationships.

Tara said...

some day you'll grow up and know how to do turkey -- i can teach you if you want.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Perfection, that last video. Except no, it wasn't perfect. That wee glimpse of Hudson wasn't enough.