The night after the day before

For some crazy reason I cannot get my photos to upload — hmm, could it be because I actually uploaded them onto facebook? Who knows? I don’t really understand what I’m doing on my computer (really, you say?), but I have been trained to do certain things for specific results. But, for the life of me, I can’t get a single picture from yesterday to upload!

So, where do I begin without the pictures? Okay. Yesterday.

We had three gals stay over the night before so that we would be ready to hit the kitchen early. The goal is to get as much of the regular food prepared so that we can concentrate on eating appetizers. Over the past two days we had prepared kahlua sweet potatoes, sweet potato casserole, wild rice casserole, a gluten-free cornbread stuffing, a slow-cooker stuffing (new recipe this year and absolutely delicious!), and we were waiting to put the turkey parts into the oven a couple of hours before the planned beginning of the meal. Georgia made a pecan pie, homemade salsa and guacamole AND homemade corn tortilla chips. Not to mention a loaf of zucchini bread. Cara made 4 loaves of “yum” bread, named by Jeanne who couldn’t imagine any bread better than one with tomatoes and cheese inside! She also made a green bean casserole with durkee’s onion rings on top. (Mental note: don’t use years’ old onion rings, even if they’ve never been opened…). Allyson created a delicious gluten-free corn pudding. And Melanie treated us to a pineapple casserole. Jamie and Dasha created deluxe mashed potatoes, complete with onion, sour cream and cheese added. And that was just SOME of the food.

Once we had the turkey roasting, we sat down to “at last an interesting cheese ball” — a holiday staple — with crackers. The aforementioned salsa, guac, and chips. And a rousing game of Thumper. (Don’t ask.)

We had to serve the main course buffet-style because there simply wasn’t enough room on the table. Did I mention the whole-berry cranberry sauce that Georgia made? Or the real deal jellied cranberry sauce from America?

We laughed so much and so hard throughout dinner that I wasn’t sure we were going to survive. Laughter is good for the digestion, fortunately for us. And Cara had a series of questions that we all could answer or pass, but were fun…and somewhat revealing. Or insightful. Once we finished the main course, we emptied the buffet table of the main courses and replaced them with pies. And more pies. Pumpkin, with and without crust. Apple pie. Cherry pie. Pecan pie. Jim made fresh coffee and we all continued to eat. And to laugh.

Our brains were taxed to the limit when we began playing “beyond balderdash.” We played seven rounds before we had to give it up so that folks could make it home before it got too late.

And today. Well, we’ve been eating. And thankful for leftovers. We have a houseguest from Nigeria here tonight — he seemed to really enjoy our authentic American Thanksgiving leftovers. And there’s still food for tomorrow when Georgia meets us here before heading out of town to a women’s meeting in Rizhishchiv. (Pray for me — can you imagine that I am the guest speaker?!) And I wouldn’t be surprised to find remaining leftovers when we return on Sunday. (It’s been a bad (?) habit for YEARS that we create way too much food. If anyone goes away from here hungry, well, it’s just their own fault.)

Tonight we watched “Martian Child,” a movie loaned to us. I have no idea whether it’s current or not, but it was fun to watch with Jim, Promise, Kolya and Jeanne. Again, we were laughing out loud — this little guy was dribbling a bowling ball soccer-style down the lane…sooo funny!

Anyway, I managed to put the finishing touches on my talk for tomorrow night. And we began to decorate for Christmas — with carols blasting throughout the flat. Jim put in nearly a full day of work.

It’s just been a pleasure to be home. To laugh. To hug. To welcome friends. To share great food. Did I mention to laugh?

God is so incredibly generous to me — providing everything I need. Plus so much more.

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