Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Getting ready for "Turkey Day"

It began with the arrival of our "Yankee" cousins from Philadelphia! This visit was a nice long one..ten days!  Ellen had lots of little cousins to play with! Charlie and Jack loved playing with their "best friend" Ellen

This is Jack's form of an affectionate hug ~ a nice big head butt!

  And ole blue eyes Maggie - the best baby on earth is still a snuggle bunny.  She is the epitome of a third baby, just happy no matter where she is and what is going on....as long as she is fed!

Are those eyes amazing or what? 

Just beautiful!

 Reading "Blues Clues"

Charlie still has the magic touch with babies - this is his 22nd grandchild; there are eleven grandsons and Maggie makes eleven grand daughters!

 Sara wanted to try our new skeet machine out  so she would be ready for the skeet shooting session on Thanksgiving Day......Gary rigged up this set up on the wagon and we can roll the skeet shooting machine anywhere we want to shoot now. 

Just what you need when you miss ~ a little sister that sings 
"My blind Gra-ma Betty Lou can shoot that better than you!!!!!!!"

However, Sara is a pretty good shot and she killed a few of those skeet!

Here she is blowing the smoke out of the gun.......looking like she is hot stuff. 

My yard long beans are STILL producing!  
Just thought I would mention that! 

Back to Thanksgiving preparations.....Ellen helped me make some pecan pies.

 I made my famous sweet potato casserole - I really need to get that recipe on the sidebar. 

Here is one of the pecan pies!

Ellen had a great idea for our annual Thanksgiving craft ~ it has to do with acorns....


Our dogs were happy to help 

It didn't take long to collect enough ~ stay tuned and you will see what she is making!

 Our woods are so pretty now....

My Satsuma tree is loaded and they are ready to eat!  They taste like tart tangerines. 

We ran to the Feed and Seed store to grab some dog food and came home with 

I would like to say it was all Ellen's fault but...the truth be told, I really wanted them!  I am down to nine chickens so it is time to raise some new ones.
 They are Barred Rock except for the yellow one.....Ellen has claimed that one as hers.

Wrangling   chickens is hard work...they are fast little creatures.

Note the strategically placed bits of toilet paper - a weak attempt to protect the carpet!

~ Sara made our apple pies ~

See that mischievous little smile on her face?????? You will never guess what she is creating out of the pastry in her hand. Never in a million years.  It was priceless! She always keeps us laughing with her quirky sense of humor.......

Told you that you wouldn't guess!

Bet you never ate an apple pie with a mustache on it!

While Sara played with the boys outside,

Ellen and Julie worked on the  Acorn Surprise.....

It would be one thing to make this for eight to ten guests  - but we had thirty five!  However, Ellen was determined that everyone would have one and she didn't stop until they were all completed.  

Thank goodness Julie pitched in to help.....

and the biggest help of all  - Miss Maggie Moo herself! The six month old baby wonder crafter!

with the big blue eyes and hand smocked dressed that have survived from her big cousins Elizabeth and Sara! I just love seeing her in them!

I made a few fresh flower arrangements to decorate

 The snap dragons were requested by Ellen!

Maggie approves!

Things are starting to get exciting as Amy Jane arrived from Tennessee!  She came on the train and  visited with us for the next four days!  Isn't she adorable?

~Lovin on her chicken~

 It is the night before Thanksgiving now....all of our guests are here and Elizabeth is home from college!  Charlie came down to watch another skeet shooting competition. This time the two sisters had 
a shoot out!

And the unofficial winner was Elizabeth , but it was extremely close! 

Amy Jane came bearing some really neat gifts ~ earrings that she made out of guitar picks!  Everyone loved them...thanks Amy Jane!  If anyone would like to order them, leave a comment and I will have her contact you  - great Christmas gifts!  They come in all shapes and sizes.

Sorry Maggie, you are a bit young to get those pretty ears pierced!  

Clowning around with Charlie...

 Night before Thanksgiving - Dinner at Gran-E and Charlies

Glad to be together again! 

Thanksgiving morning.....back to making MORE TURKEYS....Ellen is going cross eyed looking at these turkeys! 

Amy Jane starts the morning off with a cup of my good strong coffee
 made "Only in Louisiana"!

Sara sets up the bar.......wait a minute ~ last year she was
setting up the the children's eating table....

 and this year she is setting up the bar???? What happened in a year
Milk Punch here we come!
 FINALLY the acorn turkeys are finished! Hooray! They are adorable and 
worth every minute of hard work!

Sara is still working on the bar! It is a big job with this crowd!

Sara made this when she was three and I have kept it for all these years!  I love it! 

And we love this little girl too! (and lets not forget the big one either)

The most unpleasant job of all of Thanksgiving is marinating the turkeys to prepare them for frying.  In Louisiana, we fry our turkeys and to prepare them for deep frying them, we loosen the skin,  saturate them inside and out with Tony Chachere seasoning as well as inject them with liquid seasoning. It is a messy, yucky, nasty job but someone has to do it and looks like Sara "volunteered" ...thanks Sara!  How does Liz get out of all this work? Oh ~ that is right, I forgot......she was sick with strep throat and did not feel well. 

While Sara was up to her elbows in turkeys, Ellen and Amy Jane were beautifying our Thanksgiving table and proudly placing the thirty-five acorn turkeys at each place setting!  
They were so CUTE - (and so were the acorn turkeys too) tee hee

 My mantle doesn't change much from year to year but I still feel the need to take a photo of it. 

A closeup of the ACORN TURKEY

Several years ago, Sara, Ellen and Katie made each person one of these adorable candle holders.....they took DAYS to make but I LOVE them and will treasure them forever.  I still use them every Thanksgiving to decorate! 

Ready to FRY!!!!!

Uncle Ray and Aunt Diane arrive - the first of many guests to arrive!  The party has started!

Aunt Diane is always so organized and has all her gifts in hand...she is Sara's godmother and as usual, brought her birthday gift to her  - it was a beautiful scarf that Sara loved!  The scarf looked great on her. 

  It is our family tradition to start our Thanksgivings off with Milk Punch (a traditional New Orleans drink at brunches) and Mark has been the Milk Punch guru for years but this year decided to pass the baton to the young whippersnappers who are coming up in the ranks.  He oversaw this year's production to ensure quality control but next year these two sisters will be on their own in the Milk Punch department!  Hope they learned all the secrets! 

Uncle Ray and Scott are the official taste testers!  

They are giving the old Blendtec a workout! 

I think they LIKE them!

And outside ~ we have children....lots of children playing ball, jumping on trampolines, swinging and

riding on golf carts!  The cute little girl with two thumbs up is Haylen - Mark and Kristen's little girl
 ( my second cousin)

Diane and Kristen (and Maggie) hanging out

 Wait a minute.....what is in your hand Miss Elizabeth????? And I thought you were only 
making them.  Silly me! 
 Daddy's girl (one of them)

The turkey frying crew ~ um, hey guys...the turkey...yeah remember - it is back there!

Amy Jane's first Louisiana Thanksgiving! 

  Who is that cute little boy in that cute little girl's arms.....must be my God child!

Kristen's  and Haylen's dog doesn't miss a Thanksgiving ~ she is fourteen years old and still running around like a Spring Chicken!

Time for the Chicken Drop - Uncle Pat quickly became the bookie....everyone put up a dollar

bet on a square

No-one is too young to play! 

 I retrieved the chicken whose job was to "drop" on a square....

Whatever square the "drop" landed on would be the BIG winner!

With baited breath, we let the chicken go to "do his thing"!  He must have been on his last nerve (my friend from Tennessee used to always say that!) as soon as I put him down

 Aunt Diane was a winner

~ Now that chicken doesn't waste any time doing his business ~ 

Charlie made this for me. Haylen made a cute little turkey for me too, but in the excitement of the day it somehow did not make it into the 500 photographs that I took!

Since Sara graduated to the bar, I was demoted to decorating the children's table!  Last year's paper drawing table cloth was so successful, we decided to duplicate it.  When topped off with Ellen's acorn turkeys, it was even cuter this year then last year!  And once the children
 ate dinner ~ very artfully decorated. 

                                            Our adult table barely fit everyone - 25 of us!

While waiting for dinner to be ready there was a mean checker game 
going on in the corner!

Jack and Ellen were giving Haylen a run for her money

 Ellen loves to have Haylen come and visit ~ she is a sweet, beautiful little girl and a 
pleasure to be around. 

 And outside, plug your ears....the skeet machine is going ninety to nothing!
Just about everyone wanted to take a turn.....Elizabeth and Sara had a rematch.

Uncle Pat and Gary - The two brothers decided to have a friendly competition.
I never heard the results of who won...and I am not asking!

 Great pic of Uncle Pat! 

 Scott and Denton are cheering everyone on  - Denton has already proven
 herself as a world class shot!

And Kristen just needs to look good holding that gun....GO GET UM KRISTEN! You got it girl!

It really is an addictive sport - I guess you would call it a sport....or a hobby....a passion..... a talent.....just plain fun!

Mark got serious about it and discovered the sweet spot to hit them! 

 Kristen and Haylen

The sun is starting to go down over the river and you know what that means???
Time to Eat!!!!!

 My girls
 The look I got from Amy Jane when I made a smart aleck comment to her!!!!

 She still hit them anyway!

Tree swinging was also on the menu....

But finally, the big moment was here.....turkeys were cooked, side dishes hot, all the relatives were here and it was time to EAT!

Lots of cousins!

 No-one wasted time once the dinner bell rang!

I think Aunt Diane broke a record for the 100 yard dash!

We had to hold Maggie back from trampling down everyone! 

I think there is more then one ham at this table ~ Julie can you say cheese :)

 Just what you are supposed to be eating - Aunt Layne's sugary, buttery sweet potatoes - right Maggie? But they sure are good! 

After Thanksgiving dinner, we had  a scavenger hunt for the cousins!

 Does this look like bedlam or what?

 Sorry Diane and Kristen - you are just too big to play! 

They say there is a chemical in turkey that puts you to sleep after you eat it.....wonder if there is any truth to that? 

No sleeping for the young crowd.....they don't stop! We finished the day with a ride on Sunny!

I don't think there is anything else we could have crammed into this day...lets recap
Milk Punch Making
Milk Punch Drinking
Golf Cart riding
Skeet Shooting
Turkey Frying
Chicken drop betting
Rope swinging 
Trampoline jumping
Major Amounts of Food eating
Wine and Beer drinking
Checker game playing
Scavenger hunting
Horseback riding

Quite a Thanksgiving! 


  1. Tim and I just read that post together- what a fun day it was! Great pictures, and even better captions!

  2. Boy you were really busy with Thanksgiving! I love the photos of the girls all together :) You have a beautiful home!

  3. Love Love Love your blog!!! What a great time!
    We always have so much fun! Love y'all - Kristyn


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