Family Friday: Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  This is my favorite holiday - lots of amazing food and no obligation for presents.  Here on this island, we don't have any family to spend the holiday with but we were blessed to have some great friends come celebrate with us!

I dressed the table with a neutral tablecloth and then used a strip of fabric as table runner, topped with a piece of burlap.  One of our sweet guests brought the beautiful flowers!  Everyone brought some side dishes and we ended up with quite a feast: turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, sushi, homemade poke, pumpkin cheesecake, and bread pudding.  Everything was delicious.

Johnnie was in charge of cooking the turkey this year and he did an amazing job!  This was actually the first turkey we ever cooked ourselves.  It was a huge bird... 27 pounds of deliciousness!  We put a pretty good dent in it ourselves, sent a few meals to friends, and still have a ton of leftovers.  I hear a turkey pot pie recipe calling our name...

Cameron loved the attention of everyone in the house.  I don't think she has ever laughed that much in one day before!  She went down for an afternoon nap just before we ate - perfect timing :)

Dulce also loved the attention from everyone and loved the turkey dinner we gave her.

Johnnie was deployed last Thanksgiving so this is our first one together as a family!  It was perfect.

We did not go out shopping for the Black Friday sales.  Traffic and crowds are bad every day of the year here so this one day of sales makes that exponentially worse.  On an island of over 1 million people, there are only 5 Walmarts, 2 Targets, 2 Best Buys, 1 Toys R Us, 1 Babies R Us, etc...  you get the picture, there are limited stores and parking spaces here for that many people to all be shopping at once.

There were some fantastic deals to be found for those who got out early enough.  However, a lot of the deals weren't as great as you would think.  Normal retail prices here in Hawaii are 20-30% higher here than in the mainland so even with that great coupon you cut out of the paper, you're still basically getting things for the price you would've normally paid elsewhere.  But we're in Hawaii so that coupon makes it as good as it's going to get.  The majority of things are much cheaper on Amazon so that's where we do a lot of our shopping.

Instead of shopping Friday morning, we slept in and then Cameron played, Johnnie worked on Master's degree homework, and I made a Christmas wreath for the front door.  This is the same grapevine wreath I used for Halloween.  I attach everything with wires so that I can reuse and redecorate it for every season.  Next step... buy a Christmas tree!

"Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast."
~William Shakespeare


  1. That's a Big turkey! It looks really yummy.

    When we host I usually make turkey pies out of the leftovers but instead of one large pot pie, I make small circles, put in some filling made of turkey, gravy, veggies, even stuffing (easier to work with if you mix it all up and put in the freezer till slushy) then fold it over and pinch the edge and cut vents on top. Then I put them in freezer on a cookie sheet until they are stiff enough to put in freezer bags for future use. They are handy to pop in an oven and very tasty. Oh, I use celery seeds in the crust.

    1. That sounds awesome! I made one big pot pie and STILL have leftovers so I'll be making the little ones with rest today! Thanks for the idea! :)