I’m here in my living room surrounded with the white Christmas lights Ben enthusiastically strung all around the room the Friday after Thanksgiving, and Karen Carpenter is serenading me with “I’ll be home for Christmas.” As a family, we are deeply offended by Christmasiness anytime before pie is served on thanksgiving, after that, there’s no holding back. Thanks to Ben, decorating is a snap, especially if I’m not very persnicketty about how things are done.
Thanksgiving was nice, we were at pa/ma-in-laws with all but one of David’s siblings. David brined our home-grown 21 lb turkey for 14 hours with Alton Brown’s recipe, cooked it breast-down and turned out turkey perfection. He’s always been good, but this was the best. This turkey was seriously fat. There was a layer of fat a half an inch thick on some parts of the breast, which made for amazingly moist meat.
When I poured the drippings into the separator to make the gravy, there was 2 cups dark brown broth and two cups golden turkey fat. Two cups!! Insane.
I made Great-Grandma Anna Sophia Smith’s potato rolls, every roll dipped in butter before being folded over in the pan. The kids had a ball with their cousins.
Lucy has been so much more vivacious since her surgery, it is obvious she can hear so much better. Her pronunciation is amazing, every T is crossed with her. She has such a sweet, distinct little personality and her and Noah play (and/or fight) wonderfully. She loves to “do TaeKwonDo” on people, screaming “Hi-YA!” and leaping about with knife strikes and kicks. She’s ready for the Little Tigers class over at Master Kim’s TaeKwonDo, but I’m not about to pay for that, so we’re going to put her and Noah back into “Monkeynastics” in January.
Sophie has been asking for some time to start TaeKwonDo and I’ve balked, in part because of the price and in part because I thought she was being competitive with Ben. But after a sufficiently long waiting period I realized she really wanted to and we took her to meet with Master Kim for her initial private lesson. He was excited and felt she had great natural talent. In fact, she was able to kick well above her head at first try. That, combined with being crazy flexible, made him think she’d do well if she applied herself. He gave her a fervent directive to work hard and not waste her talent. So, we’re a TaeKwonDo family now. They are both 2x a week, but will switch to 3x in January because it’s not that much more. It is just a few blocks up the street, really builds self discipline and self esteem and provides good exercise for the winter.
Ben is continuing to do very well in school and just got his TKD brown belt. He’s doing great in Webelos and is just all around growing up. We went to dinner with my aunt (my dad’s sister) and cousins from that side of the family and there was much comment about how much he looked like my dad as a kid and how his personality and brainpower were very much the same. I take both pride and terror in this, and always use these comments as an opportunity to remind Ben to use his superpowers for good and not for evil. Kidding, I just explain that with great abilities come great responsibilities, and that intellect alone gets you nowhere without focus, hard work, and goodness as a person. The other day I asked him if he was ready to talk about where babies come from, and he said, “Do I have to know? I have a feeling I don’t want to know.” Hilarious. I gave him a reprieve of a few months.
Noah is crazy, cute and wonderful as always. He also wants to start TKD but I told him he needs to stay dry for a month before he can be a Little Tiger. He is the one person that seems the most impacted by my working. He really acts out for attention and seems desperate for mom love, complete with wetting his pants. He is over five but seems like a young four to me. He has simple tastes–cold cereal, oatmeal, toast, cooked carrots, and anything with sugar in it. He hates everything else I make. He loves cars and blocks and carrying the poor cats around like luggage. Our poor cat Spike that got hit by a car last month is actually very recovered. He’s a little slower and still limps, but he’s almost back to normal. No thanks to Noah, who apparently trimmed his whiskers, again, this past week.
David is working like a crazy man. We’ve set some goals for this coming year and they require that he start billing as much as he can, so he’s taking tons of jobs and working nights and Saturdays. He’s a great provider and I’m really grateful that he works so hard. I have a surgery again on Wednesday (a laparoscopy to see if the endometriosis is still alive) and he’s trying to get work in so he can be available for that. I am so lucky to have my Grumpilicious.
As for me, I’m fine. I’m writing a lot, thinking a lot, praying a lot. Trying to sing more. Trying to figure out my purpose in life.
Tonight I’m making that fabulous 5 minute bread I posted a while back to go with Ben’s lasagna and we’re cutting out Christmas cookies. Yay food!