As our first Thanksgiving away from family and familiarity approached, we were nervous and excited. Nervous we were going to miss doing our traditional family gatherings, and excited to do something new!
Thanksgiving morning came and we woke to a beautiful snowfall, it made us feel like we were in MN.
We got up and began our Thanksgiving by preparing our first turkey ever! We invited some of Ben's co-workers over for a Thanksgiving meal, prepared by newbie Holiday party havers! We had been thawing the turkey in the fridge since Sunday, which should have been ample time since it was only 16 lbs. Ben pulls it out Thursday morning and says, and I quote, "Ahhhh, Amanda I think we have a problem." Um, that is not exactly what I want to hear 5 hours before we are suppposed to be feeding 4 people I barely know, including Ben's boss. So I stay calm and positive by saying oh so cheerfully,"What's the problem babe!" He goes on to say the inside is completely frozen and icy and doesn't think it is going to be ready in time. At that point my stomach was turning and I wanted to cry, since I need everything to be just right when we are entertaining. But somehow God helped me to say, "Oh, it is going to be perfectly fine!" LIE! So, I immediately phone my one lifeline of the day...My Mom JoJo to the rescue! Long story short, mom reassured us that it was completely normal and fine. We just need to rinse out the inside of the turkey. Ben, being the rule follower that he is, did not want to do that because "on the butterball directions, it didn't say we could do that." :) I made him do it anyway! So we put it in and luckily our oven cooks unbelievably fast so our beautiful turkey ended up getting down in 2 1/2 hours. Thank you Jesus! The day, food and company was wonderful. And we were pretty proud of our first Thanksgiving meal together!
Notice the beautiful flower centerpiece that Tom and Pam sent us for our Thanksgiving away!
Thursday night we started our way down to Portland to see the Thuls (Pam's sister and family)! We got there about 10:00 and they welcomed us in and made us feel right at home. We were so excited to be in their home enjoying some family time. We stayed up and chatted until 12:00, planning our morning of shopping and being entertained by their dog Buddy!
Karen, Haley and I got up and did the Black Friday shopping. The boys had a "man's day" watching football all day, even enjoying some chili cheese nachos. Mike made us another amazing Thanksgiving meal that night with the best homemade apple pie. After our big meal Haley and Karen taught us to do a little cow calling...long story, but let's just say they(especially Haley) did a great job teaching is what a cow in distress sounds like:)
Saturday morning we headed downtown Portland to the Nike headquarters where Mike and Ben decided to do a little trespassing into the Tiger Woods Center.
As Karen, Haley and I sat in the car we noticed a security guard approaching. I automatically duck because I am a nervous nelly and Karen gets her game plan of what she is going to tell him. Luckily he walks right past and in...toward the boys! Shortly thereafter we see them coming out, being escorted out in handcuffs...Just Kidding! Even though us girls were thinking that may happen! They were just walking out with big goofy smiles on their face! Thank goodness!
Then we went to Niketown and a few other places.
That night the Thuls brought us downtown again to Morton's, an amazing steakhouse. After our belt loosening meal, we went across the street to a Christmas program called the Singing Christmas Tree. It was beautiful! It really got us in the "Christmas Spirit", as Mike said, it reminds us of the true meaning of this wonderful season, Jesus' birth.
We also helped them start their fabulous Christmas decorating!
I had to take a picture of Karen and Mike working away in the kitchen. I felt like that was all they were doing for us all weekend...amazing hosts, right?!
One of the best parts of the weekend was listening to all of Mike and Karen's stories! They are seriously the best story tellers I have ever met! I told Ben that I want us to be just like that, always laughing together and finding fun in everything they do. So, I made Ben practice telling me stories on our drive home! Hopefully, after spending the weekend with them, we have now made some of their future stories!
We had such a wonderful weekend with the Thuls, we DID NOT want to leave. They were such amazing hosts who made us feel like we are at a home away from home. They treated us much too well and we feel so blessed to have them in our lives. Thanks again Thuls, for your amazing hospitality and love toward us!
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1
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