We had a very happy Thanksgiving. It began on Wednesday morning with Mike's first day of true vacation in what seems like years. No work and no school and no church stuff. Just focusing on the family. The best part is that he is off for a whole week. When he told me this vacation was been coming up, I couldn't even begin to fathom what that meant because it's been so long since we've had him all to ourselves.
The main reason he has this vacation time is because he has decided to take the management job in our hometown full time. He has been par time managing there since April which meant working there two days a week and three to four days managing the store here. He really wanted to take the job and felt like it would provide better opportunities for our families. However, there was just no way Tyler was willing to move either before or during his senior year which meant in order to take the job, Mike would have to commute. It's 1 1/2 hour trip one way. So he told them he couldn't take the job.
Well, as it turned out, the main candidate for the job was Mike's top salesman and he would be commuting until his kids graduated too. What it came down to was that Mike was not able to take a job he wanted and loved because I wasn't willing to deal with the commute. Sigh. So we talked about it and he explained that staying here would not mean less stress and more family time. His company wanted him to combine and manage two lumber yards (the other one is only 1/2 hour away) plus he would have to take over all of the sales of his top salesman plus they eventually wanted to work him into district managing which means even more travel and less family time.
So, he is taking the job and he begins officially November 25th(although he's on vacation until December 1). We won't be moving until June or so. He'll be helping with the transition and training of the new manager so he will still be working in town a couple of days a week for now. We have just had a very intense stretch with hunting and inventory so having Mike at home on Wednesday was such a rare treat especially since the big boys were still in school.
We got several reorganizing and fix-it projects done and ended the day with a "burn-fire." Complete with hot dogs and "marshy-ellows." ;) It was the two little girls' first bonfire and all three girls were so excited and cute and messy. We should have skipped the roasted marshmallows for the little girls and just given them cold ones from the bag. After putting the girls to bed, I went back out and sat with Mike by the fire. Nice. Ahhhh...
I wanted to do something special for Thanksgiving but we weren't sure what. We thought about just popping it at our neighbor's and joining them. Really any neighbor that looked like they had extra cars in the driveway was fair game. ;) We've never really had any set Thanksgiving traditions since the little girls have come home and it's just too much to travel. Mike doesn't really like turkey so I'm not so inclined to cook it. However, when I was picking up chickens on Tuesday, the butcher also had fresh turkeys so I bought a small one. I had polled the boys about their Thanksgiving favorite foods and they liked turkey. They also requested lots of desserts. I wasn't sure how I was going to pull that one off but Mike picked up a couple of desserts on Wednesday. The other foods were pretty easy: green beans, squash from my garden, corn, mashed potatoes.
The turkey went into the oven first thing in the morning and then we went downstairs to do some more organizing and clean up. I looked through many of our books and it made me excited and nostalgic for homeschooling. Then we headed back upstairs to finish preparing the meal. Mike helped with peeling the potatoes and setting the table with the little girls. Amanda was so excited to have everyone working together to prepare the meal. I had planned to have the big boys help with the meal, too, but they were still in bed and it's so crazy with the little girls. It wasn't until we were just about ready to eat that Mike was able to go down and get them out of bed.
Prior to the baby snowball, we used to sit down and eat meals together almost every night and most lunchtimes too. For the last couple of years, that has been very rare. Just the fact that our whole family was sitting down together to share a meal made the day really special. Christiana was just beside herself. She's pretty distractable at the table anyways but she was so excited to have the boys at the table, she could hardly eat.
It was such a good day and ended with a phone call from Amanda's birth family but I'll write more about that in another post. I went to bed very happy and thankful, that's for sure!
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