A Train, The Tree and Thanksgiving with Oma

At the end of November, Oma Leah flew in to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with us!  Since we live on opposite ends of the country, it is always a special treat to be together…especially for the holidays!  Since Jake had to work some while she was here, we made a trip to the mall one afternoon to meet him for lunch and let Ben take a train ride around the first level of the mall with Oma!  (Are you seeing a blog pattern here…Ben and trains!!  Anytime we step foot in the mall Ben will stop, put his hand to his ear and say, “Can you hear that, Mommy?  It’s the train!”)

As we made out the menu for our Thanksgiving dinner the two desserts on the top of the list were pumpkin pie (my favorite) and pecan pie (Jake’s favorite).  Oma made a delicious pumpkin pie “from a recipe in her head.”  A bit of this, a pinch of that and a sprinkle of something else and viola…pumpkin pie goodness.  I’m always impressed when someone can just throw together a recipe from scratch because I’m a follow the recipe exactly kind of girl.  Jake definitely inherited his momma’s fantastic cooking skills because he cooks just like her and everything always turns out a-mazing!  Thank you for my pie, Oma!  I enjoyed. every. bite!  (And, yes, I did share!)  She also had planned to make the pecan pie, but before she had a chance to get it started our nice neighbors (Emerson and Mindy) from down the street pulled up to our front door towing their two boys (Drake and Walker) in a wagon and delivered a pecan pie!  It was a huge pecan pie (pretty sure it would have fed a small country) and it was de-lish.  We were thankful for their thoughtfulness!   

We thought it would also be fun to come up with a dessert Ben could do (almost) all on his own.  What better than chocolate covered marshmallows with sprinkles (of course…he requests sprinkles on everything) on a stick!  We made these for the first time earlier in the year at our Halloween playgroup party so I thought we’d give it another try at home.  It was just as fun and just as yummy the second time around.  We used Wilton Candy Melts (in fall colors) and melted them in glass bowls in the microwave.  To dip them we improvised and used toothpicks since I was out of lollipop sticks.  Once we put all the marshmallows (you can also use brownies cut in small squares, but marshmallows are easier for kids) on toothpicks, we let Ben dip them in chocolate and then the sprinkles.  We set them aside to let the chocolate harden and in no time at all they were ready to eat!  (Another fun tip…if you use the lollipop sticks, once the chocolate hardens you can put them in cellophane bags and tie them with ribbon.  They make great little treats to hand out to friends!)  Super fun, super easy!

On Thanksgiving morning we all worked together to make monkey bread!  You can get the recipe here.  In my opinion this is the best monkey bread recipe ever!!  Thanks for sharing, Sarah!   Once again, I was too caught up in eating to stop and take a picture of the finished product, but you can see pictures of the awesomeness on her blog!  It really does turn out that beautiful!  It’s also another really fun and easy way to get your kids involved in cooking.  Ben loved coating the biscuits in cinnamon sugar by shaking the ziplock bag.  We had no problem devouring the sugary, buttery goodness!  Hmm, once again another post all about food that is making me hungry and I haven’t even gotten to the main course yet!!  

Another team effort…Thanksgiving dinner!  I’ll admit I was a little anxious thinking about how it would all come together.  It’s not too often that we host Thanksgiving at our house.  Minus me dropping a glass jar of baby food that broke into a million teeny tiny pieces in the pantry right as we were putting dinner on the table, everything really did turn out wonderful!  On the menu…fried turkey.  I have to give credit where credit is due and the turkey was all Jake.  “She’s a beaut, Jake!”  The bird not only looked amazing but tasted even better!!  The rest of the menu…mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, bacon wrapped green beans, corn casserole, sweet potato casserole, whole cranberry sauce, rolls and sweet tea.  And as an extra special treat we sipped on sparkling grape juice.  Sparkling grape juice was always a family tradition around our house during the holidays.  It was cute to watch Ben’s eyes get big as he’d take a drink, swallow and then turn to me with a big grin on his face and say, “It’s bubbly!”

Not only was this Thanksgiving extra special because we had Oma to share it with, but it was also Jude’s first Thanksgiving!  While he couldn’t fully participate in eating all of the delectable offerings, he did enjoy some potatoes (both sweet and mashed), green beans and fruit!  And after that savory meal, we were all ready to go into hibernation for the evening!  


Without missing a beat, we were all up the following morning ready, willing and able to perform the duty of finding the perfect Christmas Tree.  Of course there was no one more ready and willing to help out than Ben! 

I had to post this picture because every time I look at it I am reminded that even though we’ve lived in Florida for five years (yes, five!), I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the idea of  warm weather during the holidays.  Nothing says Christmas like t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops!!

Another first for Jude…picking out a Christmas Tree!  And after searching, selecting, shaking and scrutinizing (i.e. checking for holes, fullness, and height), we found the one.  And in Clark Griswold fashion we tied it to the top of our vehicle and headed for home.  

Oma, we are so thankful for you!!  Thank you for coming to visit…we loved having you here!



Filed under Ben, Family, Food, Holiday, Jude, Orlando

4 responses to “A Train, The Tree and Thanksgiving with Oma

  1. Matt and Yvonne

    We’re so glad that she could be there for Thanksgiving!

  2. Matt and Yvonne

    We just noticed that in the second picture, where Ben is dipping the marshmallows, Mom (Oma Leah) is wearing a T-shirt with Ben and Jude’s names on it! Did you guys make that for her?

  3. Looks like a really fun visit! I love the picture of Ben cheesin’ it in front of the Christmas trees. Before you said anything, I was commenting to Dave on how crazy it was that Jake and Ben were wearing shorts while picking out a Christmas tree. I would give anything to be warm right now. Mental note: next winter plan a trip to Florida. You lucky ducks. Enjoy it for us!

  4. Jake and Joanna

    Hey Matt and Yvonne,
    Yes, we did have the t-shirt made for her for Mother’s Day last year. It says Oma in the middle with Ben and Jude’s names around the circle. I ordered it from this website.

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