This month our family has regularly shared our gratitudes nightly at dinner. It has been fun to hear Milagro be thankful for "care bears" (because they keep us caring) and Pollito express his gratitude for trees, rocks, and trucks. The older ones have been thankful for books, science classes, and two moms. One day Pollito commented that he was thankful he didn't have a dad which sparked a wonderful conversation about moms and dad, birthmoms and birthdays, and ultimately "what matters most" which in Pollito's estimation was a mom or dad "who loves you no matter how many things you break!" :-)
This Thanksgiving we are continuing a tradition from last year. We hosted my sister and niece (who live in town) and C.'s parents (from CO.) Then my mother, brother, sister-in-law and niece came in from South TX. It was basically the same crew from last year except that our dear friends A. & H. and their kids weren't able to join us. The kids were disappointed and made comments like "it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving because _____ aren't here." Milagro went as far as asking me to call and tell them to drop off the kids, J. & Z, even if the adults couldn't make it. :-) I made a big meal and we watched football and just spent time together. On Friday, we avoided shopping areas, went out to everyone's favorite BBQ place and had a grand time. It is so much fun to watch my older niece (who just turned 17) spend time with her younger cousins. They don't see each other much and it really hasn't been that long that the kids have known one another. My brother's religious views had kept him from accepting our family although he seems to have had a change of heart in the past two years. He used to simply ignore C. but now he has discovered her sense of humor and they seem to have found some shared interests.
Perhaps the highlights of the holiday were that Tortuga had no major incidents and for the first time ever Corazon was able to help with the cooking in ways that didn't interfere with, sabotage, upstage, disrupt or otherwise create more work for me and meltdowns for her. She was appropriate, pleasant, and absolutely awesome. She followed directions, did grunge work, had fun, kept me company, and got to take pride in her terrific work as sous-chef. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her!
These are the pictures my niece posted to her facebook page...her love of her cousins is palatable and makes me so happy.