I hosted my mom and two youngest siblings, sister Megan and her four little guys, and Krista with her two little girls for a Thanksgiving party.
In the past year, I've learned that the happiest people make the best of what they have. So, for this party, I used the super cool ideas I found online, and then altered them to fit my budget and my home. Case in point: the 1980's-style light. Definitely not the ultra-chic chandeliers hanging above most party-guide photos, but it isn't so bad with four fall-colored paper flowers (total cost: $2.50) hung from it. A big round of applause goes to Nathan for folding paper flowers with me a few nights ago. They're a little tedious with only one hand.
The centerpiece is from sticks found in my back yard, a vase my mother-in-law found at a resale shop for a dollar, ribbon saved from a gift from a student and a little construction paper. One of the projects I did with the kids was to have them write (or draw) what they were thankful for on leaf shapes cut from construction paper and then hang them from the branches.
The runner is something I bought with a wedding gift card (so free for me), and the pumpkins, candles, leaves on the plates, and wooden acorns were purchased at Hobby Lobby last week during an 80% off sale. That made the pumpkins, according to big/medium/tiny $2/$0.80/$0.40. I had everything set up but thought I needed a little something more, so I added the scrunched paper napkins to the glasses for one last pop of color.
Here's the kiddos, pre-crafts. Everyone except the two babies participated in crafts.
My mom and her youngest grandchild, 9-month-old Elliana.
My college friend Evelyn was able to stop buy for a few hours and join in the happy chaos. Here she is with sweet Benjamin. They are in the basement where we were doing crafts.
Pilgrim Evangeline. We like to call her the family's "cherry on top".
My oldest nephews, Samuel (6) and William (4).
My brother Isaac. He is such a good leader for all the kids.
Evelyn and I after lunch.
I didn't really get pictures of the food, but we had sloppy joes, tomatoes, carrots and broccoli with dip, chips, taffy apple salad, pumpkin muffins and chocolate pumpkin-shaped cake.
The cake also had a stem, but you can't see it in the picture.
We tried really hard to get a group shot as everyone left. But with 8 kids under 10, this was the best that we got.
Nathan stopped in during lunch and we were able to grab a quick photo...check out the swollen, sausage-like fingers I have here!
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday
surrounded by the people you love.