Menu is set! I'll have a signup sheet for ingredients in the living room today, just because people are asking what they can bring. Don't feel like you have to though- I know this week is going to cost more at the grocery store and I plan accordingly. :) It's something I just like to do every year. But help is nice too, if you want. I'm good with it either way.
People were also asking why I start so early and what on earth I'm doing with the kids all that time for weeks ahead. Their attention spans aren't so long for most things and I don't want to overdo it, but they're perfectly happy to work on something everyday for fifteen minutes and then it takes us a month to get it done. For example? Turkey place mats with leaf feathers for all the guests.
After this day, I realized it was somewhere between lunacy and suicide to set that many of them loose with Mod Podge at the same time. I'm still cleaning up sticky. So, one at a time now, we go outside to choose leaves from the neighbor's yard and then come in to stick them to the paper turkeys. After all the kids have made one for themselves and for the babies, then we go with round two, and three, and sometimes four, to make sure that attending family members can have a place mat too. They're turning out cute and I'm going to laminate them all. You'll get to take them home after the feast is done.
So that takes a long time.
Then, as I mentioned before, for a week or so we were looking through grocery circulars and cookbooks and Pinterest at different recipes, and reading books about Thanksgiving to give them ideas about traditional foods. We get on all kinds of tangents explaining what various vegetables are, and what they taste like, and if they have gluten and I can or can't cook them.
Now that the menu is done, we'll do things like put graham crackers in ziploc bags for them to beat into crumbs with plastic hammers. They'll beat happily for twenty minutes, I'll have to transfer the pieces into new bags two or three times as they rip through them, and when they're done? We have ONE tiny step of the candy apple pie done. So I put the crumbs away and we do another step later on. Takes awhile.
The day we do the mashed potatoes, every kid who wants to help has his own job. I've got somebody at the sink washing potatoes and one with a towel to dry. For awhile I had to be the peeler, but now that's Duchess. Yay third grader! Then I chop them, and somebody else puts them in the pot. After they cook then we have mashers and mixers and butter people... it's a huge affair and takes all morning.
And then we take days off to do important motor skills work like hammer golf tees into a big pumpkin.
They hammered for almost two hours over the course of the day. Then I pulled all the tees out and they started over. Fun times.