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Happy Thanksgiving!

29 Nov

It always calls for a little adjustment and flexibility when one tries to celebrate a holiday in the country with no ties to said holiday. Over the years, we’ve tried this and that, and most of the time, it is successful! Sometimes, without warning, one of us will get that deep inner longing for the US and the entire Thanksgiving culture.

One constant since we’ve been here has been the First Love Int’l Thanksgiving dinner. We’re all in the same boat, celebrating Thanksgiving without loved ones, so we become each others loved ones. It’s always a terrific time of food, fellowship, and fun. This year was no different.

I was about to post my own pics, but then I remembered that we have a terrific photographer right in our mission and she always takes great pics!

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We got there early to help set up. The kids were a great help setting out leaves and other decor. (This is one of my iphone photos, if it isn’t painfully obvious!)

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There was a little craft planned for the kids and they loved it! They got to decorate their own teepees.

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Some teepees didn’t make it until dessert time! I love Seth’s little mischievous smile (34 years old and I STILL have to say “i before e, except after c!”)

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I love this picture because I remember exactly what I talking about that brought such a light to my expressions. My friend asked, “So….how was the marathon?” This photo was snapped sometime in the next 10 minutes of my non-stop soliloquy about the marathon!

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Caleb and I were sharing a moment during the prayer.

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There was also a centerpiece for us to write what we are thankful for on leaves. Then we stuck them on branches for one big gratefulness tree!

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The kids had lots of room to run around, do gymnastics, and play together. I love Caleb’s mid-somersault on the left side of the picture.

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“I’ll show you my belly button if you show me yours!”

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The food was terrific! I used to be a side-dish girl only, but the turkey had me at hello and I even had seconds, and maybe thirds.

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There were all kinds of fun desserts, but NO PUMPKIN PIE!!! I think everyone just assumed that someone else would bring it, or at least that’s what I thought.

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So that was actually Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, we spent the first part of the day celebrating with Bella’s class. The 1st graders were dressed up as pilgrims and the 2nd graders were the Native Americans. They each had little programs and told us what they were thankful for.

This is the written form of what Bella said in the video. I love having decorations that the kids have made to bring out each year!

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Then there was a craft for parents to do with their kids.

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After the program, we had a Thanksgiving meal with the kids. It was fun eating with my little pilgrim!

I stole her cap.

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By that afternoon, we had already had 2 Thanksgiving dinners, so rather than cram some more calories down the hatch, we decided to take the kids to see Frozen. It was a fun, different Thanksgiving night!

Josh and the kids had schawarma. If only the pilgrims had headed across the Mediterranean!

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This year, I saw more signs of Thanksgiving around the Philippines! There were “Thanksgiving day sales,” and signs everywhere. I’m not sure they know the background of the holiday though.

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It never hurts to push thankfulness though!

Frozen was so cute and we all loved it. I found Filipino Raisinets, so I was thrilled!

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And since there was no pumpkin pie at our mission thanksgiving meal, I made sure there was one for us to dig in to when we got home! We even sprung for the whipped cream in a can.

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