Bradford and Griffin were both able to come home for Thanksgiving, which was special. Neither one is able to come home very often. In fact, Griffin hasn't been home since he began college last August. Griffin's school is about seven hours from home, and his car is less than reliable. In fact, he had trouble coming home last weekend because he had to replace a burned-out headlight and get a part to fix his heater once he got down the road a few hours, and it became dark and cold outside. While he was at WalMart buying the parts, he left his keys in the car and had to call a locksmith. Needless to say, those little repairs slowed him down by several hours and didn't help his mood. I think Brad has been home only once since the start of this semester. He's just five hours away in Atlanta, but he works at a church every weekend, so that makes visits nearly impossible. Brooke, Logan and Sasha couldn't come home, but we did have nine of the twelve with us. I guess that's pretty good odds with our children getting older.
Bailey, our 20-year-old daughter, decided she would cook the entire Thanksgiving for twelve people all by herself. She did an amazing job, and she didn't cut any corners. She used all fresh ingredients. No boxes or cans! She cooked turkey, glazed ham (which she glazed herself), duck, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (snapped the beans herself), squash casserole, deviled eggs, yeast rolls, lemon meringue pie, sweet potato pie, pecan pie and cherry pie made from fresh cherries. She even made the whipped cream from scratch. That girl needs to be a professional chef!
Thanksgiving evening we pulled out all the decorations and put up the tree. This has to be the earliest we've decorated for Christmas. We made the mistake of mentioning it though, and the little girls bugged us to death until we complied.
By 2:00 am Friday morning, Ephraim was awake and crying with a 103 degree fever. We spent the rest of the night cooling him off and trying to encourage him to go back to sleep. During the day of Friday he seemed to be fine, although pretty grouchy, but again in the wee hours of Saturday morning he woke up again. This time his fever was over 105 degrees. We stayed up the rest of the night giving him cool baths and alternating the Motrin and Tylenol. Again on Saturday he seemed to be doing better, but he repeated the last two nights' performance spiking again at 105 degrees in the early hours of Sunday.
On Thanksgiving Day, we had received calls from all our relatives and booked all our weekends from Thanksgiving through New Years for our multiple Christmas celebrations. Next weekend Ben's dad is coming, the following weekend we go to Atlanta for Brad's graduation, the third Saturday Ben's mom comes for Christmas, and that Sunday my mom comes for a nine-day visit. With Ephraim's fever, we just knew he had the flu and figured it was time to start canceling our weekend plans. By the time the flu ran through our entire tribe, we figured we would be into 2009.
Sunday morning Ephraim woke up much happier but COVERED with spots. He had roseola! That was a relief because all the rest of the kids have already had it, so we no longer had a month of sick kids to look forward to.
Yesterday started out with a bang. Until Thanksgiving Day we didn't know Ben's dad was coming for Christmas so soon, so we were suddenly in a rush to finish our Christmas presents. This year we are making baskets filled with homemade gifts made by all of us, and we'll be sending baskets back to Birmingham next weekend for all of Ben's brothers and aunts and uncles too. All day yesterday, most of last night and all day today we've been baking, baking, baking. We're finishing up the baskets tonight, which I must say look pretty nice. I'm so proud of the job all the kids did. Tommorrow we're going to frantically clean the house for Saturday's guests, and I'm going to try to do my best to take the first of the kids to Goodwill so they can begin buying presents for each other. They are so excited! It's good to see them more excited about what they are giving to their siblings than what they can get, get, get.
I'm a work-at-home mom of thirteen children ranging in age from twenty-six years old to five months old. Eight are home grown and five were adopted internationally (Russia, Guatemala, Vietnam and Ethiopia). We live on an 85-acre farm, and we have home schooled since 1986. My husband is a family physician in solo practice. I manage his practice and file the insurance claims.