The day started like any other but with a twist, the expectation of a huge meal and the thought of why I should be thankful. As a New Zealander, I was thankful for this American tradition the opportunity to dine with friends. During the church service the girls did the decorating and created a great atmosphere in the cafe. Afterwards we went to the kitchen to get things going, and used these massive pots (about 50 cm diameters) to cook up the food.

There were heaps of canned goods and only one can opener so yours truly, started opening but had to take a break after 16 cans, Andy from Australia came over and helped, he was a machine. SJ was rallying the troops to stir and mix, Lindsay was making the hugest salad, Sarah was organizing the rest and so I checked on the kids. Grace was behaving herself and Lily was being handed around like a pinball and she was a little socialite. Narina was called in to slice up the last turkey and used the help to great effect. Everyone was excited and happy to be together and we lined up for a buffet style meal. A couple of people had to go to Costco after the service and arrived back with the best part – yummy dessert (pumpkin and apple pie). As part of the entertainment, Ryan and I got dressed up and he was my arms (hiding under a cover behind me) while I spoke to everyone about Thanksgiving. I asked people to tell us about what they were thankful for and both Andy (Hyun Jin) and SJ (Gloria) forgot to mention their wives, big mistake. I also asked where people were from and I had forgotten one country. Melanie shouted out “What about South Africa?” and as they had won the World Cup Rugby as opposed to NZ, I said “who cares and quiet in the cheap seats”. We made everyone laugh and Ryan managed to get food and drink into my mouth and I also got the occasional rub on the chest! After that, we joined the crowd and socialized, celebrated life and then took two tired kids home at 7pm. everyone helped with the cleanup and I managed to take home some leftovers too. Thanks guys for a successful event.

Cheers Karl