Ree Drummond Is 'Chillin' with Her Kids in Thanksgiving Pics: 'Hope You're All Having a Happy Day'
Ree Drummond spent a relaxing Thanksgiving with almost all of her kids returning home for the holiday.
The Food Network star — whose newest book The Pioneer Woman Cooks―Super Easy!: 120 Shortcut Recipes for Dinners, Desserts, and More debuted atop the New York Times bestsellers list — shared photos from her Turkey Day celebration on social media.
Drummond, 52, shares five kids with husband of 25 years Ladd Drummond, 53: daughters Alex, 24, and Paige, 21; sons Bryce, 19, and Todd, 17; and foster son Jamar, 19. Sharing a photo of the kids on her Instagram Story, the mom wrote that she misses Bryce, who wasn't pictured, as well as her nephew Stuart Smith, who was also absent.
"My Pookies," she wrote on the group picture with a crying emoji.
Joining them also was Alex's husband Mauricio Scott. The two tied the knot back in May.
Sharing a selfie alongside Jamar, Drummond wrote on Instagram, "Chillin', relaxin', laughin', and about two seconds away from a tryptophan nap. Also, those are not my eyebrows, they're shadows from my glasses. Remind me not to wear these glasses again. Hope you're all having a happy day! I used squirt whipped cream on my from scratch pecan pie. Bye."
Back in October, Ree told PEOPLE she was happy to have the family all back for the holidays, seeing as four out of the five of her kids have moved out.
"We are in such a different season now, Ladd and me. We have only Todd at home," she said at the time. "We are almost empty-nesting!"
As big of a change that is, Ree revealed that she's "embracing" the new phase of life.
"I used to get sad when the kids left for college. When the girls left, I cried and wailed and mourned. But now, now I just sort of embrace what those changes bring," she said. "Right now, it's bringing a little bit of peace, serenity, and quiet. The kids are almost all grown and we can enjoy them when they come home. But then when they're gone, we really enjoy that too."
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"That doesn't mean chaos isn't on the horizon, because it always is," she joked. "It always is somehow."
Having Todd at home is easy, Ree said. The teen is a junior in high school and a quarterback on high football team, so she and her husband have "got football just coming out of our ears."
"All we think about right now is football," Ree told PEOPLE. "But it's easy. Todd's ... we don't say we saved the best for last in any sort of capacity, but we joke that we saved the best for last. Todd just makes it so easy. He's a great kid. He talks to us, tells us how his day went, and then he gives us a fist bump and goes up to his room. It's just great. We're enjoying it."
For Thanksgiving, Ree made a bevy of her favorite dishes, recipes of which she showed off on her Instagram Stories and in an Instagram Live with Alex, Maurcio, and Page.
For the main course, she prepared her turkey with her all-time favorite brine before roasting it. On the sides? Stuffing, mashed potatoes, skillet cornbread, cranberry relish, broccoli cheese casserole, and giblet gravy.
"Ladd marries me over this pie every year," Ree said.
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It'll be an extra emotional year as Ree's older brother Michael Smith died in the beginning of the month at the age of 54.
The loss added on to an already emotional year. Ladd was injured in a serious fire truck accident with their nephew in March. Ladd and Caleb Drummond collided in separate vehicles as they were attempting to put out a blaze on the family's Oklahoma farm, leaving Ladd with a broken neck and sending Caleb to the hospital in critical condition.
While Ladd has made significant progress in the months since, Ree has been a constant cheerleader of him on social media. She mentioned him on Wednesday's Instagram Live, when asked what she's grateful for.
"I'm thankful for my new son-in-law, I'm thankful for Ladd's health and wellness after his accident, I'm thankful for Todd still being at home, and I'm thankful for all you guys," she said.