Happy Almost Thanksgiving to you!

Hi and happy day before Thanksgiving.  Can you believe it’s almost here?  Did you forget about it since it has been crammed in between Halloween and Christmas — which has begun even earlier this year.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I like the chance to be with loved ones, enjoy food that everyone has helped prepare, spend the day enjoying food, fun, family, friends, and football, and the time to give thanks and praise for our blessings.

I like that commercialism hasn’t taken it over — just favorite family recipes and being careful with the latest warnings about unsafe food (Romaine lettuce this week). I like that the day is about some of my favorite things or ways to spend my time — with a delicious meal and a great conversation and laugh.

I had planned to write each day this month on items that I am thankful for but just didn’t get the chance.  Things have been busy — with family business projects, homework, and other issues, and some personal issues as well.  Another day this week, I will write some more on those.  For now, I want to go and enjoy my blessings, as I hope you will also do.

Here are a few quotes about Thanksgiving. Enjoy:

  • “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • “Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” ~ W.J. Cameron
  • “Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.” ~ Erma Bombeck
  • “For flowers that bloom about our feet;
    For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
    For song of bird, and hum of bee;
    For all things fair we hear or see,
    Father in heaven, we thank Thee!”
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~ Thornton Wilder
  • “Lord, we gather as a family to thank Thee for all Thy blessings, most especially for making us this family and granting us this gathering.” ~ Robert Brault

May you be blessed and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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On Voting and Thankfulness

Hi and Happy Monday.  Tomorrow as you probably know is an election day.  I for one will be glad when it is done since I am tired of all of the negative ads.  It is just entirely too much.

Did you vote already or will you tomorrow?  Please let me know and please vote. I voted early with my family.  Our son helped me cast the ballot and that was cool.  I want him to know the importance of voting and what an honor it is.

Perhaps this picture should say, I am voting tomorrow.  If you haven’t already, please do.  And, when you do vote, please don’t do it out of fear or being afraid of something awful happening if the other side wins.  Please be informed and knowledgeable on what the candidates stand for.  After all, they all have to find a way to work together for the betterment of all of us.

This is the time to make your views known.  This is the time to have a say in how our country moves forward.  This is the time to be part of our democracy and the land of the free and the home of the brave.

In entirely other news, this Thanksgiving, I am writing about a variety of things that I am thankful for.  Each day, I am to share something that I am thankful for as listed on a photo of 30 Days of Thankfulness.  It is a good time to reflect on what I appreciate and find meaning in.  And, I hope to carry it on to other months as well.

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  I love the day for food, fellowship and giving thanks. My family and friends enjoy a wonderful circle of prayers, thanksgiving, love, and great food. We talk, laugh, share stories, enjoy great recipes and family favorites, and sometimes cry.

I look forward to Thanksgiving each year and wish it now wasn’t being left to the wayside by the rush to Christmas. This drawing is one by Ian from years ago. One of the turkey hand drawings.

November 5 — Place — Today the place I am most thankful for is my family’s beach house.  I have so many amazing memories of that small cottage.  I have been going since I was a baby and Kirk and I have taken Ian many times since he was a baby. It is small in size but very large in love and family and friends.

This place has been full of songs, Grandpa’s stories, Grandma’s hugs and love, precious time with cousins, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, outside showers, meals on the porch gathered around the table, sleeping on the floor, long conversations, lots of laughs, and some tears as well.

One of my cousins recently passed away and last year an aunt also died.  I have so many fond and lovely memories of both of them at this beach house.  I cherish them and all of the time spent with my loved ones.  I am so very thankful to have this place for our family to gather.

November 4 — Favorite Snack — This depends on the time of year that I am in.  In the summer, I like something light or cool — like nuts and dried fruit, a popsicle, a cold beer, or an ice cream cone.  During the fall, however, my favorite snack is a slice of pumpkin bread with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and a cold glass of milk. Yum!!!

I am thankful for the mix of flavors of sweet and savory, the texture and the milk to wash it down with. I am thankful that I can enjoy such delicious food. My mother has a great recipe for the bread that I will need to find and make.  It may be an odd combination but it is one that I like.  I also like having it for breakfast.  What is your favorite snack?

November 3 — Cozy Place — For this I am thankful for my comfy couch in our living/family room.  I love to sit under a warm blanket during this time of year.  I enjoy sitting there to read, watch television, visit with my family, and take a nap.  I feel very comfortable there. It is my spot.

I am thankful and happy to have a house that is our home, with running water, a place to do laundry, prepare meals, and park our car out of the elements.  This is also a place to enjoy pancakes made in the kitchen and eaten at the table with the family in our pajamas. I am truly blessed to share this home with my two best guys.

I wonder what the next day’s thankfulness items will be about?  I am not sure but I cannot wait.  Here’s to giving thanks!

30 Days of Thankfulness — Part 2

Hi and Happy last day of November.  I am about to run out of month and hadn’t finished my thankfulness listing yet.  OOPS!!!  So, here are my items for Days 16 to 30.

I have so much to be thankful for. I am blessed beyond words and so thankful for all of my friends and family, as well as the experiences I have had, and the items that are near and dear to me.

Most of these categories have more than one answer that I could have included.  These are the ones that first came to mind and ones that I wanted to share.

  • Day 16 – Recipe — Years ago, my mom gave me a recipe for pumpkin bread. It is so good and one of my favorite treats of the fall. In fact, I like a slice of warm bread, with a cold glass of milk, and a slice or two of sharp cheddar cheese. YUM!
  • Day 17 – Store – For food, it is Trader Joe’s but I don’t make it there very often. They have such a great variety and several specialty items as well. My favorite clothing store is Goodwill since I am frugal and love a great bargain. Some trips lead to great finds and others don’t, but I do like to go and see what is there.
  • Day 18 — Quote – One favorite quote was from my grandpa’s stories: “I still wonder where rainbows come from.” This quote always makes me happy and brings up so many memories. As I have gotten older, I have come to believe that it was Grandpa’s way of encouraging us to make the most out of our lives, to discover new things, to always keep learning and striving, and to live our lives to the fullest.
  • Day 19 — Clothing — I have been stumped on this one. In the winter I love my fuzzy socks, warm sweaters, and long-sleeved shirts. I am usually pretty casual and enjoy buying items at thrift shops.
  • Day 20 – Keepsake – Before my grandfather passed away, he gave me his oil painting of his dog Schatzi, a miniature schnauzer. She was such a sweetie and he knew how much I loved her. It was such an honor to receive that from him. Each time I look at it, I think of him and this scruffy dog.
  • Day 21 — Disappointment / Fear – I really wanted to see our friend Malachi grow up and one day go off to college with Ian. But that was not to be since the Lord had something else in mind. Malachi touched so many people in his young life. And, he taught many of us about faith, love, and friendship. We are blessed for having known him. And we are blessed to have learned about loving fully and completely and for making the most of each day.
  • Day 22 — Book — I have a Mom’s Bible that I was given during my time at MOPS.  It is very special and has great quotes for mothers and things that are so special for children. This book is one of my favorites along with our family history book and the collection of my Grandpa’s columns about his family and being a parent.
  • Day 23 — Feeling — I love to see the world through Ian’s eyes. I love watching him learn new ideas, items and concepts. I love listening to what he thinks and his view on the world around us. And, I love seeing him happy. And, my hubby as well. These two are my world, that’s for sure.
  • Day 24 — Photo — I have a photo from 1930 of my grandparents on their honeymoon.They are sitting on a bench in a coastal town and are drinking out of straws from the same ice cream treat. Grandma is holding a cane and they are in almost matching outfits.Grandpa’s curly hair and glasses are shown. I love this view into their young love and relationship that led to 4 children, in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
  • Day 25 — Luxury — I love hot showers and hot baths. I love having a toilet that flushes, heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, an in-home washing machine and dryer, a dishwasher, oven, stove, microwave, and refrigerator. I often taken these items for granted and realize that I shouldn’t. I know that we are spoiled and very blessed to have all of these appliances.
  • Day 26 — Charity — I am a member of the Lions Club and love their motto, We Serve. Lions do so much for the blind and vision impaired as well as those with Diabetes and other health issues. It is so rewarding to be able to help others with vision, what I think is one of the greatest gifts.
  • Day 27 — Song — I have hundreds of songs that I love, love to sing, love to dance to, and that mean so much to me. One of my all-time favorites though is the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. I love to sing it and have on several occasions. With a full orchestra and a choir lifting their voices, it is absolutely lovely and moving.
  • Day 28 — Gift — The gift of love is so very important to me and more important than any material possession. The love of my hubby, my son, my family, my friends, and my savior all mean the world to me. Also cherished are the gifts of forgiveness, trust, happiness, and respect.
  • Day 29 – Something at home — A few years ago, my sister gave me a necklace that had photos on it. One side was our family beach house with a lovely rainbow, and on the other side was a picture of our grandparents. I was touched and amazed. I wore it each day for a while and then decided to keep it at home so I wouldn’t lose it. I still cherish it and wear it on occasion.
  • Day 30 — What are you MOST thankful for?  — I am most thankful to live in a country where I have freedoms, and can think, believe, love, and practice the way I think is right, and that my family also thinks is right. I like being able to disagree with those in authority without harmful ramifications. I am thankful to have such a variety of friends and family members who have enriched my life. And, I am thankful for continuing to learn, change, and grow.

What are you thankful for?  I am sure there are plenty of items.

30 Days of Thankfulness – Part 1

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

I don’t know about you but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love the gathering of family and friends, the spread of food that everyone helps to prepare, and the time to give thanks and share what we are thankful for.  The fact that the day isn’t just about presents makes it all the more special to me.

My family has certain traditions that I love and always look forward to — Mom’s special recipe to cook the turkey, Dad’s great carving skills, my sister’s sweet potatoes, my aunt’s rolls and cranberry, my cousin’s pies, my brother-in-law’s mashed potatoes, my sister-in-law’s casseroles, and our green beans.

This week, I look forward to another gathering of those who can be there.  Today, I wanted to write about the items that I have been thankful for this month.  In previous Novembers, I have written each day about items I am thankful for.  This month I am way behind and haven’t written about them yet.

Here are the first 15 items on a list that I saw on Facebook.  It is a variety of categories of things and people who I am thankful for on a 30 Days of Thankfulness list.  I will post the more items tomorrow and then the rest of the month.

  1. Person — One of my many loved ones who I am thankful for is my husband Kirk.  To be on this journey in life with him and our son is so very special. He is my friend, my love, and so much more.
  2. Animal — I loved my grandparent’s dog Schatzi so very much and have an oil paining of her at our house. Now, I love my parents’ dog Riley. She is such a love and quite a character. She is really good is with kids. And, it’s a hoot watching her clean a plate.
  3. Cozy Place — I am thankful for our living room couch.  I love to curl up there to read a good book, to sit and talk with Ian and/or Kirk, to watch television, to eat a snack, and to fall asleep after a long day.  I often like to sit under a blanket and relax there.
  4. Favorite snack — At this time of year, I very much enjoy and am thankful for sharp cheddar cheese, pumpkin bread, and a cold glass of milk.  I enjoy the contrast of flavors and it feels like fall to me.  Yummy!
  5. Place — I am so thankful for our family beach house in San Diego.  This small house has been the place of so much family love and fun.  We have had multiple generations come and go, have had sleep-overs, family sing-alongs, friends visiting day and night, and so much more.  The place is tiny, usually crammed, but is one of my favorite places in the world.
  6. Pair of Shoes — I have a pair of brown flip-flops that I bought years ago at a shop at the beach.  They are still comfortable and I regularly wear them.  They are raised up a bit so they give support.  I liked them so much that I bought a second pair.
  7. Scent — This is more difficult since there are so many to choose from and to be thankful for.  In the morning, I love the smell of coffee as it is brewing.  I love the smell of Ian after he has gotten out of the shower and he is giving me a hug.  I love the smell of Kirk’s cologne.  And, I love the smell of the ocean — the salt water, the wind, and the waves.
  8. Restaurant — One of my favorite places to eat is a true dive and serves the best fish tacos.  It is at the beach and is within walking distance from the beach house.  They also make delicious burritos, cheese quesadillas, and refried beans.  I look forward to my next beach trip where I can walk there and get some food.
  9. Blog / Website — I am thankful for Facebook and the ability to keep in touch with friends and family who live so far away.  I am also thankful for this blog as it gives me an outlet to write and share my thoughts.  I also like blogs that several of my friends write.  Those are fun to read.
  10. Time of Day — Each afternoon, I pick up Ian from school.  We usually walk home and have a chance to talk about our day and what is on his mind.  I treasure these moments and am so very thankful for them.  Next year, he will be at another school that we have to drive to.  So, pickup time will be different but still special.
  11. Tradition — There are a few traditions that I am thankful for.  First is our family’s tradition of reversing our ages on birthday cakes.  So this year, instead of turning 50, I will be 5 years old.  A second childhood. Nice!  I don’t remember who started this but it is fun and something that many people ask about. Next, we always opened just one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.
  12. Gadget — I still use a real camera and so enjoy taking pictures with it.  People often look at me funny — especially kids since I don’t have a phone that I am taking pictures with.  I am still old school with this I suppose.
  13. Something Old — When I was a child, my uncle gave me a teddy bear who I named Teddy.  How creative is that?  Not very.  He is white with black trim and is still a favorite of mine.  He is ripped in a few places, slightly dirty, but still gives good cuddles.  I have learned with Ian how real our stuffed friends are.
  14. Something New — So much of what I buy is from a consignment shop, that finding new items is a bit of a stretch.  My latest purchase was a new pair of jeans. They are comfortable and easy to clean.  I also like a dress shirt that we bought for Ian.  He looks very handsome in it.
  15. Experience —  I have so many experiences that I am thankful for and have learned from.  The one that is the most special and treasured is learning I was pregnant, having our son grow inside me, feeling him move around, talking to him, and then meeting him after he was born.  The entire experience and every day since has been an amazing blessing that I will always cherish.

May we always remember to be thankful for our blessings and those in our lives.

Sninner or Snanner?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Sunday evening, Ian and I were riding home from visiting family.  We were talking about his evening meal.  He said he wanted a snack.  Since it was very close to dinner time, I told him it would be dinner.

Then he said, “No Mommy, I don’t want dinner. I want a snack.”  I told him that his food would be more like dinner food than snack food.  So, the word “Sninner” was born.

Isn’t that a fun combination of Snack and Dinner?  Then we thought that maybe “Snanner” would be better.   What do you think?  Which do you like better?  Or do you have another idea?

Sninner or Snanner, that is the question. It was fun to realize that we’d made up a word.  I was pretty proud of the two of us.  Ian liked it too.

This photo was taken years ago while Ian is eating his sninner after playing at the beach.  Actually, I am not sure what time of day it was.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Making up words with my son
  • Watching his mind at work
  • Listening to Ian’s ideas and questions
  • Seeing how much Ian loves his daddy and loves to mimic him (in a good and fun way)
  • The beauty of a sunny day
  • The taste of sweet cantaloupe for breakfast
  • Walking to pick up Ian after school
  • Watching Ian explore the neighborhood on the walk home from school
  • Having bath time after school and plenty of time to play with Ian
  • Reading books with a boy who loves them

I wonder if we will create any new words today.  I will let you know if we do.