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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My Thanksgiving Prayer

Over the last few years, I have posted my grandfather’s thanksgiving prayer.  It is one that touches me deeply and always makes me teary-eyed. He spoke so well about his family and many stages of parenthood.  It reminds me of the love that I was privileged enough to know growing up.

This year, on the day after thanksgiving, I wanted to share my own prayer. It isn’t as eloquent as Grandpa’s words but I hope it will be as meaningful.  As our pastor reminded us at the Thanksgiving service, it is important to be thankful for our blessings. The link to Grandpa’s prayer is https://patticates247.wordpress.com/2016/11/24/thanksgiving-prayer/

Our Father God we thank thee:

  • For a family circle of holding hands for mealtime prayer
  • For family and friends both near and far
  • For a boy’s first communion after a fun and informative class
  • For parents and grandparents who have demonstrated love and acceptance and continue to do so
  • For cousins who love to play games together
  • For cousins who braid one another’s hair and talk and giggle as they do so
  • For generations of family who enjoy being together
  • For friendships both new and old
  • For sunsets together as a family
  • For the majesty of the ocean
  • For a buffet of delicious food made by many hands
  • For a lazy morning with messy hair and talking
  • For family traditions and memories
  • For birthday celebrations where the birthday boy or girl is made to feel truly special
  • For my cousins who are all very different and very special
  • For my siblings and in-laws who I love to spend time with and laugh with
  • For an inside joke with a loved one
  • For the joy of successfully completing a division problem
  • For the love of reading and books
  • For the love of learning and exploring new things
  • For family and friends who comfort during the hard times
  • For family and friends who also enjoy the fun and silly times
  • For laughter and joy
  • For hugs before bed
  • And our Father-God, to thee we pray for peace, kindness, love, acceptance, and forgiveness..  Amen

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.

Winter Thanks

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThis week we have seen three systems of snow, ice, and freezing rain move through.  It has been cold and below freezing for most of the week.  It is unusual weather to say the least and school has been out all week.  You’d think we’d have cabin fever by now, but thankfully we don’t.  Or at least, not much.

For a short time yesterday, we got out and did some shopping and had lunch.  It was nice to be out of the house for a short time and get recharged.  Then last night before going to bed, the snow started again.  We got several more inches of both snow and sleet, and some freezing rain.

Thankfully, however, changes are on the way.  It is supposed to be in the 30s or 40s later today.  Honestly that will feel like spring since it has been so extremely cold.  Despite all of this, we have had a good week and had time to play out in the weather and take a lot of photos.  All in all it has been good.

And, it has made me realize that there are many things that I take for granted.  In extreme weather, these necessities can stop working. These are some items that I am more thankful to have and to have working, and some other things that I am also thankful for.

  • Cold running water that is drinkable
  • Hot water for showers and baths
  • Electricity that turns on lights, the radio, and our computers
  • Gas for our heat that has kept us warm
  • Having a garage that has kept our cars warm and free of ice and snow
  • A refrigerator and pantry stocked full of food and drinks
  • Water pipes that have dripped water all night in hopes of pipes not bursting
  • Cabinets in bathrooms around the house that are open to keep the pipes warm
  • Smoke detectors with working batteries
  • Satellite television that has worked for the most part enabling us to keep tabs on the weather and be entertained
  • A DVD player that played Busytown Mysteries one evening — we all laughed and enjoyed it
  • A stove, oven, and microwave that we have used to cook our meals
  • Telephones for keeping in touch with the outside world
  • Blankets, fuzzy socks, pajamas, scarves, coats, and boots to help keep us warm
  • A school system that puts the safety of kids and adults first
  • Working at home and being able to continue to do so each day

I wonder when the winter wonderland will start to melt?  I hope that it is soon as we are ready for warmer and less messy weather.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

img116Happy Thanksgiving.  Here is a prayer that my grandfather wrote and was published in November 1951.

Here I am pictured with him in 1990.  He was and still is my favorite storyteller and an amazing writer, educator, father, and grandfather.

He wrote a newspaper column for many years called “Parent’s Corner.”  It sums up the perfect Parent’s Thanksgiving Prayer to me. Each time I read it I am in awe of the pictures that his words so vividly describe and I tear up over them.

“Our Father-God we thank thee

  • For the ringing laughter of our children playing, for their giggles, and the moist throaty chuckles of our babies
  • For the tender weight of a sleeping child in our arms, and the trust of a tired son who rests his head upon our shoulder, and sleeps
  • For the joy we feel in baby’s first tooth, first word, first step, and the thrill of the grown-up child who marries
  • For the exultant communion with our teen ones when we dive together into the clean cold surf at dawn, and stand with them silently at sunset drinking glory from the cloud-studded sky
  • For small boys on tricycles, or on hands and knees in the sandbox pushing toy trucks and making man-noises
  • For tomboy girls streaking across the lawn, swinging on rings, or whirling like pinwheels on turning bars
  • For the wonder on the sensitive face of a half-grown child as she listens to a great organ for the first time, or watches a symphony orchestra
  • For the fun of family picnics, and vacation trips, and going fishing together
  • For the thrill we feel when a daughter stands before us in her first formal gown, and we realize that she is beautiful
  • For the joy of a child’s recovery from illness, and the relief we feel when we see an accident almost happen, but not quite
  • For the pressure of a timid child’s hand in ours as we walk together in the dark
  • For parenthood we thank thee.
  • And, our Father-God, to thee we pray for peace.  If it be thy will, grant that we may continue our lives together in the precious years to come.

Amen.”

May you have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!  And, may you be thankful for those special to you.

Thanksgiving Story Bracelet

story.bracelet0002Hi and happy the day before Thanksgiving! I don’t know about you but Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Good food, great family time, catching up with friends, and being thankful.  What can be better?

This year is even more special since we found out a few months ago that we are descendants of people who arrived in the United States via the Mayflower.  To think that my relative was one of the first to arrive is truly amazing.  And that this woman who is 10 generations before me was one of the pilgrims that I have learned about in school.  WOW!

Ian recently asked me, “Do you think there was turkey at the first Thanksgiving?”  I told him, “That is a very good question Ian.  We should look that up and figure out the answer.  If there was, it more than likely was wild since they couldn’t go to the store.”  He stopped to think about that, grinned at my answer, and then went back to playing.

Yesterday, Ian brought home a booklet and bracelet that they’d worked on at school — My Thanksgiving Story Bracelet.  In the booklet, they colored the picture with each explanation of bead color, and read the story.  My scan of it didn’t turn out very well but you get the general idea.  Hope you enjoy it!

  • Black is for the Pilgrims who left England searching for religious freedom
  • White is for the sails of the Mayflower
  • Blue is for the big ocean the Pilgrims traveled across
  • Dark green is for the new land the Pilgrims reached
  • Silver is for the long-snowy winter the Pilgrims faced
  • Lime green is for the fresh, new spring that gave the Pilgrims hope
  • Tan is for the Indians who helped the Pilgrims survive
  • The last four colors are for the first Thanksgiving feast
  • Orange for the pumpkins, brown for the turkey
  • Yellow for the corn, and red for the cranberries
  • This is the story of Thanksgiving

What a wonderful treasure for his first grade class.  This is such a great way to learn history because it’s fun and interactive. Thanks to his teacher who worked on this with the class!

The pilgrims were a hearty and brave group of people.  Knowing that the pilgrims grew all that they had or shared with the Indians is incredible to me.  I will think of them and their struggles as I am shopping this afternoon.

The fact I can shop for what I need at the grocery store or farmer’s market is one that I feel blessed to have.  Then I can come home, store the food in the refrigerator, use our running water to prepare the food and then clean up, and use the stove and oven to prepare it.  What an amazing blessing!  I am honestly and truly thankful for all of those amazing luxuries.  I do my best each day not to take them for granted.

Blessings and being thankful, that is what is about.  That and the breaking bread with loved ones.

——-

One of my favorite magazines has a quiz about Thanksgiving.  Here are my answers.  What are yours?

  • Best Thing About The Holiday? All day with family, great meal, and fabulous leftovers
  • Host Dinner Or Go Elsewhere? We are going to my parents to eat
  • White Meat Or Dark Meat? I like both of them
  • Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dish? This is a toughie since I love the stuffing with cranberry, my sister’s sweet potatoes, and mashed potatoes
  • Favorite Thanksgiving Dessert? My favorite pumpkin dessert is pumpkin bread.  I also like pecan pie with whipped cream
  • Cranberry Sauce: Canned Or Homemade?  I do like the canned and plenty of it
  • Sweet Potatoes: With Marshmallows or Without? I like a few on top for extra flavor
  • Best Leftover? Turkey sandwiches with cranberry and stuffing
  • TV Time: Parade Or Football? Parade first and then football
  • I’m Most Thankful For: My family, my friends, running water, and a kitchen full of food
  • I Should Be More Thankful for… my comforts, my health, freedom, and my loved ones

May you have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Throwback Thursday / Thankfulness

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday! For today’s Throwback Thursday photo, I decided to include a photo of Ian’s first day of preschool last year.

When he started preschool, he had never been away from home for very long.  He went part of the day that year and learned to love it.  Now he is an old pro and loves going to school each morning.

Today and tomorrow are Ian’s last days of kindergarten.  And then it’s summer time!  Yeah!  We have had a great year and are now ready for some fun time together.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the week, it is hard to believe that his first full year of school is nearly finished.  The time went by so fast.  Each day he learned new things and grew as a little man.  I am so proud of him and how well he has done.

Starting this weekend our routine will be different and we will have more time to enjoy being together. I always love the summer and am looking forward to another good one.

Today I am thankful for:

  • The excitement a boy has at the start of summer
  • A chance to sleep in
  • Ice cream treats after walking home
  • Bubble baths
  • Playing Monopoly and other games
  • Swimming at the pool
  • Watching Kirk and Ian ride their bikes around the neighborhood
  • Late night chats
  • Joining the reading club for the summer at our library
  • Movie and popcorn night with my guys

Have a great day!

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.

March 26 – I Am Here

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday!  Today’s photo challenge is “I Am Here.”

I am spending time on the computer this morning while Ian is at school.  This is the view out of my home office.  It is a lovely sunny day but quite cold. I love our neighborhood and the design of the homes.  It is a fun place to live where we know quite a few of our neighbors.

As I am here, I am thinking of getting my day started and all of the things that I need to do.  As usual, there are many.  And, I am thinking of many dear family and friends on my mind today.  They are in my thoughts and prayers.

Life can often be tough and I am so very thankful to have people in my life who give it meaning.  These people make sharing funny times even better and make the sad and tough times easier by just being together.

Today I am thankful for:

  • The beauty of a sunrise
  • A hug and kiss from my son as he goes to school
  • Saying hello to his teacher and classmates and sometimes getting a hug from a student
  • The chance to eat breakfast with my hubby
  • News and weather updates so I know what the day has in store
  • Checking out books from our city’s library and seeing Ian read them after school
  • Starting to read a new book
  • A toothless smile
  • The ability to write and share my ideas and thoughts with others
  • Taking pictures of lovely scenes
  • Love and acceptance
  • Singing along with a favorite song on the radio
  • Praying with loved ones
  • A cold glass of water
  • A garage that keeps the car warm on a cold day
  • A laundry room that is used every single day
  • Looking forward to visits with friends
  • Sharing a laugh with someone special

I wonder what else I will find to be thankful for today?  I am sure there will be many things.  And, I hope that I can be in the moment today and truly enjoy the here and now.

Hope you have a wonderful day as well!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

img267Today is the day of Thanksgiving!  I hope that you have someone to share it with and can truly enjoy it!

This afternoon we will be praying, giving thanks, and eating with our family and friends.  Everyone brings a dish to share.  My contribution is green bean casserole and perhaps a dessert.

It is a great meal, often with a game on the television, chess will be played, and perhaps a card game or two.  And, the kids will play.  The house will be very noisy but we will have lots of fun.

We are so thankful to have this fun, wild and crazy bunch to celebrate with.  Several generations of family and friends will gather together.

This year my mother discovered we are descendants of a family who arrived in America on the Mayflower.  Knowing there is a tie to early Thanksgiving celebrations makes this one even more special to me.

Here are a few things on this Thanksgiving that I am thankful for:

  • A picture of this turkey that my son drew with items he is thankful for
  • Breakfast in our pjs and a lazy morning
  • Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (mainly show numbers now but still fun)
  • Helping in the kitchen
  • A toast and prayers for what we are thankful for
  • My mom’s turkey and dressing
  • My sister’s sweet potatoes, which I am allergic to but will have to try
  • Tasty treats from my aunt and cousin
  • Mashed potatoes – one of my faves
  • Green bean casserole with onions on top and all of the other sides
  • Cranberry sauce with a roll
  • Pumpkin pie and pecan pie with whipped cream
  • Giggles from cousins
  • Seeing my son talk to my grandmother (who is 92 years old)
  • A dog who will be begging for scraps and probably be told no
  • Photos of friends and family young and old
  • A chess game or two or three
  • Cheering and yelling at the television during the games
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • A variety of crafts and electronic devices being used after eating the meal
  • A long afternoon of conversation
  • A turkey-induced nap
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • Watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with Ian

Here are a few quotes that I found for Thanksgiving:

  • “You can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.” — Albert Barnes
  • “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 was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” — Robert Caspar Lintner
  • “For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wonder if on this Thanksgiving, we can truly be thankful for the people in our lives who mean so much, what we have and do, and enjoy and appreciate those who we are with.  I am planning to do just that.

God Bless!