Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

We started our fun on Wednesday evening by passing out some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins to our neighbors with the story of Thanksgiving in it to encourage them to remember what this holiday was all about.

Lexi then helped me make some of our decorations for the table. She is into origami (paper folding) right now, and we thought these little baskets would be so pretty filled with candy corn.
Too bad the store had no candy corn.
So we gathered acorns and leaves at the park on Thanksgiving morning and put them in the baskets instead.

Our menu this year was much more simplified than in years past.
This was the first year ever that I did not roast the 16 pound turkey, or mash
10 pounds of potatoes.
Since there would be no other adults with us this year, I just didn't think it made sense
to get all stressed out and hot in the kitchen with no one to keep the children from
messing with the decorations and to referee the arguing. This year was so much easier and I don't really think anyone missed all the complicated dishes. Plus, I felt so much more relaxed
and really enjoyed our dinner!!!

Rotisserie chicken (purchased from Costco the day before)
Rice and Gravy (Lexi's special request)
Green Bean Casserole (Ashlyn's special request)
Delicious Butternut Squash (my favorite)
Salad (which no one ate anyway)

Chocolate Éclair Cake

Hope you had a lovely day enjoying your family and taking a moment to count up
all your blessings!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day of Thanksgiving

Hope you are truly thankful for all the blessings you enjoy this lovely holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving FUN!!!

If you're short on creative ideas for Thanksgiving, here are a few websites that I have found that have an amazing assortment of ideas and resources for making Thanksgiving not only a memorable time, but just plain fun too!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Stories

I thought I might share some of the stories we read to our children from year-to-year at Thanksgiving. Maybe some of these are old favorites for your family too, and maybe you'll share some of YOUR favorites??

Then, of course, there are a couple videos you may be familiar with also:

And last, but certainly NOT least:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thinking about Thanksgiving.....

Is your family getting ready for Thanksgiving? Does you family celebrate this Holiday?

I feel that this is (or should be) one of the most important "days of remembrance" to celebrate on the entire calendar. My personal reasons for this are these:

  1. This holiday has important signicificance in the history of our country.
  2. It has important spiritual ramificiations.

I have not personally been in a public school classroom that teaches the history of Thanksgiving, but from what I understand from the children in our neighborhood who attend public school, the teaching is rather anemic and by the older elementary grades it's non-existent. They certainly aren't being taught that the Separatists (Pilgrims) came to America from England to escape RELIGIOUS persecution and to seek freedom to worship as they felt the Bible leads us to.

I'm wondering how much history gets changed in our local public school system so that today's children grow up not even aware of what our forefathers went through fighting for the freedoms that we enjoy (and take for granted, I'm afraid) today. I see many Americans completely oblivious to how good they really have it BECAUSE of those who founded our country on the principles of Scripture, and were willing to give up their fortunes and even their lives to see these freedoms be put into place for us, their great-great-great-great-great (and so on) grandchildren.

I don't want my children taking these freedoms for granted. I want my children to know that Thanksgiving has its historical beginnings back in 1621 when the Pilgrims, after surviving a treacherous voyage from England, and an equally treacherous winter (where half of those who survived the ship voyage died), were finally able to plant and harvest some food the following spring and fall, and learn how to build up food supplies from the local Indians. They lost their first govenor that first year, and the man who they appointed to take his place, William Bradford, declared they needed to have a special time of "Thanksgiving" to God for all He had brought them through and had provided for them.

It wasn't until later, that our first President, the good Mr. George Washington, made an official declaration of Thanksgiving. You can read that here. That declaration was then lost and forgotten for awhile, until our equally-as-good sixteenth President, the honorable Mr. Abraham Lincoln, declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. You can now read that document here.

In 1941, the day we celebrate Thanksgiving officially became the fourth Thursday of November. You can read more about that here.

I also feel that I should be cultivating a spirit of gratefulness (thankfulness) in my children. Not just this one day of the year, but every day of the year. We have been so blessed by our Heavenly Father, and He daily "loadeth us with benefits" (Psalm 68:19). Even when bad things happen to us that change our lives or the way we do things, I want my children to have a spirit of gratefulness for the benefits that can be found in those hard times, as well as the blessings that come out of those times we might not have been able to experience.

So I've been taking them back through the history of this holiday and revisiting some of the hardships that our forefathers endured and how the Lord brought them through those times. We are talking about the little things we are thankful for in each other.

We've been listening to a wonderful story on CD told by "Aunt Carolyn" called "The Pilgrims." I remember my parents playing this for us when I was a child, and it left such a lasting impression on me, so I'm playing it for my children. You can find this tape or CD set here.

We're planning on taking some goodies to our neighbors on Thanksgiving day (or maybe the day before in hopes of catching everyone) to share the truth about why our country celebrates Thanksgiving along with the good news that Jesus Christ has given us so much to be thankful for.

We're also re-visiting Psalm 100 as our monthly scripture memorization together. The older girls remember it from past years, but it's new for the younger ones just joining us this year in our schoolwork. Always refreshing.

I would encourage you to try not to overlook this holiday all together and rush right into Christmas. Are you thinking about all you have to be thankful for? How are teaching your children about this lovely holiday?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A fun field trip

We have been having horrible computer problems this last week, so I haven't been able to really update all the fun things happening around our house.

But now that we're back up and running, although in a somewhat limited capacity, I wanted to share some pictures from the really fun field trip we took this last week.

We live near one of the largest airports in the country, so of course there is an aviation museum close by. We had never taken the children there before and it ended up being a great experience for all of us.

We arrived just in time for terrific IMAX type film about the history of American Airlines. All the children were engrossed with it as it gives you this feeling that you are really flying over the Grand Canyon and The London Bridge, and all the other well-known sites they highlighted.
This film was only 15 minutes in length, which is especially helpful for the ADHD-ers!!!

We all LOVED the gorgeous DC-3 airplane that you could actually go into.

Then there were all the other interesting hands-on exhibits too.

Plus there were lots of other wonderful things to just look at.

The funniest thing happened to us while there at this exhibit explaining the "Kiwis Club." They had this kiwi bird in the display that explained this was the club for all the airline stewardesses. Apparently, as we learned that day, this is the native bird of New Zealand, and it has no wings so it does not fly. While we were standing there looking at this bird, my 8-year old son began asking me what it was. There was a gentleman standing next to us also looking at this exhibit and in his broken English was trying to explain to Grant what this was. He then all-of-a-sudden whipped a small stuffed toy kiwi bird out of his satchel and said, "See, like this one that I got when I was in New Zealand." Like, who carries one of these things around in a satchel, and then happens to be standing in front of an exhibit of that actual bird so he can whip it out at that moment????

As it happened, this young man was visiting the US from Brazil where he is training to be a Security Agent for American Airlines. He was here for some more training I guess, and decided to go to the museum that day too. He has traveled to lots of other places, and asked me if I knew where he could shop for a cowboy hat and boots.

Overall, we had such a fun trip and I would highly recommend a visit to the C.R. Smith Aviation Museum!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Family Recipe

This "recipe" is so simple that I don't think it deserves the full honor and title of a true
"recipe". But we eat these a LOT at our house, and I thought I would
share this fun treat that can make a lot or a little and is just wonderful
day or night, hot day or chilly evening. We whip these up when we have friends over
and they just rave about them.

Easy Peezy Indoor S'mores

Line a cookie sheet or sheet cake pan with as many graham crackers as you need.
Top with chocolate chips. Use whatever kind you like.
Add either the little marshmallows, or tear a large marshamallow in half and put on top of chocolate chips.
Put the pan under the broiler in your oven.
Warning: These brown really fast, so don't leave them for a SECOND!!

When the marshmallows are nicely browned (or burnt if you prefer),
carefully remove from the oven.
Some of my children like them open-faced, some like them with a top on them.

Either way, we all LOVE them!!! Enjoy at your next movie night, sleepover, or whenever
you want!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fall fun!!!!

Enjoy these pictures from this past Saturday of some things we did to enjoy
the season together as a family!!!

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Fall Fun
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