Giving thanks to God

Thanksgiving table at our house
Thanksgiving table at our house

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving with your family and your friends this year. I’m so happy that our three daughters, Heather, Eden, and Leah, our son-in-law Craig, and all our grandkids (missing one!) came this year to eat the Thanksgiving lunch at our home–and we even had guests, Heather’s boyfriend Andy and his three kids, Kelsey, Kaden, and Eian his baby boy. This year we had a new family member join us–Craig’s and Eden’s new baby, Willow. Our family is growing!

Ray made his special, sweet holiday ham that our kids always request. As usual, it was a hit! I made the turkey, the dressing (there’s a debate if it’s called “stuffing” or “dressing”), and crescent rolls and everyone else brought a dish. 

Baby Willow
Baby Willow

 

Thanksgiving 2017 tablecloth, decorative plates, cups, & napkins
Thanksgiving 2017 tablecloth, decorative plates, cups, & napkins at our house

Here’s our oldest beautiful daughter Heather with her boyfriend Andy and his baby son Eian. The baby is about 4 months old and so cute! Heather adores him already. The green bean casserole Heather made for our meal was so good. I was busy cooking and serving, so I forgot to take pics of the yummy food, but people are more important anyway!

Heather, Andy's baby boy Eian, & Andy at our house
Heather, Andy’s baby boy Eian, & Andy at our house

Heather decided to also have a Thanksgiving dinner celebration at her house with her two girls and Andy and his kids. Heather’s table looks so elegant and pretty with the cloth green tablecloth, cloth napkins and napkin rings, blue plates, and decorations. They enjoyed ham, potatoes with gravy, mac n cheese, sparkling cider juice, and buttered rolls. They look happy here. 

Heather & her two girls Andy & his two kids Heather's Thanksgiving meal
Heather & her two girls Violet & Annabelle
Andy & his three kids, Kaden, Kelsey & Eian
Heather’s Thanksgiving meal

Here is our middle beautiful daughter Eden with her husband Craig. Their toddler daughter Piper is a busy bee, so it’s hard to get a picture of her being still!

Eden & her husband Craig
Eden & her husband Craig

 

Piper is a busy bee!
Piper is a busy bee!

Here is Ray with our youngest beautiful daughter Leah, and then me with Leah. I love this pretty plum-colored blouse on her. She made home-made pumpkin rolls for our meal and they were delicious! The kids loved them!

Ray & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017
Ray & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017

 

Me & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017
Me & Leah at our home for Thanksgiving 2017

All our grandkids except one, our grandson Jacob, were able to join us this year for Thanksgiving. We were able to see him today at Eden’s house. He’s so adorable and getting so tall!

Our adorable grandson Jacob
Our adorable grandson Jacob

Heather and Andy bought me some beautiful, fresh flowers for the Thanksgiving family meal. I had been wanting some flowers lately, but didn’t buy myself any. They didn’t know that, but God did! What a sweet surprise.

The beautiful flowers that Heather & Andy bought me
The beautiful flowers that Heather & Andy bought me

 

Orange lily, rose & other beautiful flowers
Orange lily, rose & other beautiful flowers

I’m so grateful that all our family was together this year. The food was delicious, but God and family are what really matter.

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”–Psalm 9:1, NIV

How did you celebrate your Thanksgiving? Leave your comments below.

Thanksgiving napkins
Thanksgiving napkins
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Joyful surprise: My sister Maria and her kids are visiting!

My sister Maria, her son Nicholas, her daughter Katie & her son Brandon
My sister Maria, her son Nicholas, her daughter Katie & her son Brandon

I am SOOO excited because my only, younger sister Maria and her three children, Nicholas, Brandon, and Katie, are visiting me and our family this Thanksgiving!  In fact, she’s on her way RIGHT NOW, just an hour away! She’s never driven this far so intercessors and I have been praying for her whole trip!

I haven’t seen them for years, as she lives in south Georgia and I live in the mid-west in the Kansas City, Missouri area. The trip takes about 16 hours driving time, so she broke it up by driving 8 hours yesterday and the remaining 8 hours today. I’m sure she is absolutely EXHAUSTED–especially with three kids!

They’ll be staying a week and eating the Thanksgiving meal with us at our daughter Heather’s house. One thing that bothers me so much is that because we live so far apart, I’ve missed my nephews’ and my niece’s childhoods and they haven’t been able to play with our kids growing up.

When I was a child, my siblings and I played all the time with our first cousins and I wish this had been part of our kids’ lives. But I’m thrilled to see them and so happy they’ll be spending the holiday with Ray and me, our children, and grandchildren.

Ray will make his special, sweet holiday ham that our kids and our grandkids always request and love, and we’ll have the usual Thanksgiving fare: turkey, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, apple and pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce. The biggest blessing of all is being with all our children and grandchildren, and now my sister and her kids. I’m so thankful to God for family and the many, daily blessings He bestows on us.

appetizer plates
appetizer plates

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Leave your comments below. 

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Organizing, cider doughnuts, and Pumpkin Pie candles for fall

autumn leaves quote

The last couple of days, I’ve been doing chores, cleaning out my closet, and taking clothes to GoodWill. Fall and spring are a great time of year to clean, organize, and declutter. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here’s a few tips to organize and declutter:

  • Haven’t worn that piece of clothing in the back of your closet in 6 months to a year? Sell it, give it away to GoodWill (if it’s still in decent shape), or if it has holes, rips, is badly faded, etc., then throw it out. Some consignment shops will take gently used clothing, that you can sell to make a little money. It’s taking up space, which you can use for good, new things to come into your life!
  • Are you a book-aholic like me, and have stacks of books? Go through your personal library and choose some books that you’re already read (or haven’t), that you can part with to bless someone else. Some book stores even pay you a few dollars or cents for your books, so you can make a few bucks–or buy more books!
  • Is your Tupperware cabinet overflowing with extra lids and plastic bowls? Organize this space. Put all the same size bowls and containers together. Do the same for the lids. Or close the containers with the lids and neatly stack them on top of each other. Throw out or give away that extra lid! Like the one sock that has lost its mate, it will do you no good.
  • Tackle your junk drawer. Most families have one in the kitchen, bathroom, office, or somewhere, that is a place where everyone tosses random things in a messy pile: screwdriver, hammer, nails, picture hooks, scissors, cords, etc. Recently I went through ours and organized it, getting rid of anything we didn’t need. You’ll feel so much better–until it piles up again!
  • Look through your supply of sheets, pillow cases, and blankets before winter. If they are ripped and torn, get rid of them and buy new ones. Make sure your electric blanket isn’t real old and in good shape to prevent a fire hazard. Now is a good time to buy fresh, new pillows because of dust mites. You can find cute, colorful, soft pillows for your couches or loveseats at Walmart, Kohl’s, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Walmart has pretty, soft blankets to curl up in and read a good book this cold winter. 
  • Go through every room, closet, and drawer in your house. Look at with a sharp eye. Are there piles of papers? Drawers stuffed with junk you don’t need or use? Cobwebs and dust? Things are in disarray and needing organized? I highly recommend Jennifer Ford Berry’s cute, orange book, Organize Now!, for a complete guide on getting your home and life organized. Get it all done before the holidays hit, so you can just relax and have fun with your family and friends, not worried about your house looks. 

It’s also fun to buy inexpensive fall decorations, like this set of two appetizer plates inscribed with “Thankful/Grateful” and the ceramic orange pumpkin that I found at Target.

appetizer plates
appetizer plates

A fun, annual event that our family does in the fall is visit the Louisburg, MO cider mill, where we buy hot apple cider and eat delicious cider doughnuts. 

fresh apple cider
fresh apple cider
cider doughnuts
cider doughnuts

In autumn, we can enjoy deliciously-scented candles, too, like Pumpkin or Apple Pie or Cinnamon. Light your favorite one at meal time, or take a hot bath soak with lavender, with the lights dim and soft, instrumental music playing to de-stress after a long, hectic day.

Pumpkin scented candles - Pinterest
Pumpkin scented candles
Pinterest

And of course fall is time for Thanksgiving, when we celebrate God’s goodness with family and friends over a feast. My personal faves are the turkey, dressing with gravy, and pumpkin pie! (My mouth is now watering at the thought of the pie!)

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Thanksgiving meal

What are some of your favorite things about this season? Leave your comments below.

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