My Thanksgiving preparations are now complete. I've been working on everything the past few days so that tomorrow can pass by smoothly and with no stress. My biggest help with all the preparations is my trusty notebook. Years ago I realized that it just didn't make much sense to reinvent my grocery list, menu, and gather up the necessary recipes each and every year. So I saved everything on the computer, printed out a hard copy and placed it all in a holiday notebook. I even included a list of goals for each day for the week prior so that I wasn't overwhelmed on one single day. I got that idea from my mom years ago when I was preparing my first Thanksgiving dinner, and didn't have a clue how to make it all work out. She sent me a letter (of which I still have) detailing how she broke it all down so it didn't seem like such an impossible task. Preparing this feast isn't impossible anymore; and all of the hard work always seems worthwhile when we sit down around the table together as a family and give thanks, enjoying a feast that the Lord has so graciously provided.
I hope all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving Day filled with memory making moments with family, good food, lots of laughter, and most of all, an abundance of things to be thankful for.
Today I attended a funeral. The deceased wasn't a direct relative of mine; however, it was my brother-in-law's father. It made me sad to see my sister and brother-in-law grieving, as well as the rest of my brother-in-law's family. The loss of a loved one is so difficult. But during the funeral I got to thinking about life; because on my way over to the funeral, I had a message from a friend that her daughter-in-law had gone to the hospital to deliver their first baby. So not only was I praying for comfort for the family of the deceased; but also for the family of this new little life coming into the world. An end of a life being honored, and a new little life beginning .... all at the same time.
It made me think that in our busy day-to-day hustle, lives are beginning and ending all around us. People are grieving and rejoicing everywhere continually. In Ecclesiastes 3:2 it says there is "a time to be born, and a time to die". They are listed together because they go together. God's plan keeps rolling along without a hitch .... babies are born while others are passing away. God commands us to love one another. That's why it hurts so much when we lose a loved one. But God knew that would be the case and promised to comfort the grieving. He understands our emotions.
The name of the man whose funeral I attended was Ed. I thought about how Ed had undoubtedly rejoiced at the birth of all of his children, and as I glanced around the room, there they all were honoring his life. Without him they would not have lived, and now that he has died he has left a legacy to continue on as it had been before he was even born. His parents had rejoiced over his birth when he was born, the pattern of life just keeps going on.
So tonight I first raise a glass to Ed. For being a loving husband, someone who loved his wife for 63 years without ever having an argument, yes that's really true. He lived with his sweetheart until the end. And for being a devoted father instilling in all of his children strong values and the importance of family. And secondly, I raise a glass to a brand new baby boy who is beginning a legacy of his own.
Just in case you might be trying to think of a fun little surprise for your kids; or perhaps you are hosting a birthday party, and wondering just how to serve a lunch to active little ones that don't really want to sit down at the table -- I just happen to have a good solution. This summer when my sister, Molly, was hosting a rehearsal dinner for her son's wedding, she needed an idea for the meal for younger kids as she knew that there was a good chance they would not be interested in the Indian food that she had planned. She came up with packing individual snacks for them that would keep their interest and fill them up.
Snacks of choice included an individual fruit cup of mandarin oranges along with a spoon, Gogurt, cheese and breadsticks, string cheese, Cracker Jacks, and a box drink.
All fit nicely into a foil pie plate that just happened to have a snap on plastic lid.
My nieces then labeled each one with the names of the kids. This part is good because when the kids walk away, they don't have to fuss over which one belongs to them upon their return.
Of course any combination of items can be placed on the plate; but a very nice thing about doing something such as this is that it can all be done ahead of time. And who isn't all for getting things done ahead of time.
It's been a little over two weeks since my son's wedding. Hard to believe all of the anticipation and planning is now well behind us. The wedding was beautiful. We were blessed with perfect weather for the outdoor ceremony, and also blessed with so many friends and family taking the time to come and celebrate with us. Beautiful seems almost lacking in describing the bride, my new daughter. She was absolutely stunning! My son was so handsome and so happy. I loved seeing him beam when his bride walked down the aisle.
The colors were red, black, and white. We had told Emma, the bride, that we would help her with the centerpieces. I wanted to be able to use mason jars since I have a huge supply, and that would cut down on the cost of buying vases. So after discussing ideas with Luke and Emma, mason jars it was. They were filled with baby's breath, which was so pretty and simple. Red ribbons were tied around the neck of the jar and a small black square with a hand printed "G" written with a chalk pencil on black paper was tied to the red ribbon. Two little rhinestones were also placed beside the G. Fresh red rose petals were sprinkled on each table on top of red and black paper, and finished off with silver glitter.
Tomorrow is a big day in our family. My son is getting married. He is the first of my children to take this step, and thus it is a very new experience for me as his mother. When my children were young, it was not uncommon for mothers of grown children to tell me to enjoy the time with my kids because it will go by so quickly. Well, I'm there now, and that is so true. They really do grow up in the wink of an eye.
I'm happy for my son, and pray that God will bless his new life abundantly. I'm thankful to be getting a new daughter, and look forward to having her as a part of our family now. I feel like I am turning a corner in my life and heading down a new avenue as a mother, but it is a good avenue, and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead.
Recently, when the time came for me to send someone a birthday gift, my daughters had the bright idea of giving a gift wherein all of the items had to do with a favorite color of the recipient. We went with a "pink" theme, and had a great time choosing items to put in the gift:
As you can see from the picture, we had mints, candy, pink pens that even had pink ink, a pink notebook, pink nail polish, hand sanitizer, Starbucks Iced Refreshers, cute napkins, and pink Mediterranean salt.
All of the fun items were then wrapped in pink tissue paper and tied with pink ribbon:
And wrapped in a cute pink gift bag of course:
Really, when you think about it, who wouldn't like to receive a fun gift like this.
To finish off my posts of treasures spotted at the annual Farm Chicks Antiques Show, here is a very random photo of a display that caught my eye. I think there must have been something else to keep this particular spool of string company, however only shredded paper was left when I ambled by:
Random coffee pots and flowers:
When I was a young girl I loved doing paint-by-number kits. Now I see them popping up quite frequently in various shows that I attend. It just seems funny that now they are sought after "works of art":
I immediately thought of one of my daughters when I saw this picture:
Rolling pins -- one of my favorite things:
I would love to have this sitting on my front porch:
And last, but certainly not least, I have always been fascinated by large cabinets filled with drawers. When I saw this piece, I mentioned to my sister, Megan, that I would just love an excuse to buy one of these. She had the perfect answer. She told me that I could use it to hold all of my random Farm Chicks Antique show purchases that I wished I could buy but had no idea what to do with. Perfect excuse.
At the beginning of this month, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Farm Chicks Antique Show in Spokane, Washington. It runs for two days, of which I attended on the second day. One would think that there wouldn't be much in the way of interesting items left after the hordes of shoppers were finished on Saturday; however, I managed to find quite a few fun things.
Roller skates -- I remember wearing skates such as these:
Blue enamel wear cups -- I just love enamel ware and think the different shades of blue available are so pretty:
Hand painted quail eggs -- such a pretty shade of blue:
Sweet birds -- I'm really not sure how these were made, but they sure caught my attention:
Salt shakers filled with German glass glitter -- I would love to have each and every one of these colors. They remind me of my sister, Kass, who simply loves to use glitter on her art work:
You have all undoubtedly heard that Disneyland is supposedly the happiest place on earth. Well, I think that is debatable as I'm quite certain that today I will be visiting one of the happiest places on earth. It's the annual Farm Chicks Antique Show in Spokane, Washington. I look forward to this show every year, and as a bonus, get to attend it with my sister, Megan. I will take lots of pictures to share with those of you who aren't able to partake of such an exquisite event. Here is a picture of her promotional poster .... now really, how cute is this!
Chocolate is my all time favorite dessert, whatever form it may come in; but now and then I do stray from that tasty morsel and venture into other dessert arenas. Recently, I was planning a visit to my mom and wanted to bring some dessert along to give to her. I know how she loves lemony desserts, and my eye landed on a lemon bar recipe in the current issue of Food Network magazine. It is a Paula Deen recipe, and knowing her reputation for rich and delicious desserts, decided to give it a try. Well, I must say, these were the most fabulous lemon bars that I have ever tasted in my entire life. I think from now on I will just dismiss any future recipes I might happen upon, because I don't think these could ever be topped.