Thanksgiving Day

We had such a nice Thanksgiving day this year. Not that there was anything outstanding or spectacular, but it was just a good day. Splitting the meal preparation amongst Mom, my sister, and me is nice because no one person has to do everything. Although I think Mom gets the bulk of the work, being the pie queen and all.

Side note: every year around Thanksgiving and Christmas, Schwan's and Village Inn try like crazy to convince us to buy holiday pies. What they don't understand is that the best pie baker on the planet just happens to be my very own mother. So there's just no need for their pie sales and such. Not that their pies are bad or anything, but they'll never compare to Mom's. Ever. Sorry, fellas, you'll get no pie sales in my family!

I almost always buy the turkey. The biggest one I can find since everyone wants plenty of leftovers. And that's where my dear hubby is awesome. He knows how squeamish I am about raw meat and turkey innards, so he's happy to take the bird out of its package, pull out all that stuff, clean it up, and pop it in the roaster. And then I take it from there. I can handle brushing it with buttery olive oil and sprinkling it with Pampered Chef's yummy Rosemary Herb seasoning. I'm also very capable of putting it in the oven and checking its temperature later in the day.


This turned out to be an exceptionally amazingly good turkey this year. Very moist and very delicious!

The guys were engaged in some auto repairs that were a little more challenging than they should have been.


Something about a very stuck ball joint, I believe.


With the unseasonally warm temperatures, Zach got in a little leaf blowing.


When Mom & Dad showed up, Mom had a very nice gift for both Susan and me.


Mine is the one on the right. Mom made these on her rigid heddle loom. I think she did a fantastic job!


Mom usually makes the gravy. She's very good at that, too. Unfortunately, she didn't have a good method for keeping the entire spoon out of the pan, though.


A rousing game of Pente is always a good way to keep out of the way of the cooking.


Or maybe a little DS. In pink, thankyouverymuch.


After all that hard work in the garage, they got to relax with a good movie.


I always write at the top of our white board "I am thankful for..." and let everyone add their thoughts to the board. My niece decided to make her own version. She's so creative.


And we've come full circle. John gets to carve the turkey when it's done. He loves the turkey. If I left him to do this job unattended, he'd be pretty full before it ever made it to the table. Fortunately, it was a 24 pound turkey, so there was enough for him to snack on, eat at dinner, and still have leftovers for everyone.


Photographic evidence that I was there. Sans makeup and all, but there, nonetheless.


After dinner, we played a game of Loaded Questions, ate pie, and then played Taboo. It was a really wonderful day. What about you? How was your Thanksgiving?



Usually when the week of Thanksgiving rolls around, I think that I'll have the boys do some school during those first two or three days. And then that usually doesn't happen. So this year, I just told them they had the week off. Done deal. No guilt over what we didn't do. No stress over the lack. This was a good decision.

Monday morning, some of The Girls* met at Starbucks. We had a blast. We had so much fun that we seemed to annoy certain other people. Obviously those people needed to gain a sense of humor. Whatever.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Tuesday morning, some of The Girls* met at Starbucks. We had a blast. I don't think we irritated any other Starbucks patrons this time. Since it's the store where my sister works, we don't get severely out of hand or anything, just laughing at silly stuff and having some fun. We wouldn't want to tarnish her good name, after all.

* The Girls - consists of my mom, my sister, some dear friends, and me. On rare occasions, we actually ALL get together at the same time. Alas, it wasn't to be this time. Thus the need for two days at Starbucks. But we still didn't get everyone. We'll keep trying, of course.


I did a little cleaning earlier in the week and wrapped up shopping for Thanksgiving dinner food items. I had no desire to be in the grocery store come Wednesday.


On Wednesday, I felt the need to photograph someone and Caleb is my go-to subject. It's so nice to have one cooperative son when it come to photography. Well, for Zach, he's just happy to assist behind the scenes. Which is also nice. Everyone has their part to play, right?

cmg - courtyard_wm

or B&W?
cmg - courtyard-bw_wm

cmg - courtyard-2_wm

cmg - courtyard-3_wm

cmg - field-crop_wm


Okay, rather than one very long post, I'll split this one into a couple. So the rest of the week will show up sometime soon.


Baby Steps

So maybe the answer to getting back into blogging isn't to think I'll post 4-5 times a week. Maybe it's to do this in baby steps for now. Perhaps the goal should be one weekly recap. Posted on Saturday, Sunday, or maybe even Monday. Then start filling in what I can during the week. If you've seen What About Bob? you know all about baby steps. I think I'll give it a try. Sans Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. Because they don't know me. And I wasn't in their movie or anything.

Last Sunday, we celebrated my Dad's birthday in our usual way. Dinner, presents, and cake (sometimes including ice cream).

Everyone should get some Cheetos for a birthday present, right?

dad bd-1

I hope he gets them all!

dad bd-4

My pretty Mom.

dad bd-3


dad bd-2

The things that happen when you sit in front of a white board!

dad bd-5

We had dinner at Texas Roadhouse, which was very, very yummy! We hadn't been there in a long time, so I think that made it taste even better.


Caleb really likes to dress in nice clothes. He got the green tie for his birthday and hadn't had a chance to try it out. Or learn how to tie it. Come to think of it, I still don't know if he knows how. I think I did that one. Guess I'd better make him practice if he's going to wear one of those!

cmg - suit

Naturally, he throws in an interesting expression.

in a suit


Tuesday was my last day doing two Bible studies on the same day. It was a little crazy keeping up with that schedule, but at least one of the studies was lighter and we only met every other week. The other study is Beth Moore's study on the book of James. The James study has been just incredible. I'm amazed at the things I learn in her studies that I never knew or heard before, even though I may have been through a book of the Bible many times. It's always good, but sad to reach the end of a study. Good because of what I've learned (and hopefully seen implemented in my life), but sad because it's over.


This morning, my niece was in a play. This was her third play since she started taking acting classes. She's so good at acting. It's just in her. That's probably why she's such a fantastic model for my picture taking. This one was called To Be or Not To Be and she played a portrait. Okay, she played Cinderella in a portrait in the library and she (along with Peter Pan, the March Hare, and a couple others) came to life. It was really quite cute.

mrs flowers_wm


Over the years, I've done a variety of arts and crafts. The one thing I could never do is knit. Mom has taught me numerous times and I don't know what the issue is, but I just can't keep the tension correct. Either it's so tight the stitches won't move, or it's so loose, it's a big, sloppy mess. I can, however, crochet. Which is even stranger to me - I can keep tension just find in crocheting. Not sure what that's all about. Anyway, I don't do it much any more because of the problems with my entire upper right appendage. But since I've separated the keyboard from the laptop and raised the laptop monitor to a more ergonomic location, my hand and arm aren't so bad.

When I take Zach to bowling, there are a few moms there who crochet. Which made me feel like perhaps I should crochet again. So here I am, dabbling in the world of yarn and hooks. I mostly only do it while at bowling. That way, I won't get carried away, crochet too long, and cause myself more pain.

crochet scarf

My current project is a shawl/scarf. It started out to be a scarf, but the not-really-a-pattern that I was creating wasn't working out for me. So I opted for a pattern out of a magazine I'd recently purchased. Sadly, I've run out of yarn and it's not done. So it will either be a scarf with angled ends, or I'll buy one more skein of yarn. Yes, I know...it will probably not be the right dye lot. But I don't think I care.

Mom and I had some more stamping time this afternoon after the play and lunch. I'm about to the half-way point of total number of cards needed. It looks like we'll have to plan one or two more stamping days, though, if I'm going to get them all done this year.




Remaining activities sans photos:

  • Homeschooling
  • Birthday lunch with a dear friend and Mom at Panera
  • A trip to the annual Holiday Food & Gift Fair
  • An evening of cleaning up the scrapbooking bench
  • A meal delivered for a new mom whose husband is deployed
  • Birthday cake shared with a new friend from church and her kids, dogs, and cat
  • Attempting to resolve our lack of voice mail notification
  • Fun and laughs at the grocery store with Lucy
  • Impromptu visit from another friend and eating pierogies together


Fun and Creativity and a Bum Knee

I just love creativity - whether it's taking pictures, sewing, writing, or enjoying the creative works of others. In fact, when my life is lacking in creativity, I tend to be in a real funk and feel as if something was missing. Which it pretty much is. After all, we're created in the image of God - the ultimate Creator, so it makes sense that creativity would be a part of who I am.

This weekend was such a treat for me - Friday night, Lucy and I went to our local Archiver's store and spent the evening cropping. We try to go somewhat often and the past couple of times we were there, I just felt like I wasn't making much progress, which was rather frustrating. But on Friday, I decided I would just work on a mini album and not take my massive cropping luggage with me. It would be fun to have a change of pace and my hurting shoulder and knee would appreciate the lighter load. (Sorry, no pictures tonight...I'll explain later.)

About 10 years ago, my family, my sister's family, my parents, and Lucy's family had a progressive dinner. I took a ton of pictures that night. So I decided they should have their own little dedicated album, rather than try and cram them all into the chronological album for that year. I was able to get all of the photos onto pages (included title and section pages) during our six hours of cropping time. As always, we had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, and for a change, I actually accomplished quite a bit.

Saturday, Mom and Lucy came over and we stamped Christmas cards. We haven't done any stamping in a number of years. We used to stamp quite often. In fact, I was a demonstrator for Stampin' Up! for about seven years. I've wanted to make Christmas cards for a few years, so it was also a lot of fun. Of course, we had the obligatory lunch break - at Chipotle - which provided delicious energy for the rest of the day. I was quite happy to discover that in my stamping supplies, I had a box of pieces and parts of various Christmas cards I had started. So the first part of my day was spent assembling and completing what I'd already done. By the time we packed it all up Saturday afternoon, I had a total of 41 cards done and read to go. As long as I can get another day or two of card making in, I should be able to make all of my cards this year. Another day of fun, fellowship, and creativity.

I almost got to add one to this list today - attending a local craft fair with my mom. I debated the wisdom of this, since my knee was hurting quite a bit. But it was a rather small fair and I figured I could always leave early if necessary. I had intended to go after church. John and I came home and while I was walking up our stairs, the bursa at the back of my left knee popped - loud and painfully so. In fact, I couldn't bend my leg at all, nor could I walk. So I found myself sitting in the middle of our stairs. I texted Mom to let her know I wouldn't be able to make it after all. John and Zach did get me into the recliner in the spare room/studio/whatever room. Give the extremely limited mobility of my left knee, it looked like I'd pretty much spend the rest of the day and night in that chair.

Fortunately, after some ice and ibuprofen and rest and support, my knee IS a little better. But better is far from walking normal and doing stairs again. Fortunately, the bathroom and our bedroom are both on this same floor, because I will be here until tomorrow morning, at the least.

So the knee is the reason there are no pictures to support this post. It's far too much work to take them and upload them right now.

In addition to creating, I so enjoy games and laughter. Last night, Mom and Dad came over and we played a couple games of Liverpool Rummy - always loads of fun. This afternoon, Mom and I squeezed in a game of Scrabble, even with my bum knee. Mom won. By a pretty nice margin, too. All it takes is a little bit of table space, which I have a with a small folding table.

So it's been a mostly fun weekend with plenty of creativity, fantastic company, laughs, and a bit of pain thrown in. How about your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Creative? Hopefully not painful.


A Little Dusty

Wow. It's a little dusty over here at the old blog. I guess you could say I took a bit of a sabbatical. That sounds so much better than I just never got around to blogging for the past month, right? So, how about some random catching up? You know much I love the randomness of life.

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One of the bigger events is that my oldest, Caleb, turned 19!

cmg - 19

He loves to jump off of things. Of course, I love to photograph it.

He's just a smidgen under 6' tall now. Not that you can tell from the pictures. I can't believe he's 19, though. Where on earth did the time go?

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I took a trazillion, er, maybe 1800+ photos in October. Perhaps that's why I never blogged. I was behind the viewfinder much of the month. (So that's where I've been!) My niece is always a willing subject for my picture-taking madness.

But don't let this serene image fool you...
mrs - thoughtful

...she's really a wild child!
mrs - wild

(Yes, that's a guinea pig on her shirt. They have 5 of them at their house. Not including the one on her shirt.)

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John had a birthday this month, too. But I won't tell you his age, since it's not polite after a certain point, right? But I will tell you that both the boys are taller than he is. Not that height has to do with age, either, but there it is. Zach's about 6'1-1/2". His goal is to be taller than his uncle, who is 6'3". Since he's just 17, I think he has a shot at it.
z and j

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We still had some beautiful fall colors, since the weather was so mild.

ftn fall colors

fall leaves

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We also had our first snow of the year.

1st snow

I didn't say we had a LOT of snow. Just the first one.

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There were some amazing sunsets.




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We played with some long shutter speeds.

mrs - slow shuter

light painting

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We visited some friends at their barn. No, they're not llamas. But they've been friends for a long, long time now. We used to be next door neighbors, once upon a time.


These three were about 2, 6, and 4, respectively back in those days. And yes, they're all tall. Once again, the time it does fly.

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Not that there weren't other happenings in October, but based upon a somewhat quick perusal of the 1800+ pictures I took, these were some highlights. Besides, I think this post has gotten long enough. I should save something for tomorrow.

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