Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thankful November [Day 15-21]

{day 15}

I had something very strange, yet wonderful happen last week while we were at the mall. It amazes me how God puts things in your life to bless you, and in the most unexpected ways. We rarely/never eat lunch in the mall, but last week, we ended up grabbing a burger at this new place (more on this later). Not only did we pick a new place to eat, but we sat somewhere we never sit in the food court, all the way to the front. As soon as I sat down, I noticed this old lady a few tables over working on a plastic canvas craft. I started eating, and when I looked again, she was looking at me, holding up what she was working on, and smiled. I got the strangest feeling...she looked just like Mom-Mom Annie. I didn't have my glasses on, so I thought I might just be thinking it by glancing at her, but when I told Peter to look at her, he turned with the same reaction and said "that looks just like your Mom-Mom"! I put my glasses on and looked again. It was the strangest feeling. I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. Her hair, her glasses, her face, even the sweatshirt she had on, were exactly Mom-Mom! I could hardly eat my lunch, I just sat and stared at her and cried. I'll be honest and say that I don't think about Mom-Mom every day. I have so many good memories of her and I miss her so much, but I hadn't even thought about her that day. Also, Mom-Mom has been gone almost 18 years, and even a few years before Mom-Mom died, she didn't know us anymore, so it had been a long time since I had seen Mom-Mom like this. I had to go over and talk to her, which I did. The closer I got to her she looked less like Mom-Mom, and she didn't talk like her at all. She told me all about her husband of 56 years who had passed years ago, and about her son, who takes her out and helps her with things

To her, I was just some random person who stopped by to chit-chat, to me, she was an angel in disguise. :O)

{day 16}

I am thankful for lazy days! Just relaxing...watching tv or surfing the internet! :O)

{day 17}

I'm thankful that we live on the Chesapeake Bay and get to enjoy the FRESH seafood of each season. This month, we had steamed crabs (twice) and steamed oysters! YUM!!

{day 18}

I am thankful for "fun" going to the movies!
In the past month we saw: Bridge of Spies, Woodlawn, Burnt, and The 33.

{day 19}

I am thankful that I'm finally getting a little Christmas in my bones, because last week I wanted to kick this guy over when I walked in Walmart!!

{day 20}

I'm thankful for the Wounded Warriors: Gathering of Mountain Eagles celebration that our town hosted last week. A good evening of food, fellowship, sharing, and honoring.
I am very thankful for all who serve our country.

photo credit: CPM

{day 21}

I am thankful for our family's celebration of Thanksgiving!
(even if it was a few days early) :O) 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

This one says it all, and reminds us what Thanksgiving is all about... Love this Free Fall Pumpkin Printable from "Design Love and Inspiration"

We celebrated early this year, since Peter and Nathan will head back to work the day before Thanksgving. As is tradition, dinner was at Mom & Dad's house, with Mom, Julie, & I doing the cooking.
Sticking with our new tradition of disposable dinnerware :O)
(pretty it at Hobby Lobby)

{the food} 

and the star of the show......

.....the dressing! 
(and of course, Mom too!!) :O) :O)

 We tweaked things a little this year, but kept our menu traditional. I made the pretzel salad, corn pudding, and sweet potato fluff the day before. I used disposable pans that worked great for storing overnight and reheating the next day (right out of the fridge). I also made the pecan pie. Mom made the pumpkin pies and rolls. The day of: we cooked the turkey and the collards and made the dressing. Last minute: the gravy and mashed potatoes.


(about the turkey)

So, after a few years of turkey frustrations...we went back to using a cooking bag!
It was DELISH!!! and fall-off-the-bone tender (literally). :O) This is the way to go! Our 18+ lb. turkey cooked to perfection in just 3 hours. :O)

(about the gravy)

Since we cooked the turkey in a bag, no drippings for the gravy. Mom found a great recipe that can be made without it. It is no-fail and can be made ahead of time.
Similar recipe link HERE .


pecan pie
pumpkin pies
w/homemade whipped cream

RECIPE: Beat one container (2 cups) heavy whipping cream with 1/2 cup sugar (add 1 T. at a time). Add 1 t. vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Refrigerate.

{side note}

I LOVE this "new" view from their kitchen window. An old, vacant trailor (before that a large house) had always blocked this awesome view. The land was recently purchased by the electric company and they are clearing off the lot. We have never been able to see all the way out in the creek...we are loving this new view!! :O) #perspective

Julie Bruce's photo.
[here are a few pics taken during the tearing down process]
now back to Thanksgiving Dinner.....

{the guest list}
(take-out for Lois)

Julie got more pictures than I did so I'm stealing a few of hers.

Nathan, Kayla, Liz, Derek, & Mitch

Liz & Mitch

the only pic of me & Peter :0(
[Wish we had gotten a better one together!]

We each wrote something we were thankful for and hung on the Thankful Tree (another new tradition). Derek reads them out after dinner. :O)

Since there was no football to watch, some of us played games after dinner.

Even though we had to celebrate on a different day, it still felt like Thanksgiving! As long as you have your family gathered around the table, enjoying good food and each other, any day can be a day to give thanks! :0) 
30 Days of Thankfulness: Free Thanksgiving Printable – Count Your Blessings

Monday, November 23, 2015

volleyball 2015

#52weekphotochallenge #play #volleyball #fun #nathan

...some of Nathan's team: Nathan, Joseph, Cameron, Lance P., and Connor
(not pictured: Jan and Jeremy)

This was the team to beat...

Kayla's team won the championship in the girl's division!

Nathan reffing the girl's game.


Nikki & Tara

This was the sweetest....Lukas and Will were the best at Hula-Hooping! :O)
Nathan's team tried....
but in the end, they lost the championship game to:
Denny, Scott, Jordan Ray, Trey, Lance D., and Troy
A fun night with friends!
Nathan LOVES sports, but rarely gets a chance play anymore.
He was happy he was home for the tournament. :O)


Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Happiness Project: November 2015

The Happiness Project
November 2015
Keep A Contented Heart
{Part One}
Laugh Out Loud
“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.”  ― Veronica Roth, Divergent
For November, it's time to focus on our attitude.
Cultivate a loving,light-hearted, and kind spirit.
Be content.
Am I content?
Not all the time. Sometimes I get too fretful, skeptical, dissatisfied, anxious, overly ambitious, frustrated, hard to please, critical.....the list goes on and on. At times, some of these feelings are good, because they keep me striving harder to improve my work and home activities, but for the most part these things often lead to my discontent.
It's easier to complain than laugh over things. But really, things aren't that important.
Stop being so critical.
Be kind.
Laugh out loud.
everyday mantra
Act the way you want to feel.
If I want to feel happy and light-hearted, I need to act that way - starting by "laughing out loud".
"Laughter is more than just a pleasurable activity. It can boost immunity and lower blood pressure. It's a source of social bonding, and it helps reduce conflicts and cushion stress within relationships- at work, in marriage, and even among strangers. When people laugh together, they tend to talk and touch more and make eye contact more frequently."
Laugh often
I am lucky to be part of a family that enjoys humor and funny stories. Rarely are we together that laughter doesn't fill the room. I grew up in a home filled with laughter, Dad still keeps us in stitches with his stories. Both Logan and Nathan are comical as well. I die laughing as soon as I start talking to either of them, and get them both together and it's a circus! :O) :O)
Live Well Laugh Often Love Much T22 Vinyl Lettering Decal Tile Quote via Etsy
Laughter is the best medicine!
He Knows This Is Gonna Haunt Him Forever....LOLOLOL
:O) :O) :O)