Wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend…

…and Looking Forward to Advent

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  Liz made it home from the hospital in time for Thanksgiving dinner and we were truly thankful for that blessing.  Friday was spent recuperating from the hectic week.  Richard decorated inside the house Friday and Saturday.  The tree is now up.  The Christmas village is up and lit.  The outside decorations are completed and are lighting up the neighborhood tonight. Today was also a quiet and restful day.  Other than Mass, no on went anywhere.

Thanksgiving is truly over in our house.  The last of the turkey was used to make a Turkey Divan and the rest of leftovers were also finished.  So now the Christmas dinner plans begin.

We have started a technology free week for the children.  No computer, DSs, computer time (other than specific school subjects) or MP3 players.  This came about because of the constant nagging for time on the computer, borrowing my Nook, time on the Wii.  This resulted in horrible attitudes if the answer was no.  So I declared all electronics turned off as of today.  Only Richard or I can turn on the TV.  Right now we are watching Mankind.  So the children will be allowed to watch the recorded show sometime this week.  The computer will only be used for typing lessons and their spelling lessons. 

Today was a bit rough as they figured out how to occupy themselves without the electronic babysitters.  By the end of the day they were getting it.  Tomorrow we will take a trip to the library for new books to help occupy their time.  My overall goal is to have no electronics throughout all of Advent, other than special shows Richard or I OK ahead of time.  We will see how that works out.

My other major accomplishment this weekend was pulling together my Advent unit for the six year olds. This unit is based off of Elizabeth Foss’s Advent Unit using Tomie DePaola books.  I used her recommended books and pulled together a day by day lesson plan for Advent and the Octave of Christmas.  You can see my plans here.

I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed weekend.

Changing of the Holiday plans

This has been a rough month around the house.  Just about everyone has had a cold for the past a month.  Last week included an ER trip with Abby for a severe case of croup.  According to the ER doctor, croup has been really bad this year.  They are seeing 10 and 11 year olds coming into the ER.  My neighbor told me one of his friends, an adult doctor, even was in the ER with croup.  So we aren’t the only ones dealing with illness.

I can only guess my two at the community college brought it into the house.  I just wish it would leave!  Unfortunately, it has boomeranged back to me.  I thought I had dodged the bullet about week ago, but last night at 2 AM it hit me full force: sore throat, stuffy head and cough.  I have yet to figure out why illnesses most often hit in the middle of the night, at least for my family.

Today was spent mostly hunkered down at home.  Richard took the boys up to church to deliver the Boy Scout popcorn that had been ordered last month.  Everyone else was too sick to go.  I refuse to bring people that are hacking up lungs to church, myself included.  Once Richard was home, I headed back to bed.  Six hours later I was up and still feeling horrible, just not as horrible.

This illness has also forced a change in our Thanksgiving plans.  We were going to Virginia to spend the day with my mom.  However, she has severe COPD and I don’t want to risk her getting this cold.  I am afraid that we could lose her if she was to come down with it, as bad is has been for our family.

I have tracked a pattern for my family, at least for at least the past 5 years. The week of Thanksgiving seems to be peak time for the family to be ill.  We often have had to change plans because one or more of the children have been ill. I won’t subject anyone to sick children, although I have been told to bring them anyway a few times. I feel that no one enjoys the day.  The sick child because they aren’t home, Richard and I because we will be dealing with sick, cranky children that just want to be home, or the others at the dinner worried about becoming ill.  So we choose to stay home and it frustrates some people.

Since I keep a stocked pantry, it won’t be an issue to pull together a Thanksgiving dinner.  I have already bought three turkeys were sale (39 cents a pound!!). I can’t beat a 24 pound turkey for under $10.  Tomorrow we will take a bird out and start the defrost process.  Come Thursday morning it will be defrosted and ready to go into the oven.  I already have the rest of the fixings for the dinner, all we will have to do is put together the side dishes.

We will miss visiting with my mom and brother, but we still have a lot for which we are thankful. Hopefully everyone will be well by Christmas so we can spend some time with her then.

Thanksgiving Eve

Today is a prep day around the house for tomorrow. We are making pumpkin and apple pies. Probably three of each type. That way they can be refrigerated. We like to eat our pies cold. I know. We are weird. I have heard that quite often in the past few years about many things. So you saying we are weird because we like cold pie won’t phase me.

We will make the rolls that we will be eating. My family LOVES rolls. To make sure I have enough I will make them today, then I can just pop them in the oven to warm them up tomorrow.

I will also mix up the stuffing and get that ready to go for the morning. It doesn’t take us long since I use the Pepperidge Farms Seasoned Bread, but why worry about getting up crack of dawn early to make sure everything is done.

I will mix up a traditional green bean casserole or two, or three. My family loves this and I do not make it often. They will also head to the fridge to await cooking tomorrow.

The sweet potato casserole will be put together too. One less thing to have to do on the actual day. I only make one of these since only a few people like to eat the entire thing, most of them just like the browned marshmallows on top.

I will make sure the turkey is defrosted and ready to go into the oven in the morning. I will even make sure to take out the bag ‘o guts. My sister-in-law forgot about them the first time she made a turkey and was horribly embarrassed at the time. We joke about it now.

I will use that bag o’ guts to flavor the broth to make the gravy, which I may or may not start today. It will depend on how much I can get done and how much stove and refrigerator space I have available.

My mom used to make all the Thanksgiving food items and put them in the garage on the top of the huge chest freezer. That garage was like a walk in refrigerator in the winter, so it made life easier around the holidays. I wish I had a garage like she has.

All that will remain to do tomorrow is cook the bird, make the mashed potatoes, bake the green bean and sweet potato casseroles, and reheat the rolls.  I think all the day before prep, makes for a much easier Thanksgiving Day for my family. We can all sit together and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and them move onto some Christmas videos. Yes Christmas videos.  Things like Rudolph and Frosty. We all know the Christmas season starts after Santa arrives at the end of the parade. So that is when start to watch our favorite Christmas shows.

What are some of your Thanksgiving family traditions?

Pax Christi,

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Just a reminder from our Founding Fathers (who unlike the current President believes were Christians).

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America


WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington


[Independent Chronicle, October 17, 1796.]
Published by Authority [Seal] Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

A Proclamation For A Day Of Public Thanksgiving.

Whereas it has pleased God, the Father of all Mercies, to bestow upon us innumerable unmerited favours in the course of the year past; it highly becomes us duly to recollect his goodness, and in a public and solemn manner to express the greatful feelings of our hearts :
I have therefore thought fit, with the advice and consent of the Council, to appoint Thursday the 15th day of December next, to be observed as a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Praise to our Divine Benefactor throughout this Commonwealth—Calling upon the Ministers of the Gospel, with their respective Congregations, and the whole body of the People, religiously to observe the said Day by celebrating the Praises of that all-gracious Being, of whose Bounty we have experienced so large a share.
He hath prevented Epidemical Diseases from spreading, and afforded us a general state of Health. He hath regarded our Pastures and Fields with an Eye of the most indulgent Parent, and rewarded the Industry of our Husbandmen with a plentiful Harvest.
Notwithstanding the unreasonable obstructions to our trade on the seas, it has generally been prosperous and our fisheries successful.
Our civil Constitutions of Government, formed by ourselves, and administered by Men of our own free Election, are by His Grace continued to us. And we still enjoy” the inestimable Blessings of the Gospel and right of worshipping God according to His own Institutions and the honest dictates of our Consciences.
And, together with our thanksgiving, earnest Supplication to God is hereby recommended for the forgiveness of our Sins which have rendered us unworthy of the least of his Mercies ; and that by the sanctifying influence of his Spirit, our hearts and manners may be corrected, and we become a reformed and happy People—That he would direct and prosper the Administration of the Government of the United States, and of this and the other States in the Union. That he would still afford his Blessings on our Trade, Agriculture, Fisheries and all the labours of our hands. That he would smile upon our University, and all Seminaries of Learning—That Tyranny and Usurpation may everywhere come to an end—That the Nations who are contending for true liberty may still be succeeded by his Almighty aid—That every Nation and Society of Men may be inspired with the knowledge and feeling of their natural and just rights, and enabled to form such systems of Civil Government as shall be fully adopted to promote and establish their Social Security and Happiness—And, finally, that in the course of God’s Holy Providence, the great Family of Mankind may bow to the sceptre of the Prince of Peace so that mutual Friendship and Harmony may universally prevail.
And I do recommend to the People of this Commonwealth to abstain from all such Labours and Recreations as may not be consistent with the Solemnity of the said Day.
Given at the Council Chamber in Boston, this sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord, one Thousand seven Hundred and Ninety-six, and in the twenty-first Year of the Independence of the United States of America.
Samuel Adams.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome