Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Plans

We are quite excited around here that it is the week of Thanksgiving! That means company is coming, Ken/Daddy gets to be home extra days, we will enjoy lots of good food, play games and have other relaxing fun and it is a time to really reflect on how much God has blessed us and thank Him for it!

 One of the fun things that we have done this year (I want to make it a tradition!) is to have a "Thanks Tree". I brought in some branches from the woods and put them in a secure container and then I cut out a bunch of colorful leaves.

  On the leaves we have been writing things that we are thankful to God for and then hanging them up. It has been lots of fun to think of things big and little that we are thankful for and to read others' notes too. One of my favorites is Megan's, it says "I am thankful for everything except salad and tomatoes".  We will continue to add leaves through the end of this month.

I have the leaves ready and waiting by the base of the tree along with our little homemade Thanksgiving characters.
Another fun thing that we are doing this week is reading stories about the first Thanksgiving. Here are the books that we have and are enjoying:
  • The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving  by Ann McGovern (A book from my childhood)
  • Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas
  • The Story of Thanksgiving by Nancy J. Skarmeas
Reading the stories of their hardships really helps us to put life into perspective and join with them in Thanking God for what we do have. We have so very, very much!!

Food of course is an important part of this day! My Mom and I work together to make the meal. The kids and I will have a baking day the day before and then on the day we will roast the turkey and do other stuff as well. Mom will bring a bunch of food that they got out of their gardens. We enjoy having a very homey sort of meal filled with things made from scratch and harvested by us as much as possible. Here is our menu:
  • Turkey
  • Potatoes and Gravy
  • Butterhorn Rolls (Recipe)
  • Dressing
  • Broccoli with cheese
  • Corn
  • Squash
  • Cranberries
  • Pickles and Olives
  • Fruit Salad
  • Lots of Pies (Pumpkin, Pecan, Peanut Butter, Mince and more)
  • Apple Cider
  • Mint Citrus Cooler (this is a new recipe I plan to try)

  On Thanksgiving day we always enjoy having company come to our house. My parents and 2 youngest siblings come over and we love to have any other family come that can. This year my oldest brother and family are planning to come, we haven't had Thanksgiving with them for several years so this is a treat.

Besides family we enjoy having over other friends too. We especially try to include anybody that might otherwise be lonely on Thanksgiving. This year several of our single friends are going to join us. I think our total number is around 17. I love crowds and Ken doesn't mind, he just requests that I don't invite more than can sit down at "the" table. I can get pretty creative in making our table large enough! :-)

 Decorating is always a favorite of mine, so we have fun figuring out frugal ways to do that. I enjoy making name cards, lighting candles, pulling out my tablecloth that my Grandma made for me and finding things around the house that will look pretty on the table.

 When we aren't eating we enjoy playing games like Bohnanza (a fun card game about beans), Risk, Rook, Apples to Apples, Taboo or one of the other many games we have!

  The kids are also dreaming of possibly ice skating on the frozen swamp behind our house or maybe they will end up playing in the foot of snow we just got! We will also enjoy visiting and playing with my baby niece!

  But most of all- it is my hope that our hearts will be turned towards God and be filled with Thankfulness for all that He has done! I want my prayer to be like David's in 1 Chronicles 29:10-13:

""Blessed are You, O Lord God of Israel our father,
forever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power
 and the glory and the victory and the majesty,
indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth;
Yours is the dominion, O Lord,
and You exalt Yourself as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You,
and You rule over all,
and in Your hand is power and might;
and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.
Now therefore, our God, we thank You,
and praise Your glorious name."

 What are your Thanksgiving plans? How do you celebrate? What is a tradition that is important to you?
I would love to hear! I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

This post is part of the “Plan it, Blog it! 2010 Thanksgiving Blog Writing Contest” which is sponsored by UPrinting. The winner will receive a $100 gift card to Target as well as free 250 Greeting Cards. Your comments will help me to win. I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!! Thanks so much!


All in a Day said...

You got a foot of snow? Wow!
We are planning a dinner but no company that I know of. :(

angie said...

We have a Giving Thanks tree too. It is covered with tags from years past and current. Next, I think I will cut out leaf shaped tags. Good idea!
We also keep a Gratitude journal that we write in each year at Thanksgiving.

Zimms Zoo said...

We are going to Colorado this year to see my in-laws and great grandma. We usually stay here and go to my parent's house. they invite lots of single friends too and so do we. They have had to set up tables in the garage too with heaters.

Nola said...

What a great idea that you include those that might be lonely. We don't have family where we live (or even close) and everyone always talks about their plans. We once got invited since someone remembered that we have no one around and it was SO nice. Eventually if health allows I want to invite others over to my house when we're lonely :)

Merry Jo said...

Thanksgiving is the one holiday where we get to see both my side of the family and my hubby's side. Actually the past few years, his mom has been coming to my family's get-together. I love that both sides of our family can get to know one another!

hollysnails said...

Yum! I can't wait!

peachykeen817 said...

We are hosting, but at my parents' house, since they have more room than our tiny apartment. I'm really excited to get there and get cooking! Lots of relatives, lots of yummy foods, and we are revealing the gender of our second baby (due in April)! So much to be thankful for!

Finding Balance mommy said...

Our meal consists of:
Cornbread Dressing
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Green Been Casserole
Fruit Salad
Cranberry Sauce and Olives

We have Pumpkin and Pecan Pies for dessert....


Bonnie Williams said...

Sounds like a great day is planned and we are anxious to be a part of it! Your "Thanks Tree" sounds like fun and Megan's thanks is very honest and just like her! An added part of our Thanksgiving is accomodating the two working gal's jobs hence we plan to eat at 3:45 and then Dad will head off to teach a Bible lesson at the jail at 6:15. Thank-you for all the work you put in to planning it!

Anna said...

We plan to spend Thanksgiving with the Davidson's again this year. Then Friday with Wie and Le Hong. We started a thankful tree and never got it finished. Yours is very pretty! Margaret put a piece of paper up on our basement door and we all took part in adding something we were thankful for on there or what made us think of Thanksgiving (pilgrims, food and so on) in pictures.

Heidi said...

I am very thankful that me and my friend Tracy have survived a car accident on Monday. The Lord certainly was with us. My car is terribly damaged but we are safe! I am thankful my husband is able to meet me this weekend.
Abbi, I am really happy the Thankful tree now has thankful "leaves". Would you add one that says I am thankful for my good friends/neighbors!

Anonymous said...

Sharyl Said:
We are leaving at 4:00 a.m. (Lord willing) tomorrow to drive up to Portland and share the day with Beth,Joel, Kaleb, and Daniel. We will also decorate a Christmas tree on Saturday. We will miss getting together with you folks, as that would be so nice! Seeing the pictures really blesses me. I will be taking up pumpkin pie and dressing for the turkey to help Beth out. I have to get to that soon after leaving this comment. I'm most thankful for Christ's Church and for wonderful family, such as you all are. Please give our love to everyone. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! :-))

Journey_In_His_Mercy said...

Happy Thanksgiving!! Sounds like you will be having a blessed time!! I look forward to getting together in December!!
God bless!!

Becky R said...

We are making a pumpkin and apple pie today and spinach dip. Tomorrow we are going to my mom's. She lives 15 min. away so we see her often (PTL!) My boys are also cathching up on schoolwork (we homeschool.) Actually my younger son is outside playing with his wooden sword, he is supposed to be doing some scholwork, but play has it's value.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Irindee said...

I am looking forward to getting together with your family tomorrow! It was fun making pies and eating lunch with ya'll today!!

cnuland said...

Our Thanksgiving will be quiet and simple this year. I'm 36 weeks pregnant so I can't travel to Dh's family (3.5 hrs away) and my sister and husband are coming home for Christmas, so it will just be my parents and us. We'll probably still have too much food!

JustCorey said...

We are going to try starting a new tradition for ou rfamily this year... we found a place to go and volunteer and serve others a meal so that will take up part of our day.... then a nice quiet meal at home

I love your thanks tree andit looks like you have wonderful helpers for the pre baking day

Jackie said...

I love your thankful tree idea. Your Thanksgiving celebration sound wonderful. We will have a total of 18 here tomorrow, but we don't have a foot of snow- just some much needed rain. Have a blessed day.

Christy said...

Love the Thanksgiving tree. We had started something like that, but it's falling over and isn't quite so nice looking. But the idea is so good! Have a great day tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Dinner was great

Keren Ruth said...

I really liked your thanksgiving tree. especially Megan's -
"I'm thankful for everything. Except Tomatoes and salad."
:) Made me smile.

Abbi said...

Thanks so much everybody for sharing a little about your day too! I loved hearing about your plans and activities!

MommatoSkyler said...

I love the concept of having a "Thanks Tree"! There are so many small individual families in our huge family that we all rarely ever sit at the same table at the same time. =( I think having a "Thanks Tree" would get us all back to remembering to give our thanks! We will definetely have to start doing that next Thanksgiving! Thank you for a neat idea!

P.S. Wow!! You're family sure can cook and decorate!! :)

Emily said...

Well, our plans changed a bit due to family and new babies!
But, we were still thankful. One tradition I love at thanksgiving is re-reading Abraham Licoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation!


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