Thankful Thursdays Feed

Thursday Thoughts & Dinner Plans

Thanksgiving plate

"Cooking demands attention, patience, and above all, a respect for the gifts of the earth. It is a form of worship, a way of giving thanks."

~ Judith B. Jones

This is a wonderful quote to ponder, don't you think? Especially so close to Thanksgiving!

Today I am working out the final details of our holiday dinner ... talking it over with my mum, looking through my folder, writing out final lists. We usually stick to a pretty familiar meal plan but we also like to work in a few new twists. There must, of course, be roast turkey - as well as stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie ... but we can have a little fun with apps, drinks, desserts and sides. Are you trying any new recipes this year?

I thought you might like to hear what we're serving next Thursday ... and if you have a moment, I'd love to hear about your dinner plans!

Drinks & Apps

Thanksgiving Cocktail: cran-apple bourbon punch

Also: cold beer, cider, wine, asst. soda

Shrimp Dip

Thanksgiving blessings snack mix

baked brie with figs and pistachios

cranberry jam toasties


sweet and sour cippolini with goat cheese on crostini

Main Meal

roast turkey

stuffing (plain and "dressed up")

cranberry sauce (canned and homemade)

mashed potatoes




peas and/or beans

soft dinner rolls

brown bread muffins


cheddar-chive biscuits



assorted pies (tbd)

cranberry spice cake

maple cream liqueur (if I have time!)

and perhaps ...

sweet potato cupcakes with toasted marshmallow topping

(because they just sound uncommonly good)


Now, my friends, I must stress to you all that I am not making all of this (or even most of it) myself! My mum does the bulk of the cooking, while family and friends bring along contributions. I generally make a couple of desserts and an appetizer or two, the biscuits/muffins as well as the signature cocktail. I do love to cook, but I especially enjoy organizing tables and dishes and centerpieces and trying to be sure the house is all tidy and arranged for comfortable socializing ...

Which is why I have all these lists!

Speaking of lists, I'm also working on my Advent plans this week because the season comes up rather quickly once Thanksgiving is over. Lots to think about, much to plan ... but I will talk more about that subject next Monday when we gather for tea.


Hope you all enjoy the rest of your Thursday ... see you here again very soon!

Thankful Thursday: Small Things, Great Joy

Bc sunset moon

Bookworm texted this picture to me from the BC campus about an hour ago ...

Here at home I had just said to Bill, "Wow, look at that sunset!" (which looked much like the one from yesterday's post) when a few minutes later my phone buzzed with BW's text. He was on his way back from class and was similarly amazed by the striking evening sky. He snapped a picture and sent it home through cyberspace.

It makes me so happy to think that my years of "teaching" my kids to slow down and take notice of nature have made an impression. That I've instilled in these boys an awareness of, and an appreciation for, "the small things" ... things like full moons and first frosts, warmly lit windows on a rainy day ...

Bc gasson hall

... the surprise of sunlight and shadow ...

Bc bench in sunlight

... and of course, that beautiful night sky.

Bc sunset 2


I try to always be mindful of those small things that bring such great joy ... how blessed I am to have children who mirror and magnify that joy. 

(All pictures by Bookworm.)

Enjoy your Thursday evening, my friends ...

Thankful Thursday

Now, it goes without saying there are many BIG things for which I am grateful today - and everyday - my health, my family, my children (all FOUR of them)! But today I'd like to think about a few small yet beautiful blessings ...

I am grateful for my memory and my attachment to simple sentiments ... like tinting carnations in January ... this year it's blue for the Blessed Mother. 


I love the way happy traditions weave their way through our family life.

For a warm and cozy bed to snuggle in at night.


Mounds of freshly laundered flannel and cotton ...

For catching the sunrise every morning ... I can't remember the last one I missed! Sure, EB gets us up crazy-early every day but clearly it has kept us in training for the new baby this summer. ;)


A winter sunrise is particularly striking.

For puttering time ... sitting somewhere comfortable, maybe with a cup of tea, and just letting my thoughts unravel. Catching them on crisp paper and sorting them into pretty binders. 


January is a lovely time for organizing one's thoughts ...

Dear friends, what are you thankful for on this bright and brisk winter's day?

Thankful Thursday!

This week's Thankful Thursday is being hosted by Diane at her lovely blog, The Journey of a Mother's Heart. Once again, I so enjoyed compiling my latest list of blessings!

So without further ado, this week I am grateful for ...

1. Conversations like this:

Me (to Crackerjack): What is Daddy's real name, Crackerjack?

Crackerjack: Bill.

Daddy to Crackerjack: And what is Mama's real name?

Crackerjack: Mama.

Daddy: Doesn't she have any other names besides Mama?

Crackerjack: Nope, nope, nope. She's just Mama.

2. For plumbing that works. And for not having to call a plumber after all. And for being able to wash dishes and run laundries again. When you can't do these mundane but meaningful tasks it feels sooo good to be able to do them again. (I fear this bliss will be short-lived, however.)

3. For the mail. How I love the mail. No, not the mailman, just the things that he brings.Starbucks2 And the very fact that he comes every day without fail, and he brings me things like magazines, catalogs and thoughtful letters from dear friends. And today he brought me my Peet's! Oh I wish you could smell it! There is nothing like fresh-roasted coffee beans right out of the box, except of course when they've been ground and brewed and are being poured into your waiting cup ...

4. And speaking of coffee, I am thankful for the way Starbucks celebrates the seasons with amazing holiday drinks like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Peppermint Mochas, Eggnogg and Gingebread Lattes, too. I just looooove coffee (period, but) especially when made for me by someone else, and even moreso when it is served in a lovely red cup with snowflakes and snowmen all over it.

5. But as much as I love (long for, daydream about, need) coffee, I am even more grateful when friends put the caffeine craving in perfect (and darling) perspective. :)

More things to be thankful for ...

6. For the library because without it I would most likely bankrupt my family buying books. I am especially grateful for the inter-library loan system AND the online request system. I always have two or three holds "in-transit or "ready for pickup." (I suspect the local branch has me on speed-dial, LOL!) And the other thing I am thankful for are the librarians who always hold my books a few extra days even if Im not there by the specified date. They're good people, those librarians.

7. Speaking of books, I am very grateful for friends who have put together amazing Advent reading booklists, study plans and book packages for me and my children. I can hardly wait for December!

8. And on top of all that, I think I speak for us all when I say I am just plain thankful for Tomie de Paola. Did he write his amazing, beautiful, brilliant books with us CCM-ers in mind? I think so.

9. I am so very grateful for my mum. I can't even begin to list all the reasons why, nor to describe how much. Let's just say she's there for me all the time, without question and without fail. This week she did my laundry, babysat my boys, bought me a bag of sugar when I ran out, and, as she does every year, she is helping me plan - nevermind cook! - Thanksgiving dinner! And oh, yes, there's the small detail about how she gave me LIFE! And it's such a wonderful life, Mum. I love you.

10. I am grateful for my small, family-loving, warm and welcoming parish. I am grateful for my pastor who is kind and soft-spoken and gives the most wonderful homilies. I am grateful for the all the fun activities like parish breakfasts, toy drives, Christmas concerts, pageants, cookie swaps, VBS and CCD ... and last but certainly not least I love Mass. Don't even get me started on that one.

And one more!

11. I am grateful to Kristina and Lisa for starting this whole carnival idea! Because I was a bit grumpy this morning and then I remembered tomorrow was Thursday and next thing you know I found myself thinking up so many reasons to be grateful. (Which is something I should do everyday, isn't it?) But it's nice to put it down in one place and its wonderful to share it with others.

What are you thankful for this week? That's a lovely thing to consider as you head off to bed, don't you think? In the meantime, as always, Good night and God bless!

Thankful Thursday!

Lisa at Joyful Chaos is hosting "Thankful Thursdays" all through the month of November! She is asking us to list 10 things for which we are thankful each week ... Lisa, what a wonderful idea!

First off, let me just say (I fear I start all my posts with these words, LOL) there are HUGE things for which I am grateful but I am going to keep my list light - at least for this week. It's the big things that leave me grasping for words ~ I'd be here all night trying to say things just right ... :)

So here I go!

Ten Things I am Thankful for This Week:

1. For conversations like this:

Crackerjack: "How come you always know what I want?"

Me: "Because I'm your mama, that's my job."

Crackerjack (hugging me): "I love it when you say that."

2. For homeschooling. And for sooooo many reasons - too many to name in one post. So maybe I'll name a different reason each week. This week I'm thankful for homeschooling because my boys are the very best of friends. And after they spend the whole day together, they still talk each other to sleep for almost an hour. I love that.

3. For the rain. Yes, the rain, which as you know, in November is anything but gentle and warm. Spring rain we welcome because it's going to make everything green and it's so good for the flowers, the trees and the baby animals (etc.). But November rain is an altogether different kind of thing. It's cold - very cold - and it makes everything, well, dank. But still, I love these rainy kinds of days - when the pleasures of home just seem even more pleasurable ...

Like a reading corner:


And a picture window:


And a mantel glowing with candles:


I am also thankful ...

4. For Annie's Macaroni and Cheese - because without it my children would starve.

5. For this blog - that my family allows and encourages me to do it, and that there are folks who stop by to read what I write! As many of you readers - fellow bloggers yourselves - know, it's a nice creative outlet. Though I once hoped to be a writer, I wished even more to be a mom at home with her kids. I was blessed to be granted that wish. My life does not contain the kind of time or energy that writing would require, but it does, thankfully, contain the time and energy needed for mothering and teaching my children. For all that - and with a very full heart and full hands - I am eternally grateful.

6. For the movies - I LOVE going to the movies and we're going this Friday! We're going to see Flushed Away with our friends - we'll post a review this weekend!

7. For these ladies, this place, this way of life and learning:


8. For chipmunks, squirrels, wrens, juncos, jays ... all the little critters who call our yard home. They keep us entertained and bring such joy to our days. I am grateful that, because we homeschool, we are able to observe them and keep track of them daily - they're like our classroom pets, LOL!

9. For my husband stepping on a tack, and getting it stuck fast in his foot just now - which sounds crazy! - but we just witnessed the sweetest, most heartfelt outpouring of love and concern from our boys. Bill pulled out the tack while I ran to get a bandaid and when I returned it was to boys with their arms wrapped lovingly around their daddy. :)

10. For this moment right now. The boys are in bed (though not yet quite asleep), I've got my after-dinner eggnog and Bill and I are sitting here together watching our news programs, waiting for Lost to come on. How I love these cozy homey evenings!

So there are my 10 things for this week! Thanks again to Lisa for thinking of this and for hosting! I look forward to spending more Thursdays recounting my blessings. :)