Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–December 2, 2019

Patsy potted up a spider plant baby in a pot she painted and gave it to Lovana for her new house. She painted a few of these pots and so I expect she will be giving the other rooting starts new homes soon. I love how cute this turned out.

Jake and Uncle finished their woodshop project. They started it on Monday afternoon and by Tuesday morning, it was cut out, sanded and painted. It was a great, low-cost, but highly-treasured project. Because Jake did not have school at all last week, we were searching for some activities that would keep him occupied. We found several.

Jake’s oldest sister, Caitlyn, took him, Michaela and Patsy to the new movie, Frozen 2. I had one lonely pass to the movies in my box, so I gave it to Patsy. She earned a few dollars to take with her, but I think her cousin bought snacks for her. It was kind of her to include Patsy.

It was double kind of her to take all those kids somewhere else than here on that day, Tuesday! My aunt, mom and one sister came over and we prepared for Thanksgiving by doing some cleaning, cooking and other prep work.

I boiled the ham bone and the turkey bones. I made turkey-noodle soup and froze some broth. I also made ham and white bean soup from the other bones. When Lovana was making a pie last weekend, we used some white beans as pie weights while she par-baked her crust. I was not sure they would cook well after being baked, but I’m happy to report that they worked just fine in the ham and beans.

We had overnight guests for Thanksgiving and used the camper as a guest house.

The 4-H club has been working on a project for a few weeks now. Saturday, everyone met together and put together 11 baskets (wrapped boxes) full of goodies that had been gathered. The older kids and adults have been working independently on projects such as food items, a jar full of blessings (papers with inspiring verses and sayings on them for people to draw one out and read), cookies, Christmas decorations, etc. Then, lunch was eaten and a delivery marathon was completed. All 11 were delivered to the pastors and other significant leaders from our church, such as the wonderful woman who heads up the children’s ministries. The people were all delighted to receive such nice baskets from all the smiling children, and everyone involved felt it was super successful.

It has been very cold here and I’ve been enjoying burning my free wood in my wood stove.

I read a couple of Kindle books that I got for free. I also downloaded a new batch, choosing from books and a magazine that were included with Prime, which we use to watch t.v., for shipping, and occasionally a book or magazine. I was able to find a couple of Netflix movies for Jake to watch. Lovana gave Rob Netflix for Christmas last year, so I love it when I remember to use it!

I am gearing up for an extra-busy week with Christmas program practice 3 nights this week, and 3 performances on the weekend! Both Patsy and Jake are involved, and since Jake’s parents work late on at least one day……. Yikes! I’m going to do some planning for meals and things today.

Happy Day After Thanksgiving–2019

Today, after a wonderful day full of family, friends and food yesterday, I feel as if I’ve eaten all that food myself! I’ve had a relaxing day today, and have not accomplished much at all. Don’t you just love the turkey veggie tray my sister made? So cute!

Rob cooked the ham and the turkey on the barbecues the day before Thanksgiving. He cooked them to perfection, as always.

Everyone brought food, including Lovana, who made a delicious salad. After I took this picture, she added sliced apples, some candied walnuts and some balsamic salad dressing. It was all eaten, which was quite a compliment to Lovana, as the table was groaning with delightful options. We had an eclectic mix of the classic holiday food with some Eritrean lentils and injera bread, tons of dessert, and assorted side dishes.

I made some gluten-free pumpkin pie. I struggle with gluten-free pie crust. It rarely tastes good when I make it. This time, it turned out! Yea:). The pie crust recipe was one my daughter found on-line. And, actually, she mixed it up. So, technically, all I did was roll it out and make the filling……so now you know the secret of good gluten-free pie crust…you need a Lovana at your house:)



The cookies Jake helped make on Monday were in the cookie jar. My little friend, Danait, carefully put the Cracker Jacks in the bowl and then passed them around the room. She also passed the bowl of candy. One piece for you, one for my mouth–that was her motto. It was very cute.

Everyone visited for a long time, and my good-natured nephew, Steven, was buried with all kinds of goodies by a laughing little girl…

Everyone went home happy and well-fed. It was a great day. We have much to be thankful for on this weekend, and always. We had a few family and friends who could not join us, due to work, but we will catch up with them very soon, because Christmas is right around the corner….and it’s only 3-1/2 weeks away! Yikes!

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–Nov. 25, 2018

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I was given a beautiful bouquet on Thanksgiving.  They made such a nice addition to the holiday atmosphere.  They were special to me because they were a very thoughtful gift from Allison.  She is the love of my autistic son, Anthony’s life.  Rob was able to pick them both up on Thursday so they could join us.  Although they live in different homes, they are very committed to each other and are very sweet.

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This is a picture from a few weeks ago–they are such a cute couple!

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Jake was happy to show Anthony and Allison how to play Wii, after the meal.  (As if they didn’t know how, but they were good sports!)

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My oldest daughter, Abbie, was stressed after a long work week, so baked and baked and baked until midnight.  Boy did we eat good.  When you added all these tasty desserts to the lemon meringue pie my nephew made, the apple one I made, and the cookies Patsy made…..boy, oh, boy!  And, the best part (or the worst), was it was all gluten free.  Some was dairy free as well, for those who needed it.  I ate WAY too much, but Rob, the determined did not.  We got all the extra food out of here–sent home with our guests, except the part of the feast we felt was best to keep.

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Of course, we had coffee, made by queen of coffee herself:). It is so good.  There’s nothing quite like it.  Needless to say, the other coffee remained neglected on Thursday.

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When I went to Fred Meyers on Saturday, I was surprised with several freebies.  I knew the gum was the Friday freebie, but was not expecting condiment cups, a can opener, and a little candle.  I was doing a little grocery shopping, because that’s all I seem to do lately:), and got the bulk curry powder and cloves I was after from there, along with several items such as 99c pasta sauce (5), 99c gluten-free crackers (3), and $1.99/lb butter (5).  I was not able to get bulk poultry seasoning there.  They were out.  I guess the “secret” of buying bulk spices to save lots of money has gotten out.  Ibotta has been doing a rebate at Safeway only (it’s not offered at other stores I shop at) of red lentil pasta.  The first time I bought it, it cost $2.79.  I got a $3 rebate.  I also got a coupon for $1.50 off 2 boxes and the rebate popped back up.  I went back Saturday and got 2 boxes.  They were a little more expensive–a little more than $3/box.  The cashier ran my $1.50 coupon twice, and took off $3.  I pointed it out to her, not wanting to cheat anyone, and she said she was leaving it, and have a nice day.  So, I ended up paying around $4, and will get $3 back for one box, making the average of the 2 boxes around 50c/box.  Today, the rebate popped up again, expiring in 12 hours.  I’ve sent Rob for one last box.  This is simply a new product that they clearly want people to try, and I’m delighted!  I’m sending some to Lovana in her next care package, since she eats vegetarian and it’s high protein, and am eating a box soon, since it’s gluten-free. With these high-value rebates and many other lower-value ones on things I needed to buy,  plus some bonuses I qualified for, I’ve been able to get my Ibotta account built back up again, which is awesome since I cleaned it out for some of the great holiday sales.  My comedy still continues–I went to the store at least 7 times over the past few days–no matter what I buy, I seem to out of something daily–odd things like Dijon mustard, cornstarch, cloves, curry powder, along with normal things like milk and eggs–we are just cracking up every time I announce that I’m now out of ____!  I guess I’d better start serving 99c pasta sauce on free red lentil pasta:)

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I’ve been able to do a little sewing lately.  This skirt was one I’ve had in progress for a while, but finally finished in time for Patsy to wear for Thanksgiving.  I got the top for only $10 at Fred Meyers and was super happy at how nicely it went with the skirt.  You cannot see in this picture, but there are pink buttons all down the front of the skirt.  I have so many buttons from a large boxful  Rob bought years ago at a yard sale. It was great to use some up and it kept the cost down.

I was able to get in on some great sales at JoAnn’s on Saturday.  I used up the last of 2 gift cards I still had from either my birthday or Christmas, and added some cash to get things like interfacing and some fabric for a few projects with the large discounts that were being offered this weekend.  It was fun.  I haven’t allowed myself inside of JoAnn’s much lately.  I was amazed at the carts piled to the top with fabric, AFTER the cloth was cut–not bolts before it was cut.  There are some ladies out there who are going to do some major sewing or crafting!  I’m sure they must be making blankets or other items for charity.  Or perhaps making something to sell.  Those are the only explanations I can think of for any one person buying that much fabric!!!  In fact, since I was not quite the early bird I planned on being, much of the calico was already in carts, or behind the cutting counter. But, I still found 2 pieces I liked at 70% off.  It was crowded, but people were patient and nice, and I had a good experience.

We had a wonderful holiday week with no school, lots of kids, a huge feast, and time with family and friends, but this week is back to normal.  The routine started again today.  That always feels good, too.  How was your week?

 

Happy Thanksgiving-2018

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I want to wish each and every one of you a very happy Thanksgiving Day!

We got up bright and early this morning, and Rob has already finished cooking the turkey on his barbecue.  He has a ham going out there, now.

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We’ve got stuffing, vanilla rosemary maple glazed sweet potatoes and of course, green bean casserole ready to pop into the oven to finish warming.  The sweet potatoes will have maple candied walnuts on top, and I was delighted to find gluten-free fried onions to put on the green beans.

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An apple pie with streusel topping awaits.  The table is covered with trivets and pot holders waiting for all the great food and goodies the family will bring.

The house is spotless, thanks to the family members who came yesterday and helped clean.  The table in the garage is out from it’s load of clutter it carries between holidays and looks pretty with a freshly ironed tablecloth. (Thanks, guys!). There are chairs in every nook and cranny around the house.  All we need now are the guests, and they should start arriving before too long.   It’s shaping up to be a wonderful day, full of family and friends.  Although we will miss the ones who cannot be here, they will be in our thoughts on this day, especially.  We have much to be thankful this year.

Rob and I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and your families on this day.  I’m sure there are as many different ways of celebrating as there are people in this country, but I know every one of us has a lot to be grateful for.  I love having a day where I can take a moment and reflect on all the blessings the Lord has brought to me this year.  Have a wonderful day!

Weekly Update and Saving Money for the Week of Thanksgiving, 2017

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Last week was a holiday week.  None of the kids went to school, and Rob only worked Monday morning.  So, we spent the first part of the week spending time with Jake and Patsy, cleaning like crazy, setting up tables for the dinner on Thursday, and pre-cooking food.  We had plans Wednesday, so that day was not available.

In the meanwhile, the computer crashed.  Completely.  We had to use 1/2 of Tuesday, which was the day I had saved to completely finish cleaning, to take it in to the only Apple store around–over an hour from our house.  After waiting to see what the problem was, we left it there with 2 choices of issues it might have, and told them to call us when they figured it out.  In the end, the hard drive was unfixable, and we had to have it replaced, which meant it was blank when we got it back.  So, we’ve spent hours trying to put things back on it where they belong.  We are not computer geniuses, so it’s taking us a while.  A long while!!!  After several hours of work, I finally got some pictures to load, although I’ve tried many, many things to get them all to load from my phone, and they are not all there yet.  I just need to spend more time at it, and I’m about out of that this week:)

On Wednesday, we went out all day.  We visited my oldest daughter, who was not going to be able to make it Thursday due to a badly sprained ankle.  Then, we did a few errands in her area, and headed up to see Harnet.  After spending some more time on errands,  Rob graciously agreed to drive myself and Harnet, plus Jake, Ja’Ana, Patsy and Danait up to an Ethiopian grocery store up in Portland. On MLK Blvd.  During rush hour.  In our 15 passenger van.  In the pouring rain.  To buy special green Ethiopean coffee that Harnet needed. What a man!  Have I mentioned I’m married to a saint?  (At least that day he acted like one!!).   We hit bad traffic going up, but found a really great parking spot right away, got what was needed, and sailed on to drop her off, then home.  So, it all worked out!

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I met Harnet through my oldest sister. They have been friends for a couple of years.  Now that we are friends, too, and my niece Alissa has become part of that loop as well, we all really wanted her and Danait to come to Thanksgiving.  And, we wanted her to make coffee for all of us.  So, it was really our fault she needed special coffee.  We were happy to help her get some.  Now that I know what she needs, exactly, I may just order a small bag from Amazon, just in case this coffee crisis comes up again:). Everyone enjoyed the coffee tremendously, but little Danait really kept everyone entertained.  We all enjoyed the day so much.  A little person really adds to the fun in our family, and she went from person to person, happily and cheerfully.  Such a charmer!

The day after Thanksgiving, we took off for a couple of days camping.  Jake went, of course, as he has been asking frequently when “we” were going to take “our” camper out and go camping.  It was rainy and cold, and we had a ball.

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He built Legos for hours.  We all ate junk food for hours.  He played with his junk food for hours.  We visited the Dollar Store and let them spend their chore money.  He bought a gumball machine and some beads to put through it.  That way he can get “gum” over and over and put it back. He doesn’t want to chew gum.  At least not bubble gum, he says.

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We had glow sticks each evening.  They were dollar store and clearance finds.  Patsy waved them.  Jake turned them into light sabers, and he and I had a war.  Darth Vader (Jake) won that one for sure!

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He built a camper in the camper:). He liked that little nook so well that he slept in there the 2nd night, instead of on the couch as he usually does.  The first night, the jacks shifted a bit, as they often do, and the camper had a slight downhill slant.  He loved it so much because his toy would roll better.  When Rob tightened them the next morning, he was really quite put out at him for a little bit.

It was very economical to camp.  We used our park pass that we get for adopting children out of the state system.  We have to pay the registration fee. $8, I think.  We ate all meals in the camper, except one.  Rob keeps change as he gets it, then cashes it in before trips so we can eat out at least one time, if possible.  We grabbed Thanksgiving leftovers and things from our fridge at home and used the pantry in the camper for the rest.  I keep it stocked and it is good to use those items up sometimes.

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It was very windy, but we fed the seagulls some old bread.  They were quite entertaining, and even caught some of the pieces mid-air.   Other entertainment included looking at the beach from the warm van, looking at the outlet mall from the warm van, and getting out of the warm van to go back into the warm camper to build more Legos, read more books, and watch endless movies.  We watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Paw Patrol (thank you so much, Abbie!), and part of a couple of others.  I finished the chapter book we were reading aloud–“Snowbound With Betsy” by Carolyn Haywood.  It is very good for young readers.  It kept his interest, and it’s cute.  Even Rob liked the part he heard.  In fact, when I finished, Jake wanted me to start over, but I didn’t.  Instead, I got another book about Betsy from the same author from the library today, and will start it with him tomorrow.  I read “The Girl of the Limberlost” by Gene Stratton Porter.  I’ve read it many times, but it was in the camper, and I enjoyed reading it again.  Ja’Ana basically read and slept all weekend, and made Rob watch “Soul Surfer” with her.  She knew he would cry all the way through, and he did not disappoint:).

It was fun to get away.  Winter camping is much different from Summer camping, but we still like to do it.  We needed to get some rest, and did rest, but were a bit tired anyway when we got home.  That is because on the last night, the wind kicked up so much, that Rob woke up around midnight and put the awning in.  You don’t want it to get twisted in the wind.  I woke up, too.  Then, around 2, the power went out in the campground, so he got up again to turn things to propane so I could still shower in the morning.  I woke up, too.  Then, just as we were drifting off, the power came back on, and that woke us up again around 4.   He fell back to sleep, and they all slept until after 9.  I didn’t.  After we came home, I took about an hour nap.  Ahhh…..It was a new week before I knew it!!

IMG_6043 3We’ve been cooking.  Baked potatoes with cottage cheese and cheddar cheese were one night’s dinner.  Rob BBQ’d chicken for Monday and made shrimp fettuccine for Tuesday.  Tonight, I made homemade chicken strips.   I’m sure I’ll cook some more, as there are several days left in the week!  LOL!  But, this is it for now.  I hope your week went well, too.

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, 2016

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Today we celebrated Thanksgiving.  It was the first major holiday in our new home, and we were privileged  to host it for the family.  As always, some could make it and some could not, but we had a wonderful time with the ones who could be here and missed the ones who were elsewhere.

We had a few challenges getting ready for the big day.  The first one was that when you do something in a new house, there is a lot to figure out.  The way we’ve done things in the past wouldn’t work in this much smaller house.  So, we tried out more than one way of arranging tables, and finally settled on an arrangement that looked like it would work.  We moved the dining table into the middle of the living room and made it into its larger size.  The table in the garage/family room was made as big as it could be made and, after a couple of tries, settled into a place where there would be enough room for people to get seated comfortable.  A few easy chairs were placed around with tv trays handy, and we were set.  With the table gone from the dining area, we had a nice space for 2 food tables, and some room to maneuver around.

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As you can see, I finally gave in and brought the old lamp in from the shop.  It is still dark in the living room, but the little lamp will do until I get a better one.

Another challenge I faced was the fact that we all needed to work a lot more than usual this week.  My sister needed to work extra, my brother-in-law did too, and my husband got to work 24 hours in 2 days.  All of that meant that I had a lot of quality time with my children, and my nieces and nephew who did not have school all of this week, but had virtually no time to prepare for the holiday.

Here’s how we made it work.  Everyone who came pitched in.  They all brought food and came early and helped finish up.  Rob got Wednesday off, and though exhausted from 2-12 hour days, did a massive amount of cooking and setting things up.  He did the turkey, a cheese ball, pickle-ham rolls, and set things up.  He went shopping, bought whatever he thought we needed (although we did most of it last weekend), and bought me a few bunches of flowers from Trader Joes and put them on the counter.  They were my favorite thing he did–I felt so special when I saw that big clump of plastic-wrapped flowers sitting in a vase.  I got up early and made stuffed mushrooms, stuffing, ham (in the crock pot), gravy, and arranged the flowers.  We used mashed potatoes left over from a youth event my sister cooked for a few days ago, and had several salads, veggie and fruit trays,  and desserts others brought.  I bought paper “platters” and used real silverware.  I borrowed tablecloths from one of my sisters, as I don’t have any that fit this new table.  We all took turns washing dishes and put things away as soon as we could, as the counters are small.

When everyone was done, several people stayed and helped me put it all away and put the tables, chairs, etc. back where they belonged.  Much of it went back out to the shop.  Thanks to everyone, I get to sit here relaxing on my bed tonight, basking in the beautiful day we all had, and glory in the fact that the house is clean, I get to rest a lot tonight, and we all have a wonderful day planned for tomorrow!  It truly has been a happy Thanksgiving!

 

A Successful, Happy Thanksgiving 2015

IMG_1771I could ask myself what constitutes a “happy” Thanksgiving.  Is it the food? The decorations? The company?  In our family, I have to say it is all of that, plus more.  As I looked around the table and into the next room, which was overflowing with more company, I realized that there were people in those rooms with chronic diseases, job losses, dehibilitating special needs, schedules that were overwhelming to them, sick people, exhausted people, people with spouses missing for different reasons, lonely people and those who had suffered deep, grievious loss. And, that was only the ones who could come!  But, each and every one of those people had a hard time choosing which blessing they wanted to share when Rob asked them to share before the prayer.  There were so many choices!  Even the youngest had no problem choosing things, such as good water, food, a house, etc.

IMG_1752.We took the meat off the bones last evening and they were placed into our 2 crockpots. Then we filled them with water, salted them, and then put them on low for the night.  This morning, Abbie (my eldest) and I picked the meat off the bones and froze the broth into cartons.  I smell soup coming up!

After we ate, we cleaned up and everyone sat around eating dessert and visiting.  The 2 big cousins went and picked Lovana up from work and that was a great surprise for her, as one of her close cousins is just in from California for the weekend. Everyone enjoyed being with her for the day!

IMG_5007Patsy did a great job in her play at school on Tuesday afternoon.  It lasted 6-10 minutes so was just the right length for the young cousins to enjoy.  It was really cute and it really put us in the Thanksgiving mood!

Today,  after things were put away, and people had visited as long as they wanted to, they went home leaving me with a super-clean house.  Amazing.  To me, it was more than just  a happy day–it was a successful, happy Thanksgiving.  I hope you had a great day, too.