Posts Tagged by Family
Welcome to week one of Read With us Wednesday. I’m teaming up with Essie at Essie’s Blessings, and busy moms around the country are teaming up to read manageable, busy mom chunks of a book once a week and stopping by to discuss.
We just started reading The Obituary Society by Jessica Randall. It was free when we began this project, and, as of this writing, is a very affordable $2.99 Kindle edition. This week’s discussion is based on chapters 1-5.
Here is the publisher’s description:
When Lila Moore inherits her grandfather’s house, she finds herself in a small Midwestern town where margarine is never an acceptable substitution for butter, a coveted family recipe can serve as currency, and the friend who will take your darkest secrets to the grave will still never give you the secret to her prize-winning begonias.
Lila is charmed by the people of Auburn, from the blue-eyed lawyer with the southern drawl to the little old lady who unceasingly tries to set Lila up with her grandson. But when strange things begin to happen, Lila realizes some of her new friends are guarding a secret like its a precious family heirloom. It’s a dangerous secret, and it has come back to haunt them. Lila is caught in the middle, and her life may depend on uncovering it. But even if she can, can she stay in Auburn when not everyone is what they seem, and even the house wants her gone?
In these first few chapters, we are introduced to Lila, her great-aunt Ada, and Lil’s newly deceased grandfather, Isaac. If you have not begin reading yet, the writing is very engaging and you should be able to catch right up.
What stood out for me was when Lila was in Ada’s home and in her grandfather’s house, I was flooded with memories of my grandparent’s home. So that is what we will discuss today!
What memories do you have of your grandparent’s home? In our current society, where families live spread across the country, and our mobile society in which people rarely live in the same house for fifty years anymore, will our children miss out on those same “Grandma’s House memories”? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Also, stop over to Essie’s Blessings and check out the conversation over there as well! We’ll be reading chapters 6-10 for next week!
We just got back from a much needed family vacation.
Pastor’s families have to get a little creative with vacation time. Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter just don’t work for us. Summer gets super busy with sports, theatre, scout camps, and major fundraisers for my work (we still sneak away for one vacation in summer!)
Our family has found that Washington’s Birthday is a perfect chance to get away!
This year was my first time orchestrating a fairly major one-day online giving event for work. But as soon as the online clock wound down, I packed up the family and we headed out for a few days at a friend’s lake cabin in the woods.
I’ve been an eMeals.com subscriber for about a year now. I’m a pretty good cook, and I have stacks and stacks of cookbooks, but I was getting bogged down with meal planning. And by bogged down, I mean that I stopped doing it.
I went through a stage of just making our family favorites, but then we all got tired of spaghetti and chili. I went through a cookbook phase where everyday featured a new recipe. That worked about half the time.
Then, I hopped onto the career track. Everything changed. (more…)
Let me get this out in the open. I’m not judging you if you have adopted an elf to report your children’s behavior to Santa. I’m not. But, let’s just say, it’s not for me.
Lest you think I’m all Bah Humbug and no fun…click around here. We have a lot of fun. We laugh a lot, our kids are spoiled rotten (really), and they are mostly well-behaved.
But when we get down to it, Christmas is about gifts. And not just any gifts. One particular Gift. One we received not because of our exemplary behavior, but because we needed Him.
So, for the same reasons I try not to bribe my kids to so the regular things they should do anyway, I’m not going to bribe or cajole my children into being good family members in hopes of receiving good things for Christmas. Sometimes they are wonderful, lovely creatures, and sometimes they prove perfectly that they were born sinful human beings, in need of a Savior.
In our home our children find chocolate coins and other little trinkets in their shoes on the morning of December 6. We discuss the real St. Nicholas. We continue to focus on Advent. We repent of our sins. We pray that Christ will come again. And on December 24 and 25 we go to church and we have a grand celebration with our church family. We eat too much fabulous food, and we give our children too many presents that they don’t deserve. However, our parental love for our children overlooks their most obvious flaws and we want to give them good gifts.
Our Heavenly Father is the same. He does not need someone to report our behavior to Him. He knows our very thoughts and our hearts. And, in spite of, and because of our behavior He sent His perfect, holy, innocent Son to earth to be sin for us.
That, my dear readers, is a gift that cannot be bought. It is a free gift.
Join me throughout Advent as I share some of our traditions (fun and serious) and glorify the most Wonderful Gift of all, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 (ESV)
Chime in! What special ways do you mark Advent? Are you incorporating new traditions this year? You know I’d love to hear from you!
I know how it is. You picture the Thanksgiving meal worthy of a spread in a magazine, but when Thanksgiving Thursday comes around, you are desperately thawing a frozen turkey and sending your husband out to the store for more butter. Meanwhile, your toddler is eating the fake fruit in your cornucopia centerpiece and the dog just ran away with a pickle. . .which means a mess to clean up now and later.
I know, because I’ve been there. After so many years of graduate school, and living closer to relatives, Thanksgiving was always a holiday spent at other people’s houses. That was great, except I longed to make our own traditions.I couldn’t wait. I just knew that my Thanksgiving dinner was going to be picture perfect, calm, and a foodie’s dream.
The first year that I cooked our very own Thanksgiving dinner went pretty well. The Rev. kept the boys occupied at the church or elsewhere and I cooked and simmered and served up several new, untested dishes. They were beautiful. And. . .nobody ate them. Since then I learned a Thanksgiving dinner truth:
Stick to Traditions
I learned the hard way. While I can experiment with food much of the year, Thanksgiving needs to be predictable. If I want to put something wild and different in the stuffing, I need to do it on some average Monday night when I roast a chicken. That turkey? Just sprinkle some salt and pepper on the top and slide it into the oven, thank you very much. Dakotateen has come to look forward to my super simple and family tradition cranberry relish. Were I to substitute in some cooked, or gelled or frozen concoction I would have a teenage mutiny on my hands. The good news is, mine is super easy, and Dakotateen prepares it! (Scroll down for the recipe!)
If you stick to your family’s traditional dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, planning should be easy. Simply list your menu on a piece of paper and then a list of ingredients needed. I no longer need a list! A frozen turkey needs a few days to thaw in the refrigerator. A fresh turkey cost a bit more, but tastes much better and can be picked up the day before Thanksgiving, freeing up fridge space. Me, I roast a large, bone in, turkey breast. It takes up less space in my oven, roasts faster, and we mostly prefer white meat turkey. I also splurge a spiral sliced ham. It warms up quickly and is great left over as well.
Have a Plan of Attack
I do most of my food prep on Thanksgiving day. I have a small (really) kitchen. To do too much work ahead would take up space that I don’t have. So that means cooking day needs to be organized. Now, anyone who knows me in person just giggled a little. I’m not organized. BUT, I can fake it when I need to.
My plan of attack goes something like this:
- Clear the counters (because I’m not organized).
- Get the turkey breast in the oven.
- Begin chopping onions and celery for stuffing.
- Have a glass of wine
- Cut up cheese and sausage for the grazing children who will come into the kitchen whining for food. (Your best offense is a good defense)
- Set our coloring pages and craft supplies for the same children. They can make the centerpiece. Martha won’t approve, but she’s probably not invited.
- Start preparing the stuffing. Put it in the oven.
- When the turkey is 45 minutes from done, pop the ham in the oven.
- Begin peeling potatoes.
- Put the potatoes on to boil.
- Call the teen in to make the cranberry relish and cut up pickles.
- Prepare the green bean casserole.
- take stuffing out of oven, check on meat and put beans in the oven.
- Mash the potatoes.
- Take meat out of the oven and set on the counter to rest.
- put bread in the oven (We use canned crescent rolls and I have the kids shape them)
- Make the gravy.
- Have the kids set the table.
- Slice the turkey
- take beans and bread out of the oven
- Set serving utensils in the serving bowls.
- Gather the family.
- Give thanks.
- Dig in.
- 1 bag fresh whole cranberries
- I navel orange, peel on, washed and quartered
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar