Tag Archive | thanksgiving


Hey, November got crazy, I did finish the shed but it was a marathon!  I had tons of help and it was like a party, I can see how barn-raising used to be a community affair.  We did get the snow, as expected, and the weather just kept on for the entire long weekend.  However, it was not that cold so for me, that was really good.  Sure there was snow on the ground but my fingers and toes were cozy in normal layers so the finishing bits got done.  On Thanksgiving day I pulled out the ladder and air nailer and finished the roof tarp properly.  Then we installed the door.  It may have been what I was most worried about and in the end, it was the absolute easiest!  We had everything going for us;

  • High-quality Anderson door that was well built and had fewer steps for installing than my doorbell
  • We built the opening to match the door so we didn’t need to adjust anything
  • everything was square to start!  that was a big surprise to us all but it shows that being careful at the start pays off in the end.

The only snafu was the cat stepping in the silicon gel and we wasted a little time laughing at the cat (and googling if it was toxic) (it was not).  The thing was heavy but between 3 adults we shoved it in and that was more or less that.  It makes the shed look like a real building, I’m very pleased.


roof tarp secure, door installed.  (Lars’s look of concern is not about the door)

Thanksgiving afternoon, post-construction projects, progressed as holiday normal.  Friends came over, the table was set with cheer, food was cooked and consumed and everyone had a good time.  I went to bed happy, and, for the first time in weeks, I slept well because I had ZERO crazy deadline projects on my mind.


Our crew this year

The kids had off from Wednesday through the weekend, but, it was very crappy weather with snow, freezing rain, more snow interspersed with random decent weather.  This is NOT GOOD for going places but the kids really did have a great time playing in the snow around the house.  I can’t express in words how good it feels for them to decide to put on snow gear and go out and play.  They play nicely for ages.  It sounds dumb but it makes my heart full and happy, I hope I always remember this.


they ended up with 3 snow people and a fort started in the front yard

There was a vague plan to go get a Christmas tree ‘from the wild’ but the weather just wasn’t on our side so we went with our traditional visit to the Home Depot to pick a tree ‘from the not wild’.  It is still a fun little trip and I love the tree we picked.  The Home Depot must have extra jolly criteria for working the tree lot because like last year, the people who helped us were fun and happy and made the experience more than transactional.



In the past I’ve stressed about the ‘holiday card picture’ and over the past years, I’ve realized that I do better trying all year to get good pictures and then one low-stress fast fun photo if the opportunity arises.  The perfect opportunity presented itself on Sunday – we had been unpacking the decorations and found all the assorted shirts so everyone put one on, also found were the assorted Santa hats.  The day moved on and there was a break in the weather so everyone ran outside with boots, hats, scarfs and no other changes to outfit or hair or makeup and we took about 15 pictures in under 5 minutes and it worked great.  I have two great shots and zero crabby kids.

The balance of this week has been all about putting the house back together post project and 5 days of lazy vacation life.  I finished our Christmas card today and its at the printer and this weekend santa comes to our town to light the tree so I’m working on decorations and gift ideas too.

It is a different type of busy, Christmas still has its stresses and I create my own extra for wanting to do ‘all the things’ but it is a fun busy.  Who knows how long the particular magic of Santa will last but I plan on enjoying it all.



Guess What?

I love my blog enough to pay $13 whole dollars for an upgraded membership.  I realized some of the reasons I was not blogging was because I was nearly out of space and pictures really do make the story.  So, after the 3million and third targeted add with discounts and ‘last chance’ notes from WordPress I did it.  I have no idea what all will change but I have more space and that is what I was looking for.

What about the daily post?  Well, that didn’t work out this year.  I’m as disappointed as you are (btw I’m assuming nobody was all that disappointed).  When last we talked I was suffering from a truly annoying mouth issue that actually persisted for a full 7 days and now I have the creepy crud of congestion.  These are not conditions conducive to happy chatting online.  Beyond those minor annoiances, the week was really great and super full.

Thanksgiving felt like the end of a marathon.  One that started so long ago when we first decided to put the house on the market and then escalated when we were prepping, then selling and building then moving and homeless, then traveling, then moving in and figuring out where things go and a truly giant list of things to do.  No sooner were we in the house the kids were to school and the election tasks started, Halloween, and a rather full social calendar of weekend events culminating last week with the first big house party and 8 out of town guests and then Thanksgiving with more guests.  No wonder I feel tired and out of planning energy!  Sunday I sat there and realized that I have nothing major on the immediate horizon.

Does that mean I am doing nothing?  No way, just nothing like building a house or moving.  I have a vague hope that I’ll be catching up on the active to-do list to the point where I can get back to a normal week that includes meal planning and working out and generally not just chasing the ball down hill constantly.

So how was your thanksgiving?

here are some pictures because I have space now


family game time!


possibly not the best group pic ever but oh so true to life.  ps we are missing one child completely somehow


100% vegan turkey (craft)

Last year I did this too, but, it is so easy and the kids love it that I did it again.




The center part of the ‘turkey’ is a large lunch bag.  I filled it 3/4 full of popcorn and crunched the end in on itself and rounded out the edges.

The legs are actually made from brown packing paper that came in an amazon box but could easily be from a strip of brown grocery bag.  Last year I used small lunch bags but I didn’t have them on hand this year.  My parents actually brought fancy turkey chocolate pops so I put them in the legs but you can fill them with anything.  To make the shape we rolled the paper around a beer bottle, removed the bottle, then filled, then folded then end in on itself.

To make the white pretty end this year I used coffee filters that I cut the ends into a frill, but, last year I used normal white paper.  I taped it shut around the ‘leg’.

I pulled out a tray, plopped the ‘body’ in the middle and squished the legs into it and it looked pretty natural. They are not even stuck together, just pushed into place.  I think that will work better for eating it tomorrow, zero risk of ripping the bag of popcorn open when a leg is pulled off.

Other Thanksgiving prep is underway, we have all the food in the house and plans are detailed.  Shopping was no problem and we found everything we needed in under 2 hours.

Now we just enjoy company and cooking!

Thanksgiving craft

Waaaay back when Pinterest was super new, this was one of the first things I pinned.


titled the craft patch but pin goes to this site; http://makelifedelicious.com/2011/11/waffle-sugar-cone-cornucopia/

Every year I got to thanksgiving and just never got around to doing it, or, decided we had enough dessert and I didn’t want a whole box of cones just to make a few.  This year we were looking for school snack ideas and Vola!  this finally came to the top of the pile.

Since it is for school, I’m not sending a cone of candy, so I decided to fill them with popcorn instead.

I went back to the original pin and read the post and there is a bunch of conflicting information on how to actually bend the cone.  I can’t say the other methods don’t work, but for us this DID work easily.

  1. soak the cone tip in water for 15 seconds
  2. put the cone into a glad ware container (microwaveable and sealable) and microwaved for 15 seconds
  3. Immediately on removing from the hot steamy box, bend the tip by hand slowly and then hold it for a few seconds.
  4. Let dry on the counter


Niamh was in charge of soaking, Zoe handled microwaving, and I did the bending since it was a little hot but not burning.  We did all 20 in under 10 minutes!


We found that the cone really does not hold much popcorn.  Oops!  so we just put a scoop of popcorn in a bag and nested the cornucopia onto it and taped the bag shut for easier opening on the other end.  I didn’t want them ripping the bag and spilling, or, getting frustrated with ribbon.  I happened to have some pumpkin candies  so we added that in too for color.


By all reports the kids liked the popcorn, didn’t actually eat the cone.  Oh well, it looked cool, and I think they were all happy to get something fun.

I’m pretty glad I finally tried this and it was actually really easy so I’m sure I will do it again.

Thank you for Stickers

Remember when Oriental Trading Company asked if I wanted a few things, no charge, from their website for Halloween in return for a post?  Well, they liked me well enough to offer the same for Thanksgiving!  This post is made possible by the lovely free things provided by Oriental Trading Company (who I also regularly give my money too)

In the spirit of ‘giving’, I looked at the selection of things on the website in the Thanksgiving area with an eye toward what I could share.  I also remembered to check HOW MANY of a thing come in a pack this time (lesson learned….) and decided on a little thanksgiving scene  kit that is a blank background and a ton of repositionable stickers.  I sent them in with Zoe (teacher oked) and they used them yesterday in their thanksgiving journal project.  They already write daily, this day just got special stickers!

Here is Zoe’s journal and another child’s.  It is crazy to see how different two kids, both around 6, took on this assignment

img_0987img_0986-0This seems to say; Pilgrims came inside two ships.  When they got there they couldn’t survive.  The Indians helped the pilgrems.  And that was how Minnesota came. 

So given that she isn’t really all that up on the story, she was informed by the stickers about how many ships there were.

We may also have to work on some geography of where the pilgrims actually landed because it was not the shores of Minnesota…. (we are dead center of the north American continent).  She has driven from MN to the actual coast of the country and knows how long that is, but, I don’t think she has a clue that pilgrims came from Europe and landed on the closest land to Europe.  I do like that is looks like the Native Americans were setting up a nice buffet including pie and squash soup as the pilgrims were on their boats.


The other child also seems to have no reference to the actual semi-historical story but he does a good job describing his picture.  “Today as you can see there are 7 peoples enjoying chickens, potatoes, turkeys, pies, corns, and grapes and pumpkins.  He nicely pairs up some people with no regard for gender or race, I’m very cool with that and I hope it never changes in his brain.

I personally love 1st-grade spelling.  Zoe is completely phonetic, the other child has a love of the possessive form instead of plural.

These come in packs of 12 so there were 3 extra that I gave to my girls.  They are enjoying the longer term use of the pictures by changing them around now and then. The repositionable stickers are fun for moving but frustrated the school kids because they didn’t just stick like a normal sticker.   img_0988-0

We have them hanging on the wall in our upstairs hall so we pass by all the time.  The top one is Niamh’s, she decided that the women were cooking, the one man was bringing wood and the other man was taking a nap.  She also filled the buckets with produce, nicely using storage….

Zoe is copying Niamh’s napping guy but decided to seriously focus on pies.  At one point, everyone had a pie on their face.  She also enjoyed lining up the pumpkins.

Fiona’s picture is next and I love her turkey riding the sun.  She went more natural with the pumpkin placement but she does not care for corn, so, there is none used.  She has actually played with hers most and has the little people talk and move around.

I’m happy with the quality, the stickers are a bit easy to rip as you take them off the sheet, especially the ships, but the majority are fine for even little 4-year-old fingers.

We got a selection of other things but I plan on using most closer to thanksgiving.  I did want to get this up early enough so if you were so inclined to get this as an activity for thanksgiving day, or, to even use as kids placemats so they can play while they eat, you have time for shipping.

img_0985One other thing I got that I want to share is this cute set of craft bags.  We are constantly needing to bring something somewhere, like to school, that should not get smashed into the backpack/bag so I usually use bags that I’m ok with never seeing again (but could totally reuse!).  The fall decoration gives them a good lifespan for us, they are a more sophisticated version of a gift bag and could easily hold a bottle of wine or holiday cookies.

Oriental Trading Company, thanks for helping us look more classy!  In looking for the link for the bag I noticed many other cute bags for other seasons.  I think I’m making a shopping list now….  ::sigh:: free goldfish syndrome.

I’m glad to have this post to write today.  I’m moving on from yesterday and election day.  What I can do is what I’ve always done; support my local schools and town, keep an eye on the big picture, and know when I need to shout about something.

Last Day of Every Day


Nap – not for me, not for Fi… TV is my friend

Book – Reading; finished 1, started another.  Listening – stalled. Writing – also minimal progress

Workout – back on the wagon! last three days on the elliptical and today back to boot camp.

Misfit – 641/1000 points today (ps. got a misfit, thanks mom!)

Cat – still alive and now fed


The past week was understandably upside down but in a good way.  All free time pre-parent arrival was spent getting ready and all time while they were here were used in family activity time.  The kids loved extra people to read to and read to them and play games and I’m just always glad to have my parents visit.  We did ingress, we went to an art museum without kids and a kids museum with kids (would be wrong to go the other way on that)

Thanksgiving itself was lovely.  Friends did the major cooking so we did some sides and a dessert and I got to do all the cool pretty things I have wanted to for years.  When I am doing the dinner I end up chopping a few projects in the interest of doing a few things well but this year I got to do all the crafts I’ve been putting off.  I pinned this paper turkey the FIRST year I was on Pinterest and have wanted to do it every year.  Finally, 5 years later, I did it and it was well received by kids and adults.  It was very very easy and the filling options are limitless!

Parents departed on Saturday morning and the remainder of the weekend floated by in unplanned glory.  A bit too much TV was watched but we did get a few things done.  Most important was my quest for snow pants for all.  That was a harder task than you think because we went 3 places and only 1 had 1 pair of snow pants!!!  I got the other online and in the mean time I repaired a set from last year so all kids were weather safe this morning when we woke up to some snow and winter temps.  Getting them out the door with an extra layer was not fun but we did it!


Today was nice and normal.  Boot camp, grocery shopping with one child, got cat food for the cat who now needs special cat food and home for lunch and a rest time so I get an hour to do things without a Fiona assistant (like blog with words).  This week is mostly normal again but with the added bonus of Christmas is coming sauce on all the things.  The snow had good timing, I am feeling like Christmas now 🙂


Ps. I believe I did win the daily blog challenge and if you found me through there don’t worry, I’m not going to quit like way too many blogs.  I dip down to 5x  a week but this is a habit now, for better or worse, my compulsion to blah to the internet is permanent.

PPS. WordPress changed a thing!  I can now make my pictures be in cool different formats!  Go wordpress!