Lest you think I’ve disappeared, I thought I would check in and share a little about my Thanksgiving week. I’m pretty sure it will be better than last week. Last week was a good week to be looking BACK on. I’m looking forward to THIS week… counting my blessings like it’s going out of style.
What are YOU thankful for?
I think I wrote about 20 things down today I was thankful for. I scribbled some on my 1000 Gifts gratitude journal. I wrote some on my Gratitude Garland. I thought about a ton of them that didn’t find their way into ink. I’m still thinking about them after tonight’s bedtime prayers failed to officially show appreciation for them all.
I like a gratitude list. I’ve become addicted to writing my blessings down. It has protected my heart this past week to see them all on paper. Something really wonderful happens when you have a grateful heart. I can’t explain it, but I know it’s better for your health… and your attitude in particular.
This is that time of year when I get reflective. That makes gratitude lists all the more easy to remember and fill out. It also makes me aware of the bigger picture – how my year turned out… the one I had such high hopes for back in the beginning of 2014. Looking back at my goals and hopes and dreams for the year; I love making lists to mark progress and lists of new resolutions I might add for the next year. I love to see a goal accomplished. Checking a list off is one of my favorite things.
I have homeschool lists, menus, and to-do lists this week… the same as most other weeks… but this week, the Menu is much more exciting and special. I LOVE THANKSGIVING. I love the food. I love seeing family and friends. I love fall. I love the colors. I love the cooler weather. I love desserts. I love that there’s nothing commercial about Thanksgiving and … I love THANKSGIVING itself: gratitude to God for the many blessings we have. It really is the perfect holiday… all about thanking Him for life and everything in it.
Are you curious about what we have on the menu this week?
Here’s my Thanksgiving Week Menu:
Sausage, blueberries, milk
Sandwiches, chips, hummus, water
Baked wild turkey, green beans, dinner rolls (because they were given to us and it’s a holiday – not pictured), cranberry sauce, rice pilaf, broccoli with pumpkin seeds and cranberries – roasted and dusted with Parmesan (oh, so yummy – Thanks Martha Stewart!), spinach sautéed with garlic and olive oil
* make 20+ cups of turkey broth, take frozen turkey out to thaw
Daddy’s treat: Captain Crunch Cereal (he says they need some sugar since it’s a holiday – notice a theme here?)
Cucumber-tomato salad with lemon-mint dressing, curried chick-peas, vegetable korma, roasted lime-cumin carrots
* make paleo mayo, prep for tomorrow’s casserole
Peanut-butter banana split with granola
Turkey wraps with cream cheese and cranberries, chips, hummus, blackberry-lemonade
Pan-fried leftover turkey, broccoli-cheese-rice casserole, butternut squash, Brie toast melts on Ezekiel bread
* make pumpkin pie bars, attempt kale chips in the oven
Sausage, eggs (with kale & bacon for mom), coffee, cereal (to tide us over for a snacky lunch and early dinner)
Turkey, gravy, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, collard greens, pumpkin pie bars and my attempt at Monument’s chocolate pie with a nut crust (I’ll let you know how it goes)
* bask in the food coma goodness (#favoritedayoftheyear)
Pecan-pie muffins (a Pinterest hopeful that I’m aiming to make less un-Paleo)
Sausage, potatoes, kraut, and cornbread casserole (another cheat…)
Cheese enchiladas, Spanish rice, black beans, Pecan crunch cake (for our guests… but we might have a bite or two)
* cook with a friend (#fun), soak buckwheat overnight
Buckwheat pancakes, bacon and maple syrup with milk to wash it down (dreaming of this as I type… #favoritebreakfast)
Cheesy-bacon potato bites, sliced apples, roasted chick-peas
Pad Thai, Thai tea, leftover desserts
* Advent begins Sunday!
Hot-peppered hash (potatoes, jalapeño, bell peppers, kale and a fried egg on top)
* clean out the refrigerator, deep clean kitchen, make out next week’s menu
What do you think?
I wish you could come over for coffee and a bite. I really do love cooking and sharing food with friends and family. Can’t think of anything I don’t like about Thanksgiving at all… besides not being able to see all our family this year (I’ll miss all those wonderful signature dishes that each of our relatives make). It is much harder making every dish yourself. Side note: this is only the third time in over 20 years that we have had Thanksgiving at home!
Another list we’re making out at the Beehive is the Christmas list. I don’t allow myself to start thinking Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. Not a peep! I avoid stores that are plastered with gaudy decorations as well. I love that Santa and the turkey comic where the turkey is pointing angrily at Santa saying, “BACK OFF, FAT BOY!” We don’t do Santa at our house, but I like to keep my holidays separate like my little ones keep their foods from touching on the plate.
The thing about Thanksgiving, though, is that Grandma Betty requires that everyone write their holiday wish list out at the Turkey-Day gathering. Then they draw names. We haven’t sat down and even thought about gifts yet, but my kids think that making their wish lists is synonymous with digesting turkey. Tryptophan probably will help keep the little boys at the table long enough to ask them what their dream gift would be for Christmas… but I can already guess what they will say… and most of it will include the word LEGO.
My to-do list is already being checked off. Here’s what I have left to do before Sunday…
Gratitude Garland leaf filled out and hung
Groceries put away
Help daddy with wild turkey
Menu for the week
No school (teens work on English III essays)
Read/Read to boys
Day 3, Week 4 of Beth Moore Bible Study
Make turkey broth and freeze
Deep clean bathrooms
Help eldest clean room and closet
Day 4, Week 4 of Beth Moore Bible Study
School with little boys, teens finish final essay, return library books
Call and fix my Young Living order
School with little boys, teens do school
Beth Moore week 4, day 5
Cook – cook – cook!
Clean up house
Kids to clean their rooms
Boys clothes laid out for tomorrow
Camera battery charged
Cook, clean, delegate
Real photos with DSLR
Mom over for dinner
School with little boys, teens do school
BM video 4 for Bible study
Help teens and little boys to do Culture Fair project
Christmas list to grandma via email
Friends over for dinner
Find out if we meet Saturday for Physics Club
Cook, Clean & Read
Physics Club Meet?
Movie night with kids
Prepare for next week
Eat up leftovers
Want to hear something cool? We had been given a thanksgiving turkey, but my husband went hunting on some public land within our local area and shot a WILD turkey (with permission from the state, of course). I find it really strange that wild turkeys are roaming around out here. Don’t feel bad for us for having to eat turkey twice this week. I could “eat Thanksgiving” every day and never tire of it. Plus: 20+ Cups of Broth. #score
Anyway, my sharp-shooting fella shot the giant bird straight through the neck at over a hundred yards. That’s a two-inch target, y’all. He’s got a much better aim than I do (and he shoots at animals and not just paper targets – which wouldn’t taste good). Lucky for us… or unlucky for the turkey… depending on which side of the dinner table you are looking at it from.
My vegetarian-leaning fifteen year old refused her meat at dinner. She didn’t want a pretty turkey feather, either. I was amazed at how pretty some of the feathers were.
The seventeen year old man in our house reminded his sister that wild turkeys have a much better life than the store-bought kind. This meant a lot coming from him, seeing as how he witnessed the execution of Mr. Thanksgiving Dinner.
I was just glad that our turkey-man tasted pretty much the same as a store-bought bird. It was a trip having to stuff him with potatoes just in case he might taste gamey. Next time I’ll spatchcock him just like his chicken cousins. That remains my very favorite way to eat a roasted bird…. unless you include those tiny dove-jalapeño poppers wrapped in bacon and grilled (the ONLY way to eat dove).
So what are you keeping track of this Thanksgiving?
Are you counting blessings? Going off a menu? Skipping school this week? Making out your Christmas list? Are you a Black Friday or a Buy Nothing Day advocate? I’d love to hear how you are spending your Thanksgiving week!
If I don’t talk to you again before Thursday, I hope your family has a wonderful holiday.