Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

So Many Holiday Shows!

12 Dec

Yesterday my little one had her Winter Festival. It doesn’t feel like it was 3 whole years ago her twins siblings had their kindergarten winter festival in the school, and then their first grade one. And then of course last year it was hard to believe I was sitting in my baby’s kindergarten winter festival and now here we are and this is the last winter festival I will be attending.

I arrived 45 minutes early for a front row seat to soak up every glorious moment.

One of the many highlights was when she played the glockenspiel :)


Now a few weeks back my 3rd graders also got to participate in shows of their own…Thanksgiving shows. So half the third grade classes performed at 9:00 and the other half at 10:15 and you guessed it…I had one twin in each cluster so we watched the same 3 plays twice and ironically my twins each performed the same play!

But, they were adorable! Both the pilgrim…
and the Native American!

Have you been attending some amazing performances too!?


24 Nov

Early this morning I awoke to fire trucks which sounded too close for comfort. As I mentally tried to will my body out of my bed to check out my street I heard vigorously knocking on my door and the doorbell ringing. So frightening.  I alerted my husband.  He, not being awake and clear, told me to call 911 of which I responded, it is 911!

In reality, it was our neighbors across the street of our little cul-de-sac. Moments before they were urgently instructed by firefighters to evacuate their home as right next to them the house was engulfed in flames.

In the early, early hours of this morning we all watched our friend’s home in a losing battle to a vicious fire. It is very windy here and every little blazing ember that found its way over to my property was stared down. The damage was contained to just the one home. And just like that, our friends have no more home.


Today, I was planning on stressing a little over my hosting responsibilities for Thanksgiving.  Instead, I plan on keeping my friends in the forefront of all my thoughts. I’m going to think of them and send warm thoughts when I find myself stressing over something trivial.  I’m going to focus on all of the phone calls and texts and emails we have received this morning inquiring about our safety.

(Apologies for the poor writing.  I’m so tired and so distressed.)


Happy Thanksgiving

22 Nov

My son was excited to show me this after school on Wednesday, even though it was his birthday and we had all sorts of birthday things we could have been discussing.

Dear Mom and Dad,

I am thankful for you because you take care of me.

You bring me to places.

You share with me.

You give me toys.

You make dinner, lunch and breakfast.


Feeling so thankful that I receive beautiful pieces of schoolwork like this, among other things. :)
Hope you have a wonderful day with loved ones.

The Thanksgiving Festivities

25 Nov

Monday was the twins birthday so Sunday was the day I baked 48 cupcakes to bring to school to celebrate.

By the way, my daughter has an egg allergy so I want to pass along this tip.  Eggs can be easily replaced in baking with applesauce.  So when I make those Duncan Hines cupcakes, I simply replace 1 egg with 1/4 cup of applesauce and cupcakes become egg free and alright for my little allergy girl (probably healthier too!).

The kids were sooo excited to see me arrive at school but they were surprised and even more delighted to see their dad with me.  Each twin got some special time in their class with me and my husband.  And then the hot shots got to hand out their cupcakes in their classes and beyond to whomever they chose…so cute!

When those festivities were all done my son switched hats and we went right into his Thanksgiving feast. My daughter had her party last week after her play.

By that time the little one had joined us and I couldn’t get over all the turkey the two of them ate.  I mean I seriously never saw her eat like that…right off her brother’s plate.  And she took a 2 hour nap when we got home!!!

Yesterday we had a really nice Thanksgiving celebration.  My nephew, a freshman at Northwestern, was home for the first time and we were all very excited to see him.

My little guy just loves hanging out with his big cousins.  I hardly saw him for the rest of the day once he had his cousins in sight.  And don’t you love when you see other people loving your kids?  It’s especially touching when the “others” are just kids themselves.

The pictures (this whole blog actually!) really illustrate so much of what I am thankful for…

How was your Thanksgiving?

First School Play

18 Nov

For the first time, today I watched one of my children star in a school play.

It was a play about Thanksgiving and my daughter was a “narrator” dressed as a Native American.

I really have no idea what the play was about.

Well it was obviously about Thanksgiving as there were pilgrims, native americans and then some animals.  But I was so busy relishing in the cuteness that I didn’t even follow the story!

Little one, on the other hand, was pretty captivated.

My daughter had been practicing her lines for weeks. It was so cute to see her up there all proud!

My daughter’s wonderful teacher allowed 4 children (who are twin siblings of the children in her class) to be greeters at the school entrance, hand out the playbill and direct guests to the gymnasium.

Little man took his job very seriously!

These moments are precious and I am thankful to be a part of them.:)

Do you ever find yourself contemplating what you are thankful for as Thanksgiving approaches?

Dump Cake (And My Eyes)

24 Nov

Well now that I’m not recovering from laser surgery, I guess there’s no real excuse for an inadequate Thanksgiving feast!  I want to tell you what I am preparing today but first a quick update on the canceled surgery.

I called the office this morning at 10:30 and the standard “call back during office hours” message came on.  I held on for the answering service.  The operator told me patients have been arriving at the building to find it shut down and surrounded by police and so far the doctor hasn’t paged her back.

Look, I tend to be one to jump too quickly to judgment and conclusion…but seriously?  I mean I feel irritated that I’m in limbo, but not even today’s patients were reached?   SO, there’s no outgoing message with this important information, nor has the answering service been informed and the doctor is MIA.  Okay…..anyway feel free to call me on it if I am being unfair here, but wow, not good practice and I am feeling uneasy all around.  Oh and it’s mid afternoon and I still haven’t heard from the practice.

Okay I’m done with that…for now!

Today I will be making Blue Cranberry Sauce, Dump Cake, Mashed Potatoes and probably Bread Pudding.  I want to focus on the Dump Cake here…..

SO what’s Dump Cake you ask?  Why, just the easiest cake you’ll ever prepare!  Actually, I’m not a fruity pie/cake person so it’s really not for me, but that’s just great.  I looooove making high calorie deserts that won’t even tempt me!  This is my first time making it, so here we go.

Dump Cake

The ingredients are easy and the recipe is great for kid involvement.

1 box yellow cake mix
2 cans cherry pie filling
1 16 oz. can crushed, drained pineapple
2 sticks butter, melted

Grease the bottom of a 13×9 dish and dump the contents of the pie filling and pineapple–don’t forget to drain the pineapple like I did!   Mix gently– I think I mixed a little too much.

Pour the dry unmixed cake mix on top. Drizzle the 2 sticks of butter evenly on top of the cake mix.

My directions say to bake according to the cake box directions, however I found I needed to bake for 1 hour.


Thankful for My Son’s Wonderful Teacher

22 Nov

My son had his Thanksgiving party today at school and parents were invited to see their ‘show’.  I tell you every time I set foot in that school there’s a point at which I become choked up.  His teacher is just so incredible and what I continue to hear from her over and over is that we, the parents, need to stop, appreciate and enjoy these special, incredible moments with our incredible children. This is an excerpt from her most recent weekly letter.

On this Thanksgiving, I would like to share a pointer with you. A couple of years ago, there was a study to determine what caused children to get high scores on the SAT’s (Scholastic Aptitude Tests). “IQ, social circumstances, and economic status all seemed less important that another subtler factor. Youngsters who had the highest SAT scores all regularly had dinner with their parents”. This is from Dr. Lucy Calkins’ book “Raising Lifelong Learners: A Parent’s Guide”. I realize that this is impossible for some families but try to do it as often as possible.
Of course this doesn’t mean that we can guarantee shared conversation at the dinner table, but let us make a conscious effort on this Thanksgiving to share our talk with the children. Listening and taking turns will also be learned at the dinner table. Car rides are another place where children can share in adult talk. Shut off the cell phones.
Children cannot read, understand or write what they cannot say.
“Keep up the good work!!” Never stop talking to your children. They love to know exactly what you are doing and why. Please share some stories with your children this Thanksgiving.
Your wonderful children are truly my reason to be thankful this year. I wish you all a conversation filled, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Doesn’t she sound great?

The show was so adorable; my son was an Indian.

That’s him, right there, the only one not looking or standing where he’s supposed to be :)

Boy did I feel sorry for the bedraggled parents I saw from other classes carrying in turkeys. And, my daughter didn’t understand why I was only attending my son’s party; parents weren’t invited to hers.

Are school Thanksgiving parties with parents the norm?

Thanksgiving Prep…Blue Cranberry Sauce

21 Nov

Okay.  Now that I got over my twins’ birthday celebration, I can focus on Thanksgiving.

Did I mention I am hosting, and I have done zero so far in the way of prepping?  Oh yes that’s right, I’m also have laser eye surgery in 3 days!

But it’s okay because I’m going to try to keep it fairly simple.

Though I dislike cranberry sauce, I usually make it because my nephew is a big fan of my cranberry sauce.  What makes it unique is that it is made with blueberries!  Even the canned sauce lovers go crazy for it.  I make it the night or so before so it’s not a big drag.

Blue Cranberry Sauce
1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar    (I add an extra 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pint fresh blueberries

1    Wash and pick over cranberries. Place in a medium saucepan with water, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, stir and simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.
2    Slightly mash the cranberries with the back of a wooden spoon to insure all skins are broken. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Mix well.
3    Remove from heat and mix in the blueberries when the sauce has cooled a bit (don’t be afraid to break a few, but don’t over mash either). The sauce will thicken as it cools.
4    Transfer to a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of sauce to cover. Refrigerate until chilled.

What are your coveted Thanksgiving recipes?


The Female Parent

18 Nov

“I think my life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.”
— George Eliot

I am often the subject of my twins’ artwork.

Even my boy is really getting into drawing.

Mom your hair is YELLOW!!!

And the little one…she strokes my face and likes to take a clump of my hair to use it to stroke her own face.

The love for mother…I don’t even think we are conscious of how powerful it is!

As Thanksgiving approaches…I am grateful to both give and receive it.

What are you grateful for?


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