Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Hodge-Podge


Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I actually prefer it over Christmas. I like the warmth of the holiday, the food, the togetherness, and the chance to pause and reflect on the many, many ways that God has blessed my life.

It's hard for me to narrow down my Thanksgiving memories to just one or two, so I'll just break Kim's rules and share many... (she'll forgive me and I know you will too!)

My mom always set a beautiful Thanksgiving table using fine china, sterling, and crystal. The table was almost as important as the meal. My job was always to make the placecards for our guests. I loved that job. I've delegated that job to Sarah the last several years. I was in the grocery store a couple of months ago, and ran into one of the first friends we made here. He told me that he still has the placecard that Sarah made for him one year. How sweet is that?

Growing up, I loved watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I still love it, but my kids have very little interest in it. I'm trying hard to hold on to that tradition, but I feel it slipping away.

Since moving to Colorado, we've made some amazing friends. It's been nice to know that if we don't travel for Thanksgiving, we have a "family" here to hang out with. Kirk and Kathy are some of our dearest friends and have been gracious to open their home and share their family with us when we've been unable to be in Arkansas. We love them so much! Here's the girls with Kirk two years ago riding one of the horses on their ranch.
I used to be a serious day-after-Thanksgiving shopper. I would pour over the ads and make my list and get up before daylight to get some AMAZING deals. But the older I get, the more I hate the traffic and crowds and shopping in general. So...that is one tradition I've let go of over the years. Thanks to those of you who endured those early morning shopping trips with me--Joan&Kim were the BEST shopping friends ever! I miss you guys.

One of our favorite traditions is going out to breakfast at our pajamas. We started this the year we moved to Colorado. We chose not to travel home for Thanksgiving and we were all feeling a little blue. John offered to take us to IHOP for breakfast in an attempt to cheer us all up. Someone suggested we just get up and go in our pjs, so we did and a new tradition was born. We haven't done this every single year we've lived here, but we've done it more often than not. It's fun! Sure, we get strange looks, but you know what, we don't care. WE think it's fun! This pic is from two years ago. Curly hair and no makeup! Yikes!

Meet Mr. of my favorite Thanksgiving decorations and the very best way to extend the life of our Halloween pumpkins.  I bought "Mr. Turkey" about 13 years ago at the Tate Barn Sale in Camden, AR, and he still brings a smile to my face when we pull things out of the box each November!

We're hitting the road soon, but I want to leave you with my favorite Thanksgiving recipes--cornbread dressing. It's my mother-in-law's recipe, and it's delicious! Thanksgiving just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

I hope you can spend some time reflecting on your many blessings this week. Happy Thanksgiving!

Be sure and visit Kim@DeliberateHope for more great Thanksgiving stories. And it's not to late to join the party! Just click the button above for details!


Jacquie said...

I love your IHOP in pajamas idea. That's so fun!

We don't gussy up our table much - with so many people we can't set place settings or MANY would be left out. We do buffet style and grab a chair where we can find one. Not fancy, but practical.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Amber said...

Oh, what fun stuff!!
Love the PJs and that is my kind of deal...
I'm still trying not to hyperventilate over having Thanksgiving at my house this year...I hadn't even thought about placecards. YIKES! :)

Have a great holiday!!

Michele said...

You guys are such a fun family!!! I am going to totally copy the out to breakfast idea in our PJs (that is if I can get my family to go for it). I love that!! I also love Mr. Turkey. Thanks for the cornbread dressing recipe. I will probably use it, as I am cooking my very 1st Thanksgiving dinner EVER. We've decided to stay home this year. Have a blessed Thanksgiving Meredith!

Rae said...

Such wonderful traditions and memories!! I LOVE the idea of going out to breakfast wearing my pj's and no makeup!!! It sure beats waking up at the crack of dawn and running in a turkey trot!!

Natalie Witcher said...

Sounds fun!! Love IHOP and I have one of those turkey things. However, I think there arent' anymore pumpkins to put them in. Hmmm!

Anonymous said...

Craig's family does Christmas morning breakfast at the Waffle House. (It's standing room only on that day!) And btw, our stuffing recipe is almost the same. You have good taste.

Stephanie Kay said...

We usually try to host other folks who aren't going home for the holidays. This year we're keeping it family. Cleaning, cooking and cleaning again for company sounds overwhelming on 4-5 hours of sleep a night. = )

Unknown said...

I love Mr. Turkey. How cute!! I think IHOP in pj's looks very comfy, but I'm not sure I could actually do it. Happy Thanksgiving!

His Girl said...

IHOP in Pj's?


Andi Hawkins said...

The corn bread dressing will be GREAT!! I needed a dressing recipe -- thank you!!!!!

Kim Heinecke said...

THanks for playing!!! I love the IHOP idea - but my PJs?! Yikes! Isn't that a family place? OH, just kidding! KIDDING.

And dressing, I love dressing almost as much as I love little pilgrims!

Megan L Hutchings said...

I am also a huge fan of Thanksgiving! One of my favorite things is watching the parade on tv. I hope to one day take our family there!

jenn said...

I love the IHOP tradition. Especially the pjs. We always go on Christmas Eve for breakfast, but we get dressed first. Maybe we should change it up this year... Haha.

Deidre said...

Going to IHOP in your pajamas?? It's official - you ARE the coolest Mom ever :)

I love these traditions and I LOVE Mr. Turkey!

That so great about your dad - praise the Lord! Good news :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Jackie said...

Oh, I love Thanksgiving. I hope we have as many traditions as you all do when our little one is older. I don't usually host the dinner, but when I do, I love getting out all of my china and making everything pretty.

Cute turkey - I might have to steal your idea, since we have about 6 pumpkins sitting around the house. :)

ExploreColorado said...

Love your turkey pumpkin. That's a cute idea.

Betsy said...

I love all you cute Thanksgiving traditions--especially going to IHOP in your PJ's!! I know your kids will always remember that one! Mr. Turkey is adorable!

Anonymous said...

I have a few questions for you if you ever have time to post on these subjects I would love it. My husband and I live in a neighborhood with a great Elem school. Our oldest (a son) will be starting kindergarten in less than a year. We have several friends and family that choose to homeschool. We are totally confused we lean towards public school and are praying for wisdom. How did you guys decide on public school? From reading your blog your family is having a great public school experience and you are very involved at your local school. I value your opinion as a Mom that is a just ahead of me! Thanks for any insights on the decision you and your husband made.

Also, how do you prepare for the gift side of Christmas with three kids? Do you have a budget? Or do you have a certain type or number of gifts for each kid? How do you make it special and yet affordable? Any tips on how to keep it Christ centered yet fun! Do your kids ask or make lists for special gifts or do you surprise them or both? Our oldest just turned 5 and we have a 2 year old daughter and baby # 3 is due in April 2009. I was just hopping to glean some of your tips about gift giving in your family?

Thanks! ~ Ali

Anonymous said...

Praise be to God for cornbread dressing. And, as for IHOP, I'm all in. Of course, I do love those pecan waffles at the Waffle House so that would be a toss up.

Brenda said...

What special memories.
We still do the TG parade, and since we're staying in this Thanksgiving, I'll be doing most of the cooking tomorrow, just so I can relax with the girls and watch the parade.
Love the pajamas at IHOP's idea. I don't think my husband would go for it though!
We're actually supposed to get snow for TG so I'm glad we're not traveling.
Have a wonderful day.
Brenda :)

Kecia said...

I'm so thankful about your dad! And I'll keep praying for his healing.
You know what else I love about Thanksgiving? Watching Snoopy pass out the plates and napkins. :)

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

I LOVE your IHOP tradition. May have to start something like that. Have a great trip!

Becca~CapturingSimpleJoys said...

I love it! Jammies at IHOP! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I plan on borrowing your idea about the thankful rings. We plan to begin on Thanksgiving day, making one a day for each of us and then trim the tree with it!

Jenn said...

I really enjoyed reading about your Thanksgiving holidays. How fun that you all go to IHOP in your pjs!

I love the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade too. Since we will be drivng while it is on I have already set the tivo so I can watch it when I get home.

Cute turkey! What kind of pumpkin is it? Is it a funkin?

Michelle@Life with Three said...

My kids have no interest in the Macy's parade either. What's up with that?!? I love it. Oh, well.

I think the IHOP tradition is absolutely fantastic. If we lived closer to an IHOP, I would so do that with the kids. They would get such a kick out of it.