Monthly Archives: November 2012

My Thanksgiving blessing

We were in Orlando for Thanksgiving this year so there was no turkey, no dressing, no dining table filled to capacity with casserole dishes.  Our “let’s buy groceries as we need them” plan backfired, as we lost track of the days and didn’t realize until Thanksgiving evening that we had no yummy food to make for our meal.

So while I read friends’ Facebook posts of the homemade macaroni and cheese, pumpkin pies, and yeast rolls, my own dinner consisted of some slices of salami, cheese, and apples.  And then spoonfuls of peanut butter to supplement, since my belly was still empty.  Everyone else got Eggo waffles.

But even though we missed a bountiful Thanksgiving feast, I did get a Thanksgiving blessing a few days later.

It was on the drive back to Little Rock, when we stopped in at a hotel in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  The next morning, we all headed down to the lobby for the free breakfast.  I let the girls eat at a table by themselves while I drank my coffee and ate my cereal.

I was just about done when an older gentleman one table over looked over at me and said in a thick Mississippi drawl, “Children are a gift.  Tell them every day you love them.”  I nodded in agreement, thinking this was just casual grandpa talk.

The man continued.  He teared up and told me that his own son had died just 6 weeks earlier.  He was 39 and was killed in a motorcycle accident.  “You think they’re precious now.  Well, I gotta tell you, they get more precious each day.”  And he repeated his admonition to tell them every day that I love them.

He told me how he often clashed with his son, becoming frustrated with him when he wouldn’t tow the line and do things the way his father said.  “You know, I’m thinking, I’m the father.  He should just do what I say, right??”  And then he told me of some unsolicited advice he received years ago from an acquaintance, telling him to step back and allow his son to walk his own path.  He said he thought it was meddling at the time, but had come to see the wisdom of the words.

And then he repeated them to me as we sat in the hotel lobby, two strangers having met by chance on a Thanksgiving weekend.

“They might not always do things the way you think they ought to, but that don’t mean it’s not the right way.  There’s more than one right way.”

A beautiful Thanksgiving blessing.


Channeling my inner geezer

Last night I taught Olivia how to play dominoes.  She suggested dominoes as a family game to play, thinking we’d just take turns laying down dominoes with numbers matching the ones already on the table.  But I taught her the real way.

Keeping score with pluses instead of numbers.

Do you see how bad Tony smoked us?  It was shameful.  He did that in just three hands.  I started calling him Mr. 1 Percent Domino.

I laughed about how I was channeling my inner geezer, but really I was feeling all nostalgic about the times I sat around the table playing dominoes with my Granny and Papa.  I cannot count the number of times we all sat around the table at night and played this game until bedtime.  My Granny and Papa aren’t with us any more, but it felt good to bring Olivia into the tradition.

We’re ba-a-a-ack!!!

Somehow we survived a week in Orlando, along with a 2-day drive there and back.  We got back into town yesterday at about 3:00 and we have hardly moved since.

We took my daughter and her BFF from school.  I know… crazy, right?  We figured it would make an extra special birthday present AND it would make the parks easier on us if she had a friend to go on the rides with.

I’ve got about a million vacation photos to wade through.  Don’t worry, I won’t bore you with them here.  (Okay, maybe just a few of them…)  We got a coupon from our resort for a free Shutterfly book.  A day later, a friend emailed me to tell me she had received a coupon for a free Shutterfly book and asked if I wanted that one.  So now it looks like both girls will be getting Shutterfly vacation books.  Yay!!

On a totally unrelated note, I’m contemplating making a large craft-related purchase.  I’m about 95% there.  I dug through my stash of old Christmas and birthday cards and found enough money stuck in there to cover 70% of the $1,000 it will cost me.  All I have to do is just go on to Amazon and click ‘purchase’.  Intrigued yet?  I won’t say anything about what it is until it’s in my hot little hands.

Has it really been two weeks?

Looks like it has, and I’m just popping in to tell you I’m still alive.  In the past two weeks we’ve planned and executed THREE birthday parties for Olivia.  Gosh, that sounds so extreme.  One was a casual party for the family, just cupcakes and Happy Birthday and opening presents.  Then what we termed the “party party” that we invited all of her friends from school, church, and neighborhood to.  Then, the following night, the slumber party. It was our first ever time to host a slumber party.   We had planned on having a very limited guest list, but somehow we ended up with 11.  With Olivia it was 12.  Wow.  I may or may not blog in more detail about that later.

I also managed to bake and ice 96 pumpkin spice cupcakes (with cinnamon cream cheese icing) to take up to teachers and staff at Liv’s school as a thank you for helping out with the Fall Fest.  Gosh, that seems like ages ago.

Oh, and tomorrow morning we’re heading out for a trip to Orlando.  I have a feeling I won’t be finding time to blog again until we’re back.

I’m tired!!


Sneaking another one in at the last minute

As if stitching on the child’s costume until right before we walked out of the door to a pre-Halloween event wasn’t last minute enough, how about some Halloween pumpkin crafting – on Halloween itself?

Several weeks before, I bought a bag full of foam pumpkins and the supplies needed to glitter them up. $55 on pumpkins and glue and glitter.  And then Fall Fest happened.  And then I had to make a costume.  Halloween nearly came and went without us actually using the supplies I bought.

Tuesday night we spray painted a base coat on the pumpkins, and the Wednesday when Liv came home from school we made a big ole’ glittery mess on the kitchen floor.  One of her friends came over, and we let her make a pumpkin, too.  Just before heading out to trick or treat, we added these four pumpkins to our front porch.

They’re not as fancy or as polished as other pumpkin crafts I’ve seen out on Pinterest and on other people’s blogs, but they were SO. MUCH. FUN. to make.  It was a crazy crafting free-for-all.  It was a good exercise for me in giving up control, turning the little girl loose and seeing what she came up with.  (The dracula face in the top photo and the white stripe and blue polka dotted one in the bottom photo are both all hers.)  And it turns out that it was a good activity to fill the time between school and trick or treating.  I think we may have discovered a new Halloween tradition.

On a side note, this was the first time I’d used  Martha Stewart glitter and glitter glue.  As much as her pious perfectionist ways really get under my skin, I’ve got to give it to her that she makes good glittering stuff.  I’ll be buying her glitter and glitter glue from now on.