Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

“O, give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1 (note: this verse sprang so easily to heart and mind and it is one that Norah and I recite together each day we do preschool. Love.)

We had a rocky few days. All our children were on antibiotics for Strep throat by Sunday evening before Thanksgiving. Micah had his very first JV/Varsity Basketball games- while not feeling well Monday and Tuesday- and had some very long days. Looking back at some photos, I can see how much he wasn’t feeling well. Tuesday, we ended up taking another son back to Urgent Care with a potential ear infection. This required rapid decisions and changed our whole plan. I felt undone by many concerns, worries, and so many things to do.I always look at the state of the house and allow myself to feel dismay and anxiety. How will it ever get “company ready?” my heart wonders. How will it ever attain the state which I so deeply long for? And I always sigh deep relief- as somehow- we manage to whisk it together and things fall into place. Everything in order. My heart finds peace.

While trying to focus on all our normal Thanksgiving preparations, I was also running different children to unusual commitments and doctor appointments. Wow. It was hard.

In the midst of all of this- one thing has really reached home to my heart- and that was how much the children anticipate being involved in the cooking and food preparation for our meal.

We actually made two extra desserts just so that the younger children could have a “hand” in the preparing of this special feast. I could literally see and feel their satisfaction. Joshua helped me make the Pumpkin Pies, an Apple Pie (extra dessert #1), and he, along with Aymee and Mellie, helped with the Sweet Potato Bake. Mellie was emphatic that she really wanted to cook. So, on the spur, I found a Chocolate Pie recipe, and the twins helped make that(extra dessert #2).

They took great satisfaction in cooking and my twins wanted to really, truly help and not just watch. Last year, we had a slight adventure with the Jewish Apple Cake we make. The son responsible for that item was very careful to craft it correctly this year- but then we had a mishap with the Cranberry Relish(also his dish). This was rescued and I think it turned out the best ever.

It was a delight to see the realization of “This is Thanksgiving” dawning on little faces. I am thankful that we got to appreciate and make use of our Thanksliving Box this year also and focus on the history of this great day and be thankful.

Deviled Eggs
Ham and Pickle Rolls
Veggie Platter
Italian Salad with Red Onion

Main Course:
Roasted Turkey (our biggest ever)(Todd)
Mashed Red Potatoes
Sweet Potato Bake
Broccoli Salad
Holiday Cranberry Relish (Nathanael)
Steamed Corn and Green Beans
Holiday Rolls (Micah)

Pumpkin Bars (Asher and Abi)
Pumpkin Roll (Asher and Abi)
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Coconut Creme (Joshua and Mommy)
Apple Pie (Joshua and Mommy)
Chocolate Creme Pie (Mommy and Aymee/Melodee)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie(Mommy and Jonah)
Jewish Apple Cake (Nathanael)

Hot Apple Cider
Hot Tea
and an ACV/Stevia drink for me

We are still enjoying everything this holiday means for us and getting ready to celebrate and welcome a new teen-ager to the fold as our third son turns 13 on Sunday! and we begin Advent preparations.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Things They Say

Twin B

In a plaintive, sorrowful, emotional voice after choosing not to eat most of her dinner and being dismissed from the table:

“My tummy is rumbling for different food.”

Littlest Girl

Goes about the house taking care of “babies.” Some she says…”That’s my girl”… others..”that’s my baby girl.”

Todd tucks her in tonight and gives her the antibiotic she is currently on. She slurps it down like a pro and he says, “You’re such a big girl!” And she says, “No, I a baby girl.” She often calls herself my baby girl. Love.

Joshua, standing in the kitchen with an empty plate in hand. Todd at the helm at the counter. He barks- in the flurry- what do you want? Small boys blurts: “Hamburger!” or another time “Pancake!” Brave boy. Hilarious voice. The memory makes us all bend over and shake with laughter.

Twin A… very emphatically telling me: “Only Melodee is allowed to touch my sore throat- not Norah!” “Where’s your sore throat?” I ask. “It’s in my tummy!” She points (to her tummy).  This speech was delivered after a little quarrel between Norah and herself that might have involved a push before I intervened. We have a little (hopefully explanatory) chat about sore throats and sore tummies.

The Things They Say.

The Things They Say

This week was full of Thanksgiving preparations.

Twin A-

On discovering (early in the week), that we (she and twin B would be helping)were making Chocolate Pie for Thanksgiving and she would not be allowed to eat ANY until Thursday, melted in a puddle of (loud) tears.

Then, Tuesday night, she sufficiently recovered. I am standing on one side of the counter talking to my oldest son and behind me, dancing and twirling in happy circles, a little voice is heard piping in great excitement (literally). I am trying to listen to Micah and not inclining my ear to the little one. But then. I realized what is actually being joyously proclaimed in the midst of our conversation.

“I’ so e’cited! I’so e’cited! On Thanksgiving we get to eat Chocolate Pie!”

Each night was accompanied by little discussions about our Thanksgiving Feasts and the delights to be served.

Which caused Todd to remark wryly, that she would be crying again on Thanksgiving when he predicted she would choose not to eat her Turkey and other good things and thus miss out on the anticipated Chocolate Pie.

(I am happy to say that did NOT happen.She knew and took to heart that admonishment to eat her dinner.)

And, tonight, Friday night, at the dinner table. Plaintively.

“I miss my Chocolate Pie.”

The Chocolate Pie was a new element to our feast this year and it was completely gone by breakfast this morning.

My girl, and her heart for Chocolate Pie.

The Things They Say.

The Things They Say

Some vignettes:

We have been dealing with little ants at this house… lots of little ants in the last few months.

A few months ago, I was sitting on the brown rocking chair and suddenly, Joshua, standing straight upright said, “Those ants don’t have any brains!! One just was walking along the table and walked right over the edge. It fell to the ground!” He is all astonishment.

I laughed.

On Saturday, I turned on the Eden String Quartet. O, how I love this beautiful, godly dvd. The music can bring tears to my eyes. It features two violins, a viola, and a cello. My littlest girl was sitting right next to me. She had never seen this dvd before. She is watching carefully. The quartet is playing. Suddenly, she says, “That is so cool!” I, look at her. I do a double take. What did she just say? I ask- “What is so cool?” She points at the musicians. “That is so cool!” She is two.

The Things They Say

I am reading her(Norah) a precious picture book: Prayer for A Child by Rachel Field. She is emphatically telling me she sees a violin. She is looking for the violin. I am completely flummoxed. I had no idea any violin was in said book. Then I find it. A teeny, tiny angel is playing a violin.

My violin girl. The things they say (and do).

Today, I took the six older children on a special trip- to one of our favorite places. Barnes and Nobles. Joshua most likely has no memory of ever being there before. I don’t think he has been in one since he was a baby. I have no memory of ever going to one with the twins… so-

I am standing with him and Jonah and Abi and we are looking at a shelf full of Legos and other items. He stands straight- looks all around-taking it all in, and says,

“Mommy, this place is stunning!”


The Things They Say

Grace in a Monday

{This post was written Monday evening}

Psalm 18:28

28 For it is you who light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.


I feel so happy blogging. At peace. Centered. Focused on what really matters to me, what really is the pulse of my heart. Weaving a tapestry with words and my love. What a blessed privilege it is, too, two hours, to write, while all the kids are still up…it is grace. (Thank you!)

Today, was a discouraged Monday, and it still has some rough edges, poking sharply. Even now.

Especially now. As bedtime ramps up.

When I feel lost in a slump of discouragement and all I can see are the “what I didn’ts…”, or just the feeling of blah in my soul and body, I find hope and grace, light in the darkness, light shining on the Way, by choosing to count grace gifts and remembering… refocusing on the visions of my heart, that come from the Lord. Purposing again that ministering to my precious ones is my calling, my path, my priority. I gain priceless refreshment to refuel for the journey. And that is what blogging is for me. You know, it is a continual choice. It is never too late. It is never stagnant. The commitment renews itself again and again. In every season.

Endless Gifts

Sweet Sunday
My son, completing all of his work, after a struggle to get a good handle on it
Tenth grade “school” pictures. The first ones we have ever had. And, O! how I love them. My son.
Basketball provisions
My daughter’s (oldest) happy squeals of delight when she opened letters from sweet friends- and found adorable stickers. Love!
My little ones
My two teens and, in 27 days, I will have three! teens.
Leaving October behind. I am glad to be in November. I love November. I do. For all the reasons found in this beautiful book: In November
Her handiness with model magic. To me, she is amazing.
Teaching high school writing. I am still getting a handle on this. But I love being a writing mentor to my kids. The joy of my oldest getting 100 on his essay… O, the confirmation this was on so many levels.

I found them…just like this.


5 children worked together to build this detailed Lego fortress.


Sweet dresses from dear friends


Breakfast at their little table




Alone time with Joshua and special friends


Our daily routine.


Gigantic, mammoth Woolly Bear Caterpillar




Her grin


Little and Big. She doesn’t quite have the violin hold down like her little sister. We see a lot of this, though. Especially littlest one.




Tenth Grade!


Her handiwork

Sweet Sunday…finding our groove once more….

It has been a long time. A long, long time since I posted a Sweet Sunday entry(besides that recent June…Things They Say… I just found. 😉 ).

Sweet Sunday has begun again, in its new form, in this new season.

And it looks like this…

Church… for some or all. Depending.

Ensemble or duet practice as needed for different children.

Pizza lunch. (These are the amazing leftovers from our family pizza night on Saturdays- this is daiya and vegan pizza. No cheese!)

Time out for me with Micah. One on one.

And then…

Todd is cooking. His fabulous, Sunday dinner feast. I add “the touch” to the mashed potatoes. I choose music and we light candles. The house is cupped in darkness, except- the brightly glowing dining room and flickering, golden candle light.


we all gather together round the table.
There is a blessing, and all our faces, ringed round.

Baked Chicken Thighs, seasoned three ways
Roasted Asparagus Spears
Shredded Romaine
Special Mashed Red Potatoes
A skillet of cubed potatoes and onions, for special, a treat
Hot Apple Cider, steaming, cupped in mugs,
perfect, autumn accompaniment

(It was a delicious meal, my love, and fun, too)

Their faces and hands- the small(ish) ones- greasy and grand. We laugh and laugh.

Sweet, Blessed, Sunday.