Mike and I are getting ready for a feast! A Thanksgiving Feast!
A couple of days ago I baked up some cornbread and baked some sweet potatoes.
Today I mixed up some dressing and also added oysters to a small pan of dressing for Mike. I am using the two new casserole dishes that Bonnie and Stephen gave me for my birthday!
Then, I mixed up a sweet potato casserole. I'll add the toppings right before I bake it Thursday morning. For yesterday, I simply covered them with clear plastic wrap and put them in the fridge to be ready for baking later. The dressing needs to chill overnight anyway. I know it looks rather juicy in the photo below but trust me that the bread is going to absorb a lot of that chicken broth and I may even have to add more to get it as moist as we like it.
I started on a pumpkin cheesecake. I used my basic cheesecake recipe except that I used ginger snaps instead of graham crackers for the crust and I will simply add pumpkin to the cake filling.
We won a turkey at the Lion's Club Turkey Shoot last week. Well, our friend's grandson won a turkey at the Lion's Club Turkey Shoot. All we did is give him a donation and wished him good luck.
This brine smells delightful!
So, yesterday, I put the turkey in the brine and I didn't even take in that shot, either! Below, you can see that he is soaking up some goodness and will be ready to rinse and for Mike to fry him up.
While I was cooking dinner last night, I also cooked up some sliced onions and some of the squash we froze this summer. I mixed it with some cheese and a bit of butter and added some cream of mushroom soup to it and will add a topping and bake it.
I'm planning to set the table, sweep, and swipe the dust off the high spots sometime today. Plus, today's recipes include hash brown casserole, broccoli, green bean casserole, and rolls.
Then, that will leave topping and baking what I don't get done today, cooking some cream-style corn, mac and cheese for the grands, and making something chocolate for Stephen and me. I think I'm going to stir up Rocky Road Chocolate Cake in a Crock Pot.
At the end of these days I wonder how my ancestors did all this and milked a herd of cows, too! I've grown soft and don't know that I can keep up! I'm thankful right now that I have the whole week off from work and can do bits and pieces without having to prep all this as a marathon. It will be great to visit with the family and I am thankful that they are all planning to try to make it in here at some point on Thursday. Feeling old and tired like I am at the end of the day, it is a good thing a Thanksgiving Feast happens only once per year!
My children will often tell me stories or send me photos of their own children telling me about things they do which are really quite humorous to me. I mentioned some of Luci's antics yesterday and that I'm thankful for technology which allows them to share these stories. It also makes me frequently say things like, "I can think of nobody who deserves that more." Often, I say that because I recall their own antics.
Another message came to me yesterday from Bryan. First, I got this photo.
Of course, his attire stands out at once - Cowboy Harris. Look carefully, please and notice that he is standing atop the coffee table. And, please notice that he has his chair turned sideways atop the table to serve as a counter for his tablet and a toy music machine.
Sometimes, during the days, I will get random messages from the children of things that my grandchildren are doing. It certainly brings a smile to my face and brightens my day. There are also stories that are shared which bring laughter and, later, smiles as well.
Like when Bridgette shares with me that Luci has really been getting into some things lately that were not really appreciated. First, she was given a large box and some markers. Bridgette had "eight minutes, Mama. Only eight minutes!" to finish up a project she was working on for a client. When she turned around, the box Luci had been given had a few marks on it but Luci was completely covered in marker.
Then, a few days later, Bridgette was exasperated with Luci because one of the bean bag cubes we gave the children had suffered a seam rip. Luci noticed the Styrofoam beads and became a bit curious and well, I will stop the story there. Suffice it to say, the ending was not so pretty.
Only a few days later, Bridgette let me know that she and Luci had placed a load of laundry on the sofa which is only a few feet away from the door to Luci's bedroom. Bridgette folded the laundry and Luci went to her room to play. When Bridgette finished folding and took Luci's clothes in to put them away, she found Luci with a tub of baby powder that had been about three-fourths full. Was being the operative word in that last sentence. At that point, there was no powder left in the tub because Luci had shook it out all over the bedroom. Again, the ending here was not so pretty.
Yet, today, I get photos like these two and one wonders how on earth such a sweet face could create such chaos.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. This is a health issue that is close to my heart because in our family we have members who are Type 1 Diabetic and members who are Type 2 Diabetic. The blue circle above is the global symbol introduced by the International Diabetes Federation in 2006 giving it a common identity and helping to raise awareness. For more information, check out JDRF website.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with part of our family on Saturday looking through the lens of my camera.
This one is Mike's favorite!
The photographer Bridgette has used for a few years was unavailable for this year's fall photo session. Since Bridgette wants to get going with their Christmas cards, she was a wee bit frantic about getting the photos and asked me to take some shots for them.
We had a pretty good session and I was lucky enough to get a few that we liked in about an hour. Then, we took some time to go in and have lunch. Most of the time there were smiles with a little bit of goofiness thrown in for good measure.
Taking group shots is just as difficult as one might imagine when there are five of them and one is three-years-old! When I sat down to do some editing and cropping, I was thankful I had several shots of the same general 'pose' to choose from.
Sometimes everybody is cooperative and paying close attention and smiling pretty for the camera. And sometimes, well, sometimes, not so much!
There were also times when the gesture I mentioned turned out to be a good thing. And there are others that the look didn't seem to match up what I had in my head - at least not for all of the crew!
There were a couple of times when it seemed that we were going to have a Sunday school meeting in order to get everybody in the same mindset. At times it seemed we were going to kind of have a laying on of hands, if you know what I mean.
All-in-all I shot well over 700 photos that afternoon and I'm glad I'm not the one having to pick which one will be the front of the Christmas card! After lunch, we went back out and I made a few individuals of the children and some of just the three girls without their parents. I must say that I really like taking the one-on-one shots far better than the large family groups! (I will share some of those later.)
Having this opportunity certainly helped to drive home just how fortunate and blessed we are! I'm already looking forward to the next photo session.