Monday, November 28, 2011

we're nothing, if not entertainment for the felines

 So here we are, in the backyard yesterday after church trying to get a family picture for the annual Christmas card.
The cats sat mesmerized by it all. 
First there was the outfit debate:  stay in church clothes or change into what's comfortable?
I figured if they were willing to gather for pictures, let them wear what they want.
Then there was the daughter with a 102 degree fever, who had to be dragged from her sick bed.
Also, the daughter who changed clothes three times, and ran out at the last minute in bare feet because we were all waiting.
And the college student, on the cusp of being returned to his dorm, who couldn't resist the opportunity to pester and tease his sisters throughout the photo shoot.  Most likely as his parting gift to us all.  Nothing says love like badgering your siblings at a photo shoot. 
And me.  Fighting the timer so that I could jump in the shots.
(Dear Santa: I wouldn't mind a remote in my stocking)
I'm telling you.  It was a challenge.
HERE are the fruits of our labors:
 You like this one?
Can you get past the knee-biting?
Well how about the fact that at the last second, Enrique pushed his sister completely out of the frame?
 And then here? 
She leans over for retribution and he ducks out of view.
Here's the one we just may send out.
It captures the family spirit PERFECTLY.
Oh, the fantastic perks of big families.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mashed Potatoes for Fifty

 My assignment this Thanksgiving was to bring the mashed potatoes.  There were 46 of us dining together.
 The potatoes were Red Bliss fresh from western Mass.
They traveled two hours south to Connecticut.
It was a job too big for foil, so we used the next best thing:
our emergency blanket.
They stayed warm!
They were enjoyed by many.
There were leftovers.
The dishes stayed right where they were until Friday morning.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


On Thanksgiving,
I am GRATEFUL for perspective.
I was visiting a friend in the hospital last week.
While she was downstairs having a procedure, I visited with her very nice roommate Rosemarie from Connecticut who was in the hospital for a debilitating muscular condition.
Rosemarie admitted to me that she was feeling discouraged to the point that she was having what she called a personal pity party.  Then she met her new neighbor, (my friend) who had been moved down from the ICU that day.  Rosemarie observed all of the comings and goings, and learned her roomie's story.
It's harder.
WAY harder.
Rosemarie told me she did an about face and instantly felt grateful for her hard challenge.
She didn't like the hand that had been dealt to her, but she couldn't change it.
What she could change, though, was the way she looked at the cards.
Amazing what a little perspective can do.

Mary Engelbreight said
If you don’t like something change it;
if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

After my hospital visit, I stopped by my parents' house.
I found my dad asleep on the couch.
It was after lunch time, and I was surprised to see him in his pajamas.
Turns out he had been up a good part of the night with some discomfort.
I felt bad.
He felt good about being able to nap in his PJs in the middle of the afternoon.
Finally, I am thankful for this thought on perspective:

"In the meantime, be thankful for all the small successes in your home, your family relationships, your education and livelihood, your Church participation and personal improvement. Like the forget-me-nots, these successes may seem tiny to you and they may go unnoticed by others, but God notices them and they are not small to Him. If you consider success to be only the most perfect rose or dazzling orchid, you may miss some of life’s sweetest experiences."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

When I finished making my key lime pie yesterday, it looked more like a whole pile of ranch dip in a graham cracker crust.  Not yummy.  I'm sure it will taste much better.  If no one chooses it today at the big feast?  More for me to take home.  Breakfast dessert!  Perspective.
There are many, many small successes in my life.
They bring me great joy when I stop to recognize them.
My Thanksgiving challenge to you:
Count Your Blessings.
(and if you have time, read this fantastic article)

Happy, HAPPY Thanksgiving!
Give thanks.
Do some giving.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

this afternoon i'll be in the kitchen...

baking PIES!
today i am thankful for access to the ingredients of my choice
 key lime
(will you be making pies?)
Happy Day-Before-Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

behind the scenes

it takes a village 
to make a 50th anniversary party 
come together...
 so... good thing our family alone constitutes what could be the population of a small village.
 I love the fun that happens when 
family unites.
 there's even some magic in the OCDness
of vegetable cutting and arranging when women spend many hours in the kitchen together.
 and the girls!
the hair!
the dancing!
 the whole crew banded together 
and jobs got done.
 speaking of jobs, next time you need white lights strung in a warehouse-sized hall, 
let me know.  
I know just who to call.
 with the ambiance set 
it was time to train the waitstaff.
 they were attentive and eager to help.
 Luckily the Ohio contingency pulled in just before the instructions.
They even brought a bag of spare shoes.
the salads were placed 
on the counters with care
in hopes that the entrees soon would be there
 Not only were the waiters and waitresses 
in top form,
they were also entertaining!
(dinner AND a show)
 I will admit to honestly being worried 
about a cake that looked this good.
Would it taste good, too?
 It DID.
Not a crumb was left when the evening was done.
 Today I am grateful to be part of such a fun and loving village.
Hooray for the family that PARTIES together!

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Surprise Golden Anniversary

It really was a surprise, and they really ARE golden.
Happy 50th Mom and Dad!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

On my honor

I promise
to do my duty 
to be a better scout mom
(to comb down that rooster tail)

Third time's a CHARM(er)!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

use it up, wear it out...

I love this coat.
It was my mom's.
She bought it in 1961.
It's 50 years old... and still keeping out the cold.