Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Week of Thankfulness - Day Three

One day until Thanksgiving! Are you prepared for tomorrow?  I know I'll be grocery shopping (most likely with every other person in Canton), trying out some new recipes, and making place cards for my family's Thanksgiving. Also, I'll be tending to my husband as he's healing from having his wisdom teeth out...poor guy. He's doing well, but will not be enjoying anything more than mashed potatoes and corn casserole tomorrow (although that doesn't seem all that bad...).

But anyways, continuing on with the Week of Thankfulness - Day 3. Ashley, Heidi, and Kailee.

Getting together with family. We don't really have any other traditions! I guess eating turkey is my favorite thanksgiving tradition.

My husband's patience with me; my job that came at just the right time; a reliable vehicle and a roof over my head.
GRAVY - I'm in love with gravy. Any holiday that honors gravy is a good day. 

Random side note from Jenny - If I draw Ashley for our family Christmas this year, she will only be receiving gravy related products. 

Helping my mom cook in the kitchen. I can remember when I was a little girl & had to have a step stool to lend a helping hand (oh who are we kidding? I'm pretty short & still use a step stool ;-p). There were so many memorable conversations between my sister, my mom & me!

1. My body...I know that sounds weird but I was just thinking today how thankful I am for my health. I am fully able to exercise, walk down the street, use my arms, hands & even my booty to push open doors when my hands are full. ;-p  I waste too much energy critiquing my body when I have so much to be thankful for. It's far from perfect...but I'm healthy & for that, I can't be grateful enough.

2. Hard times/struggles...another weird one. This past year has had many ups but also a lot of downs. As hard as it is to see this now...I know I'll learn so much through these hard times. I'm thankful for life circumstances that push me & develop character because...ultimately I want to be someone that lives with wisdom, discernment & can demonstrate God's love.

3. People...pretty broad, huh? I'm just so thankful for the people in my new husband, my family that shows me unconditional love, my friends (like Jenny Haddad :-)), the elderly lady that gives me joy just by her smile because it shows a life lived & lessons learned, the children that remind us to laugh & dance with total abandonment.

Random side note from Jenny - I may or may not have bribed Heidi to put my name in the above paragraph. You'll never know.

Pumpkin Dessert...

Find the recipe at here at

Growing up, my brother played hockey, so we were never in town for Thanksgiving. Where other people have the fond memories of their entire family crowded around a table eating turkey and stuffing, I remember curling up in the back of our van watching movies as we traveled for hockey tournaments. There were a few years we spent Thanksgiving in Niagara Falls, and I remember eating dinner (on the Canadian side, since everything was open!) at this burger place and watching the lights reflect off of the Falls. This would continue on once I became a flight attendant--I grew accustomed to Thanksgiving in foreign locales. I may never have known the typical Thanksgiving "traditions", but I'm so thankful for the opportunities I had to travel and spend the holiday with my family in out-of-the-ordinary locations. Besides, the expected turkey dinner is overrated. :)

1. Grace. The older I get, the more I realize that grace makes the world go 'round. We all make mistakes, and the ability to show myself and others grace is not something that should be taken for granted. 

2. The journey. Regret can kill dreams, and in the season of life that I'm in, it's important to realize that where I've been before has directly influenced where I'm at in life now. It wasn't always pleasant, but I'm so thankful to be where I am in this moment, today.

3. My best friend, Val. I know I'm totally cheating on this one, but I feel as though it needs to be said, because it's been something that's heaviest on my heart. My best friend Val recently had her first child (a beautiful baby boy named Michael), and complications from the birth could have resulted in her losing her life. As I sat in her hospital room recently watching her hooked up to tubes and monitors, the very real fear of losing her was almost overwhelming. She's home now and on the (very long) road to recovery, but I'm so thankful for her life, and the tremendous place she has in mine. 

Anything pumpkin is deliciously necessary for Thanksgiving (and fall in general!), and my Aunt Judy's pumpkin squares are no exception! Super easy and ridiculously good--enjoy!

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup melted butter
3 eggs
3 cups pumpkin pie filling
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
2. Pour one cup of yellow cake mix into a medium size mixing bowl; set aside.
3. Combine remaining cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 egg; mix well. Press into the baking pan.
4. Combine pumpkin pie filling, 2 eggs and milk in a medium size mixing bowl; mix until smooth. Pour evenly over the crust in the 9x13 inch pan.
5. Pour the sugar and cinnamon into the mixing bowl containing the 1 cup of yellow cake mix. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture over the pumpkin filling.
6. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the bars come out clean. Let cool before cutting.

The Week of Thankfulness is almost over! :( I've had a great time and I hope you have, too. Do you have a new recipe you're trying out for tomorrow or are you sticking with one of your favorites?

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