Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week of Thankfulness - Day Two

Alright, let's keep everything moving. I've loved re-reading everyone's answers as I put these posts together. It's really made me think about what I have to be thankful for and I hope it's done the same for you all.

A popular pin on Pinterest (because you know I have to mention Pinterest at least every other post) is the saying "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"

Such good food for thought. And a good reminder to be thankful.

Week of Thankfulness - Day Two. Heather, Debbie, and Kauri.

My grandmother's sausage and cornbread stuffing. It's made from scratch and always requires a double batch at McClure thanksgivings (and puts Betty Crocker to shame!). We heap it on our plates with a little turkey and mashed potatoes on the side, and it's always the first of the leftovers to run out. When so many meals come frozen, instant, and ready-to-eat, you can't beat homemade!

3. My New(ish) Car

I  have to say how thankful I am for my Focus I purchased in March over Darth Vader (aka the temperamental '99 Saturn). It is marvelous to know I will actually arrive at destinations instead of breaking down en route with a sputtering engine. The pink lights in the cup holders and floorboards are also a plus. :)

2. Subbing Jobs (-really!)

After a completely discouraging summer job hunting, I am actually happy to say that subbing is working out and keeping my 9-5 hours full.  Bonus: For the first time since the age of 15, I do not have any "homework!" No completing assignments and studying for classes, or planning materials and grading papers for a classroom. I have time again to read, take a pottery class with my Mom, and have watched more new Fall series then ever (although that last one probably isn't the most impressive use of my new-found time)! I have to say, as long as I don't have the dream job, I will enjoy the perks and appreciate that I have an income when so many don't.

1. My Awesome Marriage

I know we weren't supposed to state the obvious, but, I have to say that at the end of the day, I'm glad I come home to Scott. Knowing we have a future together means I will always have a reason to be thankful every year...and Scott would be the first to agree :)

In all honesty, I haven't actually tried this one yet, but am excited to based on it's level of simplicity and incorporation of powdered cheese and salt:

1. Pop a bag of plain popcorn.
2. Toss with 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 3/4 cup of finely grated Gouda, 1 tablespoon of paprika, and salt (to taste).

Seriously, five minutes and done? Smoky Gouda Popcorn sounds like a perfect pre-holiday-meal munchie to me!

I love that my in-laws celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual day and my parents celebrate it on that Saturday. This way everyone in my family is able to see one another without any conflicting schedules and we also get two fabulous meals! I also love how at the Thanksgiving celebration on my side me and all my siblings discuss our Christmas plans and how we'll do gifts and all that. It gets me in the mood for that wonderful time of year!

1. I'm thankful that I'm able to stay home full-time with our sweet 14 month old boy, Lincoln.

2. I'm thankful for a warm, cozy house as the weather becomes chilly...and to be sipping a hot 
beverage. :)

3. I'm thankful that The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is in theaters. (haha, I know that's so cheesy and you know I'm joking, Jen...well, half joking :)

I love this apple crisp recipe:

-10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced (Granny Smith work well)
-1 cup white sugar
-1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 cup water
-1 cup quick-cooking oats
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
3. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes.               

My family moved from Michigan to Tennessee when I was in the 6th grade (and my brother was in the 8th). All of our extended family lived in Michigan, so holidays were lonely. My mom decided to start a new tradition of our family going to the local soup kitchen to spend time with those who were also without family. It was amazing to me that we could be arguing about something that seemed really important on the way to the soup kitchen and then after serving together as a family, what seemed important previously was minuscule. 

Four years ago, I implemented the new family tradition of participating in a local walking/jogging event on the morning of Thanksgiving. For two years, my family participated in a walk that raised money for the homeless population in Chattanooga. Last year and this year, a friend and I are participating in a local running competition. Although my family does not participate in the race, they stand on the side lines, cheering us on. 

1. That I get to work with college students (as a counselor and instructor). Their hearts are so teachable and they really want to dive into concepts on which I lecture. As adults, we are so often overwhelmed with life that we only want to know what is necessary in order to make our lives better. Students at the college where I teach have open hearts and minds and desire to learn for the sake of learning.

2. That I love the process of cooking and the experience of eating, which encourages me to love my curves. I work at a treatment center for eating disorders on the weekends and am saddened by the patients’ fear of food and therefore, their inability to enjoy planning meals and savoring the flavor of food. When I am in a healthy frame of mind, I would never want to sacrifice my curves for the joys of cooking and eating. Cooking and eating are often where I experience community with others. 

3. That I was given the gift of a sense of humor. As a counselor, I am a pretty intense person who is constantly over-analyzing everything. My sense of humor balances that intensity. I can recount so many times in life where I have had a socially awkward interaction with someone and am almost sprinting to my car or office afterwards so that I can burst into laughter. My aim is not to be laughing at others, but let’s be honest, there are some interesting people and interactions that we come across on a daily basis.

Although I am a fan of savory foods, I am including this recipe as my favorite because my dad always requested that I make it on Thanksgiving. He passed away almost three years ago, and I can still hear him say, “Kauri Renee, will you make a Peanut Butter Pie?”

So, here’s the easy and tasty recipe in honor of my dad: 

Peanut Butter Pie
1 graham cracker crust
8 tsp. peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. Cool whip
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
4 regular Reese’s peanut butter cups
Chocolate syrup
Cream the peanut butter, cream cheese and confectioners sugar together (I do this with a hand mixer). Fold in Cool Whip. Crumble 3 Reese cups into mixture. Scoop into shell. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top as well as sprinkle the last crumbled Reese cup on top. Refrigerate. 

I love my friends. :) Feel free to share what YOU are thankful for...and try to think beyond the obvious (God, family, friends)!


  1. I am seriously loving this, Jenny! Thank you for sharing! By the way... I am thankful for YOU! :)

  2. I loved your post :) and am glad you found me. I will definitely be coming back to read more of what you share :). Happy Thanksgiving Week!!

  3. Sarah, you know I'm thankful for you, too!
    Luna, thanks for stopping by...I was so excited to see you doing your Week of Thankfulness, too!