pies are baking in the oven....chocolate pecan, apple, & pumpkin chocolate cheesecake (it's all bout the chocolate for me), christmas music fills our home....this is when we break it out and start to get in that christmasy mood, and my mom's cranberry salad is marinating. my other favorite thanksgiving flavor (besides pumpkin & chocolate) is cranberry. and i could go without the turkey (i'm not a big meat eater) before i could skip my mom's cranberry salad.
here's the recipe:
grind 1 package fresh or frozen cranberries in a blender (frozen works best if you have a powerful blender) my mom & i buy them fresh, and then freeze them.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 can crushed pineapple - drain as much as you can
1 package miniature marshmallows
chopped apples - i add as many as i can, because they make it yummy & healthy (got to compensate for all the marshamllows )
8 or 12 oz whipped topping (i use 8 oz, i like it less fluffy and more tangy)
here is a great sweet potato/yam recipe from bonnie.
i used freshly baked sweet potatoes and doubled the recipe without doubling the sugar, butter, or topping, and i loved it and felt healthier. add some salt if you try this. but thanksgiving isn't a time to count fat and calories, so enjoy it full on if you like.
she also has a fabulous looking recipe for pumpkin pie waffles posted, i haven't tried it yet, but really, really want to.
i wish you a cozy, warm, and wonderful thanksgiving!
we are off to bloomington & the smiths when the pies are out of the oven.
this may be the cutest toy ever....i love getting educationl and meaningful toys for my kids that are fun too. i got a great deal on this mayflower & thanksgiving feast set, and the three youngest LOVE it! without having any desire to promote a toy company, let me share that my last three toy purchases (gracie's doll house, noah's castle, and now this) have been from fisher price, and all have been toys that the three youngest have enjoyed playing with together ( 2 girls & a boy, ranging from 1 to 7) quite remarkable, and it makes me happy.
i hope it helps them to gain a better understanding of and appreciation for thanksgiving. i do love thanksgiving, and i hope they will too. there are so many reasons to love thanksgiving: history, food, family, friends, but most importantly the concept of gratitude.
brock & i were assigned to speak in church last sunday. the first time i have spoken in english to an english congregation in at least 8 years. so lucky that we were asked to speak about thanksgiving and gratitude.
have you noticed that it is impossible to feel proud or sad or angry while feeling grateful? it's great therapy. the lord knows that it makes us happy and humble, and that is why he asks us to do it.
i talked about that, and other things, and also about this:
on oct 3, 1863, abraham lincoln called for a national day of thanksgiving on the 4th thursday of november.
two and a half years into the civil war, with no end in sight (another year and a half of fighting left). such a dark time in u.s. history, and this is what lincoln had to say:
"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with
the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these
bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to
forget the source from which they come, others have been added,
which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to
penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible
to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of
a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has
sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their
aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has
been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and
harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military
conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the
advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of
wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to
the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle
or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements,
and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals,
have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has
steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made
in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country,
rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor,
is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union."
i absolutely adore lincoln, and am continually amazed by his insight, intelligence, wisdom, and courage. i cannot deny that i the spirit of the lord flowing through his writings. and i am inspired that he called for a day of thanksgiving (which had not consistently been practiced up to this time), giving credit to god for so many blessings, when things were so very bleak.
(not exactly what i said in my talk, but what i really feel)
i am fighting off a cold and feel heavy, thick, and mushy.....hope this post makes sense.
i love fabric. i collect it. i studied it and earned a degree in it. i like to think that my piles of fabric are provident living, but they may actually indicate an unhealthy obsession.
a few months ago a HUGE bag of fabric was dropped at my house. i'm always happy to receive fabric. but this was much more than i could use, and i was happy to know that i could share it with others. a few weeks ago gloria sat and ironed fabrics pieces that i really liked as i fished them out of the bag and added them to my piles of favorites. i found several large pieces of homespun plaids that i folded and set aside in their own pile, feeling that there was a special project they would be just right for.
a dear friend who has a strong desire to give her children homemade gifts this year as a way to simplify, focus on the savior, and stay within a budget wanted to make quilts. last week i offered a prayer that i would be able to help her fulfill this desire. a few hours later she showed up at my door to borrow a book and i asked her if she wanted to go through my HUGE bag of fabric. she wasn't finding quite what she was looking for.....and then i remembered the pile of homespuns. she wanted most of all to make a quilt for her son who is graduating from high school next month and going to college. the homespun plaids in blues, greens, and reds were perfect. we chose the largest piece as the backing, and started cutting strips of the others to make into 6 inch squares. we cut and cut and cut. she mentioned that she kept feeling impressed to make one for her 14 year old son too. but we were both sure there wouldn't be enough fabric. we decided to cut all we had, and then see how much more she needed to buy.
we counted all the strips, and to our amazement, we had EXACTLY the number of strips needed to make two quilts in the exact size she had chosen. next we measured the backing fabric....again it was exactly the amount needed, to the inch. and then we found a piece of plaid flannel that was just right for the backing of the second quilt. i couldn't believe it.
i felt god's love for this friend, and it was a sweet reminder that when we do as the lord has asked (this friend is one of the purest people that i know) that he provides for us. i know that this fabric was meant for her, perhaps even before she had decided to make these quilts. a small miracle that i was blessed to witness.
my 1930s to 1950s vintage feedsack collection.
my parents have spent almost 18 months in southern guatemala, fulfilling their dream of serving a mission for the church and serving the people of guatemala at the same time. this is their 4th, or 5th, maybe more, i forget, trip to guatemala for service, but the first time to go as missionaries. they have been teaching english, teaching at a medical school, teaching piano & music, providing humanitarian service, procuring medical supplies for natural disaster victims, establishing the first lending library for children in the city of chiquimula, etc, etc, and having the time of their lives. it took more than breast cancer & a heart attack to prevent them from going, and they (and we) are so glad.
i love this photo.
here they are visiting their produce woman's family. she has 8 children, and they live in the open with only roofs for shade and shelter from rain. it took a friend's suv to get them there, as their car couldn't handle the roads, and it was unsafe to walk. my parents helped their 18 year old get into a private high school and pay her to wash their windows to help with her tuition.
they will be home in a few weeks. we are thrilled. but we have surely enjoyed the blessings that they were promised their children would receive while they were gone.
i absolutely love my friend crystal's idea for christmas this year. it makes me happy.
100 provident living points for crystal! i want to be like her.
brock & i finally made the trip to carthage yesterday and gave up our arizona licenses for the illinois version. painful! we have had our arizona licenses since '94, brock's grad school days. the same licenses, not renewed. in arizona they issue life-long licenses, good until your 60th birthday when you need to start getting regular vision checks. my license still had 22 years left on it.....good until 2030. i had hoped to keep it until then. but we decided to comply with the law. we were so grateful to have these licenses through our japan years so we never had to worry about getting them renewed from overseas.
and speaking of japan, as much as we didn't like getting our illinois licenses, it was completely painless compared to getting our japanese licenses.....i could write numerous posts on the process of getting our japanese licenses (i only know 1 person who passed the driving test on the first try, and know many people who had to take it 5, 6, 7, even 12 times.....and driving education classes cost upwards of $3000 - not offered in high school, because you must be 18 to drive in japan, which really isn't a bad idea), and which we promised ourselves we would never allow to expire...but they will, as we aren't living there, and have to be there to renew them. such a shame. as i write, i realize that mine probably just expired a few weeks ago on my birthday....alas.
flashback: i just remembered having to go back to the testing center (45 minutes away) when my license was 2 years old and take a 2 hour driving class in order to keep my license. this was mandatory for all drivers. it was excruciatingly boring, in japanese, and included a horrible video of every type of accident it was possible to have, with reminders that in japan, the larger vehicle is always the responsible party in an accident. so if a motorcycle cuts you off, a bicycle darts in front of you, or a pedestrian jay-walks, you are responsible. (we drove a van, one of the biggest on the road, because a family with 4 kids is monster-sized there, and so this was a stressful point, as we were bigger than most everyone else..... one of many, many aspects that made driving in japan a stress-fest.) i fell asleep and then was humiliated by the teacher in front of the class for doing so. at least that was her intent. but i had long since grown a thick enough skin to prevent this kind of humiliation, so that i could manage my life in japan. and i don't think any of the the other students cared either. they all wished that they were asleep too.
i love japan, i really, really do. but i don't miss experiences like these. and don't even get me going on the japanese postal service.....really, don't.
believe it or not, i've been canning again. i was offered boxes full of free pears and apples, and although i had to talk myself into driving to carthage and picking them up, i felt that i couldn't let good food go to waste. i spent three days canning apples and pears in cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, pumkin pie spice, and combinations of the above, canning pears in apple juice with cinnamon sticks, canning and freezing apple & pear pie filling, and making more jam. i tried a spiced apple & pear jam and then tried adding apple & pear jam to a batch of crabapple jam....still have crabapples hanging on my tree.
spiced apple-pear jam, pears in apple juice with cinnamon sticks, & crabapple-pear-apple jam.
it feels to good, and so provident, to have almost 4 dozen more jars filled and ready to eat & enjoy. and somehow all of this canning has re-awakened the love of homemaking arts inside of me. i have always loved homemaking, until about 4 years ago when a darling and lovable little boy turned my life upside down, not allowing me time to do anything but try to keep up with his messes, which was impossible. so my house was dirty, i was discouraged, and too tired to enjoy cooking, cleaning, etc. my quilting kept me somewhat sane. but my zest for being a homemaker waned and vanished. now it is back, and i am grateful.
on november 11th, veterans day, we celebrated by visiting the lincoln sites in springfield. it was a 2 1/2 hour drive each way in pouring rain, and completely worth it. we loved it. visiting the home where the lincoln lived from 1844 when their first son was born to 1860 when he was elected was a treat.
and the presidential museum was amazing....like disneyland but meaningful. it was incredibly kid friendly and entertaining.
tiny "noaham lincoln" & "mia the freed slave"
lincoln has long been one of my ultimate heros, and this trip only made me feel more so. i also added two books to my want to read list: "the madness of mary lincoln" & "the case of abraham lincon".
it seemed a fitting time to visit....veterans day....the gettysburg address was given in november....and lincoln was elected president in november....we came home inspired, grateful, and uplifted for the greatness of one man, and a nation.
i bought these postcards and framed them in a 50% off frame from hobby lobby. the log cabin (appropriate) quilt top from my collection was made in the 1880s.
while we were there, i couldn't shake the impression that the times we are living in are every bit as fraught with dangers and that courage and right are just as crucial to the survival of our nation as in the times of lincoln. here's an interesting note: lincoln was the least liked and had the lowest approval ratings of any president in history. i adore him.
lexi also blogged about her feelings from the day.
i love thanksgiving. the cozy, warm, happy feelings, shared with friends and family. we plan to be in bloomington, illinois with the smiths, friends from japan, on thanksgiving this year. then on to quincy to join the rodenbergs for the second half of the weekend.
i hadn't planned it, but i'm loving the way the green entryway walls coordinate with my seasonal decor - autumn, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, and easter all work well with green. the 4th of july may not work as well.....
here is a fun website to spend some time on, also introduced to me by my friend kim:
through it i have discovered that i have common ancestors with joseph smith, brigham young, wilford woodruff, parley p pratt, heber c kimball, eliza r snow, and many others. brock also has common ancestors, different from mine, with all of the above plus emma hale smith, mary fielding smith, elijah fordam, and others.
plus, i have found more than one family connection to most of the above, because although they didn't know it at the time, they were all related to each other. so our children are related to most of the above in more than one way.
so far all of my connections have come through my great grandfather roland woodruff fish, and all of brock's have come through his great grandfather david fisk stout.
type in your name and your parents' names, and it will show you early saints that you are related to, and just how you are connected, from the common ancestor on down to you. i thought that i knew quite a bit about my ancestry, but this is all new to me.
i have felt my ancestors with me here in nauvoo, something i hadn't anticipated, and i am grateful.