Saturday, August 31, 2013

10 Things of Thankful, Week 13

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.  Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.  If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Tecumsah


This week, I see plenty of reasons to give thanks...

1.  I am thankful for relatives who come to visit.  Monday night, we had the Reverend Mother.  Sounds impressive and intimidating, doesn't it?  While her 50 year stretch as a nun is impressive, she is far from intimidating.  "Sister Susan" is COW's aunt.  She and her nun friend came through on their way home from a vacation.  We had such a nice visit, talking until way past bedtime.  It isn't often that relatives other than our parents or my siblings visit, so it's extra special when one of them does.

2.  I am thankful for great Catholic schools for my kids to attend.   In both the elementary/middle school and the high school, the administration and the teachers have high expectations for the kids.  These expectations aren't limited to academics, but in all areas of the kids' lives.  The teachers want nothing more than to see the kids grow in heart, mind, and spirit.

3.  I am thankful for online recipes.   Have I mentioned we have gobs and gobs of tomatoes from the garden.  I have canned enough for the winter, but I still have a bunch sitting on the counter and on the vines.  This week, I decided to try making tomato soup.  I googled "tomato soup from fresh tomatoes, found one that looked pretty easy to make and could be frozen if we decided we liked it.  We liked it.  Well, COW and I liked it, and we got three "It's OK" from kids.  Three kids "don't like soup" even though they have never tried it.  I will be making some for the freezer.

4.  I am thankful for strong boys.  We've been putting weed barriers and rocks around the new porch/stairs from our mudroom door.  Rocks are heavy.  I am so grateful to have lots of strong kids to help.

5.  I am thankful for the enjoyment Buttercup gets from mowing the yard.  Grass doesn't wait for anyone, so we had to mow before Lizzi could get here.  Fortunately, Buttercup was home, and she practically begged me to let her do it.  Well, if you're going to twist my arm...

6.  I am thankful for unexpected get-togethers with my best friend.  Remember my best friend Amy?  I wrote about her for Stephanie and Jessica's HerStories Project.  I called her to wish her a happy birthday this week, and she informed me that for her birthday, she asked for time with her friends.  We met at a restaurant in between our two cities and had a fantastically relaxed, three and a half hour breakfast.  While I was sad to leave, missing her more after seeing her, I am so grateful that we had the chance to get together.

7.  I am thankful for automatic ice makers in the freezer.  We go through pounds and pounds of ice in this house, especially in this hot weather.  The kids load up their water jugs every night, and COW and I like to drink ice water with our meals (and I do in between).  I know with every fiber of my being, if we had to refill ice trays, I would have no hair left.  Every time I went to get ice and found empty trays, I'd yank out another hunk of it.  So, yes, very grateful for ice machines.

8.  I am thankful for the low expectations of my children.  We have three kids with birthdays in a 2 week period.  Labor Day weekend is the weekend we celebrate with family.  I usually make three cakes to share with everyone, but this year, only COW's mom is here.  I made a Despicable Me cake in 15 minutes, and they are happy.



9.  I am thankful for an evening with all my kids at home before dark.  Friday was so nice and relaxed, all of us eating at the same time, hanging out together. 

10.  I am thankful for whatever it was that made me remember to take new blog photos of the kids for my sidebar.  I've been meaning to take them for a long time now, but only remember when half the kids aren't home or it's dark outside.  (That one of Cuckoo was his 2nd birthday.  He just turned 4.)  Friday night, I got it done.  I'll have them posted very soon.

This is what Cuckoo thought of the photo session.


Your turn!  What are you thankful for this nice, long weekend?

Have a lovely day!



Ten Things of Thankful


 Your hosts

62 comments:

  1. Glad you got to visit with so many family members! 3 birthdays in a 2-week period, wow! I'm glad that the girls' birthdays are 2 months apart!

    Have a great weekend, Christine!

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    1. Yes, it's a lot in one short time period. At least we have the holiday weekend to get some celebrating done.

      Thanks! I hope yours is turning out to be fantastic.

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  2. I've wanted to say for some time now that your 'sign off' always puts me in mind of a movie quote, but I've only just remembered which movie - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcjtPT3w1-A

    Glad you got the tomato soup done, and that it went down (relatively) well with the family. Looking forward to the new pics - quite a task to get that done, I should imagine!

    Your 3 1/2 hour breakfast with your friend sounds absolutely wonderful, as does your visit with COW's aunt.

    No pic of the cake? Ya gotta show us a pic of the cake. Dispicable Me in 15 minutes? I'm imagining a pill-shaped blob of yellow with two eyes, and you insisting "Yes, it's one of the minions"

    Enjoy your ice. Hope your hot weather breaks soon.

    And keep growing that grass - I'll get to it some day!

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    1. I don't sound like that! And I can't believe you found that one itty bitty clip. I've never seen that movie before.

      Yes, I now have a bunch of tomatoes sitting on the counter waiting to be souped and frozen.

      The visit with Aunt was great, but nothing beats the breakfast with Amy.

      Cake photo added.

      It should cool off starting Monday. Of course. The day after we will have 70 people running around our farm.

      Delete
    2. It's funny but not one to watch with your kids. Not too bad, but inappropriate enough.

      Thanks for adding the pics - makes a lot more sense now, and WOW that's a cool cake :D

      I look forward to hearing more about the farm invasion. Perhaps the weather will play ball for you...who knows. Hope you enjoy it.

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  3. Hooray for #2 - Catholic school girl all the way through grad school here, and about to send my Daughter off to Kindergarten in the same way. So sad to see so many closing and struggling.

    #8 - are those Minions made of Twinkies??? They are awesome. And 15 minutes work? Impressive.

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    1. It is sad. Fortunately, we are building Catholic schools around here. There are plenty for people to choose from.

      Yes, yes they are. A couple of people had posted minion cupcakes on FB, and Cuckoo saw them. He wanted a Despicable me cake, so we made one cake for all three kids. Each minion was named after one of the kids. They really liked it, despite the many flaws and general sloppiness.

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  4. yow...even without children, the concept of that many birthdays in such a small period of time! the logistics must be totally daunting!

    sounds like you had a good 'tween city breakfast...exactly how far would that be drive time? For us here in southern New England I can be almost any where in the State (or halfway into the adjacent State of Connecticut) in 30 minutes!

    well, time to go eaat dinner...will have more time tomorrow to catch up with all

    Hey thanks for the scenaria! (it makes a difference having them come from scotts (as well as rogers) in addition to the ones that clarks make up)...still working on the Death of a Pig scenario.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I can be in three other states in little more than thirty minutes from here.

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    2. They would be, if I was better about celebrating their birthdays. We don't have big individual parties each year. And when we do, it's usually nowhere near their birthdays. Giant once had his party in November. It's just too hard during soccer season.

      Indy is very centrally located. (FedEx is hubbed here because it can reach most of the country's population in a short time.) We met 30 minutes from my house, but 90 minutes from hers.

      Let me know if you need any "logical" details for the pig scenario. :)

      Delete
  5. I LOVE the cake...I would be happy with it too. But maybe not if I had to share...but that's probably because I'm an "only" as you are well-aware; we onlies don't always like to share.

    Love that you got to have a three and a half hour breakfast with your friend...it such a blessing to have those friends you can pick right up with as though time has never passed. :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm well aware, but I've never seen you as anything but generous. Well, to a point. I seem to remember you bringing cookies to a soccer tournament, but leaving the good ones at home. :)

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    2. (I'm guessing Kris was just too concerned about the sundress/breeze factor and accidentally grabbed the wrong cookies...right?)

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    3. Wrong. No sundress at the tournament, just practices. She even told us about the good cookies she purposely left at home.
      (Can't say I blame her, though.)

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    4. Ah well, long as she shares them with you, right? ;)

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  6. Sounded like a great week. That cake was amazing and love the minions, so seriously would be a hit here, too. And also happy you got to visit with your very good friend and hope you can again soon. Thank you as always for co-hosting and so happy to always join in and linkup now!!

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    1. It was. Who doesn't like a minion? The visits are certainly too far apart. We need to remedy that.

      Thanks for being so supportive and linking up each and every week!

      Delete
  7. 1. Having the Reverend Mother in your home is pretty impressive, even if she's a family member. I sat at a table with 4 sisters at a charity event and never laughed so hard at a dinner in my life. They were pistols!

    2. Kids need high expectations. So often, it seems the goal is only to get them graduated.

    3. Seems it could also be a base for other soups as well.

    5. Does she mow because she wants to get away from her brothers or work on her tan?

    7. Our ice maker is temperamental at best. This week, it's choosing to make about 6 cubes a day. And usually I'm the only one to refill the two ice cube trays, which makes me furious.

    8. 3 kids with birthdays within two weeks of each other? Let me count.... Somebody must like to celebrate New Year's Eve a lot....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. 1. Those nuns can be an absolute riot. Certainly not scary like the legends of nuns past.

      2. If we don't expect much of them, they won't expect much of themselves. It's a darn shame to see.

      3. I wouldn't know. I'm not a cook, simply a recipe follower. :)

      5. Ha! It's a Dixie Chopper. She likes the speed.

      7. So sorry about the ice maker. I would be furious, too.

      8. Hahahaha!! I wondered if someone was going to put it together. Of course, it was you. :)

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  8. I have much to say about the HEAT as well.... I am not a fan of it. Nope.

    Great list! And I'm glad you added the picture of the cake. I was here earlier and came back just now and it had magically appeared! What a fun cake! Look forward to the new pics for your sidebar!

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    1. I don't mind heat too much, but humidity does me in!

      Blogs are magical things! Always changing. :)

      I'm hoping to get them up tomorrow.

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  9. Can't wait to see the new pictures of the kids!

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    1. I should be able to get them up tomorrow.

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  10. Oh my goodness, if that isn't the coolest cake ever! You have a beautiful family. Can't wait to see updated pics. :)

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    -Brigid
    The Pink Roller Coaster

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  11. Your kiddos sound awesome. And your weekend sounds fabulous. :) I canned tomatoes in 2011 for the first time, but we had to borrow a lot of the stuff we needed. Now, we have the stuff we need and no tomatoes, haha. Canning is a grueling process, though, so my hat's off to you! I'm actually not sure if I'll do it again, only because I have way too many other things going on simultaneously and it's a real commitment to get it done, start to finish, haha.
    Your photos are great, too!

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    1. They are, usually. :)

      I just lent my canning stuff to a friend to can tomatoes. She was quite nervous about it.

      The first couple of years I would agree with the grueling part. Now, I have a much better understanding of how to do it, and do it efficiently, so it's not nearly so bad. Plus, the kids get involved, too.

      I find simply canning tomatoes to be pretty easy now. Don't give up yet!

      Thanks!

      Delete
  12. I love that Despicable Me cake! :). And yes, automatic ice makers are wonderful. We don't actually have one but enjoyed the convenience of one while on vacation.

    This week, I'm so thankful for family and the time to get away as a family and vacate. God is so good to us and I take it for granted most of the time.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    Kate

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    1. Thank you!

      A lovely vacation with your family is a great thing for which to be thankful! He is so good.

      Thanks!

      Delete
  13. I'm thankful for my husband. My friends. My dog Little Bit. That I never go to bed hungry. That I'm healthy. On the list goes on and on.

    Have a terrific day. :)

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    1. If we sit down and think about it, our thankful lists could be endless. Those things we take for granted, like having a full belly every day, are easily overlooked.

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  14. I must say that as much as I make fun of my Catholic school education ( I really do have a few physical scars) I would never trade it in for anything else... I got a fabulous education and well now that things are different no more fear of scars.... I would have gotten the same ones in public schools Im sure... It was a different time then... SO is Sister Susan (was that it? hmmmmm cant recall.... catholic school doesn't affect the memory) celebrating her Jubilee at that many years?

    I have never seen Despicable Me but the minions are so cute I lovvvvvve that cake!

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    1. It was a different time. Catholic schools are very different than they used to be. I'm glad you see value the education.

      Impressive! Yes, it was her Jubilee. Big party.

      Well, thank you! I didn't see the first movie, but we took the kids to see it while we were on vacation.

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  15. The photo of Cuckoo with his tongue out is awesome. I hope that's the one you'll use in the new sidebar? Also, your Despicable Me cake - brilliant! How did you make the minions? Are they marshmallows? Can I steal that idea? I love it! So glad you had such a lovely breakfast with your friend, too!

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    1. He is quite the corker. No, I have another one I will probably use.

      Glad you like it. (Directions for cake in other comment.)

      Delete
  16. So many lovely things to be thankful for! I, too, am thankful for automatic ice makers. So much so, in fact, that we are considering replacing our broken trash compacter (which I think is a complete waste of an appliance) with an ice maker. Restaurant style ice cubes any time I want them? Why, yes, thank you!

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    1. A trash compactor? I didn't know people still had those! They were quite the fad for a while there.

      Oh, a restaurant style ice machine would be awesome!!! Do it!

      Delete
    2. Dawn, if you get the ice maker, can I come over to your house and fill up when mine is on the fritz?

      Delete
  17. Just checking in again to see whether you answered if the Minions are made of marshmallows! :D

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    1. I'm guessing marzipan. Or just block icing. Shall we lay stakes on this?

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    2. They are Twinkies. (Well, knockoff Twinkies. Little Debbie Clouds, I think.) Just cut off the bottom to make them sit straight and shorten them a bit. The eyes are Smarties, lined with black icing. It could not be simpler.
      You may steal it, considering I got the idea off of a gazillion other people who posted photos of them to FB.

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    3. GAH! My grandmother would have been rolling over in her grave at people being unable to identify a Twinkie! I shall tell her tomorrow so she can roll her eyes instead!

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    4. She's a fan of the Twinkie? :)

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    5. Hardcore.

      She was depressed when they were discontinued, and ecstatic when reissued even though they "aren't quite the same"

      Delete
  18. Ha! Gotta love Cuckoo.
    Do you make salsa from your garden? I SO want to do this, but have never been able to.
    I enjoy mowing, too. There's something very satisfying about it.

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    1. You really do. :)

      I do make salsa. Why haven't you been able to?

      I like to mow, too, sometimes. But sometimes, I just have too many other things to do. It is so nice to be able to have someone do it for me. (Especially since it takes so many hours to mow.)

      Delete
  19. What a cute cake! I love it when something sipmle turns out to be a hit.

    Kids grow up so fast, don't they? Don't worry, my family's sidebar photo is 5 (!) years old.

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    1. I can't tell you how happy I was that they liked the cake. I really just threw it together.

      So, so fast. Ha! But it's a good one! We haven't taken a family photo since before Turken was born!

      Delete
  20. You had a lot to be thankful for. I love unexpected visits with my best friend too- priceless moments!

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    1. I miss my friend dearly, so it was wonderful to have over 3 hours of uninterrupted time with her.

      Delete
  21. Wonderful list, as always! I think meeting up with your friend was a wonderful birthday gift! A year ago John's daughter asked for just that, a day with her Dad... and they both loved it!

    You are very blessed to have good schools that are concerned with helping children grow up into great adults, oh that every school was like that!

    Your Despicable Me cake was adorable, how could it fail to make anyone light up with a smile?:-)
    I can't wait for the photo updates of the kids, it will be fun to see how much they've changed!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. What a sweet thing for a daughter to ask of her father.

      We are very fortunate to have schools like this. The teachers really do care about our kids, and not just academically.

      Thank you.

      I'm working on it!

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  22. This is a great list!!

    The minions cake is AWESOME! Your kids must have loved it.

    What a lovely time with your friend! And what a neat gift request! I wish I could spend more time with my best friend...she lives about 5 hours away. We text and chat on the phone regularly, but it's not the same and not enough.

    Can't wait to see the new pics of the kids! Hope y'all are having a nice Labor Day!

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    1. Thanks!

      They did enjoy it, I'm happy to say.

      We don't chat much at all, and it really stinks. It's just so hard.

      Working on it!

      Delete
  23. That cake is so cute! I, too, love it when kids are happy with the simplest things. Makes you love 'em all the more. :-)

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    1. I am an ambassador of Pigwrangloria, and I assure you Christine is pleased you appreciate this cake. It is indeed cute :-) Nothing beats those who are easily pleased, especially children. Thank you for taking the time to explore the wondrous land of Pigwrangloria! Peace be with you!

      Delete
    2. Thanks Jak. Don't know how I missed this one. Good to know you are there to clean up my mistakes. :)

      Delete
  24. *slips in undetected*

    Oh... What's this? Everyone is gone? That is a shame... I thought this party was just getting started. Sorry it's been so long, I kind of dropped off the running around bit of the Blogosphere, but don't worry... your threats masked in pseudo joking were noted and I plan to read every word I've missed since. I know better than to tango with the Queen of Pigwrangloria!

    The nuns... well, they scare me... hearing Reverend Mother scares me even more. I have nothing against women of the cloth, I just prefer the cloth be... you know what? Let's move ahead shall we?

    I don't cook too often, but it's great that so much can be found online in terms of recipes (heck even some of these bloggers post recipes, heck even you!) The only thing I've looked up dealing with any food was how to cut a pineapple... cause I look at those and I want to eat one so bad, but then it's like... Oh My Nuts, what the hell do I do with this?! I found out the best way to pick one from the market, and how to prep it some before slicing and dicing! Youtube and Google are kind of magical!

    I love that cake, I actually saw someone post something similar on my FB not too long ago, but I think they were cupcakes? Either way, that is awesome and of course it pleased the children! It would please just about anyone I'd think. I'm a bit jealous.

    Kind of crazy Buttercup is balls to the walls about mowing, but definitely enjoy it while it lasts. We both know Lizzi is taking her sweet ass time making a visit out to do it for ya >.<

    No automatic ice maker here, but I rarely use ice... or cups for that matter. Bottled water most of the time. Though, I'm glad my grandma has one since I use it when visiting.

    Very glad you had some quality time with friends and family! I was going to comment the other day about the changing of some pictures (Cuckoo being the main one and I thought maybe Giant? Hmm...)

    *slips ahead a week*

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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    1. Thank you. A hundred times thank you for not following that thought about the cloth.

      And how was that pineapple? In college, I worked in the dining hall, and my one and only job one semester was to cut up the fruit for the fruit salads. I am a pro.

      Yes, I got the idea for the cake from the hundreds of people posting those cupcakes. It was a whole lot easier to put them on the cake, one for each of the birthday kids.

      I am taking full advantage of the mowing. I think Lizzi is waiting for us to move to a condo before she fulfills that promise. :)

      You do mean a bottle you refill with water, right? Not the kind which uses so much plastic?? And if you do use the plastic disposable ones, you do recycle. Right?

      Me, too!

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    2. You're welcome lol

      It was good, but I kind of left it upside down for so long I think I just shifted all the sugar to the other end. I'm Slowplay, so by the time I got around to cutting it up it was hours later instead of 20-30min.

      I uh... *cough* water? I uh... don't recall this conversation.

      And on that note...

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