just something to think about

well--it's thanksgiving week.  MTSC has the entire week off from high school...MHD graciously took on the crowds at the grocery store and filled his basket with all the items on my long list...my next few days will be filled with preparing side dishes, desserts, and regrettably stressing over table decorations...and my sweet bee will be coming home from college.

yep...it's thanksgiving alright...but this year will be different--not bad, just different.  i love the fact that we are hosting a dinner on thursday and sharing it with several families, each facing different circumstances this holiday.  it will be a time full of laughing, eating, and making memories.

but...i will miss having cousins hanging out, laughing at inside jokes, and remembering funny stories...i will miss my mom making my grandmother's gelatin salad...i will miss my siblings and MHD's siblings--each with their own way of remembering past holidays.

my wish for you all is to have a wonderful thanksgiving...recounting blessings galore and squishing those loved ones around you--even if you aren't related!

i read this article the other day in the newspaper [yes, i still read a good old-fashioned newspaper] and it gave me something to think about...won't you take some time and give it a read?  then--let me know your thanksgiving plans...i am sure they will be special--

POSTED: NOV. 14, 2010
The turkey shrinks as the absences grow

The regrets trickle in. Can't make it this year. Too much going on. Airfare too high. Work is crazy.
Once, missing Thanksgiving was unthinkable. But "once" was a long time ago.
Now there are reasons. Good reasons. At least on paper. This one has a high school reunion. This one just changed jobs. This one is moving houses. This one can't find a dog sitter.
They are all being honest. Their lives are busy. Then here comes Thanksgiving and they're asked to screech and halt?
And Thanksgiving in our family is a commitment, I admit. We've been hosting it for years, for upwards of 50 relatives and lifelong friends. It goes like this: the arrival meal (Wednesday), the holiday meal (Thursday), the leftover meal (Friday), the restaurant meal (Saturday) and the farewell meal (Sunday morning). In between comes talking, slouching, sleeping, eating, talking, eating, shopping, eating.
At least it used to be that way.
In recent years, the holiday has been shaved, like one of those giant wedding cakes that slowly gets sliced away. "It's cheaper to fly on Thursday," they say, so they come Thanksgiving morning. "It's cheaper to go home Saturday," they say, so they leave a day earlier. Someone needs to work on Friday -- "They're making everyone come in," they say -- and so another chair goes empty.
They are all being honest.
The turkey sighs.
The pain of being polite
Once, Thanksgiving couldn't come fast enough. We all lived close. We couldn't wait for a break from the routine. Businesses shut at noon Wednesday. Nobody worked Friday through Sunday (unless it was in a mall). Missing a few days didn't set anyone back. We were thrilled to see each other, to eat like gluttons, to make the joyous noise of a crowded table and a growing family.
Moving houses? Who moved houses? High school reunions? Who did that on Thanksgiving weekend? Work? What employer would insist you work? On Thanksgiving?
Besides, this was family. And family meant obligation. Obligation to eat, even if you weren't crazy about the stuffed mushrooms or the sweet potato casserole. Obligation to listen, even if you had heard the World War II stories a thousand times. Obligation to do dishes. To carry out trash. To lift your grandparents' ridiculously heavy luggage.
To stay.
Today, we shy away from obligation. No one wants to "pressure" anyone else. Everyone wants to say, "That's OK, you do what you have to do." We act this way to be "understanding." I wonder if it's not so that we can expect it will be done for us. Accept excuses, and we can later make our own. It keeps our options open. It lets us wiggle out.
Everyone is being honest.
But why do we want to wiggle out of each other?
Being part of an online family
Maybe it's part of the New Busy, where we can entertain ourselves fully without leaving the house. In the old days, if you weren't at Thanksgiving, the silence would haunt you. You'd wonder what the family was saying, what they were eating.
Today, you can be online, on Facebook, checking e-mail, downloading movies. Or at work, at the mall, at the bar, at the reunion. Family? Who has time to miss family?
Except you are missing family. You are missing a huge part of life, maybe the best part, when the whole ensemble is together, when one funny story tumbles into another, when your history is being told and made.
Christmas is too much about presents. Fourth of July is vacation. Thanksgiving weekend, with its Thursday start and Sunday finish, is a perfect chunk out of the American schedule. Long enough for siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins to reconnect, to hug extra long, to be reminded why family are not the office gang, not the reading group, not the guys at the gym or the women at the salon -- but family.
And you feed a family with turkey and memories, with laughs, with stories, with being side by side.
The older relatives, who always knew this, have sadly passed away. Each Thanksgiving the table gets smaller, fewer chairs are set, fewer pies are eaten.
The regrets trickle in. So sorry. Got tickets to something. Just gonna relax at home this year.
They are all being honest.
That's what hurts the most.


an attempt

bear with me, will you?
because i was not the most faithful of posters this summer, i have so many 'old' things to share with you--events, crafts, etc....

for my first 'thing of the past', i would like your opinion/thoughts on my attempt to copy take inspiration from an etsy designer.  i know it's not exactly the best thing to do--that is, make something that is being offered on etsy, but i just wanted to see if i could do it--i would never think of marketing it.  it's just that it is so cute and i love a challenge.

here is the original from clairelafaye--

and just so you can see more of the details--

beautiful, huh?  but $88?
here is the copy designer-inspired tank i made for MDE--
the front

the back



1st annual rooted church chili cookoff

last sunday, november 7, our small little church held its first ever chili cookoff--a friendly competition among our seven city groups.  a city group is: 
a missional community – a group of people seeking to be shaped by the gospel and to live out the mission of God together. -www.therootedchurch.com

so, on a beautiful, perfect, sunny day, we invaded a quiet neighborhood park and had the most fun imaginable.  each group was to bring chili, a dessert, and a booth, complete with decorations.  prizes would be awarded to the best in each category:  the golden ladle (chili), the golden gnome (booth), the golden pear (dessert)--

i thought our city group had the booth decoration award in the bag...
tell me that this idea isn't awesome [do you sense bitterness in our losing?!]
Title:  Our Chili is inTents [note the pun]
Theme:  Camping
even the kids liked it...they pretended the pup tent was a bounce house!
note the features besides the punny sign--
plaid flannel tablecloths, lanterns, 'costumes' of plaid and camo, and of course, tents!
but the piece de resistance had to be the 'campfire'
...complete with simulated flickering flame, 'logs' from my yard, and barbie-sized real roasted marshmallows on skewers--

but alas--we lost to this well-deserving group...
Ethiopian theme

the golden ladle for best chili [a white chili] went to a new member of this city group that meets by tcu--
and lest you think we went home empty-handed...
we did win the golden pear for best dessert--
an appropriately camping-themed s'more cookie bars

sooo yummy!

our group picture [minus about 1/2 the group who couldn't come to the event]
i know it was a lot of work for the group that planned the entire event, but i sure hope this can become a tradition...and if it is--i better start thinking about the booth decorations soon!

have you ever been a part of cookoff?  and if so, what were the results?  and aren't they fun?


i cannot wait....

truth be told...i have been a huge fan of the muppets since middle school. [just fyi, the muppet show ran on tv from 1976-81 and the muppet movie premiered in 1979]. my favorite characters have always been the rather eccentric ones--
the swedish chef
but my all-time favorite has to be...
fozzie bear!!!
i think like him so much because i can relate...
you see--i just want to be funny...even if it means telling a corny joke or cheesy pun.  as i stated in one of my very earliest posts, i love laughing. never taking yourself or anything else in this crazy world too seriously is definitely, in my opinion, a wonderful way to live.  somehow i get the feeling that fozzie has a similar outlook on life.

so, you might be asking--why all this talk of muppets.
well--straight from ew.com

It's time to play the music! It's time to light the lights! It's time to raise the curtain on... The Muppets! After a decade spent largely out of the pop culture limelight, doing whatever semiretired celebrity puppets do, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the gang are starting production this month on the first big-screen Muppet movie in 11 years. And co-writer Jason Segel, who also stars in the movie (out Christmas 2011), is setting the bar pretty high, hoping to recapture the magic of the late Jim Henson's vision. ''We've worked really hard to stay true to the original spirit of the Muppets,'' Segel says. ''We've missed the same thing everyone else has been missing.'' —Josh Rottenberg

Image credit: Andrew Macpherson/© The Muppets Studio,LLC
i cannot wait...
anyone else?



i know i said that i would share some of my latest crafts...but this post cannot wait.

from those first scary moments to today--
our God is so good!
happy 16th birthday, charlie brown...


i know it's cliche

i know it's cliche...but when did this happen?
MTSC & his homecoming date
wasn't it not too long ago that he looked like this...?
and now...?

oh..and by the way, MTSC's costume for a party last night--
so--how was your weekend?