Tag Archive | thanksgiving

PuMpKiNs

With a sure-to-kill hard freeze, it was time to cook up the pumpkins I’ve had setting outside for Autumn decor. Before I get into that, here’s a picture of the monogrammed pumpkins I grew for my grandsons.

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Back to cooking pumpkins…

After I have my pumpkin cooked and mashed it is ready to use in a multitude of recipes – pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin custard, pumpkin pop tarts, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin french toast, and the list can go on and on. Today, I’m prepping for Thanksgiving. I am usually asked to bring dinner rolls to our family gathering, so I made pumpkin dinner rolls. Now before you turn up your nose, let me tell you that there is no pumpkin flavor. However, the rolls are a delightful golden color. The pumpkin also adds nutritional benefits to the rolls, and can replace half of the fat called for in your recipe. These rolls are moist, light, airy, and most delish when eaten warm with a bit of fresh butter. I admit; I could hardly wait for one to cool enough to sample!

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I also made pumpkin cinnamon rolls to serve for Thanksgiving Day breakfast.

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These freeze well, so I’ll thaw at room temperature Wednesday night. In the morning, I will warm them in the oven while I whip up some cream cheese frosting. It will be a quick and easy breakfast before we hit the road to join friends and family for Thanksgiving dinner.

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For your enjoyment, here is the Pumpkin Dinner Roll recipe.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm milk
2 Tablespoons softened butter
2 cups mashed cooked pumpkin
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons Instant yeast
5-7 cups all-purpose flour

In large mixing bowl combine salt, whole wheat flour, and yeast.
Heat honey, water, milk, butter until very warm.
Pour over dry ingredients and mix.
Add pumpkin and mix.
Add all purpose flour 1 cup at a time until dough can be handled.
Knead on floured board 10 minutes adding flour as needed.
Place dough in greased bowl and cover. Let rest 10 minutes.
Prepare/grease pans or baking sheets.
Form dough into balls and place in pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size (about 30 minutes).
Bake 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Serve warm. Makes approximately 4 doz.

What is your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

 

Coming or Going?

Earlier in the day, I watched as two gaggles of geese flew over the yard. Honking as they went, one gaggle continued northward and the other southbound. This stumped me on this lovely fall day. It appeared that those geese weren’t sure if they should be coming or going.

Do you ever feel that way? In the hustle and bustle of the quickly approaching holiday season, it is easy to wonder if we are coming or going. Be careful not to allow yourself to fall in that harried trap. There may be a lot of cooking, cleaning, shopping, gift wrapping, traveling, parties, and obligations that can become burdensome and exhausting.  Remember why you have all these tasks, and maybe ask yourself a few questions along the way.

  1. Do I have to do everything, or can my husband and children help?
  2. Are there any family, work, or social gatherings that can be attended every other year instead of every year?
  3. How can I make the holidays more enjoyable and less stressful for myself and my family?

Oftentimes, my biggest stresser is holding unrealistically high expectations.. When I can relax those expectations, the holidays are more enjoyable for me as well as for my family. Maybe you share the same problem.

Most important is staying focused on the purpose of these holidays, and that is evident in their names:

THANKSgiving,           CHRISTmas,          NEW Year.

When you find yourself wondering if you are coming or going, Stop! Give thanks, reflect on Christ, and anticipate memory making in the New Year.

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Tiny Treasure

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Have you been counting your blessings? Some of you will remember the Joy Dare I completed last year counting over 1,000 gifts from God throughout the year. Designed by Ann Voskamp with very specific gifts to look for, I was challenged to look outside the box and beyond the obvious. This challenge changed my outlook in many ways, including looking for the blessing in the most difficult eucharisteo.  The eucharisteo that normally would make me ask, “How can there be any good blessing in this trial?” The Joy Dare also caused me to look for blessings in the smallest, minute things.

For my personal devotions, I’ve been reading the devotional book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.  This month she too has focused on giving thanks to God. She writes in first person as if Jesus is speaking directly to the reader, which makes the scripture very personal in a way I have not experienced before. One day’s writing begins, “As you sit quietly in My presence, let ME fill your heart and mind with thankfulness.” What a way to jump start the day focusing on God and his faithfulness, and then giving thanks to Him throughout the day! Today’s reading gives this challenge:

“As you go through this day, look for tiny treasures strategically placed along the way. I lovingly go before you and plant little pleasures to brighten your day.”

Yes, indeed! He did, and I found it! Who helped God strategically place it, I may never know. This blessing has most likely been there for years without my noticing, and had I noticed when my kids were young I probably would have missed the blessing.  My response would have not been the laughter that welled up in me, nor the fun group texting among the family. No, I would have been upset. and if no one fessed up, all four would have been in trouble! You see, I have never been a fan of carved-in-wood graffiti, especially when it is my wood floor!!

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This tiny little message is only two letters and 1/2″ x 1/2″. I discovered it carved into the floor of my upstairs hall. I have mopped that floor umpteen times through the years, yet this is the FIRST time I have ever noticed it. I do believe God has a sense of humor to give me this little greeting to brighten the day. This once too noisy home is now sometimes too silent even when I’m cleaning for a visit from my grown family. This little ‘hi’, sent me back to days gone by filled with the laughter of three ornery boys and their just as ornery sister. What sweet memories! What a blessing!

Today, I am thankful for this tiny scratched message. Though it has been in plain sight all these years, God knew the perfect time to let me discover it.

To God be the Glory

Counting? What IS all this counting about? Counting One Thousand Gifts in 2013? Counting gifts of blessing from God, but NOT just to count. It is not all about me; rather it is all about GOD from whom all blessings flow. It’s looking closer, intentionally, seeking, expanding  my focus so I may see God in all things and glorify Him.

In her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young has compiled personal notes from Jesus for each day of the year. The message for January 19 sums up what this counting is all about.

“Seek my face, and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible.  Let Me displace worry at the center of your being.  I am like a supersaturated cloud, showering Peace into the pool of your mind.  My Nature is to bless.  Your nature is to receive with thanksgiving.  This is a true fit, designed before the foundation of the world.  Glorify Me by receiving My blessings gratefully.

I am the goal of all your searching.  When you seek Me, you find Me and are satisfied.  When lesser goals capture your attention, I fade into the background of your life.  I am still there, watching and waiting; but you function as if you were alone.  actually, My Light shines on every situation you will ever face.  Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include Me in all your moments.  Let nothing dampen your search for Me. 

Psalm 17:8; Philippians 4:7; Jeremiah 29:13″

It is usually quite easy to look around and see God’s blessings on the surface. However, I want to go beyond the surface. The tool that helps me is Ann Voskamp’s monthly list of gifts to look for.  With this list I must think outside the box and look beyond the obvious. Matthew 7:7 promises that if I seek I will find. Therefore, I am seeking. Seeking God’s face in things only seen up close, in a reflection or in the shadow.  Seeking God’s face when my life is calm as well as during the most turbulent times. Seeking God’s face so I may give Him all glory and praise.

If you would like a ready made list to help you start looking beyond the surface for God’s blessings click on this LINK.  It will take you to Ann Voskamp’s JoyDare list. Remember, it is not all about what God has done for me, but rather me giving God glory, honor, praise and thanksgiving for the many blessings I may never have noticed before.

To God be the Glory!

Thanksgiving Table Cloth

Giving thanks to God for His many blessings is something we wanted our children to learn while young.  The week of Thanksgiving we were especially intentional in sharing the many things we were thankful for.  As you can imagine this tradition has changed shape over the years, but none-the-less it is on-going and a very special part of our Thanksgiving holiday.

When the children were real young, they drew murals. This may not display much rhyme or reason to you, but they each contributed to the picture, then shared what it was they were thankful for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As each child progressed in school with reading and writing, they joined Hubby and I with writing a list.

We did not want this activity to become drudgery so we changed it up a bit…writing a note of thanks to each family member.

Some years we tried to see how many little papers we could fill with individual blessings.

With teenagers and busier school activity schedules, we again altered the tradition.  I bought a plain table cloth and fabric markers, wrote a favorite verse of thanksgiving in the center, and after each dinner everyone writes something in which they are grateful.   We have been writing on 0ur table cloth for at least 8 years now!  What fun we have re-reading each years thanks and then trying to write new blessings that have not already been written.

What kind of Thanksgiving traditions do you have?

During this week of giving thanks, don’t forget to give thanks to God who has blessed you so abundantly.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His mercies endure forever.”  

Psalm 107:1