Filed under: Holidays, The Buffington Southern Experience | Tags: Baking, Cooking, Family, Kentucky, Thankful, Thanksgiving
We just enjoyed our second Thanksgiving in Kentucky, and this year we had a visitor from Pennsylvania to celebrate with us. My dear friend, Lauren, who I’ve known since the age of 16, flew down to spend five days with us and visit Kentucky for the first time. It was such a treat to have a familiar face spend some time with us and enjoy the holiday.
Like last year, I spent hours upon hours cooking and baking for our Thanksgiving feast. Every time I prepare for this meal, I think of my Grandma Wiest, the best cook I’ve ever known. She is pure perfection in the kitchen. For the past two years, I’ve tried to prepare many of the same dishes that she has made since I was a little girl. It truly made my day this year when she called to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving and talk about the dishes that I had cooked. I know I will never master her recipes, like the way her mashed potatoes melt in your mouth, or the way she manages to cook without making a single mess, but I absolutely love my time in the kitchen because it’s a chance to think about my Grandma put to use all of the things she’s taught me about cooking over the years. When we talked on the phone on Thursday, I couldn’t help but smile when she asked ME for one of my Christmas cookie recipes. Maybe, just maybe, her skills have rubbed off on me.
Something new we did this year was our “ABC Thankful Lists.” Each of us, with the exception of Lily, wrote down an item that we are thankful for next to each letter of the alphabet. It was a lot of fun sharing our lists at the dinner table, and a great reminder of all the wonderful blessings in our lives.
Our meal would not have been nearly as successful without the help of my wonderful husband, who made sure my counter tops stayed as clear as possible while I cooked, and who also washed every single dish for me after our meal was finished. I am so thankful for him and for the happiness he brings to our life every single day.
Rydan and Lily also were very helpful by staying busy with their Thanksgiving crafts while I cooked.
This was the best family picture we could get. Typical Rydan – big silly smile, and typical Lily – hiding from the camera.
Stayed tuned for next week’s post, where we’ll reveal our two Christmas trees! One of them is decorated with something extra special this year.
My two kiddos have been anxiously waiting to put their wish books together ever since the Toys R Us holiday catalog arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. My promise to them was that we would put their wish books together somewhere between Halloween and Thanksgiving. With a rainy weekend, it was the perfect time to do it.
This is Lily’s very first wish book, so she was quite excited about it. The only problem is that now she asks if Santa is coming every single night. I suppose we need to make a count down calendar too.
As always, Rydan made designated pages for WWE, Legos, DVD’s and Wii/Xbox 360 games. Lily has a Doc McStuffins page and an “everything else” page, but really, what is more important than Doc McStuffins?
Let the countdown begin! 36 more days.
Filed under: Holidays, Things To Do/Places To See | Tags: Christmas, Gifts, Kids, Operation Christmas Child, Shoe Box
Operation Christmas Child is something I’ve done with my kids for the past two years to help remind them of the importance of a giving heart during the holiday season. It is so easy for both of them to get caught up in their Christmas wish lists, so I like to remind them that there are millions of children who are in need of kindness from others, not just during the holidays, but all year round.
So, last week, we hosted a “Packing Party,” and invited a few friends to come over and pack shoe boxes with us. The kids each brought a box and gifts to pack inside. Before we even started packing, I showed them two short videos that explained how to pack a box, as well as the impact that their kindness has on the recipients of Operation Christmas Child. Next, they filled out “About Me” worksheets to include with their gifts, so that the shoe box recipient can get to know his or her gifter a bit better. I enjoyed watching all of them write about themselves, as well as write answers to “I love Jesus because…” Finally, they packed their shoe boxes with gifts and placed a label on the outside indicating who their box was for (boy or girl in a specific age group).
Here are a few photos from our party.
If you haven’t participated in Operation Christmas Child, I encourage you to do so with your children. Lily is only three, and she had such a fun time choosing gifts for “her friend without toys.” Not once did she pest me to buy something for her instead. Rydan is nine, so he understands a little more than Lily about the impact he is making on children in need. As hard as it is for him to comprehend another boy his age not having a Wii, or bike, or a television, or a bed, or shoes, it does open his eyes and makes him want to help.
Sending some love and joy to kids in need from kids who care is so easy, and there is still plenty of time to get involved. For more information, visit Operation Christmas Child’s website.
We hope all of our readers had a Happy Halloween!
Lily’s Halloween celebration kicked off on Thursday morning with a special Halloween Story Time at the library. She shared it with her friend and neighbor, Carter, aka Luigi. They enjoyed Halloween stories, songs, a parade, crafts, and of course trick-or-treating.
Our Trick-Or-Treat night ended up getting pushed back a day due to rain and severe wind, so on Friday we ventured out with the rest of the Walnut Ridge Neighborhood kids and came home with two huge bags of treats. ”Doc McStuffins” was not very fond of her big brother the “Ghost Face,” so you won’t find any photos of the two of them together. Doc made sure to steer clear of Ghost Face, who went ahead with some of his friends.
It took Lily a bit of time to warm up to the trick-or-treating thing. She was fine with knocking on doors for candy, but it was all the crazy costumes that freaked her out. Overall, both kids had a great time. We hope yours did too!
Here she is… our little Doc McStuffins showing off her skills at The Little Gym, where she’s been taking a hip hop and gymnastics class for about two months now.
On Friday, The Little Gym held a Halloween Party for all students and their families. Lily dressed up as her favorite Disney Junior character, Doc McStuffins. Ever since we discovered the cartoon On Demand at 2am when she was sick a few weeks ago, she has been absolutely obsessed with all things Doc McStuffins.
That doctor coat certainly didn’t get in her way when it came to walking across the balance beam or hanging on the rings (or “ringos” as Lily calls them).
Stayed tuned for more Halloween pictures in next week’s post!