Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks

My sister Elizabeth, who is also my next door neighbor, opened her lovely home to us again this year for Thanksgiving. She made it a truly enjoyable and relaxing time for all.

Liz always has a special eye for detail, as you can see in her homemade hors d'oeuvres and thoughtful table settings. Even the children's table (see above right) had homemade place cards, cloth napkins and fancy glasses for sparkling cider.

She made us all feel special.

We all enjoy cooking together and feasting on family favorites each year.

My mom is always in charge of preparing the "bird" as she calls it. And more years than not, I have heard her remind us that her father, our Grandaddy, always taught her to: "never stuff a cold bird with warm stuffing." It's something we stand for.

Mom always makes Grandaddy's sourdough and sausage dressing for us. The same recipe that we grew up on. The same recipe that has spoiled us for all others.

And yes, the stuffing is amazing, but part of it is remembering Grandaddy and knowing that we are part of a family. This family.

Several of us took turns peeling potatoes. We peeled too many, but as usual Dale and I were having fun catching up and talking "shop" while we worked. She is a school teacher and we love to share ideas that are working for us and dream about that curriculum we are going to write someday that will suit multiple age groups.

Dale has reminded me more than once that even when children are age segregated in the government classrooms are they are never all at the same grade level~ do you remember multiple reading groups in school? Teaching multiple levels is always the norm.

Grammie, Grandad and all the adults zipped outside with the children while the sun was out. Photo credit for these (and all the photos without my name) go to my brother-in-law Sven.

And here are our hosts, Liz and Sven. By the way, if you have a question about what type of phone, computer or other high tech item to buy, he is the guy to e-mail. He's a technology and internet security pro.

This is our other brother-in-law Jon, or "Uncle Jon" as he is referred to most often. He always takes time to play with the kids which scores big points with all of us.

And me with my dear husband Tommy. I am wearing the pearl set he bought for me several Christmases ago and the girls love too ooh and aah over it. "It's real gold" they tell each other. So very impressed at the "realness" of it.

They were with Tommy when he picked it out. And if I remember correctly Liz and I were shopping in the same mall so Tom and the girls had to duck behind the jewelry counter so we wouldn't spot them. It always makes me smile to think of it.

After our meal, the adults enjoyed delicious pies (baked by Faith) while we watched a darling play written and performed by the cousins. It was really wonderful. The performance went off without a hitch! Here are the Pilgrims and Indians at the first Thanksgiving.

Then later, nursing Chief Massasoit back to health.

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."

We have much to be thankful for. Amen.

Richest blessings,


  1. Beautiful family!

    Love all the details at the holiday table too :-)

  2. Thank you Gabi and Rebecca. Can you believe she trusted the little ones with those gorgeous glasses? It was such a treat. She thinks of everything.

    Thank you Cheryl! I was feeling a bit nostalgic. Do the holidays do that to anyone else? I appreciate your reading all of my silly details. : )

    Thank you Sommer. My sister is a super woman. She is quiet here on line, but we are so much alike that we often joke that we are surprised God made two of us. : ) She is a real gem. I am sure you will meet her someday.

    Have a joyful day!

  3. Rebecca, I am literally teary right now. The children performing that play together makes me so long for like-minded family - family my children can grow up with. *Sigh*. It is truly precious that they have cousins right next door!
    All the girls are growing up so much and are such darlings. And the photo of you and Tom is beautiful!
    So glad you had such a special thanksgiving. :) I love the look of those strips of zucchini with the bacon on top, yum! Make sure you keep us posted on your Christmas festivities! xo

  4. Love the post, Rebecca. Really love that shot you took of yourself and Tom. Man, how did you do that? ;)

    Thanks for the link back and kind words.

  5. Oh Saminda, You are so precious. Let's pray and ask God for that. He can do it!

    Of course, the very best memories are being forged right under that roof of yours. : ) God has already given them the best friends they can ever want.

    Lots of love,

  6. Sven~

    HA! I was waiting to hear from you on that shot. : ) Thanks so much for taking it~ and so many other great ones that day. I added my name and uploaded it before I realized. I must have been on auto-pilot.


  7. "My sister is a super woman. She is quiet here on line, but we are so much alike that we often joke that we are surprised God made two of us. : ) She is a real gem."

    Oh gee~ did that come out weird or what? I meant that she and I have similar convictions when I said we are so much alike~ we think alike, but I wasn't trying to say that I think I'm a super woman or a gem.

    What a goof I am sometimes. : p

  8. Ha ha ha ha! You are so cute! I knew what you were saying. Although I certainly don't feel like a superwoman. I do agree that we crack up that there are two of us! :-)

    We had a great Thanksgiving with you too! The pictures turned out great! I am so thankful I have
    you and Sven to take pictures. I never have to worry about that in the least.

    Love you sis!

  9. Wonderful post, beautiful pictures Liz AND Sven. :O) We love you all!

    Lisa and family

  10. What a beautiful blog! I just found you today through The Notable Blogger, and I'll be back.
    Blessings to you!

  11. Rebecca, thank you. :) Our society is so silly in teaching children that their brothers and sisters should be an annoyance to them (especially younger ones) but I know God doesn't want that! I am excited to foster long-lasting relationships amongst my children and yes, I do already see those forming.

    It's a difficult thing for me to relax into deep relationship with other families after losing our closest friends in 2008. They moved right in next door to us and we had planned to live in community with them for the rest of our lives. They had 5 young children and we just had our first 2 then......... but oh boy things got awfully complicated, relationships spun out of control and the thing we never dreamed would happen happened - 18 months after they came, they moved far away, left the house (which we had financed for them at that time) and debt to us, and said they never wanted to see us again. We had all sinned in different ways over that year, but Stuart and I longed to forgive and love and move on in relationship with them.... but they didn't want that. So yes, there is a hole in my heart for those friends who were SO like-minded in so many ways, such precious children I loved as my own for 8 years... and I'll never stop missing them. I pray for reconciliation but I don't know that that is in God's will- at least in this life! It was a very stressful time for us all.
    Wow what a babble! I'm so sorry. :) I would love to have friends like them again- like true family- but always will have my guards up now I think.
    Thanks for listening Rebecca. :)
    Saminda xo

  12. Dear Saminda,

    I am so sorry to hear of your hurt. I am so encouraged to hear that your eye is on reconciliation. That is always good.

    As you know, Romans 12:18 says: "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."

    We do our best, but sadly it is not always possible. : ) Keep on living for God's approval dear one.

    Love and hugs!

  13. Thank you for your encouragement Rebecca, and for accepting my babble. :) I should have pointed out- the reason I said all of the above is that seeing the photos of your children with their cousins reminded me of what my little ones had with those special friends during those years we were together. It just touched me and took me to a place of emotion I hadn't been in awhile.
    Saminda xo

  14. Dear Saminda,

    I understand. Really I do. And it wasn't babble at all!

    I deeply appreciate your candor in sharing your heart and your openness to reconcile. Reconciliation is such a critical component of forgiveness and Christians often miss it. May God richly bless this desire in you.

    Conflict is such a peace robber.

    Proverbs 18:24 often pushes me forward when I am struggling in a relationship: "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly." We don't always want to open ourselves up to "showing ourselves friendly," so often I must start with praying.

    I recently made Proverbs 16:7 my prayer and motivation: "When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." And the Lord has been blessing my efforts.

    Many blessings to you dear one. Praying for peace. : )


  15. Thank you. :) I think your prayers are being heard. :) xo

  16. Wow!! That was a beautiful table setting Liz did!! Stunningly beautiful!! Good job Liz! ;)

    That was a beautiful, dear pic of you & Tom here too! ;)

    Boy, it's been too long since I've visited your blog! ;(

    Nice to be back... even momentarily. ;)

    -Katie Collett