Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey, Turkey, Turkeys!!!

This summer Gary and I had the opportunity to learn about TURKEYS!!! We had 2 guys in 4-H that wanted to raise turkeys. So they probably taught us more than we ever thought we would know about turkeys. One thing that I learned was that there are many different breeds of turkeys. Heritage turkeys are the ones that we see in picture books and think of when it comes to the Pilgrims, but they are most likely not what you will set on your table for Thanksgiving.  Most commerical turkeys are white tom turkeys. While these provide lots of meat, as a bird they are not nearly as pretty as the Heritage birds. The inset shows 2 different types of Heritage Birds.

This Thanksgiving challenge your thinking and really think about what type of foods were served for that first Thanksgiving. Due to their location there was probably some type of  seafood - most likely fish. There was probably wild game of some type maybe venison, turkey maybe pheasant.  And the things that they had grown over the last year. So what have you grown or made from scratch that you could set on your table? At our house, we usually have corn, potatoes (sometimes home grown if not locally grown)  apple something (dumplings, sauce, or rings that were grown on our trees), we usually have pumpkin something (pie, roll, or just pumpkin with marshmellows on top, that the pumpkins might have been grown here in the garden.) We could do green bean casserole, but usually don't. We have made butter and whipped cream from scratch for the holidays in my butter churn, too. We try to remember where the things come from and are thankful for a good growing season and that ability to store the harvest.

So for turkey fun - have 2 people break the wish bone.
Let the kids make shirts with the hands as the turkeys. The thumb becomes the head and the fingers are the feathers. You can paint the hand brown and then the fingers different colors. Place the hand on a shirt and add an eye and you have a Thanksgiving Shirt.

Take a paper plate and make it into a turkey with feathers coming out one side and draw a head and a snood(the red thing that hangs over the beak) on the center of the plate.

Since the Pilgrims came to Plymouth Rock - find some smooth rocks and use a marker to write names for name cards.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Thankful Chain

During the month of November we usually have a picture of a cornucopia or last year we had a boat that looked like the Mayflower, that the boys color and then each night we write on the things that we are thankful for throughout the month of November. I have kept the over sized pictures in our decoration box to look back on each year.

Unfortunately, this year at the beginning of the month, I was sick and not really up to begin creative and making sure that the boys were being grateful for the things that we have. So yesterday I decided that I needed to get myself moving and in the thankful mood. I took construction paper and cut it into 1" strips and set them on the table. Before dinner, I told the boys that we were going to have a "Thankful Chain"  this year and that we were a bit behind, but we would be adding to our chain until Thanksgiving. Robert quickly grabbed a pencil and started writing a person's name or thing that he was thankful for. Garrett started telling me the people/things that he was thankful for. In no time at all, we were out of 1" strips and Gary and I hadn't had a chance to write anything down ourselves.  This felt great that the boys are thinking about others and they are aware of the things that they have that others do not. 

Today, I have cut more strips and we have started the "Thankful Chain" that I used as a practice of patterns for Garrett as he and I started putting it together. The strips from yesterday were only in 2 colors, so we practiced a simple repeating pattern with yesterday's chain links. New links have been cut and are sitting on the table for this evenings time of "Thankfulness.' I have challenged the kids not to repeat the things that they have already written down, but they don't have to worry about what someone else has written.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Imagine no Malaria!

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The statics are frightening - every 30 seconds an African child dies from Malaria. All they did was get bit from a mosquito, and then their future in limited. So what can we do? Do you have an extra $10? For every $10 donated a mosquito net can been given and those nets become life nets! You can pray for those in the African nations that are fighting this battle and those helping them fight! For more information about this deadly disease and the fight to eliminate it visit here  Please join us in the fight to remove this disease from society.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting the House Organized!!

Okay, so the blog has taken a back burner while our family (myself included) have had to fight off a few sicknesses that have really taken their toll.
But I wanted to share this really great book that I just finished and it has caused me to take some actions in my house. The title of the book is "The Complete Guide to Getting & Staying Organized" by Karen Ehman.  This isn't a book that tells you how to do it in your home but helps you create a plan for your home and how to manage different areas of your home and family. There are several things that we have already tried and I know that it is going to be slow, but to de-clutter our home 1 room at a time has been great here in the last month. One of the coolest ideas in the book is to have a Mission Statement for being a MOM! What a neat idea - an answer to Why am I here and what am I doing?

But to get started you have to be Honest with yourself, do you really need that item? Have you used that item or are you just keeping it because of who gave it to you? IF you don't love it or don't use it - do you really need it? I have started a box that if I stumble across something that I don't know where to put it and I start asking those questions and I find that I am not really going to use it - it goes into the give away box. This box when it gets full either goes to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or recently we were able to donate to the 4-H Auction. It is so freeing to let go of things that we aren't using or need and get them out of the house and out of our way.
I can hardly wait to start feeling better so that I can continue to de-clutter some additional rooms in our home.  It is amazing how great it makes you feel to be able to see an organized area and know that it looks good!
If you get a chance take time to enjoy this book!