Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Thankful (but Random) Tuesday

Believe it or not (personally, I can't quite believe it), Thanksgiving is only a little more than a week away. And, I don't know about you, but I've been dreaming of that Thanksgiving meal from the first moment the temperature got below 70 degrees. It may very well be my favorite holiday of all, because of its simplicity. Family. Food. Football. Relaxing. Being thankful. No gifts. No real pressure. It's just always a good, good day.

So, join in the Random Tuesday fun with my special Thanksgiving Edition and let me share with you...

A Thanksgiving Tradition:
There's always certain foods on the table, and getting to be with family members we don't see otherwise, is a wonderful part of the holiday. But my favorite tradition is one we started in our immediate family when McKenna was maybe four-years-old.

Some time before the holiday (today was the starting point for us this year), I set out strips of paper and pen and pencils and instruct everyone to write down things they're thankful for on them. Sure, it gets a little repetitive over the years and we tend to be thankful for some of the same things, but there are always wonderful little gems in there...and, also, who doesn't need to be reminded of those "normal" things that we're thankful for?

We never sign our names, so part of the fun is guessing who wrote what when we read them together on Thanksgiving morning.

You may remember that last year I made a little book out of all the strips of paper.

This year, I'm doing it this way. Giving everyone strips of construction paper to write on, then telling them to ring them together in a chain. I think Sydney will especially like this idea.

A Thanksgiving Memory:
Lots and LOTS of great memories over the years, things like...playing football in the back yard with cousins, the first Thanksgiving Gary and I spent together, getting up to watch the Macy's Day Parade...but the specific memory that always sticks in my mind for some reason is the White Thanksgiving we had when I was maybe seven- or eight-years-old. We were living in the Ozarks in northwest Arkansas and were invited to Thanksgiving dinner at some of my Dad's cousins. Their house was a big, beautiful house up on top of a hill surrounded by farmland. It was picturesque enough as it was, and then it decided to snow. And it snowed and snowed some more, and covered everything in white. It was just beautiful and, since I've never experienced a white Christmas, it's the only holiday I remember with snow on the ground.

My Favorite Thanksgiving Food:
Gan Gan's (Gary's grandmother) dressing (I'm not a dressing person, but will--no kidding--eat two heaping plate fulls of this stuff. It's delicious!), my Mom's sweet potato pie (I take SP pie over pumpkin pie any day, and Mom's is great!), fried turkey, the brisket we usually have at my parents'...and pretty much anything else they put on the plate. The food spreads at both of our family gatherings are truly amazing!

My Plans for Thanksgiving this Year:

I am SO excited because I have a big crew of family members coming to Alabama from out-of-state. My parents will have a full house, with my grandmother, uncle, and cousins coming from Texas; aunt and uncle coming from North Carolina; cousins coming from Georgia. I haven't seen many of them in several years, so I'm very excited about it!

We will do lunch at Gan Gan's, then a later meal at my parents' with all the visiting relatives. We will be officially stuffed, but in a very good way!

(The day after will include shopping, and then the day-after-day-after will include going to the Iron Bowl with Gary. A very good three days of exciting stuff!)

5 Things I'm Thankful for Today (not including the "generic" family and friends):

1. My husband's spirituality
2. Sydney's great sense of humor
3. Alabama football
4. Sweet tea from McDonald's
5. Good deals from the thrift store
6. And, thrown in for good measure although it breaks the "rules": My awesome friends, and my amazing family. I am truly blessed!

All right...you know how Random Tuesday works. Put your answers in the comments section. Let us know you're doing it on your own blog, so we can come read it. Or, be a slacker and don't participate...LOL...but still ponder all of the blessings you have in your life!

Have a wonderful day!


Lynilu said...

A Thanksgiving Tradition: Sharing blessings of the past year during dinner.

A Thanksgiving Memory: My childhood family, sometimes with the extended family, sitting at the stretched-out dining table, and the feeling of connection with them all.

Your Favorite Thanksgiving Food: Cranberry/Raspberry/Orange relish. Also sweet potato pie (I'm not fond of pumpkin, however).

Your Plans for Thanksgiving this Year: Hosting a number of friends (somewhere between 3 & 14).

5 Things You're Thankful for Today (not including the "generic" family and friends): My home (the house); my home (the place); my new furry buddies; still having enough to share in this economy; the joy of being a grammy,

Travis Erwin said...

I'm hoping to bag a wild turkey this week so I can smoke it for Thanksgiving. The taste beats a butterball by miles.

~gkw said...

I wanna go with you TRAVIS!!! We only have a spring Turkey Season around here...

Cheryl Wray said...

Lynilu--Your answers are great!!! We have so much to be thankful for, don't we? (and yay for sweet potato pie!)

Travis--Yum! That sounds great! (See below--Gary wants to go with you!)

Gary--Of course, you'd comment on that one... :-)

Jeff said...

Thanksgiving Tradition: Macy's Parade whether it's on TV or (as it can be these days) in person. It is the way to start the day. (by the way, I love your chain project for this year... paper chains were always a favorite thing to make in grade school.)

Thanksgiving Memory: Something that has stuck from childhood is watching my mom make the stuffing in the kitchen sink. She would make so much of it, she'd line the sink with foil and use it as one big bowl. It was AWESOME!

Favorite Food: What's not to like! I think it's the combo of eating mashed potatoes and stuffing together.

This year's plans: A quiet one. We haven't done Thanksgiving as just the two of us in a while and we're looking forward to it. We'll cook, catch a movie (probably "Bolt") and just enjoy a quiet day.

5 Things to be thankful for:
1) My fantastic husband, who has kept me sane through months of difficult work. I'm calmer now and am working to repay some of that extra kindness I got.
2) It snowed this morning! Just a very little bit of flurries but it was soooooo cool to see a touch of snow this early.
3) Still being employed... in this economy, you have to be thankful for that.
4) Peppermint hot choclate! My favorite obsession right now since it's back at Starbucks.
5) Christmas decor springing up around the city (I found some yesterday morning...you can see my blog for pictures)

hippo chick said...

Hey Cheryl,

As usual, I'm going to steal this idea and blog about it soon. I need some time to think about all these things.

Great post, as usual.

~hippo hugs~

Gretchen said...

I'll do this later today, Sweetie. Might be a Random Wednesday, for you east coast-ers, but it'll get done. :)

Your post exudes such warmth and love for your family, both near and extended. And the food? Whoa! As RR would say,"yummo!".

Adrienne said...

A Thanksgiving Tradition:
**Putting up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night. Which we haven't done in about five years because we are never home. This year we will be! WHOO HOO!

A Thanksgiving Memory:
**My SIL had her baby! LOL It was a VERY interesting night.

Your Favorite Thanksgiving Food:

Your Plans for Thanksgiving this Year:

5 Things You're Thankful for Today (not including the "generic" family and friends):
1. Clean dishes lol
2. Clean clothes
3. Gas in my propane tank lol
4. I tried a new flavor of Dove Ice Cream and it is superb!
5. I actually have the urge to scrap!

Mississippi Songbird said...

What fun and neat ideas! I bet you guys have so much fun on the holidays. I love Thanksgiving too, but we all have to agree on who's home to have it at( My husband has 6 brothers and one sister so it's not easy.) Anyway, I know you'll have a wonderful day. Bunches of hugs for the holidays!

Monogram Queen said...

I need to get busy and get some Thanksgiving traditions started around my house too. I love yours and would love to try Gan-Gan's dressing. Yummy! I am thankful that I have the time to come here and have my spirit rejuvenated reading about your and your wonderful family Cheryl!

Gin said...

I love reading your answers. And I love Thanksgiving too.

Cheryl said...

I want to blog about this soon. I am short on time. Great post. You are a great writer! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. God Bless~

Greta Adams said...

fab post sista...and that first pic is AMAZING!!!! wish my table looked like that at thanksgiving...i just throw that stuff around....where it lands no one knows....to heck with presentation..LOL

Heather said...

Your table looks way better than mine does! I'm lucky I have matching plates!

I am grateful for:

My husband's wacky sense of humor.

Finally being able to come to a decision about whether or not we want more kids.

A pretty pink sunrise this morning over frosty grass.

My washing machine is working.

I don't have to worry about money today.

Faye said...

We've already had our Thanksgiving and looking forward to Christmas now...however thinking of our blessings is something we should be reminded of all year, so you have just made me think of mine :)

Cheryl Wray said...

Jeff--Okay, the stuffing in the kitchen sink memory is AWESOME! I bet it was so good!!

Pam--CAN'T WAIT to read your answers!

Gretchen--I hope you do it. I know I would love reading your answers. And...you are so very sweet!

Adrienne-I can't wait to see all my relatives on Thanksgiving, but staying home sounds pretty nice too. I know you guys will have a great time! I need to scrap too!!

Songbird--Wow! That's a big family. That always makes it hard to organize everything, doesn't it?

Cheryl Wray said...

Queen--You're too sweet! We love our Thanksgivings and its traditions. I think it's just a wonderful holiday.

Gin--It's a great time of year, that's for sure. :-)

Cheryl--I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too with your sweet, sweet family.

Greta--That is NOT my table on Thanksgiving. LOL I can put out a pretty good spread, but it would never look like that. But my Mom? HERS looks like that!

Heather--Your list is great! Not worrying about money on any given day is truly a blessing. :-)

Faye--Yep, I forget that our Canadian friends have already celebrated. :-)


Such a great post. I loved ready about your holiday traditions. so warm and fuzzy!!
I think I'll add this prompt to my blog too!

Auburn Kat said...

I love the list of things that you are thankful for!

BTW, I don't think they have sweet tea at the McDonalds here! Gosh, I could go for a glass of sweet tea right now!

Edleen said...

what a wonderful tradition Cheryl :) love what you did with the strips of paper. that would be so fun!

what is sweet tea that you get from McDonald's? sounds like something i would like :D we've only got Jasmine Tea and Iced Lemon Tea...

have a great Thursday and enjoy every moment! *Hugs*

Kathy said...


What a GREAT post! I really enjoy seeing the world through your eyes!

This year is going to be very low key for us because both of the kids have to work.

Writer on Board said...

Lovely blog, Cheryl. Thank you.

Cheryl Wray said...

Bonbon--Traditions are SO important to me!! (Yes, do this on your blog too. I'd love to read your answers!)

Kat-=The sweet tea at McDonald's is the BEST!!! The hardest thing for me about living up North would be not being able to get iced sweet tea. I pretty much have to have it everyday!

Ed--It's probably similar to your iced lemon tea. In the Southern United States, iced sweet tea is pretty much the "normal" drink for all times. It is an iced, brewed tea, sweetened with A LOT of sugar.

Kathy--Hey! Low-key sounds nice too!

WriteronBoard--Welcome to my blog. Glad you stopped by. And thanks!

~Nancy~ said...

Such a great idea Cheryl!!!!! WOW! Wish we had thanksgiving overhere in The Netherlands! XOXO