In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday- we asked the MV Moms Bloggers to share their thoughts on Thanksgiving and how they plan to spend the holiday:
Our Thanksgiving celebration has continually changed over the thirty-one years that I’ve been married. We’ve spent Thanksgiving with in-laws, at my sister’s home with her family, with cousins, and also at home. I’ve recently told my adult kids to celebrate wherever they wish. I don’t want them feeling guilted into spending it with their immediate family. I remember the stress in my younger years of marriage of trying to please everyone on the holidays. I could not be everywhere at once.
Last year we had about twenty-five family and extended family members to our home for dinner. We set up a buffet table and ate from “fancy” paper plates. The previous year, most of my kids had gone with their spouses to their in-laws’ homes for dinner. That left us with only seven people around the Thanksgiving table, which I had set with fine china.
Whether it has been many or few, paper plates or china, I am always thankful for the people and family in my life. Thanksgiving is a special day to be thankful and enjoy the blessings I have been given by my Creator; to remember those who are no longer with me, and be thankful for their influence and guidance they have provided in my life. I wish everyone a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving celebration.
Growing up, I always loved watching the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade with my younger brothers while my parents got the house ready for a houseful. It was so nice spending the morning with my immediate family and then my large extended family in the afternoon and evening. Now that I am married with a family of my own, I have a greater appreciation for all the hard work that goes into entertaining a crowd. Thanksgiving evening my parents would have at least 50+ people over for a buffet and dessert. It seems mind boggling to me now, but it was what we grew up around!
Now that Zoe is two, I’m looking forward to watching the parade with her. It will be our last Thanksgiving as a family of three. Talk about blessings and a lot to be thankful for!
This year our family has had multiple health hurdles. During times of trial we have chosen to stay positive, finding strength in our faith and each other.
On a recent trip with my sisters to visit my ailing father we made french Meat pies (Tourtière) a holiday tradition that goes back multiple generations on my fathers side.
In my sisters kitchen, thousands of miles from home, the preparation and memorized steps brought us together. This year Dad is unable to assist us with his beloved tradition it was my honor to make it on his behalf. This task of unity while cooking reminded me of this blessing that has adorned place cards at our thanksgiving table ~the author is unknown.
We Give Thanks
To our families,
We give thanks for the pleasure of gathering together for this occasion.
We give thanks for our meal prepared by loving hands.
We give thanks for life, the freedom to enjoy it all.
We give thanks for all that we have seen, and what we have yet to learn.
We give thanks for the wisdom of our elders, and the spirit of youth.
We pray for health and strength, may we always be surrounded by our families love.
Happy Thanksgiving 2015!
By: Sue Anganes
Friday was the last day of a very busy week. There were doctor’s visits in Boston, physical therapy appointments, schoolwork, a 4:00 am trip to bring my husband to the airport, and the everyday tasks of cooking, laundry, and housekeeping. When Friday rolled around, all I really had to accomplish for the day was schoolwork with my boys. We homeschool and I always have to be flexible with my schedule because both boys work around the physical obstacles of having a rare neurological disease. Some days are better than others.
When I started schoolwork with my youngest on Friday, I knew right away it was not a good day for him. All his energy had been used up from the previous few days with all the appointments and things that had to get done. He was having trouble physically writing, and was clearly having an extremely hard time thinking. Things that would, on a good day, take minutes to accomplish, he was not even able to figure out.
Normally I can face the fact that my boys are not able to do what their older siblings do. Their lives are so much more difficult. On Friday, I just broke. With tears streaming down my face I told my son we could finish his work later. My heart was aching watching him struggle. The tears just wouldn’t stop. The rest of the morning was useless. I couldn’t stop crying, and I called my daughter to see if she could stop at the food store on her way home from classes to grab me a few things. I couldn’t face running into anyone I knew at the store. I didn’t think I could stop the tears long enough to shop.
Feeling so overwhelmed, I knew I needed to get outside and clear my head a bit. I thought about taking a walk, but again, I knew I couldn’t face running into someone in the neighborhood. I just couldn’t talk. Behind our house we have our wood pile. We had ordered six cords of wood this year, and a little more than one fourth of a cord was still un-stacked. I decided to work off my heartbreak by stacking wood.
I stacked and I stacked, and pulled my jacket off when I started to sweat. Tears still fell, but the physical task gave me time to think and helped me feel a bit better. Somehow taking a jumbled up pile of logs, and being able to make it into something orderly, neat, and complete was helpful to me. My hands ached from grasping the logs, and my back was stiff, but somehow it stopped my tears. After a couple of hours I was able to go back inside and start my supper.
Do we not all have days that break us? The circumstances of life are very hard. No one is immune from loss, grief, disappointments, illness, or hardships. Thankfully, I found a way to deal with my bad day and was able to wake up to the next morning. Saturday I was up at 5 am and had the sunrise greet me. I took a picture of it and said to myself, “New day”. And it was.
By: Amy Dienta
This sauce is so easy, yet tastes so fresh and light. I love that there is no corn syrup or sugar in it as there is in some store bought brands.
2 – 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
1tsp garlic (I buy the jar of minced garlic)
1 diced onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4th tsp pepper
1tsp of Italian seasoning blend spice mix or a little more to taste.
1tsp olive oil
1. Dice onion
2. Add olive oil to pot and then add onions and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent.
3. Add cans of crushed tomatoes to the pot and the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
4. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat stiring occasionally.
5. Pour over pasta
By: Danielle McFadden
We had so much fun celebrating Zoe’s 2nd Birthday this year! Unlike when she turned one, she enjoyed every aspect of the party from helping pick out the theme and decorations to hamming it up with all of the party-goers during her big day. It’s a month and a half later and she still talks about her ‘Ariel Birthday Party!’
Here are a few photos of the decorations. We got most of them from Party City, Oriental Trading and Amazon. I wish I had gone to Party City first because I was pleasantly surprised at their prices!
What’s the best theme you’ve ever pulled off for a children’s birthday?
By: Amy Dienta
This recipe is a favorite of my 12 year old son. It’s easy for him to make himself, with a little help from me with the oven.
1 lb. of ground beef
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small onion finely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Spray 13×9 glass dish with cooking spray
3. In large bowl mix all ingredients together.
4. Shape in to meatballs approximately size of a ping pong ball and place 1 inch apart on the cooking dish.
5. Bake uncovered 15-25 minutes or until the middle is no longer pink.
Just when you think you can’t love your child any more than you already do. They surprise you with the most amazing piece of information about themselves. They share there deepest secret and trust you with there whole heart with it.
I didn’t think I could love my child anymore than I already did. They day my daughter came to me to tell me she was a lesbian, my heart actually melted and I felt complete joy, love and admiration for her. Here she is at a very impressionable age in her life. Where most girls are learning who they are and what they want to be, and trying to fit in with their friends. They spend their time worrying about the “in”electronics and clothes. She knows that “she’s different than her friends” as she had said, and she is embracing it.
I loved that she felt comfortable to come and talk to me about her feeling. And she knew I would love her no matter what. I simply smiled and told her she was awesome and I loved her. I told her I just wanted her to be happy and it didn’t matter what others thought about it, all that matters is she was true to her self. She needed to be honest with her own feelings. I told her she was going to find the right person and all I want is for that special person to love and respect her, and treat her the way she deserves to be treated.
I was so impressed as I sat and listened to my smart and beautiful daughter. She seemed to have it all figured out. She would meet that special person and they would marry and she would adopt some children.
She also confided in me that she was worried how others in the family would react- she knows they are not exactly comfortable with gays, lesbians, trans, etc. I tried to reassure her that they would love her no matter what, and it really doesn’t matter what they think because she needs to be happy.
She shouldn’t let other people’s personal life dictate how she lives her life. You treat others how you want to be treated. You respect others how you want to be respected. As long as you are not hurting others it doesn’t matter.
I’m glad I’m succeeding in raising my children to respect everyone- no matter race, sexuality, and backgrounds. They look for the best in everyone. And they have learned to embrace themselves and be free to be who they are and not what society says they need to be.
I love all my children for who they are not what others want them to be. They may be “different”, or loud, or even slightly messy, but they are happy and loved, and true to who they are.
And they have some of the best role models in our family.
I watched my daughter in amazement this past year. She was completely excited the day Massachusetts legalized same sex marriage. And was over the moon when she watched two close family friends get married last month. She watched these two women with awe, they where best friends and had a family of adopted and fostered children. They were her aunts and she loved them. This is how she saw her life down the road.
I am so glad they will be a part of her life. I’m grateful she will have other adults that will understand and be supportive of her. I hope they will be able to answer some of her questions that I may not have the answers for. She knows she will be supported know matter what.
By: Sue Anganes
The cooler weather is here! It’s now time to light the oven and make some of the comfort foods that you’ve missed over the summer. Here’s a couple of recipes for easy and healthy dishes to put together on a busy weekday. This recipe is for about seven chicken legs or thighs. I double the recipe for my family.
Tasty Baked Chicken
7 chicken drumsticks or thighs
What you need:
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large baking dish, combine the marinade and toss with the chicken. I let mine sit for about thirty minutes before baking, but you can just bake it right away for convenience.
3. Place the chicken pieces skin side up and roast for 30 minutes until it begins to brown. Flip the pieces and bake a remaining 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
I serve this with rice and a side dish of roasted vegetables.
2 yellow squash
1 large onion
1 or 2 clove s crushed garlic (garlic powder is okay)
Olive oil 3-4 Tbsp depending on the size of the vegetables
Salt and pepper
In a covered baking dish toss the ingredients in the olive oil. Bake covered at 350 degrees until the vegetables are cooked to taste. (aprox. 40 minutes) Sometimes I bake the vegetables for the last 5 minutes uncovered to brown them a bit but you don’t have to.
You can add other vegetables to the ones I’ve listed. I sometimes add red or green peppers or carrots.
Mom Blogger Danielle choose to announce some exciting news in a very cute way!
Congratulations Danielle, we know Zoe will make a great big sister!