Tag Archive for Thanksgiving

Changing up Our Thanksgiving Routine

Travel Man and I enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day with 17 or so of our family around the table for dinner.  It’s so much fun when we get to have all of our kids with us at home for a big sit-down dinner. It’s quite a feat getting everyone to the table on time, but we did it and had so much fun.  I’ve been known to get all mushy with my toasts of thankfulness. My grandson Evan always likes to pipe in and tell a joke to the entire table. It’s priceless and always makes us laugh.
Our old dining room table, with a total of 8 leaves, comes in handy for this time of year. I’ve written about our dining room table before it’s got quite a bit of history to it.   This year my wonderful husband put together a table extension that will now allow us to seat 20 people at the table for any particular festivity.

This is my professional table-setter,my grandson Evan.  He’s taken on the roll of helping me get the table ready for the past few years.  He was upgraded to “professional” status this year!


Normally our entire Thanksgiving weekend would be spent around the house with our kids and grand-kids.  This year we decided to switch it up and go camping for the rest of the holiday time after the “big dinner”.  We took off for our destination in the early afternoon on Friday, and we headed back home Monday afternoon.  We’re so lucky that Travel Man had some vacation time to use and that his job allows him to have the flexibility to plan for this type of trip. We’ve had such an enjoyable time relaxing, resting, reading, watching movies and playing Monopoly! And of course I brought some of the Thanksgiving dinner leftovers.  We had to get our fill of turkey sandwiches.


A few of the sights from our holiday weekend.

Now we’re thinking that maybe next year we’ll host Thanksgiving dinner right from our trailer (I meant to say our “glamping” residence).  We’ll see about that in a few months. I’m such a traditionalist at holiday time I’m not sure if I could do that.  Thoughts to ponder.

I’m hoping everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. I know I’m looking forward to the upcoming holidays and spending more time with family.  Cheers!

A Surprising Thanksgiving Twist

IMG_2110There’s a certain grandson who just turned nine years old in September.  This certain someone is completely immersed in the electronics age.  I am sure he has taught me a few tricks about my iPhone apps.  When this certain someone came over to his Grandma’s house for dinner on Thanksgiving Day, an idea came along with him.  Right before dinner we were setting the table, and certain someone (my grandson, Evan) was helping me get everything ready on the table with all of the silverware, napkins, special glasses, etc.

While Evan was getting the table ready (this year he had graduated to my professional table setter) he told his Auntie Hilary he needed to find a basket to put on the table.  Hilary asks him, “What do you need a basket for?”, and Evan replied, “I want everyone to put their cell phones in it.”  He did not want any cells phones at the dinner table.  And then he added on, “The first person that picks up their cell phone while we are eating dinner has to do the dishes!”

I was completely stunned, wow.  Pay attention grown-ups, I think Evan was sending a strong message to all of us that would be seated around the dinner table.  Hilary told me yesterday this was all Evan’s idea, no one had suggested this to him at my house.  Even Uncle Jim who arrived just as we were sitting down to eat conformed to Evan’s plan.   So, no one got their phone back until they were excused from the dinner table. This part of the dinner was a little more formal for us than usual, just so we could make the point with Evan that his planned had worked.  I had to excuse the “Big Boys” so my brother could show off his new phone.

As a side note my normal house rule when all of the kids are over for a family dinner is no cell phones at the table. Evan just gave us a friendly reminder not to forget “Grandma’s Rule”.  I think an even stronger message here is that the kids do pay attention to what we adults are up to, even if appears they are off in their own la-la land.  Just some food for thought while finishing up those Thanksgiving leftovers.


Giving Thanks in 2014


This has been quite a year for The Spindle Ranch.  Lots of family activities, and always more, and more that we are thankful for.  This year will bring a bit of a smaller Thanksgiving dinner at The Ranch, but that’s alright. This year this holiday will mark a change in the family dynamic.  It will be the first Thanksgiving that two of my kids (the boys to be exact) are gathering with their significant others and their families for the holiday. I am fine with this.  I have always told all of my kids that every holiday and birthday celebration that we have gotten to share together over the years has been a blessing.  We’re very lucky to have had so, so many celebrations and holidays together.  I always knew the time would come when the kids would be sharing their holidays, and now that time has arrived in full force.

Today instead of sharing with you ALL of the things I am thankful for this year I would just like to zero my focus in  on one thing, or I should say one person.  This is one of those years where I have been ever so thankful for my Mom’s great advice and counsel.  My Mom lives with myself and Travel Man.  She’s been staying with us since my Dad passed away in June of 2013.

IMG_01522014-05-17 08.16.09

My Mom has been on what I would call the biggest emotional roller-coaster of her life in the past year and a half.  She’s been getting through her own grief,  and she has also had to be in Illinois for a few months at a time to help my grandparents with their health issues.  Everything going on in her world has kept her emotions in overdrive, and that’s an understatement.  However, we do live together which has allowed us to have some great girl time together; watching our favorite TV dramas, trying out new recipes, teasing Travel Man when he’s home, and chasing granddaughter, Madison, around the house two days a week.

No matter what is going on in our house, or what she is dealing with long distance where my grandparents are concerned my Mom will always say to me, “You know you can talk to me anytime, and about anything.”  I know this but I do not always listen, because I do not want to cause my Mom to have any additional stresses in her life.  I will readily admit that there is no better feeling in the world than being able to share your thoughts with your Mumsie and get her loving, constructive advice in return.  That is my Mom, that is who she is and what she does for me.  My thankfulness for her wise words of wisdom know no bounds.  I am forever grateful to be blessed with her presence in my world, and I know (being a Mom myself) that my Mom will always be there for me, always.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all.  May your world be as filled with the love of a caring family as mine is.



How can it be December 3rd already?

Hello dear friends and fellow bloggers.  It’s been awhile since my last post, and I felt the need to just say hi, and get back into a good writing groove.  My writing was definitely sidetracked in the month of November.  I have a few stories to catch up on with you all.

Did you have as wonderful a Thanksgiving as my family did?  We were fortunate to have my sister here from Montana for Thanksgiving dinner.  That does not happen very often, so we were especially happy to have her smiling face as the table.  My Mom was beside herself with emotion that day.

MadisonWe also celebrated the birth day of our second grandchild, a baby girl.  This is Evan’s baby sister, Miss Madison.  Welcome to your Grandma’s blog, Madison.  It was a special day, I’ll give you all of the details in another story.

And the past few weeks have been a rare treat for Travel Man and myself.  He has been  working from his home office for a few weeks, and it looks like we’ll have him home through Christmas.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed please!

Now could someone, anyone explain to me how it got to be December 3rd already?  My son will be celebrating his birthday this weekend.  How did that date come up so fast?  It’s the age-old adage, “Time just flies when you are having fun!”.  Or in Renee’s terms,  when you’ve been so busy the past few weeks that you finally look at the calendar and it’s time to turn the page to December.

So if your busy getting ready for Christmas, or baking, or making your list and checking it twice make sure you stop and have a latte, or maybe a nap.  Happy Monday to you all.

*Photo credits to Hilary and Zachary Juedes.

Halloween’s Past

This being the last day of October, and Halloween I thought I would reminisce just a little with a few photos from the past.  My kids have always loved costuming up for Halloween, and now Evan continues that tradition.

This is just a little mix of pictures from the past few years and beyond of our Halloween good times.

Evan loves to dress up and Halloween for him is such a treat.  Here’s a few pictures of him from the past few years.

And some of the kids famous pumpkin carvings:

Some of my guys in their costumes:

And my favorite fall picture taken by my Travel Man a few years ago:

For me,  Halloween is the first real signal of fall, which leads us to Thanksgiving, and of course the Christmas holiday season.  To all of the ghouls and goblins out there have a fun Halloween evening.

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