Reflection of This Year

I have been trying to look to days passed as this year nears its end.  I want to take the time remember all that has happened this year.  At times, this can be a tedious task; like thumbing through file after file in a room as big as a warehouse, filled with boxes that are not labeled.  Which ones contain the memories of this year?

Time seems to disorganize such things as we get older and busier, especially if one has children.  Children, and their super-charged growth, superhuman reserves of energy, and infinite curiosity.  This is all I remember, for the most part.

Questions asked and answered.  Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners made.  Cupcakes baked, birthday’s celebrated, gifts bought and opened in delight.  Little, soft bodies bathed.  Hair combed, brushed and braided.  Bottoms powdered and diapered.  Little bodies clothed.  Lullabies sang, children slumbered, keystrokes, alarm clocks, sunrises and sunsets.

Dishes washed, carpets vacuumed, toilets scrubbed, floors mopped, clothes freshly laundered and put away.  Seasons came and went.

Winter snow for making snowmen.  Spring-time planting of purple mums.  Summer fun in the backyard sprinklers and barbeques were always fun.  Fall came, leaves covered the grass.  My daughter and niece buried in piles of orange, red, green and brown vegetation, laughing as the sun set.  Temperature has grown colder, we tell the kids to stay inside.

Holidays celebrated and family time.  Stories told with laughter.  Arguments over silly things, the stress of daily hassles.  Friends who called for advice, or just to simply think out loud.  Loyalty and freedom, choices that were made.  Bumps and bruises, cuts and scrapes, a whole lot of Bandaids.

This year has brought so many things, I’ll never see again.  A baby boy who learned to walk, a little girl who made her first best friend.  My heart is filled with love, and teary eyed I get.  To think of the days past this year; Ones I hope to never forget.

Take time to reflect on the things, that have happened throughout the year.  Remember the big events as well as the small.  You will never have quite the same year again.


We survived hosting our first Thanksgiving.  It was actually really great. We could not be more full;  Full of food and full of happy thoughts.

Ryan brought the turkey over to his parent’s place this morning and they took the neck and innards out.  He said it was embarrassing because everything but the neck was bagged inside and it was super quick and simple.  No one told us these things, but now we know!

The only thing I really had to cook today was the turkey, which took about 4 hours.  The rest of it I had prepared last night and all it needed was to be warmed up in the oven or boiled on the stove, which made things very simple.  I am still exhausted though, but it’s worth it.  Dinner was excellent and I’m SO glad I didn’t ruin the turkey.

My brother called and surprised us with a visit.  I hadn’t seen him in over a year.  He lives in Tennessee with his family because he is stationed at Fort Campbell.  He is about to get deployed for another year so it was really nice to see him.  I’m pretty thankful that he took the time to visit while he was in town.

After Thanksgiving dinner had been eaten and cleaned up, I baked a cake to celebrate my dad’s birthday, which is tomorrow.  Since he is in town from Kentucky and everyone was already here, it only made sense to celebrate it today.  I was already pretty tired when I decided to bake it, and that was apparent when I nearly ruined the thing.

I was flipping the cake over to get it out of the pan and onto a cake sheet and when I lifted up to pat and release the cake, my oven mitt slipped off and I dropped the pan back onto the cake.  I frantically tried to pick it up, but the pan was still hot to the touch so I jerked my hand away and knocked over a drink that was next to the oven on the counter.  The drink then spilled onto the counter and pooled where my phone was sitting.  I then quickly picked my phone up, dried it off and cleaned up the spill.  The cake ended up cracking and crumbling so in order to keep it together, I started caking on the frosting I had made, even though the cake hadn’t completely cooled yet.  This caused the frosting to end up slightly runny (but it filled in the cracks), so my sister and I stuck some candles in it and quickly lit them so we could hurry and eat the thing.  It was really good, even if it didn’t look so perfect!

Anyhow, everyone but my daughter and me are in bed now and she is ready to crash.  Hoping everyone had a great Thanksgiving and made some really great memories today.  Although we don’t have everything we want in life, it does feel good to feel truly thankful for everything we do have.  This is because what we have is priceless (family and friends), and these things are truly irreplaceable.

To those of you who partake in the Black Friday madness, good luck. I have never been brave enough or wanted anything bad enough to shop on Black Friday.  The news makes it looks so crazy, so be careful and have fun!

Give Thanks and Have a Coin Toss

This year will be the first year that Ryan and I are hosting a small gathering of family for Thanksgiving.  Last year, I had invited my family over.  I was so excited at the thought of preparing an entire Thanksgiving meal, myself, for the first time.  Everyone ended up having other plans so we didn’t end up making anything at all.

Now that there are going to be some guests over for dinner this year, the worry has set in.  I am a decent cook and I love trying new recipes, but this whole turkey thing scares me.  I have been calling my mom to ask her questions about what I have to do to the turkey to prep it for roasting, and the instructions she gave me were very intimidating.

I’m going to have to reach inside the body cavity of this thing and pull its innards out.  The heart, gizzards, turkey neck and whatever else is in there.  I don’t think I can do it!  Well, I can of course, but I really don’t want to – not that part! I handle raw meat all the time, but I’ve never made anything I had to pull organs from.  The thought of this disgusts me.

In an attempt to get out of having to perform this necessary step, I told Ryan that I would prepare the entire meal myself, and that his only job would be to handle the turkey innards extraction portion.  He said no way.  It seems he wants to do it even less than I do.  I have been trying to barter with him about it all day.  I think I’m getting close to having him agree on having a coin toss to decide who has to tackle this chore.  We’ll see.  If the coin toss idea doesn’t work, perhaps I can think of some other type of incentive.

Aside from the anxiety over the turkey, I think the rest should be fairly simple.  Since our gathering will be small, I am not getting too crazy with side dishes.  I think I’ll settle with the basics; Mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing for the turkey, homemade dressing as a side (a family recipe), a big pot homemade noodles (also a family recipe), dinner rolls, and a green bean casserole (that my sister is bringing). My mom always made two dressings; the regular and an oyster dressing.  She also made sweet potatoes (but I don’t like those), and cranberry salad (which was good, but I still don’t favor it).  Because of those reasons, I won’t be making those items.

There is this pumpkin pie crunch recipe I came across in October that I’ve been dying to make.  I considered getting the ingredients to make it for Thanksgiving, but I decided against it.  I think I have enough work ahead of me already, especially since this is my first attempt at preparing everything myself.  My dad is bringing some pies.

I remember all those years I watched my grandma and mom wake up early and slave away in the kitchen while the men sat around drinking beer and watching football.  The kitchen counters were always covered with pot holders and ingredients, and it was always hot in the house since the oven had been on all morning.  Since there was only one oven with two racks, mom would have to push things around to squeeze a dish in around the turkey.  It was like a jigsaw puzzle of food.  I am going to have to come up with a game plan on how this is going to go when I cook this feast as well.  My guess is that the turkey must go in first and I’ll prep the rest as that cooks.

It is going to be crazy.  I have seen how crazy it was for my grandmother and mother.  It’s like there was all this time, preparation, sweat, and work put into this feast and we were all so excited to finally sit down and eat.  We would eat until we were stuffed and carry on with whatever we were doing before while the same people who spent days and hours prepping and cooking were back in the kitchen doing dishes, putting food away, and cleaning up everyone’s mess.  Thinking back, I don’t think we gave the women (mom and grandma) enough credit for things such as Thanksgiving dinner.

I know the point of Thanksgiving is to give thanks, but remember that it’s not just for the food.  Remember to give thanks to all those who took the time, put in the hard work and made the feast that you are thankful for.  These people put in a lot of work to make sure everyone can sit down together and feast on some, hopefully, excellent food.

Only two days to go!  Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.  If this is your first time preparing this feast yourself,  good luck to you!  As for me, I’m going to get Ryan to have a coin toss now.

Jokes For Kids


My 5-year-old daughter is really into jokes right now. I sat down with her the other night and we took turns telling jokes to each other and laughed until we were too tired to laugh anymore.  These jokes have likely been around for a while, but you still may come across some you have never heard or had simply forgotten.



  • Why did the chicken cross the playground?  – to get to the other slide!
  • What’s black and white, black and white, black and white? – A penguin rolling down a hill!
  • Why was the man running around his bed? – He wanted to catch up on his sleep!
  • How did the barber win the race? – He knew a short-cut!
  • Why was 6 afraid of 7? – Because 7 8 9!
  • What do you call a pig that knows karate? -A pork chop!
  • Why do cows wear bells? -Because their horns don’t work!
  • Why are bees hair so sticky? -Because they use honeycombs!

Here are a couple of my daughter Ashley’s jokes that she literally, just made up.

  • Why did a pumpkin squash himself? – Because it wanted to! (She had herself cracking up at this one, even though I didn’t get it! Maybe she was thinking of a pumpkin squash?)
  • Why did the ghost scare itself? -Because it had a mirror on its head! (I can kind of see where she was going with this one, Haha)

A few knock knock jokes you may or may not have heard of:

  • Knock, Knock

Who’s there?

Little Old Lady

Little Old Lady who?

Hey, I didn’t know you could yodel!

  • Knock, Knock

Who’s there?

Cow says

Cow says who?

A cow doesn’t say who, it says moo!

  • Knock, Knock

Who’s there?

Owl says

Owl says who?

Yes. You’re right. An owl does say hoo!

  • Knock, Knock

Who’s there?

Smell mop

Smell mop who?

(Haha, say it a few times if you still don’t get that one.)

Hopefully you came across a few that you haven’t already heard. I know we had a lot of fun with them, and it’s always great to have things like this to entertain your kids with.  Especially if you live in areas where winter brings freezing temperatures and snow and the kids are stuck indoors.

And remember, every joke on this list was 5-year-old tested and mommy approved, so that has to count for something!  Enjoy!