A Happy Thanksgiving...a Blessed Life!

Happy American Thanksgiving to all my family and friends in the United States! I pray that you all have a fantastic day of reconnecting, recounting your blessings, and, of course, eating!!! Living in Canada, we already celebrated our big Thanksgiving back in October. It didn't take too long to appreciate and get used to this adjustment in scheduling. Since (as I mentioned in my last post) we have several birthdays to think about in the Autumn months it's kind-of nice to have a little break between our family get-together of Thanksgiving and the get-togethers of Christmas and New Years!

However, you can never have too many days set aside to be thankful! Therefore, I want to share a few things for which I am thankful and I invite you to do the same, wherever it is you may be spending this day.

Due to Canadian Thanksgiving arriving earlier for us, it has been nice to feel that we can get our Christmas decorations up a little bit earlier. Normally we do still wait till December, but this year we felt compelled to do it all last Sunday. (Gasp! It was only November 24th!) Our big tree is our creative outlet. For the third year in a row we have gone with a color scheme of blue and silver with a little brown thrown in. I love adding ribbon, beads and wooden sprigs to this tree and tweaking it until we're pleased with it.

We always have a small lighted tree near the kitchen as well. This year I have it set up next to my handy-dandy Kitchenaid mixer (in a lovely Christmas red of course!) that I received last Christmas and I still use on a weekly basis.

Our final tree is the one pictured next to the fireplace. This little tree is the very first one that Kirk and I had when we got married. We have displayed it every year for over 15 years now and all the lights still work...wow! This tree is also special in that it carries on a tradition from my childhood: Every year, my parents gave my brother and I special ornaments that we added to our family tree. They usually had some significance for that particular year. The tradition continues as my parents give us ornaments or Christmas displays significant to our family and this is the tree that displays those special ornaments. It's wonderful that and we are already getting to enjoy the beauty of our trees, lights and garland each night around the fireplace.

Speaking of the fireplace...I am very thankful for it as well because it sure feels like Winter up here now! In fact, we are experiencing a light snow fall this very morning. I am thankful for the snow, for our warm home and a loving family with which to cuddle around that fireplace watching Christmas movies together. I am incredibly thankful for the man with whom I share my life and the 2 precious boys he is raising with me. I couldn't do it without him and I am so blessed to be on this life journey with him!

Christmas Vacation...best movie ever!!!
(the TV edit that is! Haha)
We happen to have several young friends whose families are similar to ours: the wives come from the US and the husbands come from Canada. Hmmmm, must be something about those Canadian boys! Hahaa! Of course this means, if we like, we get to celebrate double the holidays! I know that some of these families will be celebrating together today, but for our family it is pretty much business as usual. In fact, the boys are working ahead in their studies so they can take tomorrow off with some friends of theirs. The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility to take time off or work ahead which allows us to stay on track while still enjoying activities they might not be able to if they were in a school building all day.

We'll call our family in Florida today to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. My parents are spending the day at a couple different places and seeing a good portion of their family today and I know they are thankful they can do that. I am thankful for my Dad who celebrated a birthday just 2 days ago. You've heard me say it before and I'll say it again...I am so grateful that I was blessed with a father who clearly modeled Christ's love to his family. Not only was I blessed to be born into a loving family; I was also blessed to be married into a loving family as well. I am very thankful for the relationships I have with my mother and father-in-law and all Kirk's siblings and their families. God is SO GOOD!

While we may have no plans to have another big turkey dinner today, I did wake up and felt the urge to do something special. Now, I could have made my peach crumble, but we've had that fairly recently. I had been meaning to make some of my Banana Pudding for several days. I had the eggs and I had some really ripe bananas, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. So, this morning I was inspired!

What better day than Thanksgiving to make a pie! Yep, that's what's chilling in the fridge right now...a Banana Pudding Pie made with my Easy Peasy Pie Crust!

made a big batch of Gluten-free chicken noodle soup last night (Kaleb's favorite!) so that may be what we have again for dinner on this chilly day. It may not be turkey, but at least we'll have a special dessert and we'll be thankful for it all! But especially, I will be thankful for time spent together, today and every day we are given. I pray that we don't take each other for granted.

Banana Pudding Pie ready for toppings of our choice!

hope you enjoy your Turkey Day! I would love to hear from you...what are YOU thankful for? Comment below or on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe on YouTube and connect on Pinterest and Instagram for future recipes!

Treat yourself well,

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Do you spend it with family or friends? Both?
Growing up we spent Thanksgiving with Dad's family mostly. We had all our aunts, uncles and cousins and we ate till we were sick and always made turkey sandwiches later in the day. We now spend Canadian Thanksgiving with Kirk's family and we always say what we're thankful for.

Do you celebrate holidays from other countries due to dual citizenship or having resided in several different places?
It's fun to have the option of celebrating several times each year. Our pastor and his wife have grown children that reside in the UK, but when younger they lived in Canada and they still celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving to this day with friends where they live.