This year the Thanksgiving menu held some old favs and some new favs as well.  Thought I’d share the recipes so you could stick em in your box for next year, or for later this holiday season.

My mom’s apple pie is by far my most favorite apple pie in the world.  In fact, I am an apple pie snob and won’t eat any other pie but her recipe.  Because, once you’ve had this one, no others compare in my opinion.  So this is a staple at Thanksgiving and anytime you want apple pie at the circus.

Apple Crumb Pie

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6-8 tart apples, pared, cored and sliced (6 cups)
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

Combine first three ingredients; stir into apples. Turn into pastry shell.  Combine remaining flour and sugar; cut in butter till crumbly.  Sprinkle over apples.  bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes or until done.  If pie browns too quickly, cover edge with foil.

This year, we also tried two new recipes in addition to our old stand bys. 

IMG_3553 Last week we read Cranberry Thanksgiving for school thanks to the 5 in a Row curriculum.   The book has a recipe in the back for Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread.  My son made it at his tutorial with his class last week and he decided that we must include it at our feast this year.  So, he and Grandma made it Wednesday night.  I must say, it is the best cranberry bread I’ve ever had and I think it will be a new Thanksgiving staple for the circus crew. 

Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups light raisins (we used crasins instead)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice all at once; stir just until mixture is evenly moist.  Fold in raisins and cranberries.

Spoon into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from pan, cool on wire rack.

I also made Sarah’s Sweet Potato Casserole.  It was delicious!  And also deemed a repeat for future years.  Or as Scott suggested, why wait till Thanksgiving, couldn’t we eat it other times throughout the year too?  I say sure,why not?

IMG_3603 As we sat down at the table filled with delicious food, my son declared, “We forgot something.”  I couldn’t figure out what it was and he said, “We need to go around the table and say what we’re thankful for.”  And you know what he was thankful for?  School.  Bless his heart, I love that boy.

How about you?  What are you thankful for this year? 


Is someone there?




Oh, yes there is…..


That girl sure makes me smile.  I don’t want to overdo it but I had to at least provide a link to just one more of my favorites from this series for those so inclined.

Or, click here or here for more wordless Wednesday fun!

We’re taking the week off…no tutorial, no home school. 


Today we made turkey cookies thanks to this post I read last night.  Rule number 1, don’t look to close at the example picture here, just quickly look at it to get the idea, then close it.  Otherwise, these won’t seem exactly up to snuff.  But, we had a blast  decorating them and they taste yummy, so who cares if they aren’t picture perfect?  And really, when is the circus family picture perfect?   It was, none the less,  a great way to start Thanksgiving week.   Thanks McMommy!IMG_3501Tomorrow I hope to make these popcorn balls to bring to my parents house.  My dad loves popcorn balls, so when I read this post, I was eager to try them.  I am hoping they aren’t too tricky as we have Bible Study in the morning, a quick trip to the grocery store to make and then popcorn balls and pepperoni bread to make before Scott gets home from work and we hit the road.  Thankfully our suitcases are packed.  Worse case scenario, I bring the ingredients to Mom and Dad’s and make them on Wednesday.

I was feeling pretty good about myself this week.  Got a little boost of energy with week 12 and began to tame this household which I had slacked off on over the first trimester.  Finally, I can leave the guest bedroom door open as well as the master bed room.   I even cleaned out the van which had reached its height of total messiness, threw away all that trash crammed in around the car seats and brought in the plethora of coats and shoes which were strewn all over the floor.  This was also the week of the harvest party at our tutorial, which me and another mom were in charge of.  I spent all day Wednesday at the tutorial setting up, running, and cleaning up after the harvest party.  And yet I even got all, yes ALL, of the laundry washed and just two baskets left to fold and put away.  And this was the week, Scott was out of town for 3 days/nights on business.  

Yes, I was feeling pretty darn good about my week. 

And then I picked my son up from Sunday School.

Funny how something so simple can take you down a notch or two.

The teacher greeted me with a smile on her face and said, “I have got to tell you what your son said today.  He always says the funniest things.” 

Uh-oh, I thought.  I’ve worked with children enough to know that this will not end well for the parents.

“We asked the kids what their Moms and Dads did during the day and you son said that you lay on the couch and sleep and comment on other peoples blogs while he watches TV.”


What I failed to mention is that last night I was feeling quite sick.  Got home from the end of season soccer party with a killer headache and nausea.  Scott had to go to the homeless ministry, so I sat on the couch with a bowl on my lap and let the kids watch cartoons as I dozed and snuggled with them. 

How sad that a weeks worth of hard work can be completely forgotten because of one evening of slacking on the couch. 

When my son started preschool last fall, I told him he’d have a chance to make some new friends.  His response?  “I don’t need new friends.  I have enough friends already.”  I then proceeded to explain that sometimes maybe they need us.  It took a little while, but he warmed up and made some new friends at preschool.

Hmmm… ever notice how sometimes you see something about yourself reflected in your child?

How often to I close myself off?  How often do I neglect to “put myself out there” and make new friends because I feel like I don’t need them?  I am not naturally outgoing.  Truth be told, I am more of an introvert.  And I stink at small talk.  So, really making new friends is not exactly my thing either. 

This fall, our family enrolled at a home school tutorial.  I remember sitting at the orientation, where I knew not a soul, and feeling very much like my son did last fall.  He adapted more easily than I did this year and made friends quite quickly.  He was begging me to invite his friends over and I had yet to really introduce myself to any of the other moms.

But, then we had our monthly parent meetings and I found myself sitting next to other kindergarten moms, several who had younger daughters as well.  As our girls bonded over baby dolls under the pews, we engaged in small talk.  A few months later, I was assigned my first big volunteer responsibility to cochair the Harvest Party for the tutorial.  Turns out my partner was also new to the tutorial and her daughter sits next to my son in class.  They were already good friends, having bonded over Star Wars at recess.  Within one phone call, I felt a connection with her.  We set up a play date to work on the specifics of the party.  While our kids played together we sat and talked about relay games, food lists, and our husbands and kids.  The next day we met for lunch at Chick-Fil-A.

A connection was made and a friendship born. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about community.  How do you develop a sense of community in your school, church, or other group?

I really think, you do it by creating opportunities for people to work along side each other.   Working together on a project, big or small, gives you a common ground and experience from which to build a relationship.  Whether it be serving on a Vacation Bible School committee, setting tables up for a brunch, or working side by side on the PTA, I really think a sense of community is developed  when people feel like they have something to contribute to the group and when they have the opportunity to work alongside other people for a common goal.  Also, by working together, you instantly have a common ground, it helps fill that gap that just sitting around making small talk can leave.  I am not suggesting you’re going to instantly become best friends with someone just because you work together on a project.  But, I do think you can make a connection with someone.  And as those connections are made and conversations started, friendships will grow.  Besides building a community isn’t the necessarily about building an instant group of best friends.  It’s about building a sense of belonging, making people feel welcome and needed, and a part of the team.   I am sure there are other ways to build a community, but I do think that a community built on serving together, is one that I’d like to be a part of.   What do you think?  Any thoughts on how one can build a sense of community within their group?

Weekend Thought ButtonWhat are you thinking about this week? Why not use your last post of the week to highlight something a bit "deeper" then the average “Momblog” fair?  I’d love to read your thoughts.  Please feel free to write and link up a  “thoughtful” post below.  You can write a new post or link up one you wrote earlier in the week.  Please include a link back to here in your post.

The first time Scott went away on business travel, we were newly married and when he told me he was going to CA for a week, I really thought the world was ending.  Looking back it was one of those classic examples of a couple looking at the same event in two different ways.  For Scott the trip was an exciting opportunity.  A chance to do something new and definitely a plus for his career.  Sure, he would miss me, but it would only be 3 days. To me it was 3 days… also known as the world coming to and end.  What would I do with my husband gone for three days?  How would I survive?  Looking back, I was quite melodramatic.  (clearly I wasn’t cut out to be a military wife)  But, go he did and survive I did.

8 years later and I still am not a fan of business travel.  Thankfully, he really doesn’t go all that often, a few times a year on average.     I still shed a tear when we kiss goodbye and hate falling asleep in the big lonely bed, but I have come up with a strategy for getting through the time a part. I plan a special event for the kids and I for each day he’s gone. Nothing huge… ice cream cones for dessert, a fun craft, or a fast food dinner.


Though talked up correctly, each can turn into the highlight of our day.  We also typically have a movie and popcorn night planned for one of the evenings.  These little breaks from the norm give us something to look forward to and distract us. 

IMG_3452 I also set goals for myself.  I find something I want to accomplish while Scott is gone.  It could be organizing pictures, scrapbooking, cleaning out a closet, or this week… conquering the laundry.  These goals help the evenings when Scott is gone to pass more quickly. 

sunriseAs the kids get older, having Daddy gone is a bigger deal for them.    I think they have a better concept of time now and really miss him.  Scott typically leaves notes for them to read while he is gone and they draw pictures and hide them in his suitcase for him to find while he’s cloudsgone.  This time Scott took my iphone and e-mailed videos home for them to watch each morning.  He’d also take pics of things like the plane ride or the view from his hotel room and e-mail them back. It helped the kids to see what he was seeing and feel a part of his trip.  The kids would dictate messages for me to e-mail to him and he’d write back.  It really helped keep them connected and was so cute to see their messages to him. 

From my youngest: Daddy couldn't be here tonight.  Next time won't you sing with me.  Like a diamond in the sky. 

From my son:  Dad, I love your video.  We did have a great time and I love you very much.  I hope you have a good flight on the airplane.  And I think I believe I will be awake when you come home.  I do love you a lot.  Do you think mine is the longest e-mail?  Please write back soon.  I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.  Hey, I'll see you tomorrow.  Tomorrow we're going to have lasagna.  But, can I sit beside you when we have lasagna tomorrow?  Hey, do you know what?  I've got a surprise for you tomorrow for after dinner.  Please write back. I love you.  Goodbye.  2 thousand and one hundred kisses.

From our middle child: Dear Daddy, I hope you have a safe trip back.  Don't be scared of the dark b/c you’re flying back on the plane.  Be safe.  Now I hope you have a fine trip back home.  I love you Da Da.  I love you Da Da.   How can you believe we ate ice cream?

According to the flight status checker online, Scott’s plane is due back in 22 minutes!! I can’t wait for him to walk in the door.  Tomorrow we’ll have a big yummy “Daddy’s home breakfast” with cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, and bacon.  And lasagna for dinner.  Celebration!  Daddy’s home!!  All is right with the world again.

1.  Two rakes and three kids does not make for a happy equation.IMG_3333 2.  Make sure your kids have their shoes securely tied before you begin raking.  Otherwise you could rake a pile like this only to have your son tell you it was time to go on a “treasure hunt” to find his missing shoes in said pile.


3.  If your going to jump into the pile with the kids, don’t wear baggy jeans.  Otherwise you will find leaves in your underwear when you go inside.

IMG_3363 4.  No one is more fun when it comes to playing in the leaves than Daddy.  See his leg under there and his face peeking out at the top?  He doesn’t care about leaves in his underwear or daddy long legs hiding under the leaves.  He’s the best.


5.  Always, always have your camera ready when raking leaves.  You never know when you’re gonna capture that  expression that you wanna hold onto forever. 




Visit here or here for more Wednesday Picture Fun!

During this stage of the game, sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s a person growing inside me.  Yes, my jeans are fitting more snugly these days and I tend to nod off on the couch each night around 10, but other than that I don’t feel all the different.  And so I go through each day making meals, cleaning up messes, and trying to accomplish lessons, errands, and other excursions and quite often forget that all the while there’s a life growing inside of me.

This morning I was given a chance to take pause and reflect on that little heart beat.  It was my 12 week OB check up and I got to hear the swish swish of my little one’s heart beat.  As soon as she put the monitor over my belly I inhaled a bit and then, there was that precious sound I’ve heard before and yet haven’t.

True, I’ve heard the sound of my baby’s heart beat before.  This is my fourth pregnancy so I recognized that rhythmic swish swish instantly.

And yet, I’ve never heard the sound of THIS BABY’S heart beat before.

Wowsers…there’s a baby in my belly!!.  A real living, heart’s a beating baby taking up space in my uterus.  I am a mother of four!  Sometimes I still can’t wrap my mind around it.

It’s a miracle I don’t want to take for granted.

One of my favorite parts about home schooling has been the field trips.  We have tutorial sessions on Mon and Wed.  Tues we have school at home and typically it is a catch up day for me around the house.  I try to keep Tuesdays open as I need that day to just be at home.  Thursdays we have school at home, plus BSF in the morning, and often a play date over lunch. Thursdays are busy and full.  Fridays, however, are often field trip days.  We get our school work done in the morning and then often, not always, we take field trips.  The past two Fridays have been Field Trip Fridays.  First, we went to a farm to learn about the life of the Pilgrims and Indians.  They had people dressed in period costumes as we learned about the Indians, Pilgrim chores, Pilgrim home life, and Pilgrim play.  This was topped off with the most extreme and fun hay ride I’ve ever been on and the chance to pick popping corn from the corn field. 

The following Friday I organized a field trip for the tutorial class to the local police station.  The officers did a fabulous job of showing us around the facility and educating us on their job.  I found it incredibly interesting and kept thinking about how much it reminded me of the District.  Truth be told, I think I liked it even more than the kids… must be that part of me that loves those cop/crime drama shows. 

Here’s some pictures of our Friday Field Trip Fun!

Trying to make corn meal


playing Pilgrim games


Yes, the hay ride went right through the creek… I told you it was extreme hay riding   IMG_3181

Hopefully the only time my girls experience life inside of a holding cell….and yes, I sanitized them heavily and immediately.


The hand cuffs and the taser demo were definite hits with the kids  IMG_3415

This year in my Bible Study we are studying the book of John.  Last week we read in John 4 about the Samaritan woman at the well.  It’s funny to me  how I can read a passage I’ve heard many times before and this time see it in a new light with fresh application.  I love how living and breathing the Word of God is. 

Many things challenged me about this passage.  The Samaritan woman was looked down upon by Jews because she was Samaritan.  She was also looked down upon by her fellow Samaritans because of her adulterous lifestyle.  These two facts made it all the more startling that Jesus, a Jew approached her at the well.  But, he not only approached her, he changed her life.  She left their conversation with the understanding that Jesus was the Messiah.  And then she went and told the people of her village about the Messiah.  But, she actually took it a step farther and brought them back with her to meet the Messiah themselves. 

After studying this passage, I was challenged by two main points. 

Jesus told his disciples that the Samaritans were ripe for the harvest.  Who are the people in my life that are ripe for the harvest that I perhaps haven’t been looking at with Jesus' eyes?  Who have I judged or shut out and not approached that is ready to hear about God’s love? 

The second thing that challenged me is the Samaritan’s response to Jesus.  She left their exchange and ran to tell her neighbors and bring them back to meet Jesus. 

Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers.

42They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

I was definitely convicted by this passage as I am not running to tell my neighbors, or anyone really, about the Messiah.  This got me thinking about my neighbor.  Over the past few years we’ve developed an amicable relationship.  Our kids enjoy playing with their son.  We talk easily over the fence from time to time while the kids play.  They know we go to church on Sunday morning.   I then got to thinking, what am I doing to share God’s love with them?  Other than the fact that we leave the house early Sun morning and return mid day, how does that fact that we call ourselves Christians make us different from the world?   Do they see us loving our neighbors?  What am I doing to share God’s love and grace with them? 

I don’t have answers to all the questions I am pondering.  But I can tell you that this is what I am thinking about.  I want to serve God where I am in the most effective way I can.  I want Christ’s love to shine brightly through our family. 

Weekend Thought ButtonWhat are you thinking about this week? Why not use your last post of the week to highlight something a bit "deeper" then the average “Momblog” fair?  I’d love to read your thoughts.  Please feel free to write and link up a  “thoughtful” post below.  You can write a new post or link up one you wrote earlier in the week.  Please include a link back to here in your post.

It appears my oldest daughter is trying to prepare me for life with 4 kids.  She has taken on the job of mothering her baby doll “baby Eli” literally 24-7. 

When we sit down to eat, she makes sure Eli has his bib on and a special seat at the table.  We now set our table for 7 (b/c our youngest has to include her baby Eli too). 


When she’s getting ready for bed, baby Eli also gets tucked into his bed, with his own baby and she is always certain to read him his special Bible story as well.   In the morning she’ll tell me that “baby Eli had a very good night sleep”.IMG_3404

Occasionally, baby Eli requires babysitting from me.  Yesterday she asked me to baby sit while we went to the school room for school.  She left me with a bottle, a spare diaper, his bed and his stroller.  She walked me through all the details of how to take care of him and when she returned from her “time at school” she asked how he did.  Did I change his diaper?  Did I feed him?  I told her he slept soundly in his stroller the whole time she was gone. 

Yesterday when we overslept and were running late, I was scurrying to get the kids fed and dressed and out the door in 30 min.  My daughter was concerned that I also prepare food for Eli.  I didn’t have time to feed Eli that morning and told her he could eat when we got back.  She said, “Mommy, he needs to eat, he’s hungry.”  I suggested a bottle and she said, “he eats more than just milk Mom.” 

I can tell she’s getting me ready for life with four. Seems I am going through baby boot camp as I now have an extra diaper to change, mouth to feed, and car seat to buckle when getting ready each morning. 

IMG_3391 I am so glad when I have this extra little one to care for, he or she will have such a wonderful big sister to help me take care of him/her.

Many of you have asked for the details on my pregnancy.  Some you will just have to infer for yourself as this is a family friendly blog  :-) But, as for the rest….I am around 11 weeks pregnant.  According to a site I read online that gives me the update each week, this week my baby gets his/her irises and finger nails and he or she weighs in a whopping 7 grams!

When I was pregnant with my son, I told my third grade class when I was around 9 weeks.  Because it was my first child and I was good at keeping things quiet for a whole two days.  I remember telling my third graders and their response was, “I thought you looked pregnant.”  (Hello kiddos, the baby is a size of a grape, there is no way I look pregnant)  They then preceded to move their desks farther apart in case I needed more room to fit through the aisle. 

When we told our children there was a baby in Mommy’s belly, they kind of laughed at first and didn’t believe us.  “No way, there couldn’t be a baby in there!”  My 3 year old said, “Mom, I think it is just food.”  We then explained that the baby is the size of a grape and so it doesn’t look like there is right now, but really there is.  (I love my children… kind, smart, SENSITIVE little ones that they are….truly wise beyond their years!)

The kids are so excited.  My two year old will ask me every day, multiple times a day, “Mommy, is there still a baby in your belly?”  My middle child is so eager to mother and care for a real baby.  She told me, “Mom, I don’t think we talk about the baby enough.  I think we should talk about the baby all the time.  I think we need to get the car seat in the van and the toys for the baby down from the attic.”  My son said right away, “Well, it will be a LONG time before we find out if we have a boy or a girl.” 

Which brings me to the next,most commonly asked question…. Will we be finding out what we’re having?  We chose to wait and be surprised with the other three and LOVED, LOVED that element of surprise.  Yes,  by the end we were really curious, and very eager, but it was so fun to wait, and then for me to hear Scott exclaim “Crystal, It’s a boy… It’s a girl… It’s a girl.”  But, I thought for sure if we had a fourth, that we’d find out.  It seems easier, ya know.  And besides my son has his heart set on a baby brother.  He is actually fully convinced it will be a boy b/c in his words, “God just wouldn’t give me three sisters to take care of.  He knows I’d need help.  I am sure God will give me a brother to help me take care of the girls.”   I thought we’d have to find out so we could prepare him.  But, Scott really doesn’t want to find out.  He loves that element of surprise and is convinced that our son will adjust and do fine and it  might even be easy to adjust when he can see his sister or brother right when he finds out.  So, while nothing is definitive, it looks like we’re going to be surprised with this one too. 

How do I feel?  Tired.  You may have noticed my blogs haven’t been updated first thing in the morning every day like before… Yea, I am pretty much in bed by 10pm every night.  It’s actually all I can do to stay up till 10.  And  I am behind on laundry and house cleaning b/c I haven’t really been all that productive these days.  Homeschooling, taking care of three kiddos, and carrying a fourth, seems to tucker me out.  But, I am looking forward to that second trimester energy boost (right in time for the holidays) when I hope to once again stay up late with my hubby and stay on top of the house work.  I am grateful that I haven’t been sick.  I never got morning sickness with any of my kids.   I have felt queasy and nauseous at times, especially if my stomach is too empty.  But compared to my friends who truly suffered morning sickness, I’d say no… I feel fine!

I’ve already started getting the raised eyebrows and crazy looks from strangers.  I went in for a flu shot with the three kids last week at the CVS minute clinic.  The tech said, “Mom, any chance your pregnant?”  Yes, I said.  The look on her face was priceless.  You’d have thought I said I was from Mars.  Wow she said, “You must like kids, huh?”  When I told my dermatologist I was pregnant she asked if it was my first.  “Umm…no, fourth!”  There went the eyes again and she asked if I was ready.  Hope so, no turning back now.   The OB nurse just said, “Well, I guess you know about being pregnant as I stepped on the scale for my first visit.  Yes, yes I do.

So, I guess that’s the up date on being preggo at the circus!  So far, so good.  Looking forward to hearing the heart beat for the first time next week and to seeing his or her face in another month or two at my first sonogram!

For all of you who have bought something from Amazon and done so by clicking through my site, congratulate yourselves. 

I checked my Amazon affiliate account today and I have earned $50.00 thus far!  As you may remember, Scott and I decided to match whatever money it earns (up to the first $200), so tonight I wrote a check to World Vision’s Sudan Relief Fund for $100!  Whoohooo! imageimage 

I know I just got through telling you that I don’t want to rush the Thanksgiving season, by thinking of Christmas.  And I don’t.  I plan to start my shopping the day after Thanksgiving. 

BUT, for those of you who like to get a head start on the Christmas shopping, I thought I’d take this time to remind you about the Shopping for Sudan project we’re working on here at the circus.  Because if you are like me, shopping online is a much preferable choice to dragging your kids in and out of their car seats, waiting in long lines, and trying to stay jovial while keeping the kids quiet and entertained.  Online shopping eliminates all that stress and lets you shop during naptime, in your sweat pants, while snacking on Halloween candy.  Def my preference. 

But, I am not writing this to try to convince you to shop online.

Nor am I writing to persuade you to shop at

My request is just this:  If your going to shop from Amazon, would you please bookmark my site and enter Amazon from the “Shop for Sudan” link on my side bar?

Because I am an Amazon affiliate, I can earn money from your purchase and I am pledging to donate all the money earned to World Vision’s Sudan Food and Care Fund. 

While I am sitting in the comfort and safety of my home, with my cupboards and fridge full of food and my children comfortably sleeping in their beds, with NO FEAR for our safety, there are mothers, too, too many mothers who are mourning the loss of their babies, or are watching their babies starve, or are terrified at the sights and sounds they hear approaching them.   And while we can’t help them all, we can’t solve all that is going on over there.  We can help.  We can bring a small bit of aid and relief.  And did I mention, it costs us nothing?  No extra money, at all.

I believe there are a lot of us out there who do shop at Amazon and I am excited to think about the amount of money we could raise to help those suffering in Sudan, especially now during the Christmas shopping season. 

So, could you please help me?  Would you share this link with any friends/family that you know that shop at Amazon?  Blog, Twit or Facebook the post.  (Here’s a link I made for you, to make it real easy, simply copy and paste

We’ve already raised $100 since we started this summer.  I wonder how much more families we can assist in the Christmas season alone.  

Weekend Thought Button

Long before the costumes and candy were even consumed for Halloween, stores already had their Christmas products on the shelves.  I saw Santa and Jack-o-lanterns literally across the aisle from each other at Target a few weeks ago.  And now, while the candy still lingers in our pumpkin bowls,  if you walk into any department store, mall, or craft store, you’d swear it was December as the sights, sounds, and smells all tell of Christmas.

But, what about Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is too often forgotten in our culture.  Perhaps because it is an attitude of the heart and not something which can be bought or decorated.  A true spirit of thanksgiving must be cultivated, not consumed.  And this takes time for both thought and intention.  Hmmm, all things we seem to lack in our consumer drive, instant gratification seeking way of life.

I know that personally, I struggle with truly taking the time to stop and reflect and genuinely give thanks for the many, many blessings God has given me.  It’s all too easy to focus on where we’ll be celebrating this year, and whose bringing what, and will it be like old times, and don’t forget Black Friday shopping the next morning……

This year, I’d like to do something different.   This year, I’d like to make Thanksgiving more than just everyone going around the table and saying what they are thankful for.  I want to make it a season.  I want to spend the next three weeks leading up to thanksgiving, giving thanks.  I want to set aside some personal time, each day, to just give thanks to God.  I want to look around my house, my neighborhood, my church, my every day life filled with dirty dishes and overflowing laundry baskets, and I want to say, “Thank You.” 

Then, after I spend about a week or so of personal reflection on my blessings, I’d like to lead my kids to do the same.  I’ve read some great ideas online about making Thanksgiving trees, or calendars, boxes,…where you have everyone in your family write or draw something they are thankful for that day and reflect on it throughout the month.  These sound like wonderful ideas.  I’m not sure which one I want to implement this year.  It could be as simple as going around the table every morning at breakfast and saying something we are thankful for.  The goal, for me, is to make the true act of giving thanks more than just an after thought, but rather the for thought of our day. 

And to be honest, I can’t think of a better way to prepare my heart for the season of advent, then by preceding it with a season of thanksgiving.  Care to join me?

What are you thinking about this week? Why not use your last post of the week to highlight something a bit "deeper" then the average “Momblog” fair?  I’d love to read your thoughts.  Please feel free to write and link up a  “thoughtful” post below.  You can write a new post or link up one you wrote earlier in the week.  Please include a link back to here in your post.

Drabble - November 1, 2009

OK, so Halloween was 6 days ago, and I gotta tell you this circus mom has had more than her fair share of the loot.  The kids are doing quite well with an occasional piece after a meal here or there.  Mom on the other hand seems to go for the candy bowl come nap and bed time and she rarely stops with one. 

The other morning when the kids came out to the living room my son spotted a few candy wrappers sitting on the couch.  (seems someone didn’t dispose of the evidence before falling asleep on the couch at 9pm) He said, “Hey, someone had too much junk food last night!”   

I’m thinking someone needs to gain control before the kids resort to more drastic measures.

Drabble - November 2, 2009

Am I alone in this or do I have some fellow candy sneakers out there as well?  Fess up, make a pregnant mom feel better about herself!!

flying super girl

super girl flies

Super Girl flies in

Visit here or here for more fun with pictures.

Remember my confession back in May about my hefty library charge

I am happy to report that I’ve actually gotten much better about returning library books since then.  And no, it’s not because I’ve stopped going to the library.  Sure, I’ve paid an occasional fee here or there, but nothing close to the $42.09 I paid back in May.   Perhaps they won’t be naming the local branch after the circus family after all.  

Today we had the carpets cleaned by Stanley Steamers… b/c it may sound like the circus here on a daily basis, but I was sick of it looking like the inside of a circus tent.  When the cleaners moved my couch, you’ll never believe what they found?

The missing library books!!! 

I was fairly certain they were gone for good, especially when they never showed up even after the crazy cleaning frenzy I went on all summer long.   But there they were, all along, under the couch.  I am fairly certain I won’t be able to get my refund now, since I have no idea where that receipt is from mid May.   So, it looks like we now own 2 Clifford books.  At least we finally get to enjoy the books I paid an arm and a leg for 6 months ago.


Super Girl  IMG_3090  Bumblebee the Transformer


And our Little Kangaroo


We had a wonderful time playing with and visiting with our neighbors, dressing up in costumes, and begging for candy.