Thanksgiving Around the Corner

Hi friends–  I afraid to say that I’ve been stewing a bit over Thanksgiving. For the first time in a few years, ALL our family will be together in Ojai for a Thanksgiving weekend (It warms my Mom-heart!!) and I think I’m letting the details of getting us all together overwhelm my heart and mind.   I need to back up and not lose sight of this time of Thankfulness…

Some Family together about this time last year.

So here I am– stopping to sit in quiet and thank God for a few things today:
1.  The maple trees turning in the backyard, beauty out my window.
2.  My people (especially Larry) who walk through these days with me.
3.  Food in the fridge and a fire in the fireplace.
4.  MOPS moms and young adults at church who keep me from feeling old.
5.  Our kids–scattered and settled and doing well.
6.  Grand-kids learning and blossoming– nothing dearer.
7.  My Monday ladies who listen and understand and pray with me.
8.  Books and music and mugs of tea in the quiet of our home.
9.  Our parents who know us well and keep us grounded.
10. A walk with God, who loves us more than we can ask or imagine (Eph. 3)

I’m sure you have your own list– Doesn’t it bring a calm to your soul to think through your blessings??

O Lord, who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.”  — William Shakespeare


And I wanted to send you one last pumpkin recipe (Thanksgiving breakfast??).  So quick and luscious!  Made these with two baking buddies– Jenna & Bekah.  Love those girls!!

1 egg
2 tsp. water
2 sheets puff pastry (1 box), defrosted
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tab. coarse sugar

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tab. milk
1 tsp. vanilla (or maple syrup)z

In a small bowl whisk together the egg and water.  Set aside

Open out the puree pastry onto the counter.  With a rolling pin, roll both pieces into 12″ by 16″ rectangles.  Cut each piece in half to have 4 !2″x 8″ rectangles.

Mix together the pumpkin, sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  Then spread the the pumpkin mixture to cover the 4 rectangles clear to the edges.

Starting at the long side, roll each rectangle into a long cylinder.

Then with a sharp knife cut clear through the cylinder, leaving a 1″ part at the top that is not cut.  Turn the two cut halves of the cylinder around so the pumpkin layers are showing.  Then braid the two stands together, so that the cut layers of pumpkin show on top.

Then twist the braid into a circle and carefully set the circle of pastry onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Repeat until you have 4 braided circles (so pretty!)

The brush the egg mixture onto to coast the tops of the pastries and sprinkle on the coarse sugar.

Pop them all into a 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the tops are crusty and golden.

While they are baking whisk  together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla for the glaze.

When the pastries come out, let them cool for 5 minutes and then drizzle on the glaze.  Delicious warm from the oven!!


Thanks Bekah & Jenna fo dropping in on a Saturday morning to bake and talk and eat.  Love you two!


“What we’re really taking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday in November, when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?”  –Erma Bombeck


Thankful  Heart Charts with the grand-girls 2016

And every Grandma needs a few easy tricks up her sleeve when the family gathers for Thanksgiving.
#1.  Thankful Heart Charts– Been making these every year since our boys were small.  Provide a cup full of markers and everyone draws tiny pictures of all they are thankful for (or contributes to a bigger chart to share with everyone).

#2.  Gratitude Basket –Last year Jodi had everyone write what they were thankful for on a slip of paper (keeping it a secret!) and then after dinner she pulled the slips from the basket and as she read them, we guessed who had written each one.  Some easy to guess, some hard, some hilarious.  So fun!

#3.  A to Z Thankfulness — Go around the circle and think of things to be thankful for, starting with the letters of the alphabet.

#4.  Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt– Give each grand-kid a brown paper bag with this list on the front– a turkey, a pretty rock, 3 leaves, something fuzzy, something smooth, a small pumpkin, something green, a stick, something you think is beautiful.  See what they come up with!!

Grand-girls in homemade turkey hats & standing by the welcome turkey at the front door.


“In November, people are good to each other. They carry pies to each other’s homes and talk by crackling woodstoves, sipping mellow cider. They travel very far on a special November day just to share a meal with one another and to give thanks for their many blessings – for the food on their tables and the babies in their arms.”– Cynthia Rylant,  (a favorite children’s book author)

And finally, here’s a few of our favorite Thanksgiving books to share together after the turkeys eaten and there’s time to sit cozy on the couch.

Best Thanksgiving Books   (Link to theses books & more)


Finally as you sit down around the table for Thanksgiving ahead, I hope for you that your heart is happy and settled and full of gratitude for your blessings great and small.  Thanksgiving Blessings to you, dear Readers.

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.”  — Cicero



56 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Around the Corner

    • Hi Cate!! You’re so kind Cate–thanks. I’m imagining your the pie person for Thanksgiving in your family! What are you making?? I have to do 3 pies and am still deciding! Wish I could import some of your baking!! Happy weekend!!

  1. Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year! Your inspiring post has captured the spirit of it beautifully! I’m thankful for our bookish friendship! Blessings as you enjoy your precious family, delicious food, and joyful fellowship.

    • You’re so dear Carol! It’s my favorite too. No gifts or decorations– just food and time for walks and games and talks. My favorite photo from last year was our son sitting at the table long after lunch, talking to my Mom. Hope your Thanksgiving is the best! xox

  2. Pingback: Review: The Invention of Wings | Reading Ladies

    • Hi Lacey– I hope so! We’re all traveling up to Ojai and staying in 3 different Air Bnb’s– So I’m a little unsure what I need to cart along to produce a Thanksgiving Dinner (how many plates will there be in the cupboard??!) But it will be great to have us all in one place– I’m super excited. I can’t wait to see what your kids come up with for Thanksgiving!! xox

      • Ohhhh I see, yes that would put an extra few steps and questions in the planning. Even if you do disposable plates and utensils you won’t know what else the kitchen is stocked with. I know if anyone can do it you can though.

  3. Hi Rhonda – it is easy to get caught up in the prep of Thanksgiving and forget to be thankful, esp. if you have hordes coming to your house. Where to seat everyone? Will I have enough plates? Which dishes should I make? Luckily you have realized early not to get too stressed. Just remember, everyone is thrilled to be there and have someone cooking for them. Takes some of the pressure off. Love your gratitude guessing game, we have done this in years past and it is always fun. – Kat

    • You’re so right Kat. I think I stress out trying to make sure everyone’s happy– I want to relax and enjoy the moments. Have you had snow?? We got a text photo of snow in Madison!! Have a blessed Thanksgiving dear girl. hugs!

  4. Great post, Rhonda. You remind me of my own mother, as you are joyful to have everybody there for thanksgiving. I work at Walmart, kind of puts a dagger in the day. Still lots to be thankful for and I do think God reminds me in subtle ways. Loved the children’s book suggestions too!!

    • Hi Chris!! You’re right! I think most moms love nothing more than getting all their kids together! Are you working on Thanksgiving?? Hope it turns out to be a great day for you however it goes! And– loved your apple picking post!!

  5. I can’t get over how simply wonderful your posts are. The pumpkin pastries look amazing! I loved your sweet little list of gratitude. Those young ladies at your church are so lucky to have you. I’m sure they adore you! So awesome that your family will all be able to gather. So exciting! And you sound so much like my mother and me and well my daughter too…her personality is starting to show. We all love holidays to be so special and perfect. I know I kind of skipped over Thanksgiving posts but I just have so much I want to share about Christmas so I started early. I always do try to keep Thanksgiving going all year round in my heart and house. I’m not 100% perfect at it all the time…but I try. Tonight I gave thanks for our dining room table as I wiped it down this evening and all the wonderful people that have gathered around that table to create memories. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁

    • This is so beautifully written Jenny– and you are so encouraging. I loved the thought of thankfulness for a dining table and people who’ve sat around it. Plus I’m looking forward to your Christmas posts! And love the holidays here too. Our 4 kids are scattered and it’s the best when we all can be together. Hope your Thanksgiving is a sweet time for you and your dear family. hugs!

  6. Hi Rhonda,I do hope you can enjoy your Thanksgiving with your whole family with peace. Don’t sweat the small stuff…praise God and ask for His help with the minor details. It will all be beautiful…I am sure of this! Your post is endearing with your thankful projects with the grands and your amazing family photo. I see so much love and gratitude. Thank God for you. I can tell you are a special person and I am grateful for knowing you through your blog! God Bless you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.❤️😍

  7. Oh Rhonda, I’m so glad that you did this. What a gift to yourself to pause, be still, and reflect on your blessings – especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed. This is such an awesome tool to soothe yourself and come present to the blessings. Thank you – I was feeling a little discouraged tonight, and this is so helpful.
    Love and hugs xo

  8. I’m excited for you, Rhonda! I’m sure you gonna have a great time with your family. And I can’t wait to read your posts. I love your pumpkin pie twists – it looks delicious. Big kisses to you Rhonda!😘😘😘

  9. Where ever and how ever Thanksgiving will be celebrated this year, the best thing will be having your family all together. It sounds like you always make it special and I’m sure it will be the same this year. I can just imagine how good those pumpkin pastries were just warm out of the oven.

  10. It sounds like it will be a wonderful Thanksgiving! I love your list of things to be thankful for, Rhonda! Grandmas always have the best tricks! Have a great time and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • You too Antonia!! Is Thanksgiving dinner happening at your house?? Are you the cook? I’m imagining there are a lot of good cooks in your family! Hope it’s a blessed day for you– full of warm conversations and pie! xox

  11. It is great to stop & retina everything in life. Then you appreciate it more & more,…you have so many things to be gratefull for! A grand & cool post! Love your spirit!!! ❤️❤️👏🏻🆒👌🏻🤗🤗🤗💚

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