- thanksgiving poem & pics -

Thanksgiving at Scott's sister Mary and Corey's house is always a feast for the eyes as well as a wonderful meal. Mary decorates with exhuberance and style - with help from her daughters Abby and Bergen. Scott and I, along with Becky, Pitt and Emmett joined their family for dinner. Our photos reminded me of a poem I recently read by John Greenleaf Whittier. 

In the poem "The Pumpkin" by 19th century poet John Greenleaf Whittier, the tradition of Thanksgiving is described as a time of remembrance and return, a celebration of abundance, both of sustenance and of love, at a family gathering. The poet depicts the scene sensually, packing each line with the fruits of a healthy harvest and the warmth of a kitchen sweet from baking

 By the end of the poem, the words achieve an almost too-full splendor:
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express,

Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less, 
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below, 
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow.
Having lived on a farm his entire life, Whittier offers his reader the plentiful harvest as a symbol of a productive year, evoking the historical origin of Thanksgiving as the meal held in 1621 by the Wampanoag together with the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

 Whittier describes the harvest festival - a shared tradition of both cultures. The account of a peaceful celebration between the two groups is still the basis for the holiday today. 

While some of the elements of the story are myths that were consciously exaggerated in the 1890s and early 1900s in the hopes of forging a national identity in the aftermath of the Civil War, the core message of acceptance and commonality still remains for many celebrants.

I love that Thanksgiving has remained a celebration of acceptance and togetherness. I love the simplicity and family-ness of Thanksgiving. 

After Thanksgiving dinner, Aaron and Aimee and family joined us for dessert and games. 

Brookie made candy bar pie that we all enjoyed. 

Bergen and baby Claire really hit it off. 

Playing a serious game of Apples to Apples Jr. 

Thanks Mary, for a wonderful afternoon. 

I love this pic of brother and sister! 


{ pre-ThanKsgiVing }

Today I finished the shopping and put clean sheets on the beds. The kids are coming "over the river and through the woods" to grandmother's (and grandfather's house), and we can't wait. I've been on the lookout for some cute Thanksgiving printables for place cards, coloring pages etc. Brookie is my place card expert and Bailee will color anything I place in front of her. If I can think up a project and get them started, those two girls will jump in and finish it. Nowadays, they just come up with their own projects too...being Google experts and all. Case in point...the shower game that Brookelyn put together for Sierra's recent bridal shower. Adorable.

I like to check the Martha Stewart website for ideas that are a little more special. I've always liked the wedding specialist Darcy Miller's ideas on Martha Stewart. She's has kids of her own and her art style is kind of doodly and cute.

 Sure enough, she has a complete Thanksgiving section on Martha Stewart this year. Click here for the link. I just look through the images (it's a slideshow) and color print each printable template that is included. Then once I decide what I'm going to use, I can reprint as many copies as I need on my color copier.

 The thankful tree, above, is a centerpiece/activity. Make leaves and have everyone write the 
.things they're thankful for.
I love Darcy's menu cards and placemats. The menu sheets could be used for other writing activities. 


| squash for dinner |

Lots of people are listing what they're grateful for on Facebook, and I'm enjoying and agreeing with their status updates. Today I want to say that I'm grateful for delicious, hot food. I'm grateful for the guys that work in the produce department at Lee's Marketplace where I shop. They cut up the banana squash for their customers, and for that I feel truly blessed. I really hate cutting big, hard stuff like watermelon and pumpkins and squash.

But we love to eat squash with meatloaf or chicken and baked potatoes for Sunday dinner. It's just so good. I unwrap it and cut a thin layer off the edges and scrape the top sixteenth inch off the center. I don't know why - it just seems kind of dry and unsanitary not to. I know it will get sanitized in the oven, but that's my habit. 

I cut it into serving size pieces and place it on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet and put a dab of butter on top of each piece. Salt and pepper too.

Bake for an hour and serve on a lovely Portmeirion platter so it looks kinda fancy. Yum. (It's what's for dinner.)
Posted by Picasa


< worKout with Scott >

This is Scott. He works out. He's heading into the Sports Academy for his twice-weekly torture session. 

This is Scott's trainer, Greg. He's merciless. 

This is a screen shot of the workout he would be doing on the day he took these photos. It's hard. 

He's running sideways on the treadmill just to get warmed up.

Staying on the treadmill he has to do dips. Lots of dips.

Here he's sprinting down the hallway in intervals with lifting the dumbbell. 

Over and over he does this...ten on each side, then sprint, then ten on each side, sprint..... 

Kettle bell swings up to eye level.

Followed by fast lunges.

Then on to the cable machine for lots of lifting. 

And some sit-ups...just for a bit of rest time. 

Love that medicine ball. Lifting it....

And carrying it - all over the gym. Up the stairs...

and down the hallways. 

That thing is heavy. And Scott was pushing himself hard, because Greg requires that he finish all of the above in less than thirty minutes. 

As if an hour with Greg isn't enough, Scott follows his workout with forty minutes on the bike. He passes the time by reading his medical journals. 

Scott started these workouts when he turned 50. He determined that he was getting flabby and losing muscle. Since then he has always had a trainer. Best money we've ever spent. Working with a trainer gets him to the gym, he says, and if he didn't have someone waiting for him, he'd find every excuse not to go. Like me. He actually looks forward to this hard work. He has stiff muscles a lot of the time because of the workout, but he always says that the hurt "is a good hurt." 
Posted by Picasa


+ loVe this onLine magaZine +

fallbacktoschool magazine


Click on the link above to see a darling digital magazine/catalog. I ran into the creator of the magazine through her website and blog Fifth and Hazel. (I landed there after googling "best script fonts.") This girl is an amazing graphic designer and a real go-getter. I'll just say, I'm impressed.


= Kimberbell at QuiLt MarKet =

Kimberbell Designs is the name of the company I work for, and I just had to show the booth at International Quilt Market last week in Houston. Here's Kim, my boss, and her sister Kris in the booth with Joel Dewberry. (Kris owns My Girlfriend's Quilt Shop.) Kim also has the sewing websites YouCanMakeThis.com and swakembroidery.com 

Kim designs wonderful quilts and other sewing projects and writes and sells the patterns for them. Her seasonal "Block of the Week" patterns are big sellers at the quilt shop. You can see them on the back wall.

The four quilts hanging up fromt are all in one pattern - it's called the Perfectly Imperfect quilt. That's because there are no seams that have to line up. Kim's applique designs are darling as you can see in these quilts. 

The Christmas corner was filled with things I want to make. I love the table runner with the black border. 

The baby projects are adorable. I made my own version of the quilt with the gray dots and pink chevron squares. I probably won't give it to any baby - just keep it in my collection. And that red/green/black JOY quilt in the background - I made that quilt last year as a "mystery quilt" at the shop before I ever knew Kim or dreamt that I'd work for her. I love the quilt world and being part of it in a very small way!