My Thanksgiving Thoughts and Pictures and Recipes: From My Heart and Home to Yours


Lawrence2015Holiday-84A quiet expectancy dances in my heart. The holiday season is on my doorstep.

I prepare to receive my family and guests. Meals are planned as my daughter and I make the menu and think of the favorite recipes each family member loves. There will be smoked turkey this year. A green bean casserole that is made from scratch – no canned mushroom soup in this one. Sweet potato casserole (recipe follows) and mashed potatoes, too. Macaroni and Cheese made with smoked Gouda and other delightful cheeses. Dressing and a special cranberry sauce. Purple hull peas and piping hot rolls with butter. Cheesecake and Maple Walnut Cream Pie and Apple Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pumpkin Snicker Doodles. Carbohydrates and sugars will be temporarily welcomed to the table in great numbers. Old and new recipes guide our work. (Ah, so many good recipes and so little time to both prepare them and eat them.)The cooking has already begun.  Last minute trips to the grocery have happened and will continue to happen. 

I look around the rooms of my home and add finishing touches to the holiday decorations.

A romantic traditionalist at heart, family traditions bring me happiness.gabby

My kids and grandchildren will arrive at the kitchen door. The chatter will be loud. Our Yorkie, Gabriel, and our daughter’s King Cavalier, Maverick, will be barking to greet everyone. Hugs and kisses will touch our cheeks and hearts.

My daughter and I will cook and others will periodically drop by the kitchen to help. There will quiet moments of sharing with a cup of really good coffee. There will be college football on the TV during the midst of all the Maverickactivity. Later in the week, family movie night will call us all to snuggle in and enjoy a holiday classic together. The guys will hunt at times and target shooting will also happen. The ladies will hunt, too, …at the mall and Target. My daughter and I (and hopefully my daughter-in-law can make it) will definitely absolutely drive through Chick-Fil-A at some early morning hour on the day after Thanksgiving for a chicken biscuit with honey and black coffee.

Kids will play and we will play with them. We will “put on a show” as my grandchildren say which basically means we will sing, dance, and act goofy and cheer wildly declaring Audrey and Charlie to be the most amazing kids alive today.

In the middle of all the bustle, tears will flow as we experience the losses of the past year as my mom is in heaven this holiday season. Other loved ones will be missed, too.

There can be moments of disappointment and moments of stress, but we grow and learn through those, as well.

And yet, part of the strength of the season is how we come together no matter what is happening in our lives. The actual days and times of our celebrations change as our family grows but the constant is that we will be together. We love each other.

Prayer will grace our meals and expressions of thankfulness will be uttered. We will pause to reflect on God’s faithfulness and the blessings of His hands.

It’s a blessed time. A time of sharing love and laughter and tears and hugs and hope and strength and faith. So yes, in many ways, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time when we prioritize relationships and celebrate the goodness of our God and Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and the sweetness of the work of His Holy Spirit in our lives.

May this holiday season be one of love and hope for you all. May God’s comfort, when needed, be tangible and may there be moments when you are swept away by the knowledge of His love and goodness.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. (Recipe and family pics following)

Mom's Sweet Potato Casserole

(Warning: This is as rich as a dessert!)

3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed

1 cup sugar

1/2 c. butter

2 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk

Mix all ingredients and put in greased baking dish.

In a bowl, mix the following and sprinkle on top of the casserole. 

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

1 cup chopped pecans

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

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