Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Friday

While everyone is out shopping on Black Friday, we have a tradition that began when I was first married and has continued down through the years. The day after Thanksgiving is the day to bake Christmas cookies!  The tradition began with baking them with my sisters. Sometimes it would be with a friend and as the children grew they joined in.This year my annual cookie bake included my daughter and son-in-law, my daughter-in-law and her mother and her two nieces, my daughter in heart, and my two grandchildren.  

We have our traditional favorites that we make every year. Sometimes we try new ones and sometimes they don't turn out the way we expect.  This year we each brought our dough all mixed up and ready to bake.  We baked  nine different kinds of cookies.  There was lots of laughter and joking. And of course tasting as we tried each new batch of cookies. 

First cookies - eggnog snickerdoodle
A very important job - unwrapping chocolate kisses for Peanut Butter Blossoms and Lemon Kiss Cookies

Nean and Jeff making Orange Craisin Oatmeal Cookies
LeLe dropping cookies

Decorators at Work  (LeLe and Dante)
 We had a busy day and made 58 dozen cookies so we all had lots of delicious cookies to take home with us to enjoy throughout the holiday.

Friday, November 26, 2010


This year as always I have a lot to be thankful for.  First and foremost, I am thankful for my dear husband.  When he was told at the beginning of the summer that he had a heart murmur, it started for us a roller coaster of uncertainty, emotions, doctor visits, and decision making, culminating in a valve repair on October 5th.  Now, a valve repair in this day and age is pretty much a routine surgery as far as the doctors are concerned.  It is, however, major heart surgery and with any major surgery there are risks and with the heart -- well, you can guess the emotional roller coaster we were on for a couple of months.

However, surgery is behind us.  It's been almost eight weeks and recovery has, in fact, been rather fantastic.  Although several friends who have been through this type surgery have told us that it will take about a year until he really feels like himself, he is gaining strength every day -- and we are indeed grateful!  And as we celebrated Thanksgiving, we were extremely thankful that we were both here to celebrate it together.

Jeff, Zoë, Jeannine, Ami, Joyce, Mike
Jeff, Mike, Bob, Vicky, Dante
Yesterday as we gathered in our "new" home to celebrate the holiday, our 7 year old grandson wanted to go around the table and have everyone tell what they were thankful for.  As we honored his request and I listened to each person voice their thankfulness, I was struck anew with how grateful I am for family and good friends.  Although missing from the table this year was my dear mother in law, we had added friends who are indeed "family in our hearts." Also at our table was a little 3 year old who three years ago, we did not know existed -- our beautiful curly-haired little adopted granddaughter, Zoë. What joy she has brought to us and to her parents and brother and to those who know us these past three years!

As we were nearing the end of our round the table thankfulness yesterday, my grandson who had gone first, blurted out, "Say Jesus. Isn't anybody going to say Jesus?"  And yes, even though on this earth I am thankful that Hubby is here to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family, I am even more grateful for Jesus, for without Jesus there is no Life to enjoy!