Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Activities + 3 in 30 Challenge - Updates #2-4

For November, I set the following three goals as part of the 3 in 30 challenge:

1. Do at least 10 Thanksgiving-theme activities. Last month we enjoyed doing the 13-day Countdown to Halloween. I went through my Thanksgiving file at home as well as images I found on Pinterest that look like fun activities to do, recipes to make, or traditions to begin. 

The month seems to have gone by so quickly. After completing the book I was working on (see #3 below), I  felt like I needed to rest a bit and catch up on other projects. So, Thanksgiving activities - although planned for each day - were set aside until the week of Thanksgiving.

We ended up:

=> Making a fruit turkey made from grapes, a Bosc pear, and blueberries.

Olivia assembling the fruit turkey.

See the original pin for the idea.

Olivia's fruit turkey we enjoyed for dinner one night.

=> Assembling turkey-shaped sandwiches. Here's the original pin where I got the idea.

Turkey-shaped sandwich that Olivia and I made together.
The pupils are cow-shaped cookie decorations she wanted to use.

Sophia's turkey. She chose not to give it pupils.
There are three slices of cheese cut by flower-shaped cookie cutters
and luncheon meat in the center of the sandwich.

=> Creating a fruit and cheese turkey with a melon and Bosc pear for the body; and red pepper as well as fruit and cheese squares for the feathers.

The fruit and cheese turkey.
Guests enjoyed taking the skewer-feathers off the turkey.

This is where I found the idea: pin.

=> Doing a coloring page. Olivia enjoyed coloring a turkey and putting it up on the refrigerator. The pin links to this page with the image.

=> Making cranberry salsa. The pin leads to the recipe on Have Recipes - Will Cook. It turned out really well. Having two jalapenos certainly adds a lot of heat to the dip.

=> Baking Cookies and Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies. The pin leads to the recipe on Kevin and Amanda. The recipe makes an 8"x8" pan of brownies.

Sophia making the 
Cookies and Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies.

Ours turned out okay (the edges were a bit overdone compared to the center) so we didn't use them for Thanksgiving. However, we're thinking that a brownie from the center part, topped with cookies and cream ice cream, some hot fudge, and a cherry might be a special dessert for Sophia's adoption day anniversary which is Monday.

=> Creating a turkey vegetable tray. This pin which links to Living Locurto showed a child-friendly way to present fresh vegetables. Interestingly, almost everything was eaten on the tray by the time it made its way back to the kitchen.

Vegetable turkey that I made for Thanksgiving.

Had the vegetables simply been on a tray, I don't think as many would have been eaten.

=> Making turkey-shaped cookies. The pin shows cookies made from Oreo cookies, whoppers, peanut butter cups, candy corn, and frosting. Bella-Dreams must have a lot of culinary talent and patience because these are much more difficult than they look. 

Sophia and Olivia were given the picture from the internet, and then assembled some cookies.

Sophia assembling the cookies.

They had to brainstorm about how to get the whopper to stick to the peanut butter bar (they cut off part of the whopper); and how to get the candy corn to stick into the oreo cookie (they used frosting and cut the white part off the candy corn). 

Cookies made from Oreo cookies, peanut butter cups, 
whopper candies, and candy corn.

They enjoyed making the cookies and having them out on Thanksgiving.

=> Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. This is a tradition I grew up with in my family and we have continued it to this day. As a child, I remember watching the parade while my Dad made the turkey and dressing. Since moving to the farm in 1995, I have hosted Thanksgiving here. I now make the turkey and dressing after learning how to do so from him. 

As the girls watched the parade this year, they would call me in for different parts that they thought I would enjoy: seeing the marching bands, the Rockettes dance, and a Native American themed float with a turtle, tree of life, and other images.

The latter float is one that has been part of the parade for five years now. In addition to drumming which I enjoy listening to, there was a choir and Grammy-winning Native American artist Thirza Defoe singing “The Tree of Life.” The song celebrates the gathering together of many voices in the name of peace, love, and thanksgiving.

=> Hosting Thanksgiving dinner. I hosted the dinner again this year. It was the first one since my Dad died in January of this year, so it was sad not having him with us or being able to see him after Thanksgiving at the nursing home.

Male cardinal that showed up at the bird bath
in the backyard while I was making Thanksgiving dinner.
My Dad loved cardinals. 
It reminded me of him and how much he enjoyed watching the birds.

If that wasn't enough, my Mom called in the morning and said she wasn't feeling well and wouldn't be able to attend. She was in tears at the end of the conversation. I know it was a difficult day for her as well.

21-pound turkey for Thanksgiving.

So, we had dinner, celebrated those having birthdays in November and December; and then everyone went home in the snow (this was after having a mild 50+ degree day in the morning where we were wearing shorts and sweatshirts).

My sister lighting the candles on the cake
for those celebrating birthdays in November and December.

My brother stopped at my Mom's home and dropped off a grocery bag of packages of food from Thanksgiving for her. Thankfully he was able to do that because her blood sugar level was only 178 going into the evening. That is way too low for her, and chances are that by Friday morning it would have been well under 100 (which puts her at high risk and/or close to death). Having the meal before bedtime put her in the safe range which was reassuring.

2. Clean four small areas in the home. There are several areas that I haven't yet worked on during the year-long de-cluttering and organization project I've been doing. During November, I would like to clean the linen/medicine cabinet; finish cleaning the kitchen (under the sink, the remaining cupboards, and drawers); the corner in the mudroom; and my desk.

We cleaned the corner in the mudroom on Thanksgiving morning. I took out all the items that were in the corner from camping, grilling, the girls' outdoor games/activities, and the tool kit. All the items that won't be used now (e.g., camping items, cooler) went to other closets or out to the hobby shed.

The girls went through their games. They kept the ones they wanted and put the ones they didn't want in a bag to donate to the second-hand shop.

I also took all the items out from the tool kit; washed the box and all the tools; and then put back the items that were in good condition and/or that would be used. It looks much more organized and clean now.

After everything was out from the corner, I swept and mopped the floors. I put back only the items that we would be using during the winter. It looks much better now.

In the kitchen, I cleaned four drawers (three left to go). Olivia and I worked on one cupboard by transferring items from bags to glass jars.

I still have the rest of the cupboards to do (eight). Some are going to be more labor intensive because I haven't worked on them at all this year. Others, I worked on during the earlier part of the year and they just need to be touched up.

The kitchen sink and my desk have not been worked on yet. I have some time on Thanksgiving weekend, so will be tackling these projects.

3. Get up to date with projects that I fell behind on while working on my Dad's 808-page book that I completed in October. During October I focused my energy on completing the book that I had been working on since my father's death in January. Since it was a time-consuming project, I didn't have a chance to work on other projects (e.g., Take a Stitch Tuesday, Embroidery Journal Project, African Library Project). By the end of the month, I would like to be back on track with each of the year-long projects I've been doing.

For the Take a Stitch Tuesday project, I learned five different stitches and did five weeks of journaling, gratitude lists, and collages. It feels so good to be caught up with this project. Here are the links to the five weeks (all have multiple pictures of the stitch and journal/collage pages):
For the Embroidery Journal Project, transferred the designs to the fabric and began stitching.

For the African Library Project, I brought five boxes of books into the house to begin the sorting process. My brother brought a half dozen boxes on Thanksgiving so I can pack books that are in plastic tubs into boxes for shipping.


Nikki said...

You're doing great with your goals, especially with all of the Thanksgiving crafts you did! I'm impressed!

Sherri Davidson said...

I love your thanksgiving crafts!! You have done amazing this week. Way to go!!

Rita said...

So many turkey ideas!! Wow! You all have been very busy. Sorry your mom was well enough to come over, but I do think the cardinal arrived like a gift from your dad. :)

aurie good said...

Wow - you had a busy week :) Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving - I'm sorry that your mom wasn't able to join you, but what a blessing to be able to drop food off for her. We love the Macy's parade as well!!

Tammy_Skipper said...

Not only am I SUPER impressed with how much progress you made on your goals, I think it must be fun to live in your house with all those treats and crafts. Congrats on your progress!