Don’t Miss These No Cost Christmas Gifts !!!!


I love Christmas !!!!! My mom loved Christmas and passed her love of the holiday and Christmas festivities down to me. She shopped all year round with Christmas in mind. In fact several years she found socked away gifts, bought in spring and summer, long after Christmas. I can remember the thrill and anticipation that built up long before Christmas arrived. So this is a happy time of year for me. The smells and sights bring back wonderful memories of past holidays.

The past few days I’ve focused on Christmas gifts. I make lists and asked for ideas for giving. I forged for super bargains and braved the crowds on Black Friday. I crossed a few names off my list but the satisfaction just wasn’t what I wanted. So I got thinking………….

What would be the most fabulous gifts I could give if there was no limit on what I could purchase? My list was surprising and I’d like to share it with YOU.



Gift of Time – since I’m sort of retired I have more time on my hands-most days !!!! How could I use this time to give a gift to those I love?  Some of my fondest memories of my mom and grandma were cooking in the kitchen. I belonged to 4-H when I was young and had projects in cooking and sewing, Those lessons were started at home. I still love to cook and sew to this day and I owe it all to the time my mom and grandma invested in me.

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So how about baking Christmas cookies with your family of a group of friends? Years ago when my daughter was small we would make Christmas cookies each year. The kitchen would be a mess but the memories we shared were priceless. And when some red and green sprinkles appeared in the cracks of the cabinets many months later, it brought a smile to my face !!!

Gift of Memories – My dad grew up in Toledo with several brothers. Back then time in play was spent outdoors. I remember sitting close to my dad and listening to stories he would tell of adventures him and his brothers would have together. The story of them stringing a wire up between trees and making a basket contraption to ride in still brings a smile to my face. My dad told of how many times they crashed into the tree before they got the design right. As a youth my dad worked at some of the huge mansions along the river as a gardener. His stories of the “big house” were colorful My Dadand vivid. Later when he was in the nursing home, Tom and I, sat with Dad as he recounted stories of the war. He was stationed in France waiting to come home for several months. Dad with several of his buddies built a place to stay in an old bombed out building. He even built a simple dark room to develop pictures. These precious memories have become a part of my heritage.

So why not share some memories or listen to some memories from those you love. Share how life was like when you were growing up. What games you played and how you spent your time. Relate special events that happened in your growing up years. Now that my dad is gone these stories would be lost if he hadn’t shared them with us. Let your stories become part of their heritage too. What a gift !!!!

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Thanksgiving – Kid Style !!!


How kids would cook a turkey – from the

Cherokee Chronicle Times 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Have you ever wondered what your kids would do if they had to do the Thanksgiving preparations? Well, wonder no more – here is the scoop right from the kid’s themselves !!!!

Students from the second grade class at Cherokee Roosevelt Elementary School recently wrote about how to cook a Thanksgiving Turkey. The following are their instructions on how they would cook a turkey…………..

If I Made a Thanksgiving Turkey……


Go to a store and buy a turkey. Not T.J. Max because they only have shirts. Go to the grocery store and ask the meat person to cut off the wings. You need about 60 pounds of turkey. 



We buy a small turkey, about 100 pounds. We put spice and pepper all over so it is really hot. Then we add sugar. You can put candy in the middle. That’s the stuffing.



First I’d go and buy the turkey. Then I would take it home. Then put it in the oven for 30 minutes. I would set it for 69 degrees F. Then take it out of the oven and put it on the table. I would serve it with corn, mashed potatoes, and my favorite, crescent rolls.



I would buy a turkey. Then I would get it ready to cook. Then I will cook it. Then I will set the time for 15 minutes. The temperature will be 16 degrees. I would have beans and grapes with it.



Get a turkey from a store. Then bring the turkey home. Then cook the turkey at about 100 degrees. Then the time can be 40 minutes or 60 minutes. Then put the stuff in the turkey. When the turkey is done bring the turkey out of the oven. Then put other food out on the table. Then cut the turkey. Then you can eat the turkey and the other food.


Multi Generation Family Celebrating Thanksgiving

 I would go to the store to get a turkey. Then I would make sure it didn’t have any fat. I would put it in for a whole day. I would put the temperature for 100 degrees. Then I would have a green bean casserole and a pie after dinner.



I would go to the store to get a turkey. I would cook it for 5 minutes. The stove has to be 100 degrees. I would have mashed potatoes with it.



I would have to go to the store to get the turkey. Then I would have to put the turkey in the oven. The temperature would be 100 degrees. It would be in the oven for one hour. We would also have mashed potatoes and carrots and soups.



I would buy a turkey and put my mom’s favorite powder on it. The turkey now goes in the oven for 90 degrees. I would leave it in for one hour and make mashed potatoes and corn. Then my mom helps me take the turkey out of the oven. Then we eat and pray.



I would buy the turkey at Fareway. Then I would cut one end open and take the guts out. Then I would put it in the oven for 30 minutes then it would be done. The temperature is at 60. I would make stuffing and mashed potatoes.



We buy a turkey from a store and take the wrapper off. We set the oven for 35. 2 hours. We have peas and mashed potatoes and banana bread. We all pitch in the work.



We get a turkey and bring it home. Then we would put the turkey on a platter. Then put it in the stove to 105 degrees. And we cook it for two hours. Take it out and put side dishes with it like potatoes and corn and stuffing and deviled eggs too. After we are done eating we play football and other games.




I would get my dad to shoot a turkey. I would get a pan and stick it in the oven. I would put the temp to 52 degrees. I would leave it in for 7 minutes. I would have mashed potatoes and apple pie.



I would get turkey in a store. I would put some leaves on the turkey. I would set it for 50 minutes. I would set it for 10 degrees. I would put it with mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and turkey. That is how I make my turkey.



I would go to a grocery store to get my turkey. I would cut the string off of the turkey and wash it with warm water. I would let the oven sit for 20 minutes and heat up. Then I would keep it in the oven for 10 minutes. 85 degrees. I would have it with some potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie.



I would buy a turkey. I would bake it in the oven for 9 minutes and 100 degrees. It is done. I would make corn and mashed potatoes and eat it all up.



You have to put vegetables on it so it tastes good. I should put it in for 3 hours. You should put it on 100 degrees. You should let it out to cool. We have mashed potatoes.



I would go hunting to get the turkey. I would build a fire. I will have a fish. I will cook the food for a half hour.




First I would go to the store and buy the turkey. Then I would bring it home and put it in a round, oval pan and then put some pepper and a little salt on it and put some seasoning on it. Then I would put a cooking leaf in it and then I would turn the oven on and turn the heat to 500 degrees and put the turkey in the oven for 3 hours. Then while I was waiting I peeled some potatoes and cut them up and then take the pot out. Then I got a bag of corn and put the corn in a glass bowlish kind of pot and then I put the corn in the microwave for 10 minutes. Then the turkey was ready so I took the turkey out and put the potatoes in the pot and stuck it back in the oven for 2 more hours. Then after I just stuck the turkey back in the oven for 2 more hours I got out the ingredients to make an apple pie. I got out sugar and flour and the pie pan and other stuff and started to make the pie and when I was done making the pie I put the pie in the oven for an hour. Then the turkey was ready and the corn was ready and the pie was ready and everything was ready to serve so I took everything to the table and I started to wait for my parents and my grandma and my aunts and uncles and my brother and my two sisters. Then we ate our Thanksgiving meal.


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Now in case you don’t have a kid available during Thanksgiving keep this number handy………. 



Butterball Turkey Talk-Line 1-800-288-8372

Mon. through Fri. from 8am-8pm CT – Thanksgiving Day from 6am-5:00pm CT.

Butterball has been answering turkey questions for more than 30 years. It all began in 1981 when six home economists worked the phones that holiday season to answer 11,000 turkey-cooking questions. Open every November and December, our 50+ experts answer more than 100,000 questions, for thousands of households around the United States and Canada. Last year there were 12,000 calls on Thanksgiving alone. And finally here are some real questions that were asked. Where is a kid when you need them !!!!!


“Should I remove the plastic wrap before I cook my turkey?”

“I don’t want to touch the giblets. Can I fish them out with a coat hanger?”

“The turkey in my freezer is 23 years old. Is it safe to eat?”

“I don’t want to cook the whole turkey, so I cut it in half with a chainsaw.

“How do I get the chainsaw oil out of the turkey?”

“I scrubbed my raw turkey with a toothbrush dipped in bleach for three hours. Is that enough to kill the harmful bacteria?”

“Can I cook the turkey on the engine block of my semi while I’m driving? If I drive faster, will it cook faster?”


Happy Turkey Day Everyone !!!! May your life and family overflow with blessings !!!!

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Attitude of Gratitude !!!

November is upon us and Thanksgiving week will be here so soon. I can already smell the pumpkin pie in the air. Here in Portland it is 43 degrees and raining but it still looks like fall. The trees were just spectacular this year !! The grass has finally slowed its growing. (doing the high five!!!!)


At this time of year our minds and hearts often turn to list of things to be thankful for. And I have a lot of those – both Tom and I are fairly healthy. We have a wonderful family and friends. We have a warm and homey little house. We have interests that we love to pursue. We are so happy in Oregon and have traveled locally this year seeing the sights.

BUT  I began to feel bad that just at this time of year do we seem to focus on being thankful. So I starting thinking about ways to carry this wondrous feeling of gratitude into the rest of the year.

Years ago, Zig Ziglar created the popular phrase, “Have an attitude of gratitude.” According to Zig, “The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for.”  I like that !!!!! Here are some things that will keep that smile of gratefulness on our faces.



Be careful when you make comparisons

It’s natural to compare ourselves with others, and many of us tend to compare ourselves with those who are better off. Of course, we all encounter problems and obstacles every day, but most of them are trivial compared with the problems many people experience. We all know that people experience serious illness, live constantly with  great pain or relentless hunger; there are people who never had an education, who can’t read or write, people who have been abused or who have no family. The list, of course, is almost endless.

Is the glass half empty or half full? Of course, there are people who are more successful, wealthier, have a “better” job, etc., and it is easy to be envious of them. But there are so many others who are worse off than ourselves, so why not focus on how fortunate we are? Feelings of envy are corrosive and can cause great damage to your happiness and self-esteem , so choosing the right comparisons is important.

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Raising Thankful Kids !!


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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and it is right around the corner !!!! Why? No presents, or expectations – just a gathering of family and friends to celebrate all the blessings in our lives. On that one day, every year, we give thanks – thanks for all the wonderful things we have in our lives, thanks for the people in our lives.


But how do we teach our children how to join in this thankfulness, not just at Thanksgiving but all year long. 

First of all know that it’s going to take a lot of work and won’t happen overnight.

Research suggests that kids who are overindulged by their caregivers are more likely than other kids to grow into adults who are obsessed with fame, wealth, and attractiveness, who are less skilled, and who aren’t very conscientious or thoughtful.

To some degree, every kid is ungrateful, at least toward their parents, and that’s natural. Young children are focused on themselves but as they grow they can be trained to be thankful !!! Let’s look at some ways to “grow” thankful kids. 

Keep gifts reasonable. As tempting as it is to shower—or allow others to shower—your child with gifts, there are two important reasons not to. First, as children grow, it can be challenging to teach gratitude if they receive everything they ask for.

gifts WBSecondly, a lot of gifts are overwhelming for small children. They can’t focus on or appreciate any one gift if they get so many. Often, they don’t even make it through opening all of them before they lose interest! Instead, you might suggest that family members choose 1 or 2 gifts for children. Explain that the fewer gifts, the more children will play with and appreciate them. If you are planning a large birthday party, consider asking close family members to bring gifts to a smaller event before the big one starts. For the big party, you might ask attendees to provide book donations for a local literacy programs or toys for disadvantaged children. This can be a good way to communicate the importance of giving and gratefulness.

Look for ways to be involved in community giving with your toddler. Between ages 2 and 3, you can begin to talk with your toddler about how he can help others who don’t have as much as he does. Look for opportunities with a clear connection between your child’s efforts and the recipients.  Good choices include:

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