Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 2012

In spite of a few family members not feeling totally up to par, we had a wonderful day together at the cabin. Earlier in the week we planned our menu and did our shopping so that we could make our side dishes as the turkey roasted in the oven, filling the cabin with a delightful aroma. EZ had driven about 1 1/2 hours to spend the night with his folks on Wednesday, so that he could leave early in the morning and bring them to Boone for Thanksgiving. We were so very grateful that they decided to join us for the day, and their presence made everything more special. Having all of our children, their spouses, our grandchildren, and our parents together in one place was a real blessing!


Oven Roasted Turkey (14 lbs.)
Mom's Sausage Stuffing
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Pioneer Woman's Mashed Potatoes
Petite Green Peas
Rhodes Dinner Rolls
Assorted Pies

Many of us commented that for some reason, this year's dinner was one of the best we can recall! We were hungry when we ate at about 2:00, and everything just tasted delicious.

There was time to take the kids to the park, visit, read books and just enjoy one another's company as all the food was being prepared.

The two great grandmas...Grammy and Gigi

Before it was time for EZ and I to drive his folks back home, we grabbed everyone for a group shot of them with the grandkids and great grandkids. I love sweet Nathan's hand on PopPop and Natalie holding Grammy's hand. We always joke with Grammy about having so many little ones because she is the link to TWINS (she had a fraternal twin sister and brother). She just smiles!

And one last parting shot before the drive back to Black Mountain. Wonderful memories were certainly made once again this year! Sure hope you all had a special day as well.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving in the Mountains

During the week leading up to Thanksgiving day, our family made their way to the mountains bit by bit. We love gathering there, and were looking forward to having our whole clan together, including our parents. As always, there was plenty of good food, lots of fun family times in the park, and many long dog walks. The weather was beautiful, which is always appreciated when you have five little ones that need to burn off some of their energy!

Ahhh...loving the Fall!

Our favorite French Onion Soup

Grilled Ribeyes
Meatloaf Muffins

Jo Mama's World Famous Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas
Fun with the Bigs and Littles

Side by side...

Driving the "ship"
The boys
Hmmm...he looks an awful lot like our dogs. Fun to see another Springer in the park!

Emery loves playing with her cousins
So pretty in pink
Sweet moment sharing the stool

Tired puppy...must be time for bed!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

With Thanksgiving...

"Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God..." Psalm 95:2-3

For our family, this is what Thanksgiving is all about...coming into His presence with thanksgiving and shouting joyfully to Him for His provision and blessing. It's about acknowledging all that He has done for us, and stopping to be grateful. It's about tradition, being together, and sharing a delicious meal. It's about FAMILY.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Best Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

As the holidays draw near, I just had to share this recipe for the best loaded chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted! A friend shared these with us as part of a meal she made during Ernie's recovery. The recipe came from Deede Hinson, Innkeeper at the Baird House Bed and Breakfast in Valle Crucis, NC, and they are delicious! I have made them for the sweet nurses and staff at the Duke Transplant Clinic and they rave about them every time we show up. Trust me, once you make them, you will never go back to plain old chocolate chip cookies again!


3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 12 oz bag chocolate chips
1 12 oz bag of Reese's peanut butter chips
1 1/2 to 2 cups whole pecans

Combine sugars and butter, mixing well.  Gradually add eggs.  Add vanilla.

Combine flour, soda and salt, mixing well.  Gradually add dry ingredients to sugar/butter mixture, stirring just until blended.  Stir in chips and pecans.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bedtime Bible Stories

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up..." Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Bedtime bible story (from one of our favorites, Read~Aloud Bible Stories by Ella K. Lindvall) with our daughter, Tara, her husband Jamie, and their four children.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Indoor Fall Fun with the Grands

As Hurricane Sandy scooted up our coast and we got a little wind and rain (thankfully nothing more), it was time to bring the grands inside for a little fun. From Playdough, to cookie baking, pumpkin painting, movie watching, necklace making, hot chocolate drinking, and fort building, we always have fun and LOVE spending time with these little ones.