How Bright Is Your Light?

As I sit here typing, Curious George is playing for the millionth time for Thing 3, Thing 2 is on the phone with his aunt, Thing 4 is sleeping & Thing 1 is at dance. It’s a typical Friday night at our home. Busy & quiet all at the same time. Yesterday I woke up to some texts from my sister that were upsetting. She found out a childhood friend had passed away. We grew up in a small town (well it was smaller back then) and we went to a small private school. I graduated in a small class of 40, with kids I had gone to school with since a little bit before the 3rd grade. Most of us have scattered here and there. A few still live there and are raising their families there. No matter how much time or distance has passed between any of us, in a very weird way I consider them family. So when I found out the news, I was heartbroken. Especially for this family. Our friend was a light in a dark place. When you think of a light in a dark place what comes to mind? Does the Bible come to mind? Does a visual? Both come to my mind. Emily was literally a light in a dark place. To know her personally meant you were able to experience her laugh. That laugh was full of life and happiness. To know her online meant she was full of faith and positive updates. For someone who had spent a good majority of her life suffering from migraines and chronic back pain, I would expect something different. Not her. I remember one of her status updates that in so many words said,… one day God will help the doctors fix my back and then I’m going to go and help the billing department who codes the insurance. They have no idea what they are doing… She could mix funny with sad and pull it off. Everyone who knew her was impacted by her. I’m one of probably hundreds who feel impacted by that loss right now. This brings to my mind the question of what kind of light are you… Who do you shine for? Is your light always on or just when things go your way. As I struggle to find meaning in her brilliant light going out too soon, I am inspired to be more of a beacon like her.

This Thanksgiving as you prepare and stress over your menu, as you deal with long lines with impatient customers for black Friday sales, as ask your kids to please stay out of the kitchen for the fifteenth time while you cook, remember to be the kind of light people will one day write about or speak about at your funeral. In the end, what you were is what you were. There are no do overs in life. We are accountable for every word spoken or not spoken in love or laughter.

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Menu Plan Monday

I know, I know. I slacked off last week. We had a busy week in homeschool. Tuesday we went to the park with our co- op & on Friday we went orange picking. We had a blast! Here’s Thing 2 picking his first orange.

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Thing 1 picking hers.

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And Thing 3 decided picking was a waste of time.

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My Things came home ready to devour the fruit of their labor. We had a great day!

Here’s our menu plan for the next 2 weeks including our Thanksgiving menu. I try to cook easy meals the week of Thanksgiving because I break my cooking up into 3 days. Tuesday will be dessert. Wednesday will be sides. Thursday is the Turkey & anything that couldn’t be prepared ahead of time.

1.) Hotdogs & sweet potato fries
2.) Roast & mashed potatoes
3.) Pioneer Woman’s Calzones
4.) Hot Ham & cheese sandwiches with potato wedges.
5.) Baked chicken & rice with broccoli
6.) Pork chops, black eyed peas & homemade Mac & cheese
7.) Pizza
8.) Homemade vegetable soup
9.) slow cooker ribs with leftover Mac & cheese
10.) Oven fried chicken, cabbage &steamed squash & onions
11.) Grilled basil chicken, seasoned potatoes with grilled eggplant
12.) slow cooker potato soup
13.) Cajun chicken fetuccini
14.) Thanksgiving:
Appetizer:
Brie with apples & bread
Main Course:
Turkey, stuffing, gravy, Pioneer woman’s Garlic mashed potatoes, green beans with ham, rolls.
Dessert:
Pecan Pie (pronounced pee can because I’m from the south)
The man’s favorite pumpkin bars

Thanksgiving Planning

Just in case you didn’t realize, Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away! That means I need to start planning my meal because I will be buying my meal in the next menu planning (1 week away!). While thinking of turkey, dreaming of the food and deciding to decorate for Christmas I came across a tweet for a free Thanksgiving ebook from GoodLife eats and Mandi Ehman. This thing is awesome, did I mention FREE?!

Is it your first time hosting Thanksgiving at your house? She tells you how to thaw a turkey.
Want help decorating? She gives you tips for fall decorations.
Looking for crafts to do with your kids? She has a list including the Thankful trees.
Need recipes? She’s got it covered from appetizers to dessert.
Check it out! Also visit Mandi’s website, she has all kinds of great stuff on there.  I can’t wait to try the stuffing recipe.