Tag Archives: Thanksgiving Series

Favorite Thanksgiving books–What are yours?!?!

19 Nov

If you’re looking for some fun books to read this Thanksgiving, here are a few that we enjoy! I would LOVE for you to comment below and share YOUR favorite Thanksgiving books! I’m always looking for quality literature, so share, share, share, please, please, please. 🙂 Of course, don’t forget about my other favorite Thanksgiving book. Hopefully, you’ve ordered it by now! 🙂 If you want to know how to make traditions in your home using books, read this post from last year’s archives.

If you want another great list of Thanksgiving books, I highly recommend this blog, Orange Marmalade. This is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite, favorite blogs to discover quality children’s literature. For each book recommended, she details and beautifully describes the narrative (without revealing TOO much and spoiling the book!) and includes copies of pages from the book to show its illustrations. I always appreciate the “visual” preview as well. Just this week she posted her favorite Thanksgiving books. Thanks to her we will be reading Thank You, Sarah, which is the story of the woman who petitioned for Thanksgiving to become an official holiday. Do you know this story?!?!?! I don’t, and I can’t wait to share it with my boys!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Handprint THANKFUL Tree

22 Oct

Handprint Thanksgiving TreeI am digging this post out of last year’s archives!

It’s that time of year again–time for our family’s Handprint Thankful Tree! We use this each day in November, and it has become one of my FAVORITE traditions for our family. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be tracing and cutting 30 hands per family member to be ready for November 1. This is VERY simple, but the routine, discipline, cadence of taking each day in November to verbalize something that we thank God for is etching in our sons’ minds and hearts (and their parents) that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17 ESV) A simple, yet monumental tool used to thank and glorify God–I love that about our Handprint Thankful Tree!

This will be our third year to have a Handprint Thankful Tree. I haven’t had the heart to throw away our handprints from the past 2 years. I love going through the “old ones” each year when I get out our “tree trunk,” which I store with the previous years’ handprints. First, I almost BAWL my eyes out when I see how tiny my sons’ hands were. (MERCY, I can’t handle how quickly they’re growing up!) After I have a crying session, I read over what was written previously, the things that we were thankful for in the past. It is a blessed reminder of God’s abiding faithfulness to me and our family. Then, my tears start again! I love that traditions help us remember. Which reminds me, are you joining in on this month’s Book Club as we read, “Treasuring God in our Traditions?” If not, you should be! Don’t worry that the month is more than half over; the main point is that you need to read this book–so inspiring, instructive!

Read the original post to find instructions for making your own and how our family uses this each November. Also, last year, I wrote an entire series of posts about Thanksgiving, if you are interested, you can read all of the posts by clicking here.

And….you guys reading my little blog, I’m thankful for YOU! You’ll be on one of my handprints this year!

Thanksgiving: Books as tradition (How to make books a tradition in your home)

9 Nov

With each holiday that we encounter on our calendars, I have had a yearning for my sons to understand why we celebrate it. For me, it’s been helpful to use books as a means of ‘unearthing’ the true meaning behind the holiday and another way to connect my sons with quality literature. The Thanksgiving holiday has been one such holiday that we’ve treated in this manner.

As I wind up my Thanksgiving Series today, I wanted to end with some of our favorite Thanksgiving books. 🙂 Of course, our favorite, favorite, favorite Thanksgiving book, I’ve written an entire post about it here; don’t miss out on this amazing account of the hand of God in the life of Squanto. As we’ve read our Squanto book and additional books year after year, my boys’ eyes gleam when I get them out again each November. I love how books can become traditions. I love how my boys can finish the end of sentences in books as a result of hearing them over and over and over. I love how books have helped knit our family together, focus us on the true meanings of holidays, and bring us all together on our couch or around the kitchen table. Books, like food, are often the avenue for creating traditions at Thanksgiving and other holidays in our home. It makes this mom’s heart happy. 🙂

How to make books a holiday tradition in your home:

1) Try a few of the books above or check out all of the Thanksgiving books at your local library.
Don’t be shy–check out every book you can find! My library card (and my sons’ cards!) are always maxed out. Read broadly so that you can discover the true gems.

2) Discover which books your family likes the best.
Just because one family LOVES a particular book does not mean that it will be a family favorite at your house. You know, that’s actually okay! I promise I won’t hate you if you don’t like Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving! Take the suggestions of others as a good place to start. Don’t be afraid to branch out into different books. The main goal is to find books that your family LOVES. It’s those “keepers” that are the beginning of traditions in yourhome.

3) If your family enjoys a book that you’ve picked up, read it 2 or 3 more times together before returning it to the library.
Reading a good book over and over hides it in your soul, your heart. It hides it in the heart and soul of your children. Repetition is not boring when it comes to quality literature for your kiddos. Children learn best through repetition, and I believe it’s the repetition that creates tradition. By doing so, you are cementing the book’s place in your home, but greater still, you are cementing your children’s place in your family. In our home, it goes as this, “We’re Mosleys. We ALWAYS  read Squanto and the Miracle at Thanksgiving around Thanksgiving.” Better yet, buy the book if your family falls in love with it.

4) Store away the title and author of this treasured gem so that you can track down the book this time next year. After all, that’s how traditions start, right? Enjoy this November, next November and all of the future Novembers that the Lord gives to your family. 🙂


Don’t be afraid to come back and share some of the Thanksgiving books you discover! I’d love to add a few more to our family’s repertoire for next year! 🙂

Thanksgiving: Food as tradition, Part 2 (Goo Goo Bars–Gluten Free!)

7 Nov

This is my fifth post in this Thanksgiving Series. If you missed the previous posts (including Food as Tradition: Part 1, you can read them here.

One of the traditions in the Frost home when I was growing up is this yummy, yummy dessert that my Mom calls Goo Goo. This actually continues as a standing tradition in the Frost home today. When my brothers, sisters-in-law, nephews and niece all gather at my parents home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, there is ALWAYS Goo Goo. 🙂 Our family has grown so much that my Mom makes TWO pans of Goo Goo, and both pans only last about 24 hours. 🙂 This is why she’s created the rule that the Goo Goo can’t be cut and eaten until everyone from the family has arrived. 🙂 I have happily assimilated this recipe into the Mosley home. I save it for special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas (probably more so because it’s dangerous for me to have it in the home–very, very dangerous. ha!)

This dessert is easy, easy, easy and always a crowd pleaser. I’m always asked for the recipe when I make it. With the rise of friends with Celiac disease and wheat allergies, I have been making it more frequently to take to parties because the recipe is gluten free.

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Goo Goo bars (gluten free!)

2 tbsp. butter
12 oz. chocolate chips
10 1/2 oz. pkg. mini marshmallows
2 cup peanuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk

1) Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

2) Add marshmallows and peanuts to pan.

3) In saucepan, melt butter.  Add chocolate chips, stirring constantly.  Add milk.  Stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.

4) Pour over marshmallows and peanuts and stir well until they are coated.

5) Cover and chill overnight.  Keep refrigerated up until serving bars as they will melt.  Return to refrigerator immediately after serving.

Enjoy!

 

Thanksgiving: Food as tradition-Part 1 (Blueberry Pumpkin Poundcake)

5 Nov

If you missed the previous posts in my Thanksgiving Traditions series, you can find them here.

I love food. I’m not gonna lie. 🙂 One thing that I love about food is that it is often the avenue through which traditions are created and cultivated. For example, I can tell you every dish that my Mother makes for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. My mouth is watering as I’m typing and thinking about my Mom’s Turkey and Dressing, Hash brown Casserole, Veg-All Casserole, and GooGoo dessert. Serving the same recipes year after year is not boring, in my opinion; knowing what we’ll be eating each Thanksgiving is our holiday tradition. As I eat Hash brown Casserole again this year, it will take me back to childhood memories of  past Thanksgivings–long before I was married or had children of my own. I love how food can do that! Traditions root us in a family; they give us a sense of belonging.

As you’re thinking about Thanksgiving this year and in the year’s to come, don’t feel guilty or be afraid to serve the same recipes again and again! You may want to ‘spice things up’ and try one new recipe a year. However, the family favorites that you’re serving repeatedly are becoming traditions in your home, and that’s a beautiful thing! Even if you don’t host the BIG Thanksgiving meal in your home, you can still have ‘Thanksgiving’ recipes this month that can be traditions in your family. I have not hosted our family’s Thanksgiving meal, but there are still special recipes that I pull out to serve around Thanksgiving. I either serve them at home to my boys around Thanksgiving, or I take them to my parents or in laws for our big Thanksgiving meal. These recipes are the current Mosley traditions, and I’m sure they will still be present when I begin hosting “the big meal.” 🙂

So, take a few minutes one afternoon this week and brainstorm some recipes that you’d like to become traditional in the life of your family. Are there recipes that you already use frequently that your family would like to see you serve for Thanksgiving? Are there special recipes that you’ve only used in the past for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Nothing says TRADITION like a once-a-year recipe. Is there a certain dish, casserole, or dessert recipe that you’ve wanted to add to your Thanksgiving repertoire? Try it this year and see if it’s a keeper. Are there certain recipes that you enjoyed as a child growing up in your home? Why not add those to your family? 🙂 The possibilities are endless! The main thing to remember is that food is the glue that keeps families together. 🙂

In light of this post, I wanted to share one of the Mosleys’ favorite holiday desserts. 🙂 I typically make this each year at some point during the  month of November. I have yet to host the BIG Thanksgiving meal, so for now, this is a Thanksgiving tradition that the 5 of us enjoy. I don’t know what possessed me to try a recipe that combined blueberry and pumpkin. It sounds like a weird combination, but the taste is, by no means, weird. Don’t omit the glaze; it makes the already-moist cake even MORE moist. 🙂 Enjoy!

Blueberry Pumpkin Poundcake

adapted from Cooking Light magazine

Cake 
3 cups+ 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt, baking soda, AND cloves
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/3 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp. pumpkin
2 1/4 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine flour with next 6 ingredients (through cloves).  Whisk together.  Place butter in separate bowl.  Beat w/mixer and gradually add sugars and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add eggs 1 at a time and beat after each one.  Add pumpkins and sour cream.  Gradually add flour and milk to pumpkin mixture.  Begin and end with flour mixture.  Fold in blueberries.  (If using frozen, do not thaw before adding.)  Pour batter into bundt pan coated with cooking spray*.  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pan 15 min. on wire rack.  Then, invert cake onto rack.  Cool completely before adding glaze.  Transfer cake to cake stand before glazing.  For glaze combine ingredients and stir until well blended.  Drizzle over cake.

*It works best with a cooking spray that contains flour.

photo credit: gracelaced.com

Thanksgiving: Little People (and Free Shipping through 11/6)

3 Nov

I hope that you’re enjoying my Thanksgiving Traditions series. This is the fourth post in the series. To see the previous posts, click here.

In a post last month, I told you about our LOVE of the Little People sets for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Little People Thanksgiving Celebration set is one of our Thanksgiving traditions! 🙂 My boys (even my older 2!) love playing with the set! When we bring out the box each year, they gather around it and play, play, and play! They reenact the Thanksgiving story again and again and because of our LOVE for this book the male Indian in the set is ALWAYS Squanto. 🙂 Sometimes, I’ll even pick one of our Thanksgiving books to read to them, and they act out the story with the characters while I read. The set is a really fun way for them to have hands-on interaction with the Thanksgiving story, which is helping them to learn the events and facts of the story itself.

Jumping ahead to Christmas, we also love their Christmas set for that same reason! Today through Tuesday, November 6, shipping is free at Fisher-Price.com when you spend $25. So, go ahead and buy your Thanksgiving set and throw in the Christmas one, too, and your shipping is free. 🙂

->Shipping code: NOVSHIP<-

Thanksgiving: One miraculous children’s book that all ages need to read this year

3 Nov

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I hope that you’re enjoying my Thanksgiving Traditions series. This is the 3rd post in the series. If you’ve missed the previous posts, you can read them here.

I don’t know how I stumbled upon this book, but I’m so glad I did. This book is now one of the Mosley’s Thanksgiving traditions; we read it every year. The secret must be out on how AMAZING this book is because there are 7 holds on the 1 copy of the book that our library has. 🙂 Thus, I ordered my copy from Amazon tonight. 🙂 Also, a friend, living overseas, just reminded me that there is a Kindle edition as well.

I was familiar with Squanto from elementary school; I remembered that Squanto helped the Pilgrims. This was where my knowledge of Squanto ended. In this detailed account of Squanto’s life, author Eric Metaxas, ironically, does not depict Squanto as the main character. God Himself is the main character in Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving. I love Amazon’s synopsis of the book:

“This entertaining and historical story shows that the actual hero of the Thanksgiving was neither white nor Indian, but God. In 1608, English traders came to Massachusetts and captured a 12-year old Indian, Squanto, and sold him into slavery. He was raised by Christians and taught faith in God. Ten years later he was sent home to America. Upon arrival, he learned an epidemic had wiped out his entire village. But God had plans for Squanto. God delivered a Thanksgiving miracle: an English-speaking Indian living in the exact place where the Pilgrims land in a strange new world.”

When we first got this book from the library 2 years ago, we got the audio book. I remember listening to the audio CD in our car, hanging on every word of this amazing story of God’s redemption, sovereignty, provision and providence, and sobbing, sobbing, sobbing. To think of a young boy kidnapped, sold into slavery, eventually landing in England and learning English, returning years later to his homeland and finding the pilgrims in his former village. Can you imagine the Pilgrims surprise to see a Native American walking into their village and greeting them in their native tongue? The Pilgrims, struggling to survive, were taught the ways of the land by Squanto; Squanto was used by God to help them survive–thrive–in their new land.

Who alone could orchestrate such circumstances? Only God Himself could have beautifully pieced together these exact events in the life of Squanto so that he could, at the time God appointed, return to his home and help save the lives of the Pilgrims. Only God Himself could have turned the dark events of Squanto’s life into a beautiful story of redemption. As I read this story of Squanto’s life, the story of Joseph in Genesis echoed again and again in my mind. In particular, the words Joseph said to his brothers regarding their actions of selling him into slavery, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”(Genesis 50:20 ESV). This, too, is the story of Squanto.

You need to hear this story of Thanksgiving. Your children need to hear this story of Thanksgiving. In doing so, they will be more aware of the God who is there, who always provides for His children, and who has the amazing ability to turn the most difficult situations into something that He can use for His glory and our good. You, too, will be more aware. Your heart will overflow with Thanksgiving to God. After all, wasn’t that what occurred on the day of the First Thanksgiving? Isn’t that what God desires for us every day–hearts filled with thanksgiving and praise to Him?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving: Traditions

2 Nov

Thanksgiving is for giving thanks.

I love traditions. My favorite memories from childhood are doing the same thing year after year after year. That’s the beauty of traditions; they give us a sense of belonging, connection, identity. I was a “Frost” growing up, and the Frost family always reads Luke 2 and the story of Jesus’ birth on Christmas morning before we do anything. That’s what Frosts do; it’s our tradition.

Because I have  such memories from childhood (MANY memories, thanks Mom and Dad!), I wanted that for my family as well when the Lord blessed us with children. As my boys got older and especially as we began homeschooling 2 years ago, I wanted to take holidays seriously. I wanted to teach our boys the true meaning behind holidays, and I wanted to have some type of tradition connected to it. Obviously, Christmas was one of those, and I shared in these earlier posts (and here!)  about some of our favorite Christmas traditions. I also wanted to make Thanksgiving a time to focus on the origins of the holiday, the religious freedom the Pilgrims sought and to create some Mosley traditions centered around THANKFULNESS as well. I shared previously about Noel Piper’s book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions and the impact it had in shaping how I thought about creating traditions in our family; I wanted the Mosley traditions to center on and celebrate God and his son, Jesus.

In the last couple of years, we’ve stumbled upon a few books and activities that have become Thanksgiving traditions in the Mosley home. With our calendars now indicating, “November,” I thought it would be an opportune time to SHARE some of these treasures that we’ve stumbled upon and assimilated into the life of our family. Over the next several days, I will be posting some of our Thanksgiving traditions and favorites. 🙂 I hope they’re encouraging, helpful and most of all, inspiring in that it leads you to create Thanksgiving traditions in your family this year and years to come. As I share, I would also love for YOU to share with me! Please share your favorite Thanksgiving traditions, books, activities! I’m always game for new ideas entering the Mosley home. 🙂

Thanksgiving is for giving thanks, and I’m thankful for each of my readers! Happy Thanksgiving!