November wrap up and book reviews


Since we will be kicking off the 25 Days of Christmas on Thursday, I am doing the November Book Review early, but today I just wanted to share some highlights and lowlights of our Thanksgiving. Also….when I went to post this on MONDAY, the server for the website was down. So this is a day late…sigh <3

I sincerely had looked forward to just Russ and I sharing Thanksgiving together, but it seemed there were forces working against it. You know I have always said that holidays are a mixed bag – lots of different emotions, expectations and as with all of life…curve balls that take you off guard. 

I share not for sympathy, but simply to be open and sincere that it wasn’t what I had expected and it’s okay. Now.

Russ was kind, but my day was off before I burned the crust on one pumpkin pie and dropped the good one taking it out of the oven. 


This was early in the process and as Russ held the deserted pan (pun intended) and I scooped pie goo off the bottom of the oven, out of the crack between the door and drawer below and the actual draw itself along with several pans…the tears fell hard. 

From there the rolls were anything but soft and fluffy, the mashed potatoes refused to mash and we had more like a potato salad vibe going on texture with the flavorings of mashed. The veggies thankfully stayed on their baking sheet but took after the surviving pie…burnt. 

The gravy never ever thickened and while the turkey did well in the crock pot, the best part of the meal was actually the stove-top stuffing mix and the canned cranberries. 

There are no photos except the one I above I sent to the kids and even though I have attempted to be humorous in sharing, I am still not at the place where I can laugh about it. 

Thanks to John we had a moment when we were all together and thankfully before I spilled the pie so I was still hopeful for a good day at this point…

Friday I started out fixing soups for the lunch arrival of Tia and Rachel and the Fab Four with fresh energy. But after I dropped yet another thing, I went in Russ’s office and called a prayer meeting in hopes we would not have a repeat of the day before. 

Everything turned out okay and we had a wonderful time with the girls and the kiddos. At one point, Rachel and Sarah were playing Disney songs on the piano and attempting to match keys and their laughter brought some healing to a heart still trying to figure out how the day before got so off course. 

We worked on crafts…

Took a walk on the new trail near our house…

and Rachel rigged up her phone…

to get a group picture (please note those are my gloves wedged underneath and we used spare fencing wire to tie up her phone)…

Sarah spent the night, which was wonderful in itself, but filled my cup to overflowing when she offered to help set up our tree.

We all three got it put up and then we decorated – thanks to Russ we were able to reach the top ornaments.

But Sarah did the honors with the classic angel that Rachel made in preschool. 

We all marveled that the spray painted macaroni has stood the test of time.

And by marvel, I mean gasp at the fact that it is a food item that has been stored in our basement 11 months every year for over three decades and hasn’t drawn mice.

Saturday we did a marathon soccer tournament with Rachel as Zach was working the weekend (thus the reason he missed out on Friday activities). The little two were troopers and since it was more of a fun/practice kind of a tournament Emmett got to sub in Graham’s team. 

Between games we visited the Mother Ship…

and partook of fine dining…

We all survived and yesterday was truly a day of rest for Lola/Papi though we did start the rest of decorating and putting lights up outside. I went out to take a picture after we finished to send the kids and all but one strand were out. 

It felt like a dropped pie, but Russ encouraged me that we would find the glitch tomorrow and we spent the evening watching the fall of Aaron Rodgers and reading.

Which brings me to our November book review.


I decided to dig into some Advent/Christmas books to add to November reading. I set them out every year and then things get busy and I only read one or two. 

The books we will be reviewing are:

The Royal Way of the Cross by François Fénelon (not a Christmas book)

The Christmas Miracle by Jack Hayford

On this Holy Night a collection of messages from various authors

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

I have taken too much of your time already, so tomorrow we will dig into the books! 

Happy Monday <3

Which is now actually Tuesday….sigh

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