Ah, Thanksgiving came and Thanksgiving’s gone, it was a really good one, as they usually are. Although I felt horrific the whole night before, throughout the course of the day, I felt just fine, so that was one of many things I was thankful for.
We had some delicious food for breakfast/brunch, and my apple fritter monkey bread and coffee cake were big hits. Although there was some miscommunication about what time we were meeting, eventually all my siblings arrived at our house where we did our annual gift exchange. There some very amazing gifts given, including this incredible Victrola thingy that the rest of us were perty jealous of.
After a while the annual Ping Pong Tournament that takes place in our garage was underway and the festivities really began. Of course, our dad soundly smoked us all, as usual, with his crazy awesome ping pong skills.
The traditional hors d’oeuvres and drinks were served, with some new ones that had found their way. I had an awesome amazing time hanging out/conversing/ and just seeing my family, we were so blessed to have everyone of my six siblings and their families attend.
I got to use my camera a lot and did an awesome photo shoot of my brother and his girlfriend, they are both so photogenic and came up with a lot of cute poses.
After much jolliness, frivolity, jokes, and happiness, the turkey my brothers-in-law worked so hard on all day were finally ready, but then we relized the sun was going down and we still hadn’t taken family pictures. We rushed outside and took them, and they turned out good (not always so in our family’s history), another thing to be thankful for.
We sat down to a big dinner, there were twenty-one of us, and we talked and eat and talked and eat some more, although I didn’t eat much, because, I know it’s weird, but, I don’t like any of the traditional dinner food items except my dad’s excellent mashed potatoes. The turkeys looked fabulous and everyone loved them.
Eventually, we had dessert, I believe it was our third or fourth year doing a dessert contest, and (drumroll, please) I won!! Yay! I made a two layer pudding/peanut butter/oreo/candy/whipped creamy thing, that apparently went over well! There were lots of other really yummy desserts too, and we know this because out of the six desserts entered, five got a place, there was mine, that won, and four others that tied in second place, and the funny thing was, the other dessert that didn’t win at all, was also mine, so nobody even lost!
Afterwards we had a white elephant gift exchange and I ended up with something I liked for once, a nice candle lantern thingy. There were a few gifts that were flops, but that’s half the fun of a white elephant.
Sadly, people had to leave, and many goodbyes were said. It was a terrific Thanksgiving, we’re so blessed!
Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! Thanksgiving is so soon! Two more days and I’ll be surrounded by family and eating more carbs then I’ve eaten in months.
Tomorrow we’ll be enjoying busily scurrying around the kitchen doing the last minute preparation, the smell of spices and sweets will be smelling up the house, and laying out even more decorations and tables and chairs. I’ll be making desserts, pastries, (including peppermint bark, apple fritter monkey bread, and peanut butter pudding cake stuff!) and helping mom with whatever else she needs. Notes of music, crooners like Bing Crosby and Dean Martin will be floating around and we’ll sing happily off-key with it. Eventually, when we’re tired of that, we’ll play the soundtrack to Pride and Prejudice and Cinderella, I’ll probably dance around a little.
I love Thanksgiving Eve so much, almost more than Thanksgiving Day itself! There’s something wonderful about it. It’s so wonderful.
Then later tomorrow evening my sister and mom and I will gather around, just like we have every year, and read An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott. The story never gets old, and the illustrations are always so lovely!
Then we’ll get pizza, as none of us will feel like cooking anymore! And when it’s finished we’ll watch our traditional movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (a clean version, since it has more than a little ‘iffy’ stuff).
Then by the time we finish everyone will probably be exhausted, but once we’ve gone to bed I’ll actually be listening to A Thanksgiving Carol, and Adventures in Odyssey episode that used to be a tradition (you can listen to it here, for free the day after Thanksgiving if you’re interested, it’s very silly, but fun), but for the last couple years I’ve been the only to keep it up.
Psalm 107:1,8-9 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
Psalm 31:19-20 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues;
Jeremiah 30:19 From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.
Ephesians 1:15-16 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
I’m so excited for this wonderful day, and the day that comes after it! I’m, shall we say, thankful? So, this is me, wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, full of family, delicious food, and genuine, heart-felt joy and gratitude.
“What if today, we were just thankful for everything?”
This is a tag that I found on a blog that I just love, Coffee, Classics and Craziness. I wasn’t actually tagged in this, or in the other two tags I’ll be posting later on this month, so I suppose that’s cheating, but I’m doing them anyways.
These are the rules for the tag:
1.) List 5 of your favorite characters
2.) Tagging other people is optional
3.) If you are tagged link back to the person that tagged you
Princess Ann~Roman Holiday Sigh, she is so terrific. She’s so human and wonderful and cute, and just darn hilarious. The whole movie is cute and beautiful and funny and romantic. But, Ann, she takes a break and does all the things she’s ever wanted to, and then returns to her duties with wonderful new memories.
Lady Tremaine~Cinderella (2015) She is so perfectly evil and despicable, but she still has that touch of humanness. Cate Blanchett did an incredible job and portrayed a very nasty character in a perfect way.
Violet~Incredibles Really the only female superheroes that I’ve seen in a movie are Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Elastigirl, and Violet, and Violet is definitely my favorite of those (although there’s nothing wrong with Elastigirl :D). Violet is shy and grouchy and a little angry, but she cares what people think of her and she’s tired of being weird and keeping her emotions inside. She’s really relatable. Not to mention I love her dry wit. “Wait a minute. You left Jack-Jack, alone?” “Yes, Mom, I’m completely stupid”.
4) That I would want to be friends with
Wendy Darling~Peter Pan (2003) She’s captured parts of Wendy from the book and the classic movie and added something new too. She’s adventurous, a story teller, beautiful, and kind. She understands what it’s like to have to grow up but will always keep a part of her childhood with her. I think we would get along well and she’d help bring out the (almost invisible) adventurous side of me.
5) That I wish had better development
Christine Daae~The Phantom of the Opera (2004) First of all, may I just mention her incredible hair?!? So gorgeous. Anywho, although she is one of the main characters, we really don’t get to know her at all. Before I started reading the book (which is way different than the movie, btw), I didn’t know anything about how she started hearing the Phantom, and how she Raul used to know each other, etc. I think they could have delved in to her background a little more. All this is not to say I don’t like the movie (or her), for I love it, it’s just her character is a little weak in my opinion.
So there you go, my opinions on some very interesting movie characters!
Stay tuned to read a Fictional Men and Fictional Couples tags that are similar to this one.
So are any of these your favorites of their categories? Do you have totally different answers? I’d love to know your thoughts, so please, comment away 😀
Our last day, we took a trip to Tuscany. We had a private tour with a wonderful guide, Maria, and our driver Marco. It was amazing. Everything is just the greenest green! SO MUCH GREEN. All different shades and different trees, bushes, and grasses.
Anyways the drive was so beautiful.
Our first stop was a little medieval town, Monte Pulciano, where several movies have been filmed and where there was a beautiful catholic church. It was so serene inside, silent, with a few candles lit here and there, and the slightest noise would echo.
It was freezing there. Very chilly, as it was on a mountain, and I hadn’t brought a sweater (our guide thought I was insane), so we scoured the gift shop for one and ended up buying one for each of the four of us (mom didn’t want one). They are pretty great blue and maroon hoodies that have words in Italian about wine and such.
When I was taking some pictures with my lovely camera, Maria asked me if I did photography professionally, and I said I was working on it. She later asked if I was studying at a university and I looked at her. I told her that I still have several years of high school left. She asked how old I was and I told her. She was surprised, haha, I love (for now) being thought of as older than I am.
Then we went up in this really interesting tower that was very very high off the ground, and you had to go up a whole bunch of steps made of bricks, with holes and weird wooden railings, very crowded, just to get to the top, but it was totally worth it. I thought it was cold below, but let me just say I was glad I got a sweater.
We did the first wine tasting in that town (Even after all that wine, I still don’t like it, perhaps when I’m old enough to drink it in America I will, but not now.), and there was ‘snacks’ and chocolate. I’m pretty sure this chocolate was from heaven. It was incredible. We brought home eight bars and wish we had bought more.
We went to another town and wandered around, got some amazing gelato and some souvenirs and the best lemon soda ever. It was such high quality! Anyways then we piled back into the car, did another wine tasting (this time with no snacks so I suffered through it).
Next, we went to a goat cheese farm owned by a man named Guiseppe, or Pepe as our driver called him. One of the employees showed us around and told us the process and opened the room where they store cheese, and let me tell you that it was one of the worst and most overwhelming smells I have ever had to smell. I shudder just to think of it! Then we went to the tasting room and got to eat lots of cheese (which I don’t really like) and some amazing ricotta cheese. Guiseppe said to put lots of sugar with the ricotta, so I did, but then I poured way more than I meant to. So I scooped it off of the cheese onto my plate and Guiseppe looked at me as if I were a lunatic and said “You cana never havea too much sugar!”
After a very full day, we went back to our hotel, bid our lovely guide and driver goodbye, and my sister and I headed to the hotel restaurant to get tiramisu. Which was not that terrific, but oh well.
The next day we headed home. As much as I loved, loved, loved Israel and seeing our friends, there was something about Italy that just completely drew me in. It was wonderful! Truly and completely!
My favorite things about Italy:
Flying in over the greenest place I’ve ever seen
Our grand hotel
Going through spinny doors
Seeing the painting of Adam reaching for God’s hand
Touching the pillars of the Pantheon
Being called ‘bella (beautiful)’ by an actual Italian man
Seeing Rome in the rain with all the umbrellas
Experiencing earthquakes (yes, they make my favorites list)
Hearing a delightful language all the time
THE FOOD! (gelato, Nutella, buffets, pizza, pasta!)
Seeing so much greenness and real Italian vineyards
The beautiful church
Being though I was a good three years or so older than I am
Feeling like I could see the whole world from the top of the tower
Being done smelling that horrific cheese smell
Having a million wonderful memories.
I was so blessed to be able to go on this trip, blessed by my family, the friends we stayed with in Israel, and of course by the Father for making it all workout! It was truly the adventure of a lifetime.
This was amazing. We arrived at the airport, exhausted and tired from the Israel trip. We go straight to our hotel, and just on the ride (about 25 minutes, all in Rome) we were amazed by what we saw. Everything was SOOO green, even just the weeds on the side of the road. Buildings that would normally be considered ugly managed to be beautiful and all the old buildings were so cool! We got to our hotel and it was incredible, it was like a palace! The doors of our taxi van were opened for us and so were the doors to the hotel (ooh, and there were those cool spinny doors!).
Dad checked us in and but we were a bit early so we asked the concierge (try saying that, it’s really fun) what he suggested for lunch. We went to a little restaurant and there was a great guy there (very unprofessional looking though). We told him we wanted stuff that didn’t have non-fish seafood or pork and he just went with it and brought us out these huge servings of pasta and meat and fish and bread and cheese and tomatoes. It was very yummy, but when my sister and I couldn’t eat anymore he kept telling us to finish anyways. We gave some to our brother and parents so he wouldn’t feel too bad but I still couldn’t finish.
We went back to the hotel and went to our huge suite (not at all what we were expecting, a million times better!), and stood in awe for a while. Then we went on a tour at the Coliseum and some old castle ruins. There were a lot of people in the tour and we had to wear these little radios and earbuds so we could hear the lady talking. She kind of didn’t stop talking. Ever. She was a walking encyclopedia, she never repeated information but she just kept going! The Coliseum was really interesting, not quite like I had expected it. I would show you pictures of the inside, but as I said in my Israel post, my memory card is failing, I do have a selfie, haha, though, of me and the outside.
The next day we went to Vatican (so technically we went to three countries) and went to the Sistine Chapel. It was very catholic, and a bit creepy with all the weird pagan stuff and naked statues. But we saw the painting of Adam reaching for God which was very cool.
We also went to the Pantheon, and that was… weird. It’s dedicated to 12 gods so that’s strange, but it’s a very magnificent building.
Every building in Rome was so interesting and so many of them have so much history packed into them! Some were just simple and elegant, though.
Okay, so I thought people drive crazy in Israel, but no. Drivers are INSANE in Italy. It was pretty frightening sometimes. I think they just use the yellow lines in the middle of the roads as suggestions and not rules. And there was no yielding to merge, just merging if you want to go then. And oh my goodness, so. many. motorcyclists!
Later that day we went to this darling pizzeria, very picturesque and cozy. We asked how big the pizzas are and the answer was ‘personal size’. We chuckled to ourselves, knowing that Italians’ versions of ‘personal servings’ are rather large. But, gracious, they came out and they were huge! They were pizzas I would normally share with two or three other people! But the hilarious thing is, we each still ended up eating all the pizza! I gave a few of my pieces away but it was crazy! Delicious, though. On the way out dad had us kids take a picture with one of the servers. Dad told me, “Lissy Belle (a nickname of mine), get in the picture!” And the waiter said something like “Yesa, youra bella!”, which means beautiful! So a real life genuine Italian man called me beautiful! How amazing is that?!?
Okay, we got to be in Italy, while it rained!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOOOORAH! So many people were walking around with umbrellas and raincoats, and it was gorgeous afterwards with the clouds still lingering and the wet pavement!
Also, we experienced several noticeably large earthquakes! I had been through one teeny one a long time ago, but these were much larger, especially on the fifth floor of our hotel! My sister and I were watching the 2014 version of Annie in Italian (except the songs were in English and we know the movie so well, it didn’t make much of a difference) and our parents came to our room and were talking about our plans for the next day and then my bed started shaking and the big chandelier, and we all looked at each other and I got really excited, and my isn’t this a run on sentence! Anyways, then another one came and they were very exciting!
Gelato in Italy was pretty amazing, and they serve cold Nutella there. I don’t mean Nutella-flavored ice cream, I mean plain cold Nutella! You could just buy a scoop! Nutella is a big deal over there, which is pretty great in my opinion.
And our hotel breakfasts were huge buffets, piles and piles of food; eggs, sausage, pastries, sweet foods, drinks, etc! My brother got five plates overspilling with food, and eat almost all of what he started with!
May I just mention how incredibly WONDERFUL the accents and the language is. So fun. Every Italian accent you’ve ever heard, even if it seemed grossly exaggerated, was probably, in some region, accurate. I love their language, it’s so sing-songy! I’m learning the language and the accent should be pretty easy to authenticate, because whatever you think it is, you’re probably right.
So that is the first two days of our trip, and I will be posting part two later today or tomorrow.
Tell me what you think! Does Italy entice you as much as it does me? Ciao for now!
Twenty-three days ago my family and I set off on an adventure. Sure it wasn’t hiking the alps, riding elephants, or bungee jumping, but it was an adventure.
Twenty-three days ago my family and I stepped into an airplane to head to Israel.
Twenty-two days ago we arrived in Jerusalem.
And let me tell you that it was incredible and worth the money I spent, and my parents and sister spent.
We aren’t Jewish, we believe in Jesus as our Messiah, but we also celebrate the biblical festivals that you read about in the Bible, including Sukkot, which is what we were doing in Israel.
I really don’t even know where to start. (Ooh, but I’d like to point out that I’m finally the one who took the pictures for this post, instead of using other sources)
First of all, airplanes are horrible, horrible places. I had only flown once when I was seven, so what I was expecting was different from reality. We had a three-hour drive to the airport, the first flight was 4 hours, the next leg was 9, and the next was three. I was either really tired and grumpy or really hyper and restless. No in between. And I couldn’t, for all I tried, sleep on the plane. I slept on the floor of the airport, but not the plane.
When we arrived it was about 8:00 Israel time so we split up to up to head to the two apartments the four families were sharing. Everyone was already there our family was the last to come. My sister and I stayed at one apartment with three of the adults, while our parents and brother stayed in the other with our hosts and all the boys.
To be honest, I couldn’t even tell you what happened which day because they are all mixed together in my head, with no chronological-ness. But I do remember the first day we just chilled and took a walk.
So during the festival of Sukkot, there are several additional sabbaths (days of rest) and of course there were the regular Saturday sabbaths. We were staying in the Jewish quarter of Israel and everything shut down and there were very few cars (you can actually see in the picture above that we crossed on a red light because there were no cars for miles).
The Western Wailing Wall was amazing, not like I pictured it but very cool. Pictures weren’t allowed there, but here is a picture of us walking to it. (Can’t see it in the picture)
Markets there are very, very awesome. They are huge throngs of people shouting and purchasing food, spices, souvenirs, candy, flowers, tea, etc.
Very sadly my memory card that stored the most pictures (I had several hundred pictures on it) is refusing to download, so my best pictures aren’t going to make it onto this post :””(
We went to En Gedi, which is a place with tons of caves, the place where David hid from Saul. There were a couple of waterfalls there, too, it was very cool. We also saw Masada, where the very sad story of the Jewish soldiers who jumped off the cliffs in order that the Romans wouldn’t get them.
The Dead Sea. My goodness! This place was… well, salty, that’s for sure. We got there a bit before sunset and got to see a very beautiful pink sunset go down above the mountains. So our luggage arrived later than we did so I only had flip flops for the first day, so when we went to the Dead Sea, I had horrible blisters between my toes, and getting into the water was soooooo painful. Like very, very. Everywhere stung for quite a while but then you got used to it. So floating took no effort whatsoever, which was very interesting. Your feet would just kinda pop up. The water was very oily feeling. It was an odd feeling.
There were these really cool stairs in this one area that went along the top of the walls, we didn’t go on much of it (so many stairs, ya know).
The Sea of Galilee was incredible. It was by far my favorite thing we did/saw. I took some really great pictures but again, my memory card is being a pain, so I can’t show you them [:””””( ]. We had an amazing experience and went out on these very beautiful wooden boats that are replicas of the boats that would have been used during Jesus’s time, with silent motors, so it felt very authentic. The men who sailed the boats, David and Judah, were very nice and informative, David looked just like a sailor on a wooden boat in Israel should. Afterward, Judah very kindly drove us to a restaurant that had no tourists (except us) and they served us so much food. It just kept coming and coming. There were these huge piping hot naan breads brought out and perhaps 15 or more dishes of dips/veggies/salsas to dip them in. By the time our actual food came, I was very full but managed to eat some anyway.
We got gelato so often, it was kinda weird since that isn’t really something Israel is known for. But gelato is amazing, so I didn’t complain 😀
We ate a lot, but we also walked a lot. The apartments were a thirty-minute walk apart, so we did that several days, back and forth. We walked to the Wall several times, and the markets and squares. As I already mentioned, the markets were a lot of fun, there were a couple different ones and one was really small and the salesmen were like ‘come in!’ ‘We have the real McCoy’ and other phrases they thought were cool. Lots of scarves and clothes hanging, it made for a pretty picture.
The hills covered in graves, Jewish and Arab, were stunning. The walls there and all the buildings seem to be made of the same tan stone material.
It was so interesting seeing Jews everywhere, it was cool. There were the Orthodox with the payot (curls) and black and white clothing with the hats, there were Russian-Orthodox, and there hats were hilarious. Then there were the men who just had kephas. Also, a lot of the women dressed really modestly and they looked well dressed all the time.
One night we went to a big ‘craft fair’, and on the way, we passed a Jewish man singing loudly on a band stand with speakers and some guitars, and there were all these men dancing in a circle shouting and singing, jumping around and kicking there legs, some would carry another guy on there shoulders, there were older men and little boys and all the ages in between, and it wasn’t just Jewish men dancing. An elderly but strong Jew came up to two of our friends and dragged them in. They only danced for ten minutes or so but when they were done they were sweating really hard. It was really fun to watch.
And things were not expensive there. I got a good deal of souvenirs but could have afforded more. Shekels and NIS (New Israeli Shekel) were the currency. Shekels are worth about 26 cents, so if something was a hundred shekels it was about 26 dollars. But I don’t think I bought anything for more than 30 shekels.
Oh and we went to an old dig site, called City of David. In the city of David was that in the picture below, and also a tunnel called Hezikiah’s Tunnel, which was narrow and dark and had water in it. That was a cool place, but the day altogether was one of the worser (is that a word?) of the ten.
Jerusalem was pretty, and some of the places we went to were lovely, but a lot of the places we drove through could be considered ugly. It was kind of odd, some places really showed a ‘land flowing with milk and honey’ while others showed the curses of man.
Oh and here is a picture of one of the many amusing signs we saw that when translated into English sounded weird.
I thought the buildings there were really beautiful, but just wait till my Italy post 😉
I had a truly amazing time, it was great hanging out with friends, making memories, having new experiences and seeing so many places that I’ve read about for years.