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Ten Things of Thankful: Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, but my home is still filled with visitors.  I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with relatives, and am thankful for your understanding if I am a bit tardy in responding to your comments this weekend. 

Small sweet moments filled the week.  Comfortable conversations, small kindnesses, laughter, and remembrances marked the time.  I'm thankful for the reminders of goodness in the world:

1.  A woman at Walmart looked at my two-item cart, then asked me if I would like to go ahead of her in line.  I was actually in a hurry that day, and gladly accepted her offer.

2.  While filling up my gas tank, the attendant wandered over to chat.  He does this frequently with customers.  This week he happened to mention that he used to visit the hospital frequently.  I said that medical issues can be worrisome.  He responded that it wasn't really a health issue, then went on to explain how he had been born with hydrocephalus and experienced lots of seizures as a child.  To me, that is the very definition of medical issue.  I was inspired by his positive attitude in not seeing his challenge as a real problem.

3.  While in the car listening to the radio, the deejays were talking about holiday foods.  The woman mentioned not liking jello salad with carrots and nuts in it, and the man said, "Oh, Mormon jello."  He explained how Utahans lead the nation in Jell-O consumption.  (The female deejay had an "Aha!" moment:  "Great-grandma, who brought the awful jello salad to Thanksgiving dinners, was from Utah!  That's where she must have found the recipe!") Then the male deejay went on to talk about funeral potatoes, mentioning how the Relief Society (the women's organization), after a funeral service, will provide a meal at the church for the family of the deceased.  That meal frequently features a potato dish--hence, "funeral potatoes."  (Look on wikipedia under "Jell-O" and "Funeral potatoes" if you'd like further insight on the relationship between those foods and Mormon culture.)

The deejay was obviously familiar with Mormon culture--I am assuming he is LDS--and it was refreshing to hear terms like "Relief Society" being used over the airwaves in such a matter-of-fact way.  Sometimes media coverage can be sensational and misleading, so I appreciated a normal conversation.  (Of course, neither jello nor funeral potatoes has anything to do with doctrine--just a quirky Mormon stereotype.  And stereotypes aren't all that accurate:  I only make jello on Thanksgiving, or when the stomach flu comes to our home, and I've probably spoken at funerals more often than I've made funeral potatoes!)

The veggie tray I served, not to be confused with jello. I wish I could say I came up with the idea, but I was inspired by a photo that I traced back to this post.

4.  The mountains around the valley received a dusting of snow, bringing beauty to the barren landscape. 

5.  We had rain again this week.  I don't even remember the last time we've had rain during two consecutive weeks!

6.  A woman pointed out an available parking spot to me, as I was driving in a crowded parking lot. 

7.   Oldest daughter and I spent a day together at Disneyland.  We talked and laughed, then laughed some more each time we realized our laughs sounded exactly alike.  We stayed late, which is something I rarely do, and were rewarded with the beautiful scene that is Disneyland at night.

8.  Our big, nearly empty house filled up again this week.  John's parents, John's brother and his family, another nephew, oldest daughter and youngest son stayed with us for the Thanksgiving weekend.  

We even got to celebrate an upcoming birthday.  I love how my daughter joined in the wishing as my sister-in-law blew out the candles.

9.  The various tables we've acquired from garage sales were put to good use, as we pushed them all together to create one huge table.  In addition to the people mentioned in #8, granddaughter, her parents, and her dad's mom and sister ate Thanksgiving dinner with us.  

10. This weekend was the first time John's parents have seen their great-granddaughter, and I'm glad we remembered to take 4-generations photos. 

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Remember to join in our blog hop.  We would love to read your Thankful post!
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I'm thankful for kindnesses of strangers, but especially thankful for the love and laughter of family.

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Ten Things of Thankful

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  1. Beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL! A home full of laughter, food and family, sparkly Disney lights and that AMAZING tray of veggies! You're SO creative! Massively impressed with that :D

    Thank you for this wonderful list - and as for being around - be around whenever it happens. No pressure. Have a gorgeous weekend.

    1. Oh, I'm not so creative--I just adapted an idea I saw on facebook and pinterest. I updated my caption to clarify.

      I'm grabbing a quiet moment to respond to a comment or two, but this is definitely a mostly off-line weekend! :-)

    2. Yeah, but that tray would NOT be in the Pintrest fails section, rather PinWINS :)

      Enjoy your offline, and YAY for you being on Twitter. You ROCK! :D

  2. Wow, that veggie plate looks great - and your story about the jello and Mormon food was really interesting. It sounds as if you've had a great week.

    1. Thanks! Wish I could claim credit for the idea, but I updated my caption to include the link to the photo that inspired me.

  3. 4 generations ! How awesome is that!? I bet that doesn't happen in every family! ANd to be able to all be in one place for a photo...fantastic! OK... that said and very sincerely very cool... I LOVE THE VEGGIE TURKEY!!!!!

    1. I updated the caption of the veggie tray to link to the photo that originally inspired me. I just adapted the turkey to use the veggies I had on hand.

  4. As always a wonderful post and a good reminder of all the things I am thankful for. LOVE your veggie turkey! I have to do that next year! SO cute!

    1. I saw a photo of a turkey veggie tray before Thanksgiving this year, and knew I wanted to make something similar. I've updated the caption to link to the photo that inspired me. I wish I were that creative on my own!

  5. Wonderful opportunity for a fourth generation photo! A beautiful, wonderfully captured one.

    1. Thanks to my sister-in-law for getting the shot. You should have seen all the rejected photos--it's amazing how hard it is to get 6 adults to all smile and look at the camera with eyes open!

  6. 'Mormon jello' and 'funeral potatoes' lol damn! I love this blog hop.

    (Besides being a clark which means I love learning new things and information), I totally enjoy people sharing insights into their own world, one that I might never otherwise have seen. There is a fundamental difference in, the *quality* of learning about something known a 'funeral potatoes' because I have come about it from a person that lives in the world where it comes from….(sorry not very clearly saying what I mean).
    Lets try this, we all live in the world in common and in personal 'worlds' (which vary from person to person…depending on a ton of things that might differentiate one person (or group of people) from another), so to not only be told there is a thing referred to as 'Mormon jello' but to have a person 'from that world' show me the context that the term comes from…*thats* cool.
    Thank you for sharing that with us.
    (Man! if I ever get to go on Jeopardy! I am so gonna clean up!! ) lol

    1. The more I learn about your theory, the more I think I am a roger, but my secondary would be clark, so I do think I understand what you saying. Earlier this year, I had a chance to ask a German man what his impressions were when the Berlin wall came down, and I have to say, I gained insights I never had before! (The first thing he mentioned was how smelly the little East German cars were--something to do with the smaller cylinder size? Anyway, I never in a million years would have suspected that would have been so significant to him that it would be the first thing he mentioned.)

      As for Jeopardy, a few months back the show had a "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" category--but jello didn't make the answers. :-) If Ken Jennings had still been on his winning streak, he would have had an easy time--he is Mormon. (Just another bit of trivia for you!)

  7. I love having family visit for holidays! Looks like you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The veggie platter was amazing and what a special picture with 4 generations. <3

    Disneyland looked beautiful at night.

  8. Your veggie tray is awesome!! Seriously so completely cool! Hooray for family and Disneyland, too.

  9. What a beautiful list! I love it. Your veggie turkey is spectacular, too. :)

  10. I love your pictures!

    You experienced a lot of kindness last week. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  11. This is funny! I was at the grocery store yesterday with a cart full of stuff (ie: mom shopping for family) and the guy behind me had three things. So I let him go ahead. He looked surprised, then really happy. Then I read your blog. I think this should happen more often! It was such an easy way to be nice - and so obviously appreciated.

    The turkey veggie platter is amazing. I may steal that.

  12. Beautiful week, beautiful family! And is Mormon jello the orange kind with the grated carrots and pineapple? Because I'm pretty sure that's Presbyterian jello.... :)

    1. No, I'm pretty sure Mormon jello is the green kind. ;-)


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