Category Archives: family

There Was This One Thanksgiving…

There was this one Thanksgiving when my mom tripped while she was carrying corn to the table. The corn flew everywhere, and even stuck to the ceiling. We joked when we moved that there was probably corn still stuck in the rough, textured surface.

As a pastor’s family, Thanksgiving was a little different for us. My dad always had to work on Thanksgiving morning and preach a sermon. Three out of four of my uncles were also pastors, so they were also preaching on Thanksgiving Day. After church, we would load up the car and drive to the Midwest town to the family that was hosting Thanksgiving that year. Sometimes we drove to Detroit, Michigan. Other times we drove to Canton, Ohio. Sometimes we were lucky and got to stay put because we were hosting Thanksgiving. That night, as our relatives all met up in one place, there were hugs and kisses and lots of noise. The moms and aunts would start preparing for our big meal the next day–the Friday after Thanksgiving.

There usually wasn’t a bed for all of us. The cousins would sleep on the floor with blankets and pillows and the rare sleeping bag. The grown-ups got the beds. It usually took a while for us to go to sleep, with all the talking and giggling we did. The aunts and uncles yelled at us to be quiet and go to sleep!

The next day, when everyone else was eating leftovers, was our big Thanksgiving Feast. Turkey and green beans, mashed potatoes and corn, cranberry sauce and oh so many good things to eat!

Our extended family has grown and our traditions have changed. We no longer get together on the Friday after Thanksgiving. But the memories of those Thanksgivings past stay with us always.

How was your Thanksgiving? Link up your Thanksgiving post here!


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Providing Sisters to Help You Get Through the Holidays

My two-year-old got it first, right before Christmas; a full-blown case of the stomach flu. As a teacher of little kids, I had been exposed to the stomach flu many times before, so I was sure I would be okay and ready to host Christmas dinner at my house. On December 24, I was so sick I couldn’t even get out of bed except to go lie on the bathroom floor next to the toilet. I had never had such horrible, crippling stomach cramps before. To make matters worse, I was newly pregnant with my second child. I called my mom who lived out-of-state. “Will it hurt the baby?” I asked after I had puked my guts out for what seemed the umpteenth time.

“No, of course it won’t hurt the baby,” Mom reassured me.

I was so lucky that my sister had flown in from California to was staying with us that week. She took care of me as I lay moaning in bed. The next day, she also took care of getting the turkey in the oven. It was her first turkey, stuffed with oranges and cloves, and it was delicious!


I tried to help the best I could on Christmas Day, but it was really my sister who pulled dinner together for us. My nephew secretly told his mother, my sister-in-law, that I couldn’t have really been that sick. I looked fine! But then just a couple of days later, he got sick. And so did just about everyone else in the family, including my poor brother who was still recuperating from a motorcycle accident in a nursing facility.

Let me tell you, without my sister, I don’t think I could have survived Christmas that year!

Scary Mommy's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Jill Smoker’s new anthology, Scary Mommy’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays, provides a whole set of sisters to help with the holidays! From recipes to anecdotes to lists, this book will get you through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. I laughed out loud when Jill wrote about her son being thankful for poop. Let’s face it, any time a kid can get poop into the conversation, he will! I’m sure Crystal Ponti’s “Put-Your-Feet-Up-While-the-Crock-Pot-Cooks Cranberry Sauce” will be much more delicious than the time I tried to make stuffing in my crock pot. It didn’t turn out so well. I could totally relate to Sarah Cottrell’s description of “Ten People in the Grocery Store the Morning of Thanksgiving.” I, myself, have been the desperate spouse, known to run out to buy more wine before my in-laws can get another bottle from their already abundant supply in the basement.

Since my first daughter was born in November, I laughed my way through Alice Gomstyn’s “The Pros and Cons of Having a Baby Right Before Thanksgiving,” because lactating boobs are quite entertaining. Becoming a mother also means that everything changes, and Jennifer Simon’s story “Redefining Thanksgiving” is a beautiful reflection on how a baby can make the holidays even better.

The best part of this book, however, is that part of the profits go to Scary Mommy’s Thanksgiving Project, which raises money for families to be able to buy Thanksgiving dinner. To find out more about this charity, visit Scary Mommy Nation.

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!


Pizza and Movie Night

It seems like every weekend, we have one night that is pizza and movie night. I make my special homemade pizza with two boxes of Jiffy pizza crust mix spread into my large jelly roll pan. I use Pastorelli pizza sauce from Chicago, Illinois. The Lemon Drop Pie family pizza features pepperoni and onions, with no onions on Emmy’s corner. When there are five minutes left to bake, I top it with fresh mozzarella bought in bulk from Costco and then frozen, because we’re frugal like that. I prefer to eat my pizza with a big glass of milk. I’ve heard that’s weird. Do you think it’s weird?

pizza and milk

Tonight’s movie pick from the library archives is Chicken Little, a movie I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. It’s surprisingly more about a relationship between a father and a son than the sky falling.

Do you have pizza and movie night at your house? What’s the last movie you watched together?



P.S. What do you put on your pizza? :)


Forget-Me-Not {Spin Cycle}

I’ve always wanted Lily and Emmy to have cousins the same age as they are. They do have two older cousins on Ed’s side, but they are quite a bit older and really, not that fun to play with. They are more interested in sleeping when they come home for a visit. My siblings don’t have any kids, and are unlikely to. My cousin, however, has children that are about the same age. We try to get the kids together as often as we can to see each other, but since we live a couple of states away from each other, this doesn’t happen as often as we’d like!

Here, in their own words, are Lily (10) and Emmy (7) telling you about their second cousins.

Hi, I’m Lily and I like spending time with my family members.  Especially with my cousins Laura, and Mary. The problem is that I don’t usually get to see them. I only get to see them once a year!

When we see each other we play with stuffed animals, go to the beach, explore out side, tell scary stories and many other things. We have so much fun together. Every time we see each other we play every chance we  get. It is hard to stop.

The rest of the year I miss them so much. Laura and I write letters to each other. Emmy, my sister writes letters to Mary and Laura too. I like doing this. It makes me feel like I get to see her more.We also send each other small things to help each other remember them by. I still don’t get to communicate with Mary that much. Even though Laura tells me how she is.

I am always thinking about what we will do the next time we see each other.I always wait for that day and I always will. I think they probably feel the same way I do.  I know they miss me as much as I miss them. It is nice to have good family members even when I don’t see them much.

Forget me not

I love my cousins but I don’t get to see them a lot. I get to write to my cousins but still I don’t get to see them in person. It isn’t fair! I only see them once in a year! It feels like throwing away your favorite thing when it was perfect! By Emmy

Lily and Emmy say it much better than I ever could! Hopefully we’ll see Laura and Mary (along with their mom and dad) next summer!

Did you write your own Forget-me-not Spin? Link it up here! Be sure to visit other Spinners!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Copy and paste the code in the box to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! (On some blogs, you will need to delete the quote marks and replace them with regular quote marks. Or just grab the Spin Cycle code from my right sidebar.)

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Being a Hostess Is Exhausting

When I was growing up, my mom was a crazy lady before guests came over. I couldn’t figure out why.

Now. Now I know why.

We had my husband’s family over for Lily’s birthday party today, and we’re such a small family that it really should be easy.

I get a little bit crazier with each party anyway.

It all begins with the meal planning. Lily suggested that we have hamburgers, and I thought that would be a great and easy thing to have. At the store, the pre-made burgers didn’t look appealing to me, so I thought I would make my own burgers. I brought home ground beef and eggs, and made a simple hamburger recipe. However, making things from scratch makes a messier kitchen. Egg shells, a whisk, measuring cups, and a big dirty bowl now littered my counter. I plopped the burgers on the grill and stuck the Tater Tots in the oven.

When my father-in-law said he had no idea what Tater Tots were, I was a little dumbfounded. Sure, he’s 84 years old, but he’s never had Tater Tots before? Well, tonight was going to be a new experience for him.

When I went outside to flip the burgers, I discovered that the grill had run out of gas. We have two extra gas canisters…but they were empty. I grill a lot. So I threw the burgers in the oven with the Tater Tots. This is when my craziness really came out, and I snapped at Lily for making a hamburger bun tower. I had simply asked her to put the buns on a plate, NOT make a tower of buns!

The burgers came out great despite the gas shortage, the bun tower didn’t fall to the floor, and the salad was tossed.

But then…I still had to make dessert. I know, I’m crazy. Lily wanted strawberry shortcake, and I hadn’t had time to make it beforehand. It’s really easy to make…but it makes a mess in the kitchen. I threw even more dirty dishes on top of the hamburger ones.

Thank goodness for paper plates! Amazingly, I had bought a huge package of paper plates this afternoon. I usually forget the paper plates.

So now the guest are gone, I’m finishing my glass of wine as the dishwasher runs its first load, and I have pajamas on.

Nothing is better than pajamas after an exhausting evening of being hostess.




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