Thanksgiving in Pictures

While the biggest poultry (and appreciation) day of the year is fast approaching, and many crazy birds are about to go into hiding (by way of our tummies) I thought it would be nice to share some of the things we here in Graceful Chicken Land are thankful for this year. And since I can't possibly spend the time to tell you every last thing I am grateful for, I am only choosing those that are captured in picture in some way or another (without violating the privacy of people outside my immediate family of course!)

So, in random order, I am thankful for having kids who are satisfied with birthday parties at home. And because I've always been a closet fan of western wear: boots, hats and the like, I am especially thankful for Madeline's latest interest in cowgirl stuff which lead to the making of a cowgirl pinata and western themed party earlier this month. She had originally wanted me to create a horse pinata but after much thought, I wasn't sure I was skilled enough to do that just yet. Maybe next year lil' darlin'!

I'm also thankful for the bountiful harvest we had in our garden this year. For a first year project, we were very spoiled (as were many of the veggies that we simply couldn't eat or give away quick enough!)

This is the last harvest, right at the end of October before we started clearing it all out:

Now, I must admit, I don't like green peppers at all. These were supposed to be red and yellow peppers but we had a very difficult time getting any to turn this season. (I'm totally open to suggestions on that one!) But the enormous cherry tomato plant that blessed us with a tremendous supply just about every day totally made up for it.

I'm also thankful for Halloween, the one day in which the true character of my children can come out and it is entirely appropriate!

And for the local pumpkin patch for the colorful photo op:

And I am thankful for the apple trees we planted. Although we only got one lonely apple this year from three trees, it was by far the most gigantic apple we have ever seen. We had to pick it a wee bit early out of fear it would break the branch and it practically fed the whole family. (And it tasted divine!)

And while I am talking of ginormous things, we absolutely loved our "only in Minnesota" sized sunflower. This picture was taken when we were harvesting the seeds: all the petals are gone, the majority of the seeds had been knocked loose and it still took both girls to hold the thing up it weighed so much:

I'm thankful for catching a few beautiful sunrises, complete with birds and dolphins (and I'm thankful for those that made it possible to be on the beach for them!):

And even for weird cats, and their ability to make us laugh...while they are sleeping:

And, speaking of laughing, I have to thank my kids for their clever ideas and their ability to keep me smiling:

And I am truly grateful for genetic testing that came back a-ok (all 10 vials of blood worth...seriously, I'm just glad they weighed Liam BEFORE taking all that blood), and for the simple things that make my kids happy: like the itty bitty back-pack that gets Liam excited on the days he gets to ride the tiny school bus to school:

And of course I am very thankful for this one last pregnancy which allowed me to create, not only another chick but a new Graceful Chicken shirt:

And for the husband who made it all possible (whether intended or not).

And for the Creator who laughed His heavenly tail off watching us this year and, of course, wept with us in times of sorrow.

And for all of you who read this blog and those of you who share with me in one way or another your thoughts and stories: thank you.

Blessings to you all!


This Week in Lilyland

The kids are all involved with the local gymnastic place where they are learning to do things that, when applied at home, start looking awfully dangerous. For example, Lily is working on back rolls down a wedge but since we don't own a wedge she tries back rolls down our slide in the basement, or down the partially reclined sofa. So, like any responsible parents, we just turn our heads the other way, cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Anyway, as we were on our way home from gymnastics this week, the conversation went something like this:

"Mom, when we were in gymnastics today, I had to sit out for a while," Lily confessed.

"Oh? Why is that?" I asked.

"Well, Miss AJ told me I had to because I wasn't following directions," she said.

"Well, Lily, you can't move up into Madeline's class if you don't follow directions exactly right," I said.

"But, Moooom, she never told me not to go crashing into everyone."


So then today, I overheard Lily helping Liam with his speech. (Up until recently, she was the only one who could get him to try out new sounds and words.)

"Liam, say 'shuuuu'," Lily said.


"Say 'ut'."


"Shut," Lily said.

"Shut," Liam answered.

"Say up," Lily said.

"Up," Liam answered.





"Mooooooom! Liam just said shut up!" Lily tattled.

"Uh, Lily, you just made him say that," I said.

"Oh. Right."

Again, details....


Have a great weekend!


Where's My Chicken Wing?!

"Hey Lily, time to get ready for school," I told her today, with an hour to spare...you know, in hopes that we might get to the store before drop-off time.

"Where's my chicken wing?" she shouted, running out of the art room.

"Ummmmm.....uh.....what?" I asked, a little confused.

"My chicken wing. Where is it?" she demanded.

"Ok, you got me. Where is it?" I asked back.

"Moooooom! I don't know where it is!" she said, getting irritated.

"Lily, I don't know what you are talking about," I told her calmly.

"You know, the wing I made for school....FOR THE CHICKEN!" she replied, exasperated.

"Ooooooh. You mean the turkey feather," I said as I glanced at the counter where she had left the blue construction paper decorated with alphabet stickers and crayon swirls.

"Yeah, that. Where is it?"


There is nothing quite like having a Lily to keep things interesting (and light). And there is nothing quite like preschool turkey feathers to remind me that the time for Halloween decor and rotting pumpkins is past; we are now on to the holiday of colorful poultry and gratitude. For the record, I have seen many a turkey around here and not one of them had red, yellow, blue and pink feathers coming out their tail. Then again, the majority of them either looked like they were running for their lives (like the big ol' turkey we saw crossing the road on the way to church last weekend) or were featherless, roasted and served up on a platter! (I admit, I have much to learn when it comes to turkeys, except when it comes to the eatin' part of course!)

While I wish you all a much better week than the last one we had over here, I'll admit, I learned some valuable lessons over the past seven or eight days. Here's the two that top my list:

1) Don't go into a funeral without tissues on hand....no matter how rock hard you think your emotions are at that moment, once something triggers the flood gate (you know, like the music in the first few minutes), you may just want that Kleenex because quite honestly, the back of your hand can only absorb so much! (I'm a genius, really....)

2) Speaking of tissues, even if you don't carry kids in your car much, always have a box of tissues available. You just never know when you might be toting a four year old who can fall asleep in the middle of a spontaneous nose bleed, and having nothing available to you but the seats you are sitting on really bites. I'm just sayin'.... (You also gotta love the same kid who, upon arriving at the destination and being roused from sleep, asks, "Hey, is my nose bleed done yet?" Nice kid. Real nice!)

Have a wonderful week!