Thursday, October 22, 2009


Every once in a while (Or "Every single once in a while," as Sarah used to say when she was little), I discover pictures that I haven't posted, or I find old favorite pictures that I just like looking at again.

So today is my day to unpicture-fy my backlog. Some of these you've seen before; some you haven't.

This is a letter that arrived home from Nathan in the past few months. I had to smile when I saw how he had addressed it.

A while ago, Sarah left this helpful Post-It note of instruction for Steve.

I mentioned last week in a post that I keep a shopping list taped to the inside of my cupboard with a pen always nearby. If you don't have an ongoing list like this, I highly recommend it.

I have mine divided into sections; as soon as I know I'm running low on something, I immediately write it on the list. (And yes, my handwriting really is as bad as it looks in the picture.) When I go to the grocery store, it makes shopping easy since I have everything organized by categories.

And the very best part? I never get in trouble when I haven't bought something a family member needs. If they haven't written it on The List, they know they can't complain about me not buying it! Good deal!

(I usually print out about 20 copies at a time, so I always have a new one ready to go.)

I've always loved this picture I took of Steve in Wisconsin many years ago. (The dog belonged to the people whose house we were staying at.)

Here we are getting ready to leave my parent's house in Wisconsin after our visit in December of 2008. I didn't realize as that picture was being snapped that I had just said good bye to my dad for the last time.

Here's Sarah in our borrowed cottage in Manteo. Ain't she cute?

Sarah and Snowy

My beloved Smith Sibs

Nathan helping with Sarah's physical therapy.

A tie-tying lesson before school. Is it just me, or does Steve look like he's still asleep?


In other news, Steve has been working with our real estate agent all week on the offer on this house we're making. I am so very thankful that I am not a real estate agent. The complexity those people deal with is just mind boggling. Offers and counter offers and counter offers to counter offers and pages and pages of legalese and forms to sign. My brain hurts just thinking about it.

We put in our counter offer yesterday morning, so we may hear something today or tomorrow about where we are in that process. In the meantime, we've dropped the price on our house in Smithfield yet again and will probably drop it again next week if nothing happens.

We're getting to the point where we just really, really need to sell it, regardless of whether or not we make anything on it. Ten months on the market--it is time to SELL!

It it so frustrating living between two cities like this; our hearts are in Manteo but our bodies and house and possessions and stuff are all in Smithfield. Right now I feel like a woman without a country; I don't quite belong in Smithfield and I don't quite belong in Manteo.

Steve and I were talking yesterday and saying that when we do get ready to move everything over to Manteo (hopefully around December 1) we are going to be uprooting our lives at the busiest time of the year--right between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I just want to go on record right now as saying that my Thanksgiving Dinner this year will probably consist of one can of chicken noodle soup. By that point, my kitchen will no doubt be completely undone, and I won't be able to find even a butter knife, let alone the fixing's for a turkey dinner.

Nathan and Meagan will be here during that time so maybe I'll send Nathan to Chick-Fil-A and we could all have a sandwich to go with our soup! Something to look forward to.


And lastly, I was going through some of the archive pages of Sarah's Spot last night and found some of the recipes that I posted there. I'm going to move them over here so that they'll be a part of the official "recipe file." (Remember, you can scroll down the right column and find the "recipe" category; just click on it and all the recipes I've posted here will show up.)

Also, from this point on, I'm going to put the recipes in posts by themselves so that you don't have to scroll through an entire entry just to find the recipe.

And speaking of recipes, what is you or your family's favorite thing you make for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Do you have a certain fool proof way of roasting your turkey? (I wish I did.) Do you make a side dish that everyone asks for every single year? Is your recipe for pumpkin pie or stuffing extra, extra good?

If you'll post those recipes in the comments area, I'll make a special addition to the recipe file filled with just Thanksgiving/Christmas dishes. That way, we can "steal" from each other and impress our own families with each others' recipes! (Anyone have a good recipe for canned chicken noodle soup?)

Alrighty then. Home school is calling my name! I need to take off my blogger hat and put on my teacher hat.


PS. By the way, Snowy had a good night. (I was "on call" with him.) We'll be taking him back to the hospital in the morning to have his stitches looked at. My only concern at this point is that he has eaten hardly anything since coming home on Monday. I gave him a few little pieces of chicken yesterday and he's had some treats (following the twice-daily taking of his yucky medicine) but he hasn't had even one bite of his dog food. So we'll need to check in on that, too.

Thanks again for your concern for the beloved, smallest member of our family.

12 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

I completely understand about moving between Thanksgiving and December!

We closed on the house we were selling in Florida on Nov. 30 and that night we were on the road to Pennsylvania! We were in PA for 2 days unpacking, then had to drive back to Florida to finish out our two weeks notice. Thankfully, we had a great friend who let us stay with them. Then on the way back to PA, we passed by family in GA to celebrate Christmas. We finally arrived to our new home on Christmas Eve.

It was busy and hectic, but one of the most memorable holidays we've had together.

Hunker, PA

SuziQCat said...

That is a hard time to be uprooting...we moved into our house in early Nov, and had just a few weeks to get everything set up and decorated for my holiday open house with creative memories. We were rushing around like mad! Although, I wouldn't change a thing because it forced us to get it done. I hear about people 5 or more years out with boxes still to unpack, and I am thankful for the hectic schedule.

I'm glad Snowy is doing better...maybe you can tempt him with a bit of canned food? Or maybe some warm water on his crunchies.

Sue said...

I'll do you one better on the grocery list: Since we find we get pretty much the same stuff each time, I've made a list that I run multiple copies of and just have a spot to check in front of the item.

ex. ______ milk
______ bread
______ octopus
(just kidding!)

_____________ special request

Keeps it simple!

Anonymous said...

We did a holiday move too. Ended up in CO at midnight the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I went and did some painting at the new house then the friends we were staying with cooked Thanksgiving dinner. With painting and unpacking, we all agreed to a low key decorated house and our then 8 year old agreed choosing the tree and stockings...notice both revolve around gifts! We enjoyed that year just as much as any other year.

Connie F-G

Anonymous said...

I've never moved over the Thanksgiving/Christmas season and understand how crazy it may get. Hey! Thanksgiving is still about 4.5 weeks away! Plenty of time to plan (disposable roasting pan, paper plates & plasticware - microwaveable side dishes!)and not worry! Side dishes may not be as good as homemade, but maybe better than fast food!

Maybe Snowy's medications make his food taste yucky. It's happened to me especially on cough syrup with codeine.

Love - Guerrina

MaryH said...

Becky, when my first Greyhound was really sick, I gave her baby food (meat) and she would love to eat that because it was soft and flavorful - I don't know if you have tried that - or boiled hamburger and rice - Poor Snowy, you break my heart!

I have always had great success with Thanksgiving turkeys cooked in the plastic cooking bags - grease them up or butter them up to your liking, stuff the cavity with slices of bread and chunks of veggies (including onion), shake the bag with flour, slip in the bird (sometimes "slip" is not the right term - wrestle comes to mind), tie it up with the twist tie that comes in the package with the bag - follow the directions for temp and time and taa daa - you really have a beautiful turkey and no peaking or basting and plenty, plenty of juice to make the gravy - which is easily made with corn starch NOT flour - no lumps and blends great! Also, stores sell the entire Thanksgiving dinner already prepared - that could be a thought - or a turkey breast is an easy (however more costly) alternative - I always make my mom's cranberries - they are from fresh cranberries - so it is not like the cranberry sauce - they are a little tart but can be made to your sweetness level - just add more sugar - recipe is on the bag of fresh cranberries. I also smash (with a spoon) a few of the cranberries as they are boiling so there is a little bit of "sauce" texture. Always have to have the candied sweet potatoes AND mashed potatoes for the gravy and then I do dressing (stuffing) outside of the bird in a casserole - my family likes it a little more baked and not as moist as when it is stuffed in the turkey. Then I just add a salad and or some soup and a veggie or two - because no one can agree on a veggie but it has to be green. So that sums it up - seriously, the cooking bags are great for turkeys, roasts, pork roasts - check them out!

Hope to hear Snowy is "cone free" tomorrow - those things are miserable for the doggies.

Carrie B said...

Regarding selling your house . . . have you tried burying St. Joseph? You know how we Catholics have a saint for everything - well if you bury a statue of St. Joseph in the front yard of the house you are trying to sell, facing the general direction of where you're going and say the prayer:

Prayer To St. Joseph to Sell House

O, Saint Joseph,
you who taught our Lord
the carpenter's trade,
and saw to it
that he was always properly housed,
hear my earnest plea.

I want you to help me now
as you helped your foster-child Jesus,
and as you have helped many others
in the matter of housing.

I wish to sell this [house/property]
quickly, easily, and profitably
and I implore you to grant my wish
by bringing me a good buyer,
one who is
eager, compliant, and honest,
and by letting nothing impede the
rapid conclusion of the sale.

Dear Saint Joseph,
I know you would do this for me
out of the goodness of your heart
and in your own good time,
but my need is very great now
and so I must make you hurry
on my behalf.

Saint Joseph, I am going to place you
in a difficult position
with your head in darkness
and you will suffer as our Lord suffered,
until this [house/property] is sold.

Then, Saint Joseph, i swear
before the cross and God Almighty,
that i will redeem you
and you will receive my gratitude
and a place of honour in my home.


It might help, you never know.
I'll say it for you too!

I'm just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Keep your crockpot out and buy a turkey breast from your grocery store. Pour a can of jellied cranberry sauce over it with half to 3/4 can of frozen orange juice and add a packet of lipton onion soup mix. If thawed cook for four hours or so. Then buy the aluminum foil pans for green bean casserole and cheesy hashbrown potatoes. You can get these all ready the day or two before and cook Thanksgiving day. Use paper plates and the only thing to wash will be the crockpot. Then you will have a better meal on Thanksgiving night for all of you. Good luck with the move.


MaryH said...

Rachel, you just may have revamped by Thanksgiving meal - that sounds delicious! Great idea - no mess, but good food!

jenny said...

Here's my favorite EASY dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I like cranberry sauce, but it always looked kind of gross to me. So here's what I do now.
Jenny's Cranberry Relish:
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 can mandarin orange slices, drained & chopped up a bit
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mash up the cranberry sauce and then stir in oranges & pecans. VOILA! A pretty & tasty side dish. Enjoy!

Ann Martin said...

I usually make the 4-day Coconut Cake for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Most of my family like it although some of the nieces and nephews do not like coconut. I use white cake mix cutting the layers to make four instead of two after cooking. Mix: 2 cups of sour cream, 2 cups of sugar, and 24 ounces of frozen (thawed out) coconut. Refrigerate overnight. Put the coconut filling between the layers and on top. If you have enough you can put it on the sides. My filling usually runs down the sides so I don't "pat it down" on the sides. Refrigerate the entire cake for 4 days before cutting. Sometimes mine stays that long and sometimes it doesn't. The longer it is refrigerated the better it taste.

My vegetable is usually a string bean casserole. Just follow directions. We usually use paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic spoons, forks, etc. As little clean up as possible.

Hope Snowy gets his stitches out very soon. When Prince was "fixed" he had the cone due to licking and we were so excited to have the stitches removed. Still praying for the sell of the Smithfield house and the buying of a Manteo one. God bless.

Anonymous said...

I've found a fool-proof way to not burn a turkey - while in college, I used to live in a student co-op and we would make 5-6 turkeys for the weekend before Thanksgiving (when all the alums came over for dinner), and then one giant turkey for Thanksgiving itself (when fewer people were around). We had really unpredictable ovens, too!

1) Soak the turkey in brine overnight (don't know the proportions, but submerge the turkey in salty water, in the fridge, overnight). This hydrates the turkey and prevents drying. Just remember to reduce the amount of salt you might put on it later!
2) Roast the turkey breast-side down for the first half of the cooking. They don't look as pretty later, but it allows you to cook the breast without burning it.

Now my turkeys are smaller, but my oven is better! I've always made them with lots of butter, white wine, and sage.

This is making me really hungry...