I have so much to be thankful for this year. I've got an amazing husband of 5 1/2 years, the best Bug I could ever ask for, two annoying, but cute pups, awesome family and friends, a roof over my head, and a delicious thanksgiving meal to enjoy later. God has truly blessed us, and I think it's important to take notice of ALL things--big and little-- that we're blessed with. Since having the Bug, I've been given a whole new perspective on life. I'm just so grateful for each moment with my family that things I used to care about have lost importance. God's been so good to us.
I do hope that as the Thanksgiving season ends and we move on to Christmas shopping, that we keep our minds focused on all that we DO have. It's strange how quickly we forget. We go from being thankful to thinking about all the things we want for our Christmas list. Seems a bit ironic that Thanksgiving comes before Christmas. This year, let's all try to keep our focus on gratitude throughout the Christmas season.
A friend of mine has had a horrible couple years. I mean, the kind that you wouldn't wish upon your worst enemy. She should've died in a car wreck, had major recuperation afterwards, family issues, financial issues---you name it. Her world has been crumbling down around her. BUT, we know that God's spared her life for a reason and all things happen for a reason. Even though she could easily focus on all the things she's NOT thankful for (and that list could be extremely long) and even though she may look back on these years as the worst in her life, there ARE things she can be thankful for. I realize I can make this statement easily because I'm not in her shoes (or in those of others who are having a very difficult year). It's much easier to be thankful when you've had the greatest year of your life, but my prayer for those of you who are going through an extremely painful time in your life is that you would look for all the things you DO have to be grateful for, even if the list is small at the moment. While this change in perspective would be a very difficult task, I pray that in doing so you could experience some joy this holiday season.
On another (less serious) note.....this year, we'll be spending Thanksgiving with Cleopatra's extended family. My family was supposed to come down from NY and FL, but the swine flu hit them hard and my husband extended the official DISinvitation so the Bug wouldn't be around it. Cleopatra's parents were down from Michigan and everyone is getting together at her aunt and uncle's house. So while we won't be with our family--huge bummer for me--I'm grateful to have great friends who would extend the invite for some delicious food and fun times. I also don't have to get my house ready for guests,
Here's the recipe if you need something delicious and easy.
4 cups of sliced apples (I mix 1/2 granny smith and 1/2 macintosh)
Mixture for apples: ¼ cup water, 1 tsp cinnamon, and ½ tsp salt
Mixture for "Crisp": 1 cup sugar, ¾ cup flour, 1/3 cup butter (don’t melt—keep room temp)
Put apples in 8x8 very lightly greased pan (I'm using a larger pan so I'll double the recipe). Add the apple mixture on top (water, cinnamon, & salt) of the apples. In another bowl, make the "crisp" mixture by pressing the room-temp. butter into the flour/sugar. This should be very crumbly. Add this mixture on the top of the apples. Place the apple crisp into the oven at 350* for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Eat until full of apple-cinnamony goodness!!