Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Thankful Thursday

We usually spend Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle's lovely shore house. It's right on an inlet, water views out the back, and a big farm garden with chickens. We arrived late last night so that we could be here this morning to help with meal preparations. 
Granddaddy and 4 of his grandkids
I'm thankful for a quiet, beautiful day with my family, my aunt and uncle, and that my Granddaddy and his wife were able to join us. 

The table set for 10.
 Delicious dinner: turkey, venison, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry chutney, apple cranberry casserole, asparagus casserole, gravy, dressing and rolls. 

Yummy venison!
I'm happy that we suspended a few GAPS rules for the meal, we skipped the dressing and rolls since they are extremely high gluten, but we had a little of the potatoes. The cranberry chutney was a fermented recipe that we tried just for Thanksgiving, and it turned out better than I expected!
Chicken feathers!
I'm also delighted that the two GAPS-friendly desserts I made turned out well. The pumpkin bars were very yummy, and the pecan pie was pretty good too, but unfortunately it got a little overcooked. I didn't take any pictures because I was too busy digging in!
Everyone except Joel around the table... Joel took the picture.
 Then we made a trip out to move the portable chicken coops to new ground and collect eggs. I have been wanting to get chickens. In the barn, there's a new batch of young chicks staying warm. When we got back in, Sarah and Joel were playing chess. We played lots of chess. It was such a nice day!

Everything was so yummy, and I think I enjoyed it all the more because I managed not to overeat. Nothing ruins a pleasant meal like feeling gross and disgusted with yourself afterward because you ate too much. Thanksgiving has become a holiday we stuff ourselves, and then tend not to think of all we have to be thankful for:

Roofs over our heads - when some are homeless.

Food sufficient for the day - when some are starving.

Nice clothes to wear - when some wear rags.

Shoes on our feet - when some have none.

Warm places to stay - when some are cold.

Beyond all that, we have so many (unnecessary) possessions. We should always be thankful, not just on Thanksgiving. And more than thankful, our abundance should inspire us to share what we have with others, because some other things that we as Christians have are these, and no matter how much you share them with others, you will still never run out:

Unmerited forgiveness - forgive, as you have been forgiven.

The sacrificial love of Jesus our Savior - love as He loved us.

The grace and mercy God has showed us - extend it to others.

Hope of eternity - always be ready to give an answer for the hope within.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I Won A Giveaway!

I have never won a giveaway before ever. I was very excited to win Delvalina's lovely giveaway in honor of her graduation, and I have been eagerly awaiting the package in the mail! Today was a very cold, gray, rainy and terribly dreary day, and the package came at the perfect time to brighten my day!

A wonderful necklace, and charming bookmark! And beautiful flowered stationery. Delightful!

The bookmark is adorable, I put it in my Bible right away. I follow Professor Grant Horner's Bible-reading system, and I had been wanting a new bookmark for one of the single books (Psalms, Proverbs and Acts). I think it will either be my Psalms or Proverbs bookmark, but I'm not definitely decided yet. By the way, if you haven't heard of Prof. Horner's system, you should definitely check it out! I'm finishing up my second year (my 2011 New Year's resolution was to try the system for a month, and I loved it so much, I didn't stop!) so I have read the whole Bible at least twice since then, and many parts more!

The necklace went nicely with what I was already wearing today, so I put it on, and wore it the rest of the day. I'm so thrilled with it! Mom noted that it suits me very well, it fits perfectly with my style. It's also adjustable, so it will be very versatile and I will certainly be wearing it a lot!

I'm so grateful for these lovely giveaway gifts, and especially thankful for my sweet friend. Thank you so much, Delvalina!

I know I haven't been posting much lately, but I hope to post more in the future! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for a beautiful day... very cold and crisp.

I got to sleep a little extra, and I'm so grateful to feel well-rested.

My sister and I cleaned out and organized our (way too big) closet. 

I got the house to myself for a couple hours in the afternoon while the guys were at swim practice, Dad was at work and Mom and Sarah went grocery shopping. 

I used the quiet time to practice the piano for an hour, and then made fresh veggie juice. I had two glasses myself, and everyone else had some when they came home.

Spent the evening babysitting three really fun, cute kids, playing things like "horsie," building with those big "duplos" (legos), "cooking" in the play kitchen, and then putting the younger ones to bed. 

When I got home I had a late dinner, salad and baked chicken. It was delicious!

Now I'm listening to one of my brothers playing the piano, while my other brother and sister chat on the couch. We're getting ready to have our family Bible study and go to bed.

I'm thankful for my Savior and my God!


Friday, November 8, 2013

The Paradise: Season 1

The latest new show on Masterpiece is a series called The Paradise based on the French novel Au Bonheur des Dames by Émile Zola. It's 1875 in Newcastle, and small-town girl Denise (Joanna Vanderham) has just arrived, hoping to work in her uncle's drapery shop. Due to the intense competition he's facing from the department store across the street, he can't afford to give her a job, so Denise goes to work for the new competition: The Paradise. John Moray (Emun Elliot), owner of The Paradise, is a smart, good-looking young man who started as a draper's boy and worked his way to where he is now, running a beautiful, large store with many employees. Denise works in ladies' wear under the strict Miss Audrey (Sarah Lancashire) with her two roommates, Clara (Sonya Cassidy) and Pauline (Ruby Bentall). 

Denise, newly arrived from Peebles.
I was afraid it was going to be too much like Downton Abbey for me to really enjoy it, but so far I have been delighted! It is like Downton in the lovely costumes and hairstyles, and the fashion being earlier is more to my taste. It also reminds me some of Larkrise to Candleford, perhaps because Ruby Bentall also plays Minnie, and Laura (Olivia Hallinan) appears as a guest in The Paradise episode 2. But really, The Paradise should be compared to neither of them, because the tone and feel of the show is completely different. The Paradise is so much more light-hearted and cheery in general, despite some sad/mysterious circumstances and the occasional darkness. I hope it continues that way through the last two shows of the season. 

Moray, looking dashing in his office.
 This isn't meant to be a full-fledged review, but I did want to make sure all my lovely "period drama" readers didn't miss this show! I am surprised by how much I am enjoying it, and how eagerly I look forward to each new episode. Right now, for a limited time, the first 5 episodes are available to watch in full online here, and the 6th, which aired last Sunday, will probably be available soon. The 1st episode may be taken down when the 6th goes up, though, so if you want to jump in and catch up, you may need to hurry! The content so far has included some kissing, an allusion to an unmarried couple spending a night together, some mild violence (a punch, a slap) and references to a tragic death.

Pauline, Denise and Clara, Paradise shopgirls.
The accents, the costumes, the hair, the music, all the loveliness inside the store... this is a beautiful show, with a very enjoyable story so far. I'm loving it, can't wait for Sunday night!