Thanksgiving

Did you all have a good Thanksgiving?

Sharing mine on the blog today…

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http://www.rvoilers.com/blog

Hugs, T

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With Thanksgiving

  My heart is full of Thanksgiving for all God has done, and the blessing of family around the table.  In honor of Dale’s father eating supper with us nearly every night since he became our next door neighbor, I wanted to include him in this years picture.

Thanksgiving

  We are thankful God is giving him a good quality of life, as he goes through chemo, and fights Stage 4 cancer!  No matter how God chooses to heal our Papa Don, we know He has plans to bring Him hope and a future…..

  I am taking a blog break for a few weeks, to enjoy my family and get caught up after 22 photo sessions to edit in 3 weeks.  🙂

  Happy Thanksgiving, I am so blessed to have you in my life!

~T

Fall Break Fun

I loooove when all my babies are home from school!   Between all the Turkey Day fun, multiple photo sessions and a family friend’s wedding, Fall Break went way too fast!!!

  So every year, the kids BEG their daddy to build them a HUGE pile of leaves and throw them into it.  It’s hysterical to watch them disappear down into the pile.  Even the cats got involved in the fun this time!  🙂

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Silly Stripes! Do you see him peeking?

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Everyone takes a turn getting tossed into the pile.

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We are blessed to have the majority of both our extended families in town, so for Holidays we tend to do lunch at one place and supper at another.

Dale’s grandparents had 10 children, each of them has like 5 kids and now that our generation has kids, its gotten even bigger.  Aunt Lucy’s table has 18 leaves and stretches from one side of the room to the other.  Then there is still a young adult and very full kids table in the kitchen.  It is one loud, busy place!  Each child has a group of cousins to run around with, so they love it.  Blog collage 5

Uncle Mike had his new Razor there this year, so it was extra COOL!

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Ty before.                                                                Ty after.

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My family gathering is much smaller, and quieter, but fun just the same.  It was such a blessing to have Grandpa home to visit from the nursing home, he misses being at home with Grandma so much.  The infamous Aunt Gena and Uncle Dan were there, a Great Uncle and Aunt from Iowa, who are like Grandparents to the kiddos, and even an Oregon cousin, who came to visit from college.  The kids loved playing Bingo with everyone!  Poor Nana, was sick and couldn’t join us.   😦

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Hope your Thanksgiving was great and spent with those you love!  I am so thankful for this blog and all of you. I am also thankful there is still half a Double Sensation Pumpkin Pie residing in my fridge for me to eat on this week….

Just sayin’!

~T

Double Sensation Pumpkin Pie

  I decided to post this recipe today, instead of next week, because I wanted you to have PLENTY of time to shop for it’s ingredients.  This is THE pie I grew up with at Thanksgiving.  And you know me and anything involving cream cheese, this pie is a match made in Creamy Heaven!  🙂

Double Sensation Pumpkin Pie

{click for easy printable}

Double Sensation Pumpkin Pie (1)

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces, weight Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1-½ cup Thawed Cool Whip
  • 1 whole Ready Made Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 packages (4 Serving Size) Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 16 ounces, weight Can Pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Cloves

Mix cream cheese, 1 T. milk and sugar in a large bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread on bottom of graham crust.
Pour 1 cup milk into bowl, add pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk until well blended, 1-2 minutes. Mixture will be thick.
Stir in pumpkin and spices and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate at least 3 hours. Garnish with additional whipped topping.

Enjoy!

~TDouble Sensation Pumpkin Pie (6)

Holiday Weekend Fun

  Things sure are quiet at our house right now!  After 2 weeks of back to back Florida family staying with us, we are MISSING all of our guests!

Here are the photos from a fun week with Uncle Chad and Auntie Lauren:

  Remember their big news before they came, that not only were they miraculously pregnant, but with identical twins!!!!  (Mono-mono twins that share a sac actually.  This only happens 1% of the time!)  God is so good! 

  Pray for Lauren and Chad as they embark on this HUGE journey to parenthood.  Pray for the twins to remain safely on their own sides, the doctors will watch Lauren closely as the twins grow, so they don’t get mixed up in each other’s umbilical cords. 

  Being pregnant is hard work for BOTH parties apparently.  Afternoon naps were a must while they were here, and I couldn’t resist posting this on Facebook while they slumbered:

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We had such a fun week just hanging out, no big agenda.

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Lauren’s babies wanted a Banana Split…..

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Woah! This stuff is COLD!

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I’m not so sure I want more of that stuff…..

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Hmmm, maybe just a LITTLE more….

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So, how about I try some of yours, Auntie Lauren?

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I’m feeling a bit sticky, Uncle Chad…..

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Great fashion minds think alike…….

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Thanksgiving 1: Dale’s side

1- 18 leaf table, a teen table and 1 1/2 kids tables in the kitchen

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Time to go home for a quick nap before Thanksgiving 2: My side for supper.

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And the GRAND finale to our Thanksgiving Day:

The 3 oldest kids were invited to have a sleep over at Great Grandpa and Grandma’s house with Nana. 

HOW FUN!  🙂

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AND as tradition dictates, we put up our Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving!

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There is nothing like a twinkly Christmas tree-lit living room that makes me want to curl up in a chair with my feet tucked up beside me, with a cup of tea and a GOOD book!

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  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of laughter, love, turkey and gravy, pumpkin pie until you have to unbutton your pants, and thanksgiving to our God and Father who makes all things possible!

Happy Monday!

~T

Being Thankful In the Midst of Difficulty

  2011 will no doubt go down as the toughest in the history of our lives as a married couple.  Never have we been stretched so much, never have we spent more time in the refiners fire being molded, chiseled and changed. 

 I am reminded of the letter shared with me by my mentor in a particularly difficult moment, to be read as if written by my Heavenly Father to me:

My dear one, my refining fire was never intended to hurt you, only to help you. Refiners%20Fire

When the firing is complete I won’t leave you in the heat one second more than is necessary, but will RUN to you and deliver you into my loving arms. Watch what I did with the heat of the days past, compared to today’s cool weather. I’m showing you something.

Can I not remove you from the heat of the fire in a split instant… into the Oasis of my love?

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I am pleased pleased pleased with you, my child. Don’t doubt for a minute my immense love for you. I’m covering and caring for your children on earth with the same love that I’m caring for your children here. You will never on this earth know what measures of my love I am bestowing on you and your family in these days. I’m only giving you a glimpse here and there. Don’t fear in these days, my dear one. You’re not passing through the fire alone. You may not feel my hand or see my loving face, but I’m here… right beside you… silently, quietly, patiently, holding your hand.

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I love you,

Daddy

The rest of the post found Here.

Surviving a year as we have, has refocused our eyes back to Christ, not the American Dream.  The way we see things, the way we experience things, the way we set our goals for our families future…….

All different now.

Good.

For that I am truly thankful.

our house

I am thankful that we have been able to make our house payment each and every month, for an entire year of irregular pay, only by the grace of God. 

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I am thankful that every time I have written checks far larger than the amount in my account to pay the bills, the Lord has provided the funds just in time, promising to provide Manna for today. I am not to gather extra, just trust that it will come again tomorrow, just in time. (Exodus 16)

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I am thankful for my mailbox angels who have left amazing blessings in all forms, and the way the Lord used them and their timing to show us HIS faithfulness to meet all our needs.

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I am thankful for this year of famine, our “reset button”, even though it has been hard, because I am different inside, I can feel it.  Never has the Lord been more real to me.

Jeremiah 17:8 “He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

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I am thankful for these precious little lives!  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for allowing me the job of raising these children, and allowing them here on Earth with me.

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I am thankful for my husband and the tenderness he shows me daily, as the Lord uses this difficult year to soften him, and make him the man He has called him to be.

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I am thankful for our home, the fire that warms it, the laughter, tears and squeals of joy that bounce across our walls.

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I am thankful for family supper around the dinner table, and the comfort it brings me to sit as a family and discuss the day together. 

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I am thankful that my Abba Father loves me and calls me by name. (Isaiah 43:1-2)

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That He loves me too much to keep me the way I am. 

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That He tenderly wipes my tears and draws me into His lap when I am too weary to stand.

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I am thankful that trials by fire bring beauty from ashes…… (Isaiah 61:1-3)

I am thankful for this blog and the creative outlet it is for me.

I am thankful for you, my friends.

Enjoy tomorrow with your families, and be thankful!

Hugs, T

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Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

 

Being Thankful FIRST……

   Every year we host a Fall Bonfire Party for our Sunday school class.  Our class is growing, and with that blessing, comes the trouble of finding a place to host 50 of us.  We are officially outnumbered, 2o adults and close to 30 kids when we are together!!!! 🙂  This year we invited the Young Married Class down the hall to join us, what a fun bunch!

  I was sad to realize, that I didn’t get very many photos, too dark and too busy playing hostess I guess, but here are a few… (Drea, I used a few of yours too)

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Notice that there very aren’t many of Ty above?  That is because he was out in the side yard PACING, waiting for his preschool teacher to show up.  (She is a great family friend and part of our class.)  The rest of his evening was spent GLUED to her side! He asked permission to go play a bit at one point, but came right back.  He seemed to feel very responsible for her well-being, even asking her how her husband was doing at home these days. LOL 🙂  My little stud muffin!

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The shed

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To the friend who left a bag FULL of goodies left on our kitchen counter!  What a blessing to have those needs met!  THANK YOU!!!!!

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    Soooo, on to the next subject at hand:

Does it drive anyone else crazy that there are Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas signs going up everywhere already? 

Can’t we just be THANKFUL first???????

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  Can’t we just enjoy our pumpkin recipes, fall décor and Thanksgiving feasts?  I mean don’t get me wrong, day after Thanksgiving, I’m putting the Christmas tree up with the best of them, but it just seems that since Thanksgiving isn’t the major money-maker that Christmas is, it gets skipped in the stores between the hype of Halloween with it’s expensive candy, and next…..Christmas sales, long lines and mad dashes to get “the best deal”. 

  Kinda disappointing, but a true sign of the times to be sure: 

More Greedy Gimmies & sales quotas, less quiet thanksgiving as we count the blessing we already have, rather than making the list of things we want.

  If this year of financial discipline has taught me anything, it’s to be content with the things I have, and be oh-so grateful for the things we are blessed to receive. 

  Ok, stepping off my soap box now to share a delicious cookie recipe from a 4 little Ferguson’s reader.  This is quite the hodge podge post today, isn’t it?!

  Diane says, “These are a new Fall favorite cookie at my house!  Let me warn you, they are addictive……you can’t stop at just one!Bursting with flavor and your house smells AMAZING from start to finish, these cookies are a must try, and a keeper in my kitchen.”

  Thanks for the recipe, Diane!  I agree with her above statements, I made these for a school function, and they are seriously delicious!!   I LOVED how soft and chewy they were!!!!

  Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

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Ingredients

  • ½ cups Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1 cup Sugar, Plus More For Rolling Cookies
  • ½ cups Pumpkin
  • ¼ cups Molasses
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2-⅓ cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1-½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves
  • ½ teaspoons Salt

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth. Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract, mix until well combined.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 1 hour. The dough can be chilled for 2-3 days.

3. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° F. Place sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges. The cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  YUM!

Enjoy these cookies, and please, take time to enjoy this time of year and BE THANKFUL!!!!!!!!!!  Not looking forward, not looking back, just here today.

  I am thankful for this time of year, a warm home, for yummy fall goodies, thankful for my family and faith in a God who loves me and calls me by name, and thankful for you coming to see me each day!  🙂

“If you only had today, the things you said “Thank you” for yesterday, what would you have left?”

~T

P.S.  I have a VERY special treat for you tomorrow!  A guest is coming to see us for the next 3 days, and she is showing us the Art of Freezer Cooking!  Remember my Cousin, Cassie from Laugher and Lattes?  She was my very first guest post, so this will be the 2nd “Cousin Feature Post” here at 4 little Ferguson’s with another Cousin of mine, Christy! 

What can I say, I have COOL cousins!!!  🙂 

Julie, are you up next?!?!?!

The Big Reveal

 Soo, tradition states that after stuffing our faces for a full day, and carting our kids from one amazing Thanksgiving shin-dig to the next, we stay home and be vegetables the next day to recover.  AND, tradition also states, that before the weekend is through, we will put up our Christmas decor and bust out the Christmas music. This is the part where Dale groans in agony…he HATES Christmas music, especially this early! What is WRONG with that man? 

Hmm, do I hear a blog topic for another day???  

“Things I Think Are Wrong With Dale”?  

 Naw!!! 🙂  We’ll leave poor Daley-poo alone……..in a minute.  First, I want to stop for a second, and show you a picture of him, taken as we speak:

Here is the love of my life, wearing a camo baseball hat, which BARELY holds to his head, the broken earpiece & mic to his precious Xbox game.  BAHAHAHA!  I love it! Talk about being a hickabilly!!!!  Getter done man!  Apprently, he stepped on it one day after he failed to pick it up, and now, this is the only way his headset stays on!  HAHAHA again!  This is the part, where’d I’d tell my kids that there are natural consequences for not picking up their things, like mommy asked, but since we are discussing my husband, and I love him to pieces, we are moving on! 🙂

 Where was I?  Oh yes, Christmas music playing softly in the background, a fire roaring in the fireplace, a dim-lit family room so the tree really shines….. It just makes me happy! 🙂 

  But this year, will be a bit different.  This year,  instead of pulling my tree out of a box, assembling and decorating it……….I will be UNWRAPPING IT.  Yes, unwrapping!  No, it’s not a present, wrapped in beautiful holiday paper.

 It’s Saran Wrap. 

   Let me explain. See, last year, I was so excited about how my tree turned out (an interior decorator friend from church came and helped me do my house), that I just knew I would never be able to re-create the same look again.  So, I Saran Wrapped our Christmas tree (after removing the breakable ball ornaments), and had Dale & his dad haul it out to the shed for safe keeping.  Tomorrow is the BIG REVEAL! 

Hello my pretty…..

 

Here’s to no spiders, mice, or other yucky creepy crawlers emerging with my lovely tree, from under the abyss of layer upon layer upon LAYER of giant restaurant quality Saran Wrap.  (fingers crossed) I will  be posting pictures later, if I am not too busy screaming and stomping spiders. (Please God, no!)

  Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and are still on speaking terms with your family!  Oh, and that your jeans button this morning.  Ugh, totally a sweats day at my house! 🙂  Mmmm, turkey and pumpkin pie!

It was WORTH it!

~T

Here are some photos from our Turkey Day….I am thankful to have Dale and my families living in the same town as we do. Our kids don’t know life, or holidays, without them!!!!

  Unfortunately, I got zero photos from my family dinner this evening.  Too busy dealing with sugared up, un-napped, crazy kiddos I guess?!  Sorry.