A COVID Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2020 is now a memory. It was very different from Thanksgivings of the past, to be sure. It was, however, a very wonderful day!

Thursday – Turkey Day

Ella was up bright and early! I had to put the turkey in water to finish thawing it. We got her dressed and ready for her “First Thanksgiving” pictures, which came out great!

Once the turkey was thawed, prepped and in the oven, I realized our meat thermometer was broken. The last thing I wanted to do was head to the store. I didn’t even know if there were stores open! I lucked out and the little grocery store down the road was open. I walked over to the aisle with the kitchen stuff, only to find that all the meat thermometers were gone. Someone had even stolen some from the packaging and left the open package on the hook.

I went to the deli and asked if there would be any other place in the store that there might be a meat thermometer. She said no. I began to walk out of the store when a guy tapped me on the shoulder. He asked if I was looking for a meat thermometer, and I said yes! He had one in his hand and told me to follow him. He explained that they had just moved to the area and they actually had one, but they couldn’t find it because it was still packed in a box. He said it was his only reason for being in the store! He took me over to the candy aisle, where there was a small rotating rack with a few kitchen utensils on it – and two meat thermometers! I was so grateful! He wished me a happy Thanksgiving and we parted ways.

While I let the turkey cool, Sam finished up the mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. Ella sat in her high chair and anxiously awaited her first feast!

By the time she finished, she was wearing her meal! She had mashed potatoes in her ears, her nose, and her eyes!! She really enjoyed her dinner!!

Thanksgiving was typical in that the Detroit Lions lost miserably! This led to the GM and head coach being fired. One can only hope that someone will finally hire the right people. I would love to see them reach the Super Bowl (and hopefully win one) in my lifetime!

Friday – Black Friday

I am not a Black Friday shopper! However, I was this year – not by choice! I needed to get tires for our car. I shopped around getting prices and found that Belle Tire had some Black Friday rebates, and had the best deal. I used to go to this mom and pop tire place who did great work, and had great prices, but sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic has put them permanently out of business.

I was shocked at the line of people waiting to get in at 7am! I was lucky to be fourth in line and I was in and out in just over an hour! Kudo to those folks!

When I returned home Friday, I checked off another project I had on my list. We bought some canvas pictures to hang in the baby’s room months ago. They have been sitting in the box, awaiting me to hang them. Before I went to pick up my son, I measured it all out and got them hung up on the wall. I just love these pictures!

We spent the evening last night watching Christmas movies. My son and my wife had both mentioned that the sequel to The Christmas Chronicles was now on Netflix. We had all enjoyed the first one (Kurt Russell stars in it) and we decided to watch the first one again before watching the second. I found that I still enjoyed the first one very much. I can see it easily becoming a Christmas tradition.

Recurring Dream With a Twist

I am closing in on test time for my Bible classes. I have a week’s worth of classes to finish and then four tests to take! I mentioned this to my wife, so it must have been on my mind when I went to bed. At any rate, I often have a recurring dream where I am at school and I sit down to take a test and my mind goes completely blank! I panic! I freak! I usually wake up with my heart racing.

So I had a dream last night that was similar. Sure enough, I am sitting in a classroom (which is odd because my classes are on DVD and I take them at home) and the teacher passes out the tests. The first thing I notice is that the tests are about 45 pages stapled together! I open the test and I can’t even read the thing. I turn the page and there are some words I can make out, but nothing makes sense. With each page turn, I feel more and more scared. I have no idea what I am looking at! I begin to pull my notes out and try to cheat!! The teacher comes over and obviously has caught me . Needless to say, I wake up at this point with heart racing and glad it was just a dream!

Now I’m wondering how hard these tests are going to be!!

I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday!!

I’m Dreaming of a Stress-free Christmas

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Sometimes, all it takes is hearing things out loud for reality to set in. For example, I can probably raise your stress level by simply saying 7 little words: “Just ten more shopping days until Christmas!” Did you feel your blood pressure rise??

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Christmas shopping has always been a headache for me, but usually because of money, but this year my wife has come up with a way to relieve that stress. I had heard this before, and I think it has circulated on social media in the past. The boys will each be getting four presents this year:

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It is a polarizing idea for some, I know. Some feel that this will negatively affect kids who are “used to” getting a lot of presents. Then there are those who feel that this idea will actually help older kids understand life on a budget, and actually help them be thankful for the gifts that the do receive. As a parent on a budget, it helps to know we are not really going outside the budget we set aside for them. As far as stress, this is something that has proven to be very helpful as our shopping is done for them, and has been for a while!

At first, I wasn’t sure how they would take this, but in the end, I think it will be just fine. I say that because this is the first year that they didn’t have a long list of things on their Christmas list. As a matter of fact, when I asked them to start thinking about what they wanted for Christmas they answered with “I’m not really sure,” “I don’t know,” or “gift cards.”

We told them we had already picked picked up “what they need” and “something to wear” and told them they needed to work on the list of “what they want” and “something to read.” Simplifying this didn’t really help either. I literally dragged them to Barnes and Nobel to look for books and to a couple other places for what they wanted. I think I walked away with a few ideas, but nothing really substantial at the time. I have a few left over ideas that I need to pass along to my dad, who has to go shopping for them, too.

Non-shopping stress

While the stress of shopping has been alleviated, now we are dealing with another stress. Remember at the beginning of the blog I mentioned how hearing something out loud can make something a whole lot more real? At Sam’s OB appointment this week we learned that baby is sitting head down – an indicator that she may be here before we know it (and possibly before her due date in February)!

Now, we are aware that with most first babies, they tend to be late rather than early. This statistic was made known to us this week at our birthing class, as well. While the due date is still 64 days away, we are faced with the stress of trying to finish sanding, cleaning, painting, and decorating her room before her arrival. I am feeling the pressure and the stress that goes with it!

This is my first time dealing with drywall – I had no idea just how dusty it gets! The dust from sanding is EVERYWHERE! I end up tracking the dust from room to room as I am working. It is just a mess that I feel will NEVER get clean!

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64 days may seem like a long time, and it is, but I am still working my full time job, working both part time jobs, attending birthing classes, and squeezing in doctor and therapy appointments in there, too. The possibility of our daughter arriving ahead of schedule has my wife and I freaking out a bit, to say the least.

Once I am off the air, I am heading home to try to finish up the sanding and patching. I will probably need to go ask my neighbor for his shop vac to “attempt” to get most of the dust up – just in case I get the walls to the point where we may be able to start painting! I would LOVE to have everything done by Christmas … but I know that is NOT going to happen!!

I may need to add a stress management class to the mix of all the stuff I already have going on ….

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