A Look Into Our Lives: Our Thanksgiving Traditions


Thanksgiving is my husband’s favorite holiday. This holiday has been special for him and has so many memories associated with it. So over the years we have tried to make it something really special.

Since we have been married, my husband and I have always had a Thanksgiving Day meal with all the trimmings at our house. We have lived without family nearby for years, so I have just gotten used to making the meal all by myself. In fact, there have only been a couple of times where we didn’t have Thanksgiving at our house. After the last time we had Thanksgiving somewhere else, we both agreed we were always having Thanksgiving at our house. In fact one year we were going up to visit his parent’s right after Thanksgiving and we purposely planned it so that we could have our traditional meal at home.

Years ago, we started a tradition that we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving. We used to buy the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the package, but then I found a recipe for homemade cinnamon rolls and tried them one Thanksgiving. One bite of the homemade ones and my family was hooked; since then I have had to make homemade cinnamon rolls. So I prepare the rolls the day before and put them in the refrigerator overnight and in the morning they bake in the oven so they are ready to eat while we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

While the parade is on, I have to get the turkey ready for baking in the oven. While that is busy cooking, I have several hours to enjoy watching the parade and doing things with my family. Once our turkey is done, it is time to prepare the rest of the meal.

Once everything is done, our daughter loves to set the table and we use what we call our “fancy china.” We use our fancy china at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and a few other special occasions. A few years ago, I made the comment that maybe we should use disposable plates and our oldest told us outright “no,” because it wouldn’t be a holiday without them. So we always use our fancy china.

Once we are finished with our meal, we usually just relax for a while and watch a movie. Then, later on, we have dessert.

By that time we are ready to go out for a walk; and, when we come back, we chill out some more and have some leftovers.

Thanksgiving Day at our house is a very relaxed day and is a special time that we look forward to every year. In case you are wondering what our menu is, here it is. It doesn’t change much from year to year.

Our Thanksgiving Menu

  • Turkey
  • Dressing
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Au gratin potatoes
  • Homemade red cabbage
  • Corn
  • Green bean casserole
  • Homemade Amish bread or Just like Lambert’s “Throwed Rolls”


  • Homemade pumpkin pie
  • Homemade Cheesecake (a recipe from my husband’s dorm mom at the school we met at)
  • Pecan pie

Do you have any Thanksgiving traditions? I would love to hear about them.

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This is my Mississippi – Boat on the Gulf

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Being Thankful….

Yesterday, I was reminded that sometimes it is the littlest things in life that can make you the most thankful. An example that brought this whole thing to life is how we have been out of Brillo pads and yesterday I was gifted with some.

When I went to do some dishes that needed some scrubbing with the Brillo pads, I was so thankful that I actually had some and could clean those dishes that needed a little extra scrubbing. I was so excited that I had some to make the scrubbing easier that I told the rest of my family that I was so thankful for Brillo pads and the person who blessed us with them.

This reminded me that sometimes it is the little things in life that makes you the most thankful and it doesn’t have to be the most expensive thing in the world either. In this case it was a $2 box of Brillo pads that someone graciously gave us.

What are you thankful for?

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This is My Mississippi – Sunset on the beach

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This is my Mississippi – Pumpkin patch by the beach.

The Pumpkin Patch.

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Fire Road by Kim Phuc Phan Thi – A Review

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I love history and love books about it as well as I like watching History movies, TV shows, etc.. One thing that I have always liked was war history. Call me weird, but it is what I like. So when I had the opportunity to review this book about the girl in the famous picture from the Vietnam War, where her clothes were burned off of her, I knew I had to read this book.

Here is some info on the book from the back cover:

More Than four decades ago, her excruciating pain was exposed in a photo that made headlines around the world. Only now is she fully revealing the depth of her scarring-to both body and soul.

It’s a moment forever captured, an iconic image that has come to define the horror and violence of the Vietnam War: Nine-year-old Kim Phuc running in agony moments after napalm bombs fell from the sky, bringing hellish fire that burned away her clothing and seared deep into her skin.

Left for dead in a hospital morgue, Kim miraculously survived-but her journey toward healing was only beginning. When the napalm bombs dropped, everything Kim knew and relied on exploded along with them: her beloved home and village, her country’s freedom, as well as her childhood innocence and happiness. Kim’s coming years would be marked by agonizing treatments for her burns, incessant physical pain throughout her body, and being handled for political propaganda. Kim survived the pain of her body ablaze, but how could she possibly survive the pain of her devastated soul?

Fire Road is a story of both unrelenting horror and unexpected hope, a harrowing tale of life changed in an instant. In this stunning first-hand account of struggling to find answers in a world that only seemed to bring anguish. Kim ultimately discovers strength in someone who had suffered himself, transforming her tragedy into an unshakable faith.

What I thought about the book:

Since I love history, I thought I would like this book. Boy was I was right.

I loved how the book was written from Kim’s perspective. There is so much insight from the book. So much that I never knew about this iconic picture and that poor girls life.

There was several surprises in this book that I just never would have thought in this book. Even though it is about Kim’s life, it isn’t one of those boring biography type books. Some parts kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see how things turned out in different situations. I found myself saying to my family, did you know this or did you that? I think the thing that surprised me the most is that she came to know Christ as her Savior. I wasn’t really expecting that, but since the book is put out by Tyndale, I should have realized that.

One thing that I didn’t like about the book was the picture on the front cover. She is nude on the cover, but one of my kids fixed that problem and put a sticky note over her body and put a stick figure on the paper. Problem fixed! I went all over with my book and it’s sticky note on my book, it even went to the doctor’s office like that.

This book was worth the time to read it. I am sure anyone who likes history or just learning about people will enjoy this book.

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Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum – Biloxi, MS

Our family recently went to the  Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum in Biloxi, MS. We went to this museum a few times prior to Hurricane Katrina, but it was destroyed during Katrina and they rebuilt this wonderful museum. We have been saying for quite some time that we wanted to go see the new museum, so off we went. This museum is located about half an hour from our house, so we decided to make it a day trip and bring our lunch with us.

When we got over to the museum we decided to eat our lunch first. I had visions of eating by the water but their was no picnic benches where I thought their would be, so we made do and ate our lunch under one of the oak trees. The museum sits right at the foot of the Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge so it makes for some lovely views of the water. By the way their is a park and splash pad right next to the museum so you could make it day and let your little kids play.

Our view while eating lunch.

When we were finished eating, we went inside this lovely 3 floor museum. One of the highlights of this museum is the Nydia Exhibit. The Nydia is a boat that has a long history on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that they have restored and put on display. In fact this is the boat that you see from the outside of the building looking in. This is the main reason why we have wanted to go to this museum. The boat looks so intriguing as you cross the bridge. The Nydia is front and center in this museum and it sits right in front of a wall of glass windows. By the way, you have a wonderful view from this vantage point. Be sure and watch the movie about this boat as it has some good information about the ship.

The Nydia

View from the windows of the Nydia exhibit.

Besides the Nydia exhibit, you can learn all about the maritime and seafood industries of the coast here. They have some older boats on display that are quite interesting. Also they have some of the equipment that was used years ago in the seafood industry. Some of it is quite interesting.

When you are here, be sure and catch some of the historical movies they play. They have a film on Hurricane Camille that destroyed the area back in 1969. Then there is a film on Hurricane Katrina that destroyed the area once again in 2005. Both of these films are well worth the time to see. Beware the Camille film is a little dated.

The Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum is well worth your time to go see. This museum is great for locals as well as tourists. I guarantee you will learn something while you are here.

Admission prices:

  • Adults: $10
  • Seniors: $8
  • Students:$6
  • Children under 5 are free

They do have a military discount if you ask and show your ID.

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This is my Mississippi – Sunset over the Back Bay

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This is my Mississippi – The beach at sunset.

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Last minute change in plans leads to camping adventure.

Last weekend, we were supposed to go to Walt Disney World for the Night of Joy concerts. But as luck would have it, Hurricane Irma was expected to roll through the area. So we had to make a change of plans. We decided that we were going to go camping near Pensacola, Florida. I know that seems pretty stupid to go toward Florida when their was  a hurricane going that way. But non the less, that is where we decided to go. We spent a long time trying to decide where to stay and finally decided to stay at Gulf Islands National Seashore -Fort Pickings. We have always wanted to go to this National Park, but never made it over their. So we reserved a campsite for 3 nights and started to get everything together for our long weekend of camping and exploring. The kids really wanted to hang out at the beach also.

Welcome to Florida!

The windy beach.

As luck would have it, we didn’t get much time at the beach since it was quite windy and the waves were quite big. We did get to play in the waves and get some water activities in, but not all that we had planned to do. I guess we will be going back sometime, which is totally OK with us.

We enjoyed our little weekend so much that we decided to extend the trip one more night. We did get to see the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. We have seen this museum a few times and was really hoping to see it again this trip. As an added bonus, when we extended our trip the extra day, while we were loading up the car we heard that the Blue Angels usually have a practice session on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s at 11:30 and you could see it really good at the fort down the road from where the campground was. So we go to see the Blue Angels practice. I think this was a highlight for our family.

The National Naval Aviation Museum

The Blue Angels practicing.

Also while we were their, we got to look around Fort Pickings at the end of the island we were staying on. The kids went kayaking one day and of course we got a little bit of beach time. We also went into Alabama to see the Ron John shop in Orange Beach.

It was quite windy while we were camping and one of our tents got quite the beating. After 2 nights of this we decided to see if we could move spots to a little more sheltered spot. We were able to move and that helped a lot. All in all we had a great time camping and exploring. So much that we decided that we really needed to do more camping. So here is to more camping.

Our first campsite

Our second campsite

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