What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thankful Thoughts and the Black Friday Grinch

Okay, It's over!  Thanksgiving Day has come and gone
...today is "Black Friday"...when everyone forgets what they were so thankful for yesterday and goes in search of MORE...okay, hopefully more for others...great deals on Christmas gifts for others...and that's just fine for those who are so inclined to go out and fight the terrible traffic, crazy crowds, and punish the weary worn out body you may have from your busy activities of yesterday...but for me...there is no bargain, no deal, no desire so great that I could be tempted to leave the cozy confines of my house today in search of anything except rest and relaxation.

Perhaps others weren't as busy as I was this week, preparing for our lovely gathering of family and friends at our house for Thanksgiving dinner.  Maybe others are younger, more energetic and excited about the wonderful purchases they could make today that they disregard how tired they might be and go shop til they drop anyway. I guess I just have to admit...I'm a "Black Friday" Grinch.  For those of you who enjoy shopping today...I say, "More power to you!"  Just don't ask me to go along!  Ha ha!

Now, all of that being said, I want to stop ranting and start praising! Yesterday was wonderful!  We had approximately 25 people at our house, and everyone pitched in and brought wonderful food and helped with preparation and clean up...and made our day so happy.  We ate til we popped, we laughed, we sang, we played games, and we just visited.  All the good stuff that happens when great people come together with a heart for being thankful.

 And thankful we were (are!)  Thankful to our God for His wonderful provision and loving care for us, His children.  Thankful for living in the land of the free, where we can gather with our loved ones and friends and not fear being stopped by a hostile enemy or government.  Thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, Who gave His life for us, so that we are free from our sins and have the promise of our heavenly home...where there is no fear of any hostile enemy ever hurting us again. Wow! Now that's something to be thankful for!

As today is not just "black Friday", but it is also Friday Foto Friends, (click on the link to see what others are posting) the day when those of us who love to photograph everything we see that we think you might enjoy, I thought I would share some happy memories from our Thanksgiving gathering yesterday.

The cars were gathering in our yard, filled with happy people coming to "gather together to ask the Lord's blessing..."

Some of the family playing in the yard before dinner...

If you note the little "Bear Crossing" sign in the yard, that will explain our first visitor very early in the morning.  Yes, that is our neighborhood "Little Bear", who stops by frequently for a "drink".  I think we should rename our yard "The Bear Crossing Tavern" or something like that.... Ha!

In addition to our "Little Bear", we had lots of not so wild "game"...well, I mean family and friends playing games...mostly a friendly game of "corn-hole", but the competition did get pretty tough at times...

and there were cheerleaders and spectators watching and enjoying the fun...

Here's my two sons playing on opposing teams...

And here's one of my nieces and my nephew playing...
Not sure who won, but it was all in good fun and a great way to burn off some of the calories after our dinner...

Speaking of which, let me take you inside to see what was happening there....

My hubby John entertaining the guests 

Some of our great helpers getting things ready for the big feast....

My son Scott carving the turkey while my sister Doris supervises...
My niece Shannon, always a blur of activity and cuteness...

Our friend Maura helping organize the buffet table...

And then we sat down and ate and ate and ate...

and we also surprised three of our guests with a birthday celebration, since they had recent birthdays:

 Our friend Sharon's was the big "65"

 And then we flipped the candles around for my sister in law Peggy's 56th!

 And then my nephew David, who usually refuses to celebrate his birthday, got tricked into this one...Ha ha! We got you!!

Later, some gathered on the porch just to visit

 and some of the kids went out to the workshop and painted some signs...
 and one of the bigger "kids" enjoyed photo-bombing his niece and nephew's pictures...
(some kids never grow up, even when they ARE 48!)
And my lovely niece asked if I would take a family picture of her family before they had to leave...

So today, I am reflecting on a beautiful day...and giving thanks again to the Lord for how He brought us all together and made it a day full of thanksgiving and joy for this family.
Oh, one more family pic...me with my sister Doris...we always have to be sure get a picture of us together...the two original "Mursch" girls...carrying on the "Mursch" family traditions with our kids and friends and inlaws and outlaws...we're missing our brothers who are with their families in their homes out of state, and of course we miss our parents who are celebrating thanksgiving every day in their heavenly home...and I'm particularly missing my son Matthew who is also celebrating Thanksgiving in heaven every day...

As I reminisce and rest from my labors, put away the Thanksgiving pilgrims and other
decorations, I just want to say Thank You...to everyone who was here...and to the Lord for all He has done for us to keep us healthy and alive and able to gather together with our loved ones again.

So until next year...be blessed...and keep Thanksgiving in your heart all year long...

Y'all come back now, you hear?


  1. Cozy, cozy! I like your great photos. It;s good to have family and famaily traditions.

    1. Thank you Jedidja. We definitely have a wonderful time together...so thankful!

  2. I can't find you email so here is the recipe for speculaas:

    - 300 gr flour
    - 100 gr DARK brown soft sugar
    - 175 gr cubed butter
    - 2 tblsp cold water
    - 4 tblsp speculaas spice
    Bake for 30-35 mins at 175C.

    I have found an other link for you (also with a recipe)http://www.thedutchbakersdaughter.com/2009/12/speculaas.html

    1. Thank you! I will look it up. It reminds me of a recipe from my Grandmother for "Sand Tarts", except we don't use the dark brown sugar. But they are similar. This sounds delicious!

  3. Oh, what an awesome celebration you all had. I have to agree with you about Black Friday shopping. We sent out later in the day today, but it was to pick up some meds....I have some kind of bronchitis/cough/crud that I just can't seem to shake. We did go to WalMart, but it was around lunch time and there wasn't a crowd. What bothers me most is that the stores are now open on THANKSgiving....that is so sad to me. :( So glad you had such a wonderful time with family....you and your sister could pass for twinsies! Happy Friday and thanks for linking up.

  4. It looks like everyone had a great time! I enjoyed your photos. May we be thankful all year long!

  5. I wondered if you would ever wake up and post pictures! lol! It was a wonderful day and you did a fantastic job putting it all together! My only regret is that we didn't get much time to just sit, relax and visit after it was all over!---Oh to be a kid again when we could just run out and play while the adults cleaned up the mess! ha

    1. I so agree! Please come back and visit when we don't have such a crowd. Or we can all go out to eat and then come back...that would be fun!

  6. Glad you had a happy Thanksgiving, Pamela. I am with you on the shopping. I have never wanted a TV bad enough to fight for it!

  7. What fun you all had!! The photos are great!

    1. P.S....I don't go out on Black Friday either!!

  8. This is a lovely family post, so full of love and laughter. Thanks for sharing with us.


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  10. Oh Pam, I loved your pictures! What a wonderful Thanksgiving you had and your pictures made me feel like I was there with you!! I have to ask...are you and Doris twins? Y'all look just alike!

  11. Beautiful family, photos, and memories, Pamela! Thanks so much for sharing your joys and blessings with us.
    And may we truly keep Thanksgiving in our hearts all year long.

  12. That's how families should have fun! Sadly, the only thing that New Zealand has adopted (recently) from the US is the 'Black Friday Sale' day. It's a shame they don't try to appreciate Thanksgiving :)


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