Today we had Thanksgiving dinner with some of our neighbors that we met about a month ago when I decided to ask them if they wanted to drop off the truck load of dirt that they had, into our front yard. I have found myself so surprised and delighted with the kindness of (almost complete) strangers lately and have been so blessed by their generosity and love of God.
After about an hour or so of mingling around with other people who had been invited to this family's house, we gathered in the living room and Art read the following combination of speeches by Abraham Lincoln.
"It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history: that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisement in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.
But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!(On March 30, 1863 President Lincoln, in his Proclamation for a Day of Prayer and Fasting)
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."(Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1863)
I was struck by how true the ring of this was. If we were too proud then to acknowledge that God has made us, than what does that make us today?
We ate dinner outside in 80˚ weather, which didn't make it feel too much like Thanksgiving. So in the spirit of feeling non-traditional I decided to heap a spoonful of hot chili sauce onto my turkey and ham, as was our neighbors tradition. IT WAS DELICIOUS! I will take chili sauce over gravy any day!
After dinner we gathered inside and sang worship hymns - the guitar, hand drum and lap harp were the instruments played. It reminded me a lot of house church back in the day (though, I was actually sitting still for this).
This is my favorite bread recipe and it's super easy to make. Harvest Loaf Bread Preheat oven to 350˚F
1 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter 2 eggs 3/4 cup pumpkin 1 3/4 cup flour 1 t. cinnamon 1/2 t. nutmeg 1/4 t. cloves 1/4 t. ginger 1 t. baking soda 1/2 t. Salt 3/4 cup chocolate chips (edit, mini chocolate chips, thanks mom!) 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I like to use pecans, I think the recipe calls for walnuts though)
Cream butter, slowly add sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Shift flour, soda, add spices (I like to combine all the dry ingredients into a Tupperware container and just shake them up a bit). Stir into butter mixture, alternating with pumpkin. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. You can sprinkle some nuts on the top too. . . this just makes it look prettier. Bake for 1 hour.
I'll be the first to admit that I have a really hard time being hospitable. It's bad, I know. I just don't like having people in my house. It probably has something to do with the fact that I have two very obnoxious dogs who do not know how to behave themselves when people come over (or when people are not over). It probably also has to do with the fact that we never had a table big enough to seat guests (or the ocassional new sibling) while I was growing up. I'm working on it though.
It's not really hospitality, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving I am making a bunch of harvest loaf bread to give to neighbors and the few other people I know around this little town.
Three down, 3 to go. Technically I bought enough butter to make 12 loaves. . . ain't it a shame when you can't do simple math in your head (or just forget that one stick of butter is half a cup, not a fourth.)
My mom decided that she wanted Kyle and I to see the U2 concert for her birthday. . . so we gave in an went. There was a moment of panic when we thought that we might not have seats because section 19 didn't seem to be available on the seat map. . . and that is where our seats were. Turns out we did have seats, but the sound booth was blocking the stage a little bit! Oh well! It was still a great show! Thanks mom!
One of my favorite parts was trying to keep on eye on where Bono was. . . he was all over the place. The best part was when he pulled three sister up on stage. . . then danced with them. . . then let them stay on the stage while the next song was performed. . . and then laid across all of their laps. That's just Bono for you.
Here are some pictures from the Gregory wedding. Didn't she have lovely flowers? Speaking of flowers, here's a cutie. . . "our hearts will go on and on!" PS. I would just like to point out that my dress was the only one to have a fitting. . . everyone else's fit. . . for the most part.
We've found that we are not very good at calling everyone and giving you updates on our lives. We do want you all to be up to date on the very exciting things that are happening in Arizona and in our lives - with that we dedicate this blog to you. ta dah.