Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Food -- Yum!

So I make the same dishes every Thanksgiving.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who does that.  It's something nice about the tradition of eating the same special food for each holiday.  Sometimes . . . Thanksgiving is the ONLY time we eat certain foods.

My menu is typical for a traditional Southern Thanksgiving meal. 

Turkey, Dressing, Gravy, Ham, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Bean Bundles, Macaroni & Cheese, Cranberry Sauce, and Rolls, and Pecan Pie for Dessert.

Last year, my sweet sister-in-law, Marlana, brought a cake and a pot of baked beans so I added those dishes to my menu.

My mother has always made our Cornbread dressing the same way her mother made it . . . by memory without any kind of recipe being written down. 

That doesn't work for me.  So the first year that Dave and I were married, I had Thanksgiving for my family at my house, AND I persuaded my mother to make her Cornbread Dressing by measuring everything out . . . even though she doesn't normally do that . . . so that I could write it down to have. 

Here's my well-used copy . . . which look!   Also has Aunt Laura Mae's Chocolate Icing recipe!  Yum!

Our family's dressing recipe is a little different from most dressing recipes because we mix the cornbread with crumbled up biscuits instead of bread or crackers.  So every Thanksgiving morning, I cook up a big pan of biscuits for breakfast so I can use the leftover biscuits for the dressing later that day.  Here's my cornbread dressing from this Thanksgiving:

This Thanksgiving . . . I did something different with my menu . . .

First I totally changed the way I cook my turkey!  Usually I follow the directions that come on the turkey wrapper.  This year I decided to make the turkey the way Trisha Yearwood makes hers!  No kidding!  I love her cooking show, and she made "A Yearwood Thanksgiving Meal" a couple of weeks ago . . . and I decided to try making her No Baste, No Bother Roasted Turkey Recipe.  I Loved It!  It was truly no bother to make! 

You just prepare the turkey according to her recipe.  I didn't have a carrot so I stuffed my turkey cavity with an onion, a celery stalk, and an apple.  Rub butter on it and salt and pepper it and put it breast side up in the roasting pan.  (It is at this point I must confess something . . . my turkey did not look like Trisha Yearwood's when I put it in the roasting pan.  For one thing, my butter wasn't softened enough to spread prettily . . . mine kind of globbed up.  And my turkey was not a whole turkey.  I bought a turkey breast and apparently without the legs . . . it wouldn't sit up right!  It kept falling over on its side.  Oh well . . . )

You pour 2 cups of boiling water into the roasting pan and put a top on the pan.  Put the turkey in a preheated 500 degree oven for 1 hour.  And then when that one hour is up . . . you cut the oven off and leave the turkey in there for 4 to 6 hours . . . never opening the oven door.  We cut our oven off at midnight (after it had cooked for an hour) and went to bed.

The next morning . . . Marlana and I hesitantly lifted the lid off the roaster . . . and the turkey was golden brown and still warm and completely done!  It also tasted so good and moist.  This is how I'm going to cook my turkeys from now on!  I wish I had taken a picture . . . but I didn't!

I also baked a spiral ham on Friday afternoon.  I used Trisha Yearwood's Brown Sugar Honey Ham Glaze on it.  Pretty much the best ham I've eaten in a while.  Dave loved it!

I made my homemade macaroni and cheese but instead of baking it in the oven, I put it in one of my crocks of my double crockpot.  I added a little extra milk to my recipe and cut the pot on low.  It turned out so good. 

They ate it all up!  Who would have thought macaroni and cheese would taste good cooked in a crockpot!

 Since I was using the double crockpot . . . I needed something in the other crock. . . . what to make?

Crockpot Baked Apples!

You can get the recipe HERE!  They were soooo good!  I think the apples were my favorite dish.

Marlana made her yummy baked beans, a mandarin orange congealed salad, and green bean bundles.

 My sweet daddy made a pecan pie and a sweet potato pie.  My sweet momma made the sweet potato casserole (which was Dave's favorite).  She puts pecans on top of it and that's what Dave loves.  :)

I decided to make a pumpkin pound cake for dessert as well.  My friend Karen made one for our Ladies' Retreat in October and it was soooo good.  I was surprised because I have never cared for pumpkin.  I will have to ask permission to share the recipe.  My cake was good too.  :)

When the lunch was ready . . . so were the Ferrells. . . .

 The food was soooo delicious!  Thanksgiving with the Ferrells . . .

 and . . . 

                        the Ferrell boys and me!

A Ferrell Thanksgiving - 2012

My Family - Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I love decorating for it . . . I love getting together with family . . . I LOVE all the food . . . and I love reflecting on all I have to be thankful for . . .

For the past few years, I have hosted the Ferrell Thanksgiving at my house.  It's something I absolute love and look forward to all year long!  I know . . . I need to get a life!  Ha!

This year, my sweet Dave had to work on actual Thanksgiving day, so I planned our Ferrell Thanksgiving for Saturday.  We've done this the past two years and it's worked out great. 

I pinned lots of Thanksgiving ideas on my Thankgiving board . . . HERE.

I downloaded a lot free printables for decorating, and I found one particular tablescape that I loved at

 Pinned Image

So I bought a roll of burlap at one of the local stores and laid it out on my table with my chargers  . . .

I was going to make a table runner out of the burlap but when I rolled it out and it was the same width as my table . . . I decided that I liked that look better.

But the table still needed something.  I had some orange material I tried as a table runner, but it was too orange!  I stopped at one of the local florists and picked up two different rolls of that wide burlap/mesh.

My plan was to try them each and pick one to use as a table runner . . . Ha!  I ended up using both!   I really love the way it turned out.  I layered the red burlap under the wide creamy mesh . . .

I use some version of these large turkey paper plates and matching napkins every year for our family Thanksgiving meal.

I know most people bring out their china or good every day plates for Thanksgiving.  I used to do that too.  But one year, I went to a ladies' luncheon, and they had the tables decorated so cute . . . and the hostesses used some large turkey paper plates with some gold chargers . . . I was amazed!  The table looked so good and when the hostess told me she got the paper plates from Walmart and the chargers from Dollar General . . . Well I went and bought some chargers that day!  I've used these paper plates and chargers every Thanksgiving since then and when we're cleaning up . . . I'm always glad I did!

I found some cute Mayflower boats and other free printables online to decorate my tables.

I loved the centerpiece on the table from Amanda Parties To Go.  She gave instructions for putting it together . . .

And I followed her instructions, but I had to make one substitution.  I didn't have any miniature pumpkins and didn't want to buy any at this point in the year . . . So I gathered some pine cones from around the farm and cut some branches with turning leaves on it . . . stuck in some pheasant feathers I had on hand . . .  and here's the completed centerpiece on the main dining room table:

I stuck the little turkey figures in the middle of it all -- my own little touch -- Ha!  I got the turkeys and pilgrim/indian bears from the Dollar Tree a looooong time ago and use them every year.

The children's table:

I printed them out a little activity sheet to work that I got from one the free printable downloads:

I should have done one for each of the adults because none of the little children worked the puzzles . . . but some of the adults did!

The Ferrell children enjoying Thanksgiving together:

And the Ferrell "grown-ups" enjoying Thanksgiving together (and my parent's too):

Ha!  The one with her back to the camera and the "peace" sign gesture is Angela.  She's twenty-one.  She's graduated from the children's table but she's not quite ready for the grown-up table!  Ha!  Dave's sister, Penny, isn't pictured because she decided to sit with the children.  She's such a good aunt!

And here's Joe (Dave's brother) and his wife, Marlana sitting so sweetly at the little table. 

Joe's family came on Friday and spent the night . . . which was such a blessing for me . . . because Marlana helped me cook the Thankgiving meal!    More about the food in the next post!

Here are the links to the free printables:

Free Thanksgiving Printable from Amanda's Parties To Go

You have to "like" her page on Facebook to qualify for the free printable.  I purchased the printables from her for Alex's camping party and loved them!  These Thanksgiving freebies are just as cute!

She also has another set I downloaded for free too:  Here's the link for it:

Free Thankgiving Kid's Table Printables from Amanda's Parties To Go

I got lots of cute ideas from her website for decorating.  My next post will feature some of the delicious food we prepared as well as some yummy recipes!
Until then . . . there's a Christmas tree calling out to me . . . calling out to

                       the Ferrell boys and me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bizarre or Bazaar?

In my crazy life, you can get both a Bazaar and a little bizarre in the same week.

This past Thursday, November 15th, we had the annual Christmas Bazaar at my children's school.

I look forward to this bazaar every year.  I love buying handmade items from people I know.  It makes the items  more special because I know the person who made it.

Here are the items I made to donate to the bazaar:

A. Tom Turkey:

I cut all the wooden pieces out with my daddy's scroll saw.  The boys and I painted them, and Dave drilled the holes for the wire. 

B. Camo Picture Pillow:

I made it out of a camo flannel sleeping bag that the boys no long used.  I tied the flannel strips into knots all the way around to give the pillow some edging. 

C. Cheerleader Picture Pillow:

This is an easy pillow to make.  I made two of the camo pillows and two of the cheer pillows . . . and they both sold!  I even had some people ask me to make them a pillow for Christmas presents.  Directions for making the picture pillow can be found in a previous blog post:  HERE.

The kids really liked the pillows . . . but I think the pictures I used helped to sell the pillows!

D. Blue Jean Purses:

I found a tutorial for making these purses on pinterest.  I added my own style to the purses.  :)  The blog post for the original tutorial can be found HERE at taidyeoriginal blog.   She gives a great picture tutorial for making the basic purse.  The embellishments, however, are my own. :)

I will probably do a picture tutorial for making the bags like I make them because I do some stuff a little different from her original post.  They are really cute purses and very easy to make.

The bazaar opened on Thursday night and carried over into Friday when our school has its annual Parent's/Grandparent's Thanksgiving lunch.  I had a Court hearing in another town that morning and I missed the lunch.  When I got to the school, my boys and their Nana were getting in the car to go home. :(  This is the first time I've missed the Thanksgiving lunch since the boys have been going to school there.  Oh the perils of being a working mom.  :)

I stayed to help with the Christmas bazaar until it closed, and Zach stayed to play at the school with some of his friends.  The Christmas bazaar was the 4th grade project and since Zach is in the 4th grade . . . I had a little responsibility for helping.  I had served my time on Thursday night, but I hate to leave the cleaning up for others to do.  I don't know how much help I was, but at least I was there.

When it was almost time to close up the bazaar, Zach came in to tell me that while he was playing . . . he kicked "something" and his left shoe flew off his foot and landed on the roof of the elementary building!

  So when the Christmas BAZAAR was over, I moved on into the BIZARRE part of my life. . . . Climbing up a rickety ladder to rescue a shoe off the roof!  The whole way up . . . as the ladder wobbled and creaked . . . I kept looking up and saying, " I'm sure of my salvation . . . I'm sure of my salvation . . "  Ha!  I wasn't sure if I was going to make it down from there alive, but I knew where I'd be if I didn't!  That helped me have peace instead of fear as I climbed upward.

I was in need of a quiet peaceful weekend after that experience.

I planned a family movie night for Friday.  I had purchased the Pixar movie Brave as a surprise for the boys. 


We got pizza from Mike's and put on our pajamas (all of us including Dave!) and settled in with popcorn to watch it together.  We loved it!  Shane has watched it 5 or 6 times since then. 

But Friday night, as great as it was, turned out to be the only peace for the weekend.  I woke up Saturday feeling like a relapse of my cold was coming on and poor Shane woke up with a stopped up nose.  Sunday turned out to be worse.  I felt terrible.  And to make matters worse, as I was backing out the garage Sunday morning . . . I had a little accident:

Excuse the picture!  I couldn't get the picture from the insurance agent to upload to my post, so I took a picture of it from my computer screen!  Ha! 

I don't know how I broke the window.  As I backed out of the garage, the garage door stopped midway and Voila!  a broken van window!  I had a few phone calls yesterday from people who saw it parked in front of my office . . . most wondering if the Ferrell boys had done it!  Ha!

So today, Tuesday -- the week of Thanksgiving --  I'm thankful for my insurance agent and my local body shop that's able to fix my window so quickly!  I'm also thankful for my sweet friend DeAnne who is picking me up for lunch today since I am without transportation! 

Such is the Bazaar/Bizarre life with

                          the Ferrell boys and me!

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Latest Pinterest Project: Canvas Pictures

I have pinned lots of ideas on how to transfer pictures to canvas.  Some required printing the pictures out and mod podging them onto canvas . . . some required you mod podge the picture onto plywood . . . some had you transfer a reverse copy of the picture onto the canvas and then use water to "rub" the paper off leaving the image on the canvas . . . Lots of ideas . . .

Tonight I saw a pin where you used tissue paper to transfer the picture to canvas and    . . . . since I had all the materials needed to do it . . .   I decided to go ahead and try it out!

Here's the original blog post and picture that I saw pinned: 

Definitely check out her blog for specific details of how to do this. 

All I had was the flat canvases.  I think the kind where the canvas is wrapped around a wooden frame would work better, but I only had the flat kind . . . so that's what I used.  I'm not going for perfect here.  I'm just trying to see if it works.

First I found a picture in my computer photo gallery to use.  I decided to do a picture of the boys that my photographer friend, Julianna, took last November, and a picture of Dave's family from last Thanksgiving.

I taped the white tissue paper to a sheet of 8.5 x 11 cardstock.   When I cut the tissue paper, I left a border of 1/2 inch all the way around, and then I taped that down on the back side of the cardstock smoothing out the front of the tissue paper.

I then placed the paper in my printer . . . tissue paper side down . . . cause that's how my printer feeds in to print.  I selected my picture from the gallery and chose the size I wanted and then hit "print."

Be sure to watch the photo as it prints out to make sure nothing gets hung up.  I let the tissue paper picture dry for a minute before handling it.

Then I cut the tissue paper on the sides to release it off the cardstock.

It's very thin and flimsey . . . after all . . . it's just tissue paper!  :D

Then I painted a layer of mod podge on the canvas where I wanted the picture to be.  I used a larger canvas than my picture . . . for some reason . . .

Then I carefully placed the tissue paper picture on the canvas . . . centering it where I wanted it . . . carefully pressing it down . . . working from the center . . . carefully moving outward . . . trying to get out the wrinkles and bubbles . . .

Here is my first attempt - The Ferrell Boys: 

You have to be very careful pressing the photo down or the tissue paper will tear! 

The end result is a picture with that canvas look without the canvas/picture price!

I tried to get a close-up picture to show you the canvas look of the picture but the first picture I took was washed out by the flash:

I took the next close-up picture without the flash, and it was too dark:

Maybe you can see the canvas details in one of those pictures.  I just want to really caution you about how fragile the tissue paper is . . .  Here's the second picture I did:

I was moving the picture trying to get a wrinkle out and it tore!  There was no fixing it, either,  once it was torn. 

I had fun doing this project.  I'm going to make a trip to Walmart to pick up some more canvas . . .  I may even stop by Office Depot and get one of those big prints done . . . like I've seen on pinterest. 

I think I'm going to embellish the canvases and maybe try to hide the torn corner with a ribbon or something . . . We'll see. 

Until next time with . . .  

                     the Ferrell boys and me!

Women's Forum Trip

I was able to go with three other ladies from my church to a Women's Forum at Lifeway in Nashville.

It was a jam-packed event with very little free time available . . . lots of break out sessions with a variety of topics for improving your ladies' ministry at your church . . .  as well as several Worship sessions a day! 

We left Wednesday, November 7th, for Nashville . . . all four of us packed into a little car.  I had brought a crochet scarf I have been working on to keep me busy on the ride.

We stopped in some little town in Alabama to eat lunch.  I don't remember the name of the town, but the name of the place was the Happy Days Cafe:


At first we weren't sure if it was really a restaurant.  But they had a little menu standing up outside the door, so we stopped and ventured forward.  It looked so cute on the outside . . .

They had a railroad crossing pole in one corner of the restaurant . . .

A cute mural of a soda shop scene all along one side of the restaurant . . .

We thought the mural was so cute, we decided to get a group picture:

We enjoyed the beauty of Alabama . . . all the leaves changing color . . . all the winding roads . . . but it sure was nice to see this sign:

We arrived to Nashville in time to eat supper.  The hotel had a shuttle so we took it to a restaurant named Puckett's to eat.  It was recommended by a friend.  It was a fun place to eat.  They had live entertainment and a wide selection of menu items.

We ate fried green beans for an appetizer (only in the South do we fry everything including green beans!).   I enjoyed a steak for supper.

It's a good thing we went out to eat that first night, cause there wasn't any time to go out to eat after that!  They kept us all busy everyday at the Forum until 8 or 8:30 each night!  No time to go out an sample all the wonderful restaurants in Nashville . . .  Which is a little sad . . . cause part of the fun of going anywhere is getting to eat out!  :)

My roomie, Laycee woke up sick as a dog Friday morning.  She wasn't receptive to getting her picture taken!  Ha! 

Laycee missed all the sessions that day . . . and managed to give me whatever it was she had! I woke up sick as a dog on the Tuesday following this trip! Luckily I made time to go to the doctor and get a shot . . . so I'm able to work today . . . but I have total sympathy for Laycee now that I've suffered the same illness myself!

We had a great time in Nashville!  I can't wait to go back again only this time . . . I want to go back with Dave!  But before leaving Nashville . . .  I had to get at least one picture with someone famous . . . Look who I found outside one of the stores in Nashville!  Elvis!  Ha!

Not exactly a perfect replica of Elvis, but he made for a fun picture!  Ha!

Although I had a great time at the Women's Forum and learned so much, I was ready to get back home to Ferrell Farm . . . and resume life again as

                     the Ferrell boys and me!