Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Book Review: Cut and Assemble The Mayflower – A Full-Color Paper Model

Cut and Assemble the Mayflower

A Full Color Paper Model

By A. G. Smith

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, so now is the perfect time to begin making this stunning paper replica of the Mayflower. Can you imagine the surprise on your guest’s faces when they see this detailed version of this famous ship?

The instructions are detailed and clear, but this is not a project that should be completed at the last minute as there are many steps as well as the time it takes for the glue to set after each section is complete. There are photographs and exploded views to assist you. The list of additional items needed is short. It includes many things you already have on hand, such as an X-ACTO knife, glue and a straight edge. Black thread, toothpicks and straight pins are used to create the rigging.

The sheer number of pieces demonstrates building this ship will not be a small or quick task. It is a show piece, and worthy of your time and effort. So much so that you will probably want to keep it out all year to enjoy.

I recommend this book for adults and teens, as children could easily become confused and/or frustrated with all of the small details, not to mention the use of sharp objects. By all means let your child help you with the easier parts of the model with adult supervision.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Christmas Craft is Always a Blast!

I have posted before about our annual Christmas Craft. To catch you up, it is always a surprise until after Thanksgiving dinner. The craft has to be easily completed by the youngest person participating (the youngest this year is 3) and has to have the ability to be personalized so all of the projects turn out differently.

When this tradition started many years ago, we didn’t have the HUGE advantage of Pinterest. This year I found a couple of ideas using wine glasses. One was creating a snow globe effect and the other was painting the outside to use either as an actual glass to drink from or as a candle holder.


There were lots of different designs. Our youngest artist painted a blue snowman as well as a plastic wine glass instead of the glass one the grown-ups used. We also helped her make a snow globe out of one of the plastic glasses.

The craft didn’t cost much. I purchased the wine glasses at the dollar store for $1 each. The plastic wine glasses were 6/$1. I got paint brushes in a package of 12 for $1, then just threw them out instead of trying to get the paint out of them.

The paint was .79 – $1.50 each, but I only purchases primary colors, black and white with a 30% off coupon at Michael’s. I also got all of the little snowflake, tree and reindeer stickers and figures 50% off with the additional 30% from Michael’s. The glitter, glue and cotton balls I had at home as well as the rubbing alcohol that is needed to clean the glass before painting. For under $20.00 we had an afternoon of fun and everyone has a Christmas decoration or wine glass to take home.


She was not happy with the camera flash interrupting her painting. 🙂



It is a messy, noisy, fabulous way to spend Thanksgiving!




And sometimes you have to take a break to play with a few toys 🙂

This is one of my favorite traditions, what are some of yours?


Filed under Christmas, Crafts, family, Family fun, memories, Thanksgiving


I am thankful for any day I get to spend with family and friends. Today was a perfect day. We shared food and fun, shared memories and made a few more.

Tomorrow I’ll share pictures of the Christmas Craft. For now here is the picture of my original blog post idea – the roaster that was my grandma & grandpa’s from the early 1950’s. The first pic is my aunt watching my grandpa check on the bird in 1955 (the date on the side is 1956 – but the film must have sat in the camera a while. The back has the date my grandma wrote when she gave it to me).

CindyWhen we plugged the roaster in this year, only one side heated up and when it clicked on our lights dimmed. So we decided to put the bird in the oven instead and throw out the roaster that cooked our family so many delicious dinners, it warms my heart to think of them.



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What’s Cooking for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is the holiday that has the most food prep and cooking involved in our household. I rely on old family recipes most of all and a few newcomers that have been found on Pinterest, magazines and the internet in general. My most favorite recipes are here:

cook book

My mom got me this blank journal the first year I was married (1976) to write favorite recipes in. Obviously I use it a lot. There are stains and notes on the pages, the edges are brown and the front fell off. The pages are loose and that yellow pony tale holder is used to keep it together so nothing is lost.

Making these recipes reminds me of the people who are no longer sitting at our Thanksgiving table. Their memories and love in the form of the recipes handed down to me are with us.

I’ll share one that my kids like the best. I am not sure where my Mom got the recipe, but is it quick, easy and my sons absolutely have to have it at a family dinner.  What food = holiday love in your family?

Mom’s Veggie Dip

8 oz cream cheese – softened

2-3 T mayo

2 good dashes ketchup (don’t question mom’s recipe LOL)

1 tsp horseradish (I use the stuff in the jar – but NOT the creamed)

1/2 c finely diced chopped onion

garlic salt to taste

Mix all ingredients (I use a mixer because it is so much easier on your hands). Chill until firm. I usually make it at least 3 hours ahead or the night before. 

Serve with raw veggies of your liking.



Filed under cooking, family, NaBloPoMo, recipes, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving = Family & Tradition

I have to get a plan together. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away and there is so much to do!

The most important part of Thanksgiving in our house is family. Yeah, they want some turkey, and “fixin’s” and dessert. And more dessert…but the most important part of the holiday (or any day in my opinion) is spending time and making memories with family and a few close friends.

This year I am super excited because our son and daughter-in-law are flying in on Monday and staying until Saturday. When they come in for Thanksgiving, we like to go into Chicago and visit Christkindlesmarket at Daley Plaza. It is usually cold (and last year it was rainy) but it is a wonderland of German food and gifts. Go to their website to get all the info http://www.christkindlmarket.com/

Christkindlmarket Christkindlmarket 2

We also get a live Christmas tree and will do that before they leave to go back to home. When the boys were little, they loved going to cut down the Christmas tree. Tromping through a snowy or muddy field depending upon our fickle weather. They used to argue over who was going to cut it down. Now they argue over who HAS to cut it down. But they are good sons and don’t complain too much when I look at a dozen trees before going back to the first one :} And when in a hurry, we just go to Home Depot to get the tree. It doesn’t matter to me as long as we are spending time together.

getting the tree again getting the tree

Another yearly event, which takes much more planning than dinner or where we are getting the Christmas tree is the annual Christmas Craft. When other families are napping or watching football after Thanksgiving dinner, we clear the table of everything except the veggie dip because you have to keep your strength up when crafting.


I’ve blogged about the craft before, because I write about what is close to me and what I love and our family getting together to do traditional things like the Christmas Craft and Christkindlmarket and cutting down a Christmas tree together.

I’ll post more once I have an idea for the craft, which is kept secret until Thanksgiving day – but I’ll share when I can. And how the Christmas tree hunt turns out.

No worries about Thanksgiving dinner though. We’ll have the traditional foods we do most every year. They are just the fixin’s that go with the main event of spending time with family 🙂


Filed under Christmas, family, Thanksgiving

I am very Thankful for Christmas Craft and lots of other stuff

Christmas Craft/Thanksgiving part deux. My life is incredibly good. I am truly blessed. The most important thing to me is my family. As long as everyone is ok, I’m ok. I fret, I worry, I implore the higher being that watches over us human fools to no avail when I think things are not going as they should in my fragile little world.

Life is indeed good even with the bumps that have lately popped up in my road. The people in my family that have been sick are all on the mend and back to work. I am thankful for both of these things.

The move at work is almost complete and going much smoother this week, so work life is settling down. Hubby only has 5 days left to retirement. I am so looking forward to having a house husband to leave our weekends free. We are happily moving on to the next phase of life. I am thankful he is able to retire while still young enough to enjoy life more because he has worked really hard to provide for our family for almost 40 years.

I am thankful for our extended family. Our house was full of laughter, fun and love the last two days while we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday together. We ate good food, reminisced, and made this year’s Christmas Craft and shopped. I am thankful for each and every one of my family both near and far this holiday.

I’m making a new resolution that can’t wait for January. I will look at the bright side and will be thankful for big and little things. Especially remembering the little things because they make up my day to day life.

Here are some of the pictures of our Christmas Craft this year.

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Filed under Choose to be happy, family, Optomism

Thanksgiving=Christmas Craft

Quick, what do you think of when I say Thanksgiving? Turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, football, relatives, thankfulness, pilgrims, Indians (oh stop it, back when I was a kid no one even heard about PC and besides my grandma’s grandfather was a full blooded Indian) and everything else that has to do with a great (sorry if yours isn’t great) day of family fun and food.

Maybe you just think of Thanksgiving as Black Friday Eve. While I admit I am going to read those ads after the table is set and the house is filled with the wonderful smell of holiday food.

My first thought is Christmas Craft!!! About 15 years ago, we went to my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. As the guys settled into comfy chairs to watch a bit of football, she pulled out a bunch of paints and plain glass Christmas ornaments. She was putting up a Christmas tree for the first time in years, and shades of Days of Our Lives (if you watch it you know every year they hand ornaments with each character’s name on it on a tree with lots of flashbacks) she didn’t have any ornaments.

We had the best time painting them with our names, snowmen, trees and all sorts of things to make the ornament different and fabulous. My one aunt had such a hard time getting hers “right” she kept wiping the white paint off of her blue ornament. The paint was partly dry so it left a white smear. She painted her name over it and called it a snow storm. Ah we are not only a crafty bunch, we share a crazy way of looking at life and a sense of humor that can’t be beat.

The next year, all the cousins started asking what the Christmas craft was going to be. A tradition was born. We’ve painted t-shirts, made snowmen out of tube socks (that was a hoot) and painted glass ornaments. Now each person takes his or her craft home for their tree, mantle or garbage can depending upon the outcome.

One year we made gingerbread houses out of pieces I’d baked the day before. That was lots of work for something that doesn’t last past one season. But it is more about the fun we have with each other than the finished product – which turns out adorable most of the time.

The craft is kept a mystery until Thanksgiving afternoon. Then the person in charge hauls out the clay, glue, fabric, ribbon, small clay pots, etc and picture of the craft. This year’s craft will hopefully include empty pop bottles, paint, fabric and maybe some googly eyes.

I found it on Pinterest, and it is adorable. Since we only have a few hours, prep needs to be done before Thanksgiving. I often spend more time in craft preparation than I do in food prep. Seriously, frying a turkey isn’t that hard, the rest of the stuff only takes a few hours at the most.

Anyway, I have to cut each pop bottle and glue two together with superglue. How hard can that be? Manicure scissors turned out to be the easiest thing to use because that plastic is tough to cut straight. So, that means 30 bottles (I’ve been begging my friends to save them for me at work) had to be cut. Then they needed to be glued together. That was the simple part. Super glue is the best for plastic and it was a snap. 

Now for the hard part. Each one had to be painted black. Have you ever tried to paint a smooth, slippery plastic bottle? Not good, not good at all. I had a spongy brush type thing and finally patted about 3 coats on on bottle, letting each layer dry. Seemed ok, at least it didn’t slide around like trying to brush it on, but as it dried it cracked.

So I asked my hubby to try spray paint. So far, the one he painted looks WAY better than the ones I tried to paint, I am hoping this will be the way to go.

So after the thanks have been said and the dishes have been done, we are going to haul out the crafts and have a few laughs. We always have so much fun it is really something I look forward to.

I don’t know how you spend your Thanksgiving, but I hope you are planning something you’ll enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours however you spend your day.


Filed under Crafts