Our Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving Plans and Menu - Joyfully Thriving

It’s Thanksgiving week! Already? Yes, already, and we are indeed thankful! This is going to my last post for the week because it will be a wonderfully busy week at our house. Andy and I have been busy getting our house ready for our company. Here are our plans for Thanksgiving this year.

Early Tuesday morning, my sister, Liesl, arrives with her husband and 4 children from North Carolina. They are driving through the night to get here. I’ll still take Nathan to his Grandma’s for the afternoon while I teach music, so they can rest from the travel. Late Tuesday evening (probably around midnight or so), my brother, Joel, arrives from St. Louis. He will drive with our sister, Mikaela, and her husband and their new baby.

Wednesday, we have plans for the children to visit Science Central with the guys while the girls (and babies) go shopping for bargains! We’ll enjoy being together. I don’t think there will be much sleeping late with 6 children in the house – especially since 3 of those are babies under the age of 7 months!

On Thursday, we’ll go to Thanksgiving worship at Ascension. Afterwards, all of us will go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner. All 3 of Andy’s siblings will be home for Thanksgiving as well. It will be a full house! On Thanksgiving evening, my parents fly into Fort Wayne from San Antonio. Then, the entire Barz family will be together!

Friday, we’re going to have another Thanksgiving meal for lunch at our house. Turkey, stuffing and all the traditional sides! We’ll have the Whirretts over for an evening meal of chili…and leftovers.

Saturday is our last day together, so we’re going to try and get a professional picture taken of my parents with their now 6 grandchildren. We’ll see how it goes! After lunch, we’ll all start heading our separate ways. I say all, because Nathan and I will be driving with my parents to Saginaw, Michigan, for the weekend. This was what started the whole Thanksgiving get-together plans. The church where my Dad first served invited their former Pastors to come back and preach this year for their 100th anniversary. Dad picked Thanksgiving weekend so we can see the Boar’s Head Festival which he helped to start at Bethlehem Lutheran. I was not quite 5 when we moved from Saginaw but I do have clear memories from my first years there. I am excited to visit again!

It will be a busy week. My menu is planned with main dishes that include poppy seed chicken, chili, the Pioneer Woman’s lasagna and, of course, a turkey. I have homemade crescent rolls in the freezer as well as frosted butter cookies and mini chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. I am going to be trying several new pumpkin recipes out, too. The food is important because we all like to eat, but more important is the fact that we will all be together.

I am looking forward to this week. We are all looking forward to it. We are indeed, truly, thankful! I pray that your Thanksgiving – no matter what you eat or whom you eat it with – is filled with joy. May all our hearts be filled with thanksgiving to God for the countless blessings He bestows upon us!

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Dayspring: Early Black Friday Sales

Jesus is the Gift - Metal Tray

Dayspring has some great sales going on with their Early Black Friday Markdown Items. There are some great items on sale right now! This “Jesus is the Gift” tray is normally $14.99 but now on sale for only $5.99.

Inspirational Message Blocks - Set of 9 Blocks image

These inspirational home blocks are an incredible deal! They are normally $49.99 but are now only $19.99! That’s an amazing deal. You can view all 24 Early Black Friday Markdown Items at Dayspring. Now is a great time to start (or continue) your Christmas shopping!

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Pumpkin Recipe Links I Love

Links I Love Button

I love all things pumpkin. I bake pumpkin bread and muffins year round, but lately I’ve seen an influx of pumpkin recipes. Honestly? I want to try most of them! Here are some of the ones on my “pumpkin to make” list.

Coupon Cutting Mom shared her recipe for Pumpkin Butter Cake. I made two new pumpkin recipes last year and only liked one. I’m pretty sure this was the one I liked. I guess I should make it again to see if it is the one I’m remembering.

I’ve never had Starbucks scones but I know people rave about them – especially the pumpkin ones. Iowa Girl Eats shared her recipe for Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Scones. I like scones and I like pumpkin, so what’s not to like about the two combined?

The Recipe Critic shared a recipe for Pumpkin Snickerdoodles stuffed with cream cheese. Doesn’t that sounds delicious?

Cooking Classy make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Is that too much pumpkin? Should I even attempt to mess with a classic cinnamon roll or is this a fun fall twist? I can’t decide but I am intrigued.

I “met” Kirsten through the recent 31 day series and discovered her recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cake with Browned Butter Frosting. Chocolate and pumpkin is an ideal combination in my book so I know I want to try this cake.

My friend / cousin / former fellow teacher, Cathy, used to make Pumpkin Fluff with her students before Thanksgiving. It’s a simple recipe and can be quite healthy if you use low fat options. Here is a Pumpkin Fluff recipe as shared by Recipe Diaries.

Finally, Love Bakes Good Cakes shared a recipe for Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting. I don’t bake a lot of cupcakes because they tend to be more time-intensive. Still, this combination with a cream cheese frosting might just convince me to bake a pan of cupcakes!

I can’t decide which one to make first. What do you think? You can see more of the pumpkin goodies I’ve pinned on my Pinterest board about pumpkins. Follow me on Pinterest to see what else I’m pinning. 

Follow Kristen Whirrett (Joyfully Thriving)’s board Pretty & Delicious Pumpkins on Pinterest.

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Kroger: Free Herdez Sauce

Free Herdez Sauce

Today’s Friday Freebie at Kroger is for a free jar of Herdez Cooking Sauce (12 ounces). Download the coupon today and redeem by December 7th.

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Shopping for My Thanksgiving Week Menus

I had big plans for Wednesday – plans that included menu planning and grocery shopping. My plans did not include Nathan waking up at 5am! Around 5:30, he and I were both up for the day. I knew he was still tired and he went down without a fuss for his morning nap at 8:15. He was so tired that he slept for 2 hours and 15 minutes! Whoa. I had a much happier baby when he woke up. It also allowed me to finish my menu planning and work on my grocery list. Nathan and I braved the cold in the late afternoon and made it to Meijer to shop. By the time we got home, it was dark. Here’s what we bought this week.

Meijer - 11/19/14 - $47.77

We stocked up on lots of produce for cooking and eating. I bought 10 pounds of potatoes ($2.99), 6 pounds of onions ($3), 5 pounds of clementines ($5.49) and 3 pounds of apples ($2.50). I also bought bananas and spinach.

I also needed more baking supplies. Chocolate chips were on sale for $2.19 and I had a coupon for $1/2. Cream cheese was on sale for $1.50 and when you bought 3, $1 came off instantly. Pudding and Jello were on sale for $0.79 and I had two coupons for $0.55/2. Margarine was on sale for $0.69 and butter was on sale for $2.50. Finally, I bought 4 pounds of powdered sugar for $2.49.

I picked up my free Dawn dish soap. Bob Evans sausage was on sale for $2.50 and I had a coupon for $1/2. $2 is a great price for ground sausage.

For everything pictured, I spent $47.77. My total for November now stands at $242.57. I still have some more things on my list so will finish out my shopping on Monday before our company arrives. My new budget goal is to stay under $300 for the month. Totally doable. I’ll update once more for the month of November – after I finish my Thanksgiving grocery shopping!

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Recyclebank: 25 Baked Good Points

You’re probably going to be using your oven a lot this season. Learn how to maximize its energy efficiency and earn 25 points via the image above.

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Pampers: 10 Points for Brain Building Article

Pampers Smarty Pants

Here are 10 new quick and easy points for your Pampers Gifts to Grow account. Read the article on Brain Building 101 and earn 10 points for your account. I had already read it…but maybe you haven’t!

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Homemade Decadence by Joy the Baker

Homemade Decadence

I love to bake. It’s very true. I like to cook – but I love to bake. Anything with chocolate or sweet is a favorite of mine. When I saw that Joy had a new cookbook out called Homemade Decadence, I knew I wanted to check it out. Withe subtitle of “irresistibly sweet, salty, gooey, sticky, fluffy, creamy, crunchy treats,” how could we go wrong?

Joy the Baker blogs at JoytheBaker.com. I’ve pinned many of her recipes on Pinterest, too. Just like her blog recipes, her cookbook was filled with beautiful pictures that make you want to bake these recipes and eat them – immediately, if not sooner.

Homemade Decadence is divided into 5 sections – (1) Brunch, (2) Cookies, Brownies & Bars, (3) Pies, Crumbles & Cobblers, (4) Layer Cakes, Cupcakes & Skillet Cakes, and (5) Ice Cream Social. I want to make recipes from all of these sections! What I like about Joy’s cookbook is that her recipes are made with every day ingredients. There are one or two special ingredients in a couple recipes, but I could bake majority of her recipes by going straight to my pantry. I also appreciated how Joy told a short story about each recipe before sharing the actual recipe.

The top recipes that I want to bake from Homemade Decadence? Lemon-Poppy Seed Pancakes, Roasted Potato Breakfast Nachos, Lemon Meringue Cookies, and Pumpkin Ice Cream. Oh, and Egg Nog Ice Cream is also on my list.

If you are a baker, check out Joy the Baker. If you like sweets, check out Homemade Decadence. You’ll be glad you did – on both accounts!

Please note that I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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$10 Bonus Chili Gift Card Offer

Here’s the first of many holiday gift card offers. Right now, buy a $50 gift card to Chili’s and get a bonus $10 gift card. Whether you give this to someone else or use it yourself, you are making your eating out money stretch even further!

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Mperks: Free Dawn Dish Soap

Meijer Mperks Free Dawn

Meijer Mperks has an offer for a FREE bottle of Dawn dish soap (16 ounces). Simply log into your Mperks account and enter the code FREEDAWN14 in the search box. When you do so, the coupon will appear. Clip it and redeem the offer by Thursday, November 20th.

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