I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Are you thankful today?

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in Canada.  Many people get together to enjoy a special meal, make new memories and share old memories.  It is a time of giving thanks for everything we have – our families, our faith, our friends and our freedom.  Thanksgiving Day reminds us of how much we have to be thankful for.  But what about the other 364 days of the year?   Are you thankful everyday?  Are you thankful today?

We shouldn’t really need a special day to remind us of all the things we should be thankful for.  When you wake up the morning, what do you think about?  Our minds tend to think about our problems and this just gets us in a miserable mood right away.  Train your mind to be thankful as soon as you open your eyes and this will help get you in a good mood for the rest of the day.   Think about everything you have to be thankful for – a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, clean air, a loving family, the ability to see or hear, legs to walk with, arms to carry things, friends, food to eat and the list could go on forever.  Even if you don’t have all these things to be thankful for, there is always something.

Living with a thankful attitude will make your life better.  Don’t allow your negative thoughts to weigh you down.  So, are you thankful today?

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Thanksgiving in Canada and the US

thanksgiving medleyIn North America, Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.  Canadians have already celebrated this wonderful occasion in October and this week the Americans will begin their celebration.

So what are the differences between a Canadian and an American Thanksgiving?   Actually, except for the dates, not very much.  I have joined forces with Kendra Thornton, a travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mother of 3 to compare the differences between my Canadian Thanksgiving and her American Thanksgiving.  You can follow Kendra at

Both Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with family gatherings, sharing a  huge meal, watching parades and football games and attending Black Friday shopping sprees.

When it comes to food, the popular choice is turkey, accompanied by mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, corn, fresh rolls and pumpkin pie.  It makes me hungry just thinking about all those yummy foods!  Of course, everyone  likes something different and there are many variations in choosing foods and how to prepare them.  I’ve been to homes where the choice was Thanksgiving ham, chicken or meatloaf.  It seems weird to me, but it depends on what people like and what their family traditions have been.             

When my youngest daughter prepares the meal, she goes to a lot of trouble to make something special every time, just as I did when my girls were growing up.  Sometimes she will have pumpkin soup, mixed veggies or tossed salad and cheesecake or pudding for desert.  I usually stick to the traditional dishes now as it doesn’t take a lot of thought and I like preparing easy meals so I have more time to visit.

My favourite part of Thanksgiving is getting together around the table to pray,  give thanks and share a family meal that has been prepared with loving hands and hearts.   After the meal, we usually sit and chat, then watch a good family movie together.  Nothing beats family time and sharing.  I’ve also had the pleasure of taking part in both a Canadian and an American Thanksgiving as both my husband and myself have sisters who are Americans.   My son-in-law also has an Aunt with whom we shared a second Thanksgiving two years ago when we were visiting her in Florida.
Now let’s hear from Kendra with her thoughts on Thanksgiving.  She has titled her post,  It’s a Thornton Thanksgiving from the U.S.!
Autumn is here once again with crisp days, chill nights and warm, cozy family evenings. Besides thinking about football, campfires and pumpkins, here at the Thornton house, the cooler fall weather gets me started making plans for the upcoming holidays. Because of its emphasis on gratitude and joy, Thanksgiving has to be one of my very favorite holidays. This year, the Thornton family will be having all our family come to our house in Chicago for Thanksgiving. I am so looking forward to this time of togetherness, memories and family fun!Kendra Thornton Picture

Pinterest has completely changed the way that I plan for Thanksgiving. I love having visuals to go along with recipes, and I love getting feedback from my friends on how well the recipes worked for them. Now that the kids are getting older, I like finding recipes for desserts and appetizers  that they can help prepare. While they enjoy creating yummy new recipes, it seems that everyone disappears when it’s time to clean up the kitchen. That is why I am choosing recipes with few ingredients and easy instructions.

Although I love a traditional Thanksgiving with a turkey and all the trimmings, this year I have been hunting unusual new recipes to go with our stuffing, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. After all, while Thanksgiving is not really Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie and turkey, so there is no reason that you should not try some new flavors to keep things interesting. I found a fabulous article on Gogobot that gave me some inspiration!

Pumpkin SoupI will be using these ideas as a launching point for some Thornton culinary creativity. I hope that everyone loves them, but even if these new recipes are not everyone’s absolute favorite foods, I think that having some new dishes on the table will spark some great conversations and liven up our holiday. The Orlando Waldorf Astoria will be serving up an elegant pumpkin soup to guests who are visiting on Thanksgiving Day. At the Thornton family Thanksgiving table, this velvety dish will include a little bit of lobster for an indulgent, pre-dinner treat. I can just imagine the faces of my family as they savor every drop of this amazing dish. I think that soup is the perfect way to warm everyone up on a snowy Chicago afternoon.

After figuring out the menu for Thanksgiving Day, I need to give some thought to which specific thing for which I am most thankful. Each year, one of the Thornton family traditions is to go around the table, allowing each member to share one thing that they are grateful for. The difficulty that I always have is narrowing down my choice because there are so many things that I am so very thankful for! If you are looking for a new family tradition, we won’t mind if you borrow this one. Remember, Thanksgiving is about more than turkey, football and food. It is about gratitude, family, love and sharing what we have with others who are less fortunate. I would love to hear what some of your traditions are – hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving already in Canada!Thanksgiving Table

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Except for the turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone today.   Enjoy spending time with your family and friends.   Remember to give thanks for all the wonderful people and things in your life.

I came across this cute video.  Just a bit of Thanksgiving silliness.  Hope you enjoy!

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A Canadian Thanksgiving

family thanksgivingTomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada.  This is a national holiday where families gather to give thanks for our blessings.  In other countries, such as United States, Germany and Japan, Thanksgiving is celebrated on various dates in October and November.

The Thanksgiving tradition has its roots in England during the Reformation where they held special Thanksgiving religious services.  The first Canadian Thanksgiving is traced back to 1578 when Martin Frobisher, an explorer, held a Thanksgiving celebration to thank God for allowing him to survive the long, difficult journey from England.  The early French settlers also celebrated Thanksgiving for their successful harvests.   As more settlers came to Canada, Thanksgiving celebrations became very common in the late autumn.

Thanksgiving Day in Canada is a statutory holiday (except for the maritime provinces).  Many families and friends gather together to share a special meal or take part in a family tradition which could include sports or a short vacation before winter sets in.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity for us to give thanks for all the blessings we have.  There are so many people in the world that don’t have a house to live in, enough food to eat, nice clothing to wear, a bed to sleep in or even clean, running water.   Even if we are lacking in some area, there is always something we can be thankful for.   I’m thankful for my family, my friends, my good health, my ability to write and things as simple as being able to see, hear and smell.

What are you thankful for today?

Here is an awesome video by Josh Groban called Thankful.  Enjoy and have a great Thanksgiving!