Thankful Tree: A Schmitt House Interpetation

I think the blogosphere pretty well covered this project last year, but the my house did not get around to it then. This year, however, I’m happy to report The Schmitt House has incorporated a new tradition into the month of November. A thankful tree!

If you’ve never heard of a thankful tree, the premise is simple; You begin with a bare ‘tree’ and add ‘leaves’. On each leaf is a little note about what you (or whoever) is thankful for.

Every day, I force  everyone takes a minute and tries to think of one thing they are grateful for. No repeating allowed (my rule).It’s really cute to ask Kennedy what she’s thankful for, she started out with answers like “Tinkerbelle” and “Fruit snacks” but recently she’s shifted her responses to be more people-oriented, like “Papa.” It seems even the two-year-old is getting something out of our new tradition! By the way-, she has yet to say she is thankful for Mommy, but I didn’t really expect it, anyway. I’m have another twenty years before she feels any gratitude toward me.)

As for the construction, it was super easy. I went outside, gathered a bunch of sticks and tied one end together with a ribbon. Then I poured some coffee beans in a vase and stuck my stick bouquet in. For the leaves, I used a circle punch and a hole punch on some left over fall-ish colored card stock. Then I grabbed a bunch of sharpies (also fall-ish themed) and stuck them in the coffee beans too. Easy peasy.

I’m so proud of myself for doing this! Every year I say I’m going to go all out, and really make the house magical for the holidays. And every year it seems we barely get our tree up in time for Christmas Eve, much less set up a mantle, or hang mistletoe… Heck, we are lucky get the all Christmas presents wrapped in time! So this my friends is a new beginning for the holiday season!

It’s a great tradition! (I’ll be sad to see it go!) What holiday traditions have you started? Did you do a thankful tree? Or are there any traditions you’ve been meaning to start, but haven’t gotten around to it? Can you believe turkey day is only about a week away? Where did the time go?


Our Holiday

Ok, slap my hand, I have been a bad blogger. It’s been a while, so thanks for not forgetting about me! Progress on the bathroom has been slow, my photography challenge has experienced a bit of a hiccup, and my father came to visit so I spent all my time in the real world instead of the blogosphere.

His visit started with a trip to Toys’R’Us, where he spoiled the little lady rotten. Kennedy is obsessed with Sesame Street, and her new favorite is the Let’s Rock! Elmo. You should see her boogie down when Elmo does his thing!

We also got her a bubble machine. Magical.

Then we went to the Audubon Zoo, in New Orleans. Audubon is a fabulous zoo. It is almost totally outside, and you get great views of all the animals.


We saw lions…

And elephants…

And giraffes…

And, of course, monkeys…


Kennedy learned the word ‘animal’ (which sounds a lot like Elmo)


We fed the ducks… (That is my Dad)

We compared our hands to the black bear’s (the black bear won size wise)

And for the finale, we watched the sea lion show. Kennedy was more impressed with Grandpa than the Sea Lions

The other highlight was Thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to do so much more, create new traditions( like maybe a thankful tree), put together a fancy table setting, decorate the house with harvesty goodness. But with all the typical craziness and lack of planning that rules my life, none of that happened. Our dinner consisted simply of good family, good friends, good food and a bit of good football. Turns out that was all we needed for a perfectly lovely day.  We mixed it up by celebrating on Friday. Our only decor was this giant turkey balloon that floated haphazardly around the house. Kennedy points at it and say ‘Gobble!’ It is pretty adorable.

Then there was the real turkey. It was tasti-tasti-tasty!

The turkey was accompanied by creamed spinach, creamed sweet potato with apple topping, green bean casserole, bacon mashed potatoes, 5 meat dirty rice and popovers. All delish.

Kennedy was strangely quiet during dinner. Her mouth full of food.

And then there was pie… what’s a little Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, but something wasn’t quite right, I realized later that I forgot to add sugar when I made it. Woops.

That was our week. Hope your dinner was a wonderful as mine. Next year I’ll get to the decorating and tradition making. Any suggestions? What do you do to make your thanksgiving a little extra special?

This week is going to be just as busy as last week. Hopefully it won’t be another week before my next post!