Thanksgiving Ideas You’ll Just GOBBLE Up!

just a fun collection of thanksgiving ideas to do over the holiday weekend.  sorry i didn’t get them out sooner, but i’ve been running around like a chicken turkey with my head cut off this week.   you could always make them over the weekend and use them for christmas?

Scattergories-two ways to play.  Write the alphabet down the side of the paper and they write items they are thankful for starting with each letter OR write several categories down the side of a paper and then pick a letter.  They have to write items in each category that start with that letter.   (thanksgiving food, sport on tv, item you see in a parade, etc)

I am thankful……..placemats or tablecloth.   Placemats are fun to add pictures too.  Let each child find their favorite family picts, put them on a piece of 12 x 12 cardstock, they can even write things they are thankful for.  Then laminate the entire thing.  These are fun to use at more than just the thanksgiving dinner!

Hard laminate costs a bit more but makes the placemats more sturdy.   You can even put wordsearches, crossword puzzles and holiday trivia on the placemats.  Then use dry erase markers to fill them out, wipe them off and play again!

Thankful Tablecloth-buy a new light colored tablecloth and permanent felt pens or fabric markers.   Put cardboard under the cloth and let everyone write something they are thankful for.  You can use this over and over again each year and just keep adding items you are thankful for.  It’s way more fun to look at than a boring plaid tablecloth 🙂

make a poster that reads:  WE ARE THANKFUL FOR: every time someone comes to your home throughout November, have them write what they are thankful for and who they are.  I know a girl that has her poster laminated.  She uses erasable markers so she can just wipe off the stuff at the end of the season and use the poster again next year.  (before erasing everything she jots all the items down in her journal first.)


Have family out of town? feel closer to your whole family by being of one feather! At the beginning of November, cut out paper turkey feathers and mail them to your family. Have them each write something they are thankful for on the feather and mail it back.   By the time Thanksgiving arrives, you should have a turkey FULL of grateful feathers from your whole family!  this can also work for a paper christmas tree with paper ornaments.


Our family’s favorite traditions on thanksgiving are doing a puzzle together and going to a movie.   Before the meal, while the food is being prepared we have a table set up for a big puzzle.  Half the fun is finding the perfect puzzle!  You don’t want it too hard you can’t finish and the kids can’t help but you also don’t want a 25 piece one that can be finished before the rolls are even cooked!    Target has a set of Disney puzzles for 13.00 that are awesome.  I think there are 8 puzzles in one box!  Eric Dowdle puzzles are also great.  Especially the gingerbread house one!  (can you find the elvis or marilyn Monroe gingerbread people?)  From kids to grandparents we love putting together puzzles as a family.


Arrange the children/players in a circle. Pass a “thankerchief” (handkerchief) around the circle, as everyone recites this poem:

Thankerchief, thankerchief, around you go —
Where you’ll stop, nobody knows.
But when you do, someone must say,
What they are thankful for on this day.

The player holding the “thankerchief” when the poem ends, must
say aloud, one thing for which they are thankful. This continues until
everyone has had their turn.


Turkey Hunt !
Hunt quietly, you don’t want to scare the turkeys…
Prepare for the game by drawing or pasting turkey pictures on a dozen
or so index cards – stickers will work as well.
To play, everyone leaves the room except the leader. The leader hides
the cards around the room. Hunters return and begin the hunt.
As each turkey is found, it is brought back to the leader who corrals
them in a separate pile for each hunter. When all the turkeys have been found, the hunter with the most turkeys is the winner and becomes the leader for the next round.
Let your children make the cards before the Holiday. They’ll find lots of magazine pictures and can color some as well!

Where is Mr. Turkey?
Instead of saying “warmer…cooler” you gobble?
One player is the farmer and the others are helpers. The farmer leaves
the room. The helpers hide a small toy turkey. The farmer returns with a mission to find the turkey. Helpers give clues by “gobbling” like turkeys.
If the farmer is far away from the turkey, the helpers gobble very quietly. As the hunter gets closer to the turkey, the helpers gobble will increase in volume until Mr. Turkey is found!  Don’t forget the video camera!


Bird, Beast, or Fish
You have to think fast for this game.
Everyone sits facing the leader. The leader points to one of the players and says either “BIRD,” “BEAST,” or “FISH.” The chosen player must come up with the name of an animal that fits the category before the leader counts to ten. No repeating! If the player does not respond in time,
she is out. The game continues until only one player remains.
As you can guess, after a few rounds it can be hard to think of
an animal that has not already been mentioned!


my favorite turkey craft ever!   Copytec has these little guys in a set, so i just go buy them all from there.  they are a little plastic cup turkey with a string that hangs down with a piece of sponge.  you wet the sponge and slide it down the string to make your turkey gobble!   they are a great craft and you will LOVE a whole family of turkeys gobbling around your home.

i am grateful for each and every one of you that make a difference at manila and support the pta.   here’s wishing you and yours a super turkey day!


The Time Of Giving

the following books are must reads during the week of thanksgiving.  i’m sure i’ve mentioned them before but they are worthy of several mentions on the book review posts!

the giving tree by shel silverstein as a child i always thought this book was just plain sad.  my heart ached for the tree and how it gave and gave and gave and gave and the boy took and took and took and took.    as an adult i can see the many lessons learned in this sweet story of give and take.    this world would be a beautiful place if everyone just focused on giving instead of receiving.

the quiltmaker’s gift by jeff brumbeau i think i shared this book already, but it’s really one of my favorites.  it shares the story of a quiltmaker who refuses to sell her quilts but insists on giving them to the poor and needy.   one of the main characters is a greedy king who offers to do anything to get one of these famous quilts and a beautiful story of charity, love and selflessness are shared as the story progresses.   when i give blankets as gifts, i like to include this storybook because the message needs to be shared with the world!

the little red hen makes a pizza by philomen sturges and amy walrod this is a upbeat version of the classic tale.   as a parent i enjoyed it much more than the original.  it teaches the same moral about helping one another and sharing, but it does it in a humorous way.   i saw a bit of myself in the little red hen when she goes to the store for certain items and comes home with lots of extra things that weren’t on her list.    sound familiar?   it’s a fun story to read more than once, so cuddle up and plan on a second helping!

amelia bedelia talks turkey by lynn sweat amelia bedilia books are so funny!  they tell of a ditzy housekeeper who mixes everything up all the time.  she takes things so literally that she makes a mess of every situation.    when asked to ‘draw the drapes’ she pulls out a piece of paper and draws a gorgeous picture of the dining room drapes!  you can imagine  what happens, when she’s asked to ‘dress the turkey’!  there are several in the series, but in amelia bedilia talks turkey,  amelia directs the school play.  she misinterprets every homonym, slips on every pun and creates a masterpiece of mistakes.   it has nothing to do about giving, receiving or sharing…..but i figured you’d just ‘gobble’ up the silliness!

happy thanksgiving and don’t forget to read over the weekend!

teee-riffic turkey!

with thanksgiving this week, i figured i’d share the way my family eats turkey.  this is the only way we make turkey at our home and the only way i remember ever eating turkey growing up.   it’s never dry, always juicy and makes the best gravy ever!   as a matter of fact, i think it’s one of the main reasons my husband asked me to marry him……but once you taste it yourself, you’ll understand why he fell in love   (with me and the turkey!)   🙂

here’s to everyone having a GREAT THANKSGIVING and spending time with your loved ones.  from the bottom of my heart and in my most sincere voice……i hope you all GO STUFF YOURSELVES!

Mom’s Teeeerific Turkey!

*First time turkey cookers read everything and thank me later.  Experienced bird ladies can just thank me for giving them the best turkey recipe ever-and I’m not kidding!!!!!

Thaw 18-22 lb turkey in cold water for time suggested on bird.  I’ll turn the bird occasionally and change the water also.

Cut wire to open legs or be smart and buy the turkey without the wire, just the plastic hook.

Rinse w/ warm water to get out giblets and neck part.  This part isn’t so fun, but make sure you have everything out.  Rinse well inside and out.

Place in roasting pan breast side up.  Pour 4 cups sprite, 2 cups soy sauce and 1/3 cup oil over bird.

That’s it!  No salt, pepper or tying the legs.  Easy, eh?!

Put lid on pan and bake at 350 for suggested time. (usually 20min. per lb)

One hour before you are ready to serve the bird take it out of the oven. Remove the lid and let it cool for 20min. so you can actually touch it.  Take bird out of pan and pour juice into a strainer to collect ‘extra stuff’.

Discard extra stuff in strainer and pour juice back into roasting pan.  Now remove all meat from the bones and toss into the roasting pan with the juice. Tear big pieces into smaller ones so they’ll soak up the juice too.  Cover and return to oven for addtnl 30 min.  you can serve the turkey two different ways.  For a potluck I just put the roasting pan on the table and let people take the meat out of the juice.

For thanksgiving I strain the meat out of the juice and put the roaster right on two stovetop burners.  Whisk ½ cup cornstarch in 1 cup water and pour into gravy.  Whisk gravy over med-high heat until thickened then serve over turkey and mashed potatoes.

It’s really great when you dip homemade cresent rolls into it.  Hungry yet?

You’ll never make a boring old turkey again after having this one.

a turkey for me and a turkey for you……….


thanks to everyone who bought tickets to the princess and the frog last week.  we have less than 10 tickets left and then the theater is sold out!  if you are interested in those tickets, shoot me an email before they are gone.

mark your calendars for dec. 12th it’s going to be a great day at the movies!

mom’s bring your BIG purses because you will need somewhere to put all the little prizes we’ll be handing out.

thanks again for supporting our pta family fun events!

HOP over to Manila’s Movie Day Dec. 12th

a princess? a frog? popcorn! and fun!   tickets on sale……so run, run, run, run!    tickets are officially on sale!!!!

saturday, dec. 12th at 12:30pm our manila families will fill a theater to watch disney’s the princess and the frog at thanksgiving point theater in lehi. tickets are $5.50 per person and must be purchased ahead of time.  checks only, no cash.  please make checks out to manila pta

seating is limited and on a first come, first serve basis.   all seats are assigned, so if you’d like to sit by your neighbor i suggest you come purchase your tickets together. 😉

VERY IMPORTANT: please do not send a check with your student to the school to pay for tickets.  with the way the seating works tickets must be paid for and picked up by a responsible adult.  i apologize for any inconvenience but this is the only way i can guarantee the tickets will make it to your home.

once again, tickets and seat assignments will be handed out at time of purchase, so adults must purchase tickets in person. (or have another adult purchase their tickets for them.)

FREE POSTERS, FREE PRIZES, FREE GIVEAWAYS!!!!!  HUGE, HUGE, HUGE, THANKS TO RADIO DISNEY FOR DONATING SO MANY PRIZES! we will hand out lots of free goodies at the movie, so plan on a family fun event!

radio disney also donated tons of princess and the frog posters to hand out.  we will give one poster to each family upon ticket purchase.  hopefully this will keep your little ones ‘happily hoppin around’ until dec. 12th.

the ticket booth will be set up inside the front doors of the school by the library.   you can purchase tickets this week, wed, thurs and fri 30min before and after each track of school.   (7:30am-8:00am,   8:45am-9:15am, 2:15pm-2:45pm and 3:30pm-4:00pm)    if we sell out before friday, the ticket booth will not remain open.  watch for ticket sales updates on the blog

seeing as this is a pta sponsored event, please address all questions to myself at and not to the sweet secretaries at the school.  i hate to tie up their phone lines.    thanks again for supporting pta!    we’ll see you at the movies!

Plus Also……She’s My Bestest!

i have a ‘nouncement to make…….a ‘nouncement is the school word for listen to me….and I MEAN it.  🙂

ok, ok, ok, i know that isn’t proper english at all and sounds a bit bratty, but it comes from one of my favorite series of books.  JUNIE B. JONES.   “the B stands for beatrice, except i don’t like beatrice.  i just like B and that’s all!”

isn’t she great?!   junie b. jones are written by barbara park

a lot of people don’t like the junie books because her english is awful, she uses big words that are hard to pronounce for younger children and always used in the wrong way, plus also, she’s kind of a know-it-all……but i love her!  these books are so fun to read out loud , plus also, will hold people’s attention because junie is the bestest at being funny.   there are tons of books in the series and they are all hilarious.

if you are going for perfect grammar, correct spelling and a classic storyline, these aren’t the books for you because you are a big meanie!  BUT……if you want to spend an afternoon laughing with your child, reading about an adorable little girl that loves handsome warren, is a party animal or smells something fishy Junie B. Jones is the girl for you that’s why!

junie starts in kindergarten and works her way up to first grade.  there are over 30 books in the series and they are all so funny.  just like the pigeon books from last week, junie books will have your child emphasizing certain words over others because the way she talks.  they are definitely more fun to read out loud than any other children’s book series.

the best place to buy junie b. jones books are from the scholastic book orders or website.  junie books are often times sold as a set with several paperbacks for a really great price.   they’d make a super christmas gift!  only too bad for you if you don’t get them!

i just hope you listen to me and go and buy them already cause books are my favorite things in the whole world and i mean it!  nuff said!

and the winners are……..


huge thanks to everyone who entered our disney on ice giveaway,  we had a great response!   names were drawn during school announcements this morning and the 5 winning families are:

Bryan and Marilynn Koehler

Chad and Alison Carr

Rory and Paula Henrie

Bryan and Shauna Wright

Mark and Robyn Evans

if you didn’t win and would like to take your little princesses to Disney on Ice Princess Classics, tickets are still available for purchase through the Energy Solutions Arena Box Office.  801-355-SEAT  or through

the show runs from Wed. Nov. 11th through Sun. Nov. 15th   if you’ve never seen a disney on ice show before they are wonderful!

the best way to describe disney on ice is……picture the amazing parades you see walking down the middle of main street u.s.a. in disneyland?   now picture all those beautiful characters and costumes wearing ice skates!   it’s brilliant!

thanks again for reading the blog, being supportive and making a difference at manila!


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