giving thanksSome days, you just gotta say, “Thanks.” I’m ungrateful for so many good things in my life that I need to remind myself of the good stuff, like friends, family and fun.

I’m reminded of these things largely because we just celebrated Thanksgiving together as a family. We traveled this year to Chicago, where my husband’s people live. We hung out, went to a great playdate with my old high-school pal, ate too many pecan snowball cookies and laughed.

I’m also reminded by a longtime friend, who is posting a “thankful” status update every day in November on her Facebook page. She has been grateful for her husband, her 5-year-old daughter, her job as an online teacher (former lawyer turned professor) and, most recently, her faith in a Higher Being. It’s been inspirational reading her posts, and it has made me want to do the same.

So, here are a few things I am thankful for this season. I’m thankful that I have a husband, two kids and a fulfilling job. I’m thankful for a roof over my head, food on my table and a working furnace. I’m thrilled to have many kind friends and even a few amazing ones. I’m so happy to have a working car, a great teacher for my son’s kindergarten class and my daughter’s preschool. (I’m most grateful for the couple hours I get a week to goof around when they’re both in school.)

I could go on and on. And I guess that’s the point. We have only a few weeks now between Thanksgiving and the holiday I celebrate, Christmas. That means a lot of preparation in our house, mostly because my brother and his family are coming into town. So I’m truly blessed this year – great times during November, even better times ahead for December.

I’m also thankful for things that occupy my mind – like this blog – and things that occupy my children. As a result, I’m inspired to share my favorite recipe…for play dough. Make some tonight for your kids if you can. I promise some quiet moments as they knead, pound and play. That’s worth more than any turkey leg or present under the tree to me.

Classic Play Dough

3 cups flour

1.5 cups salt

6 tsp. cream of tarter

3 tbsp. oil

3 cups water

Pour all ingredients into a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until a dough ball forms by pulling away from the sides. Knead dough until the texture matches play dough (1-2 minutes). Store in plastic container. Should last for at least 3 months.

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