An Attitude of Gratitude

An Attitude of Gratitude

I know...it's cliche... but this month seems to remind us to keep our thankful attitudes in check. There are the meme's on Facebook that joke something like- "November... a month for everyone who complains for 11 months, to pretend they are thankful"... oh and then there's black Friday where we go crazy shopping and hurting our fellow Americans to get the best deal... just one day after spending a whole day being thankful. 

In all seriousness AND thankfulness, I feel like this month sets us up to try and not be materialistic for the following month's festivities and celebrate the reason for the season. But back to November. I have done the daily giving thanks posts on Facebook, which turns out to be SO easy really. Don't we all have far more than we ever need or possibly even imagined for ourselves and our families?! I want to start a list of the hundreds of things now... my husband, my kids, Jesus, where we live, etc, etc... But I'd run out of room and bore you all to pieces. 

I would however rather dedicate this November Thankful post to our country.. the wonderful USA!!! To me there are 2 major components to that- 

First, as Thanksgiving approaches, I think of those who founded this country, among other things, for religious freedom. We have so many freedoms to be thankful for, and honestly more opportunity each day.  

Secondly our military, still fighting for (and sometimes dying for) this great country. I'm thankful for each member of the military.. each soldier, airman, seaman, reservist (I'm sorry if I'm butchering this)... and for their families who experience sacrifice at home while their loved one serves. I'm thankful to live in a place where I can drive down the street and walk into our church to worship with like-minded believers and that across the street or the country somebody else can worship (or not) as they see fit. I can safely drive state to state to see our loved ones. I drive my kids to a school where they feel safe to learn and grow... while seeing an awesome snow-covered peak on the way. 

I'm thankful... for this country, for our military.

Happy Veteran's Day to anyone who has served. THANK YOU!!!

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone as well. Give Thanks! 

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Favorite October Activity...BOO at the ZOO!

boo at the zoo

This year it saddens me to write about this.  My daughter, age 13, is too cool to dress up and go to the zoo with me now.  But when she was younger, BOO at the Zoo was one of our favorite Halloween activities!   Our local Cheyenne Mountain Zoo hosts the event for a few weeks every October.  Children dress up in costume and go trick-or-treating at the zoo.   Giraffes and other animal exhibits are open, and you can ride the old ski lift to the top of the mountain overlooking the brilliant city lights of Colorado Springs.   Here is an excerpt from their web site:

 

Boo at the Zoo

Come See the Original Creatures of the Night!

It’ll be all treats and no tricks for your little pirates and princesses at this year’s Boo at the Zoo, the region’s most unique Halloween event. Boo at the Zoo is a fun way for families with young children to trick-or-treat and enjoy Halloween festivities in a safe environment, and all of our candy is made with sustainable palm oil to help protect wild orangutans!

Support the Zoo’s efforts to reduce waste by bringing your own trick-or-treat bag from home!
 

Dates

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, October 23 – 24 – 25
Friday & Saturday, October 30 – 31

Time

4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. – with the last ticket sold at 7:30 p.m.

Please NOTE: The Zoo will close early for day visits at 3 p.m. on all seven Boo at the Zoo evenings, with the last ticket of the day sold at 2 p.m. Guests must exit the Zoo at 3 p.m. Last Sky Ride is at 2:30 p.m. and the Shrine Road closes at 1 p.m. The Zoo will open for Boo at the Zoo at 4 p.m.

 

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Pumpkin Bread

In continuation of my "things to do in October" theme, I thought I'd post my favorite recipe for pumpkin bread.  Funny story about this one.  I received it in the mail at my house.  It was sent by a Realtor who was trying to drum up new business.  Clearly she didn't know that she was mailing it to a fellow Realtor's house.  Nonetheless, I tried it out and it happens to be a really good recipe! 

So, here ya go:

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

 

Ingredients:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter

1 1/4 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Grease one 9x5x3 loaf pan.   Put softened cream cheese, butter and sugar in mixing bowl.  Cream together well.  Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Mix in pumpkin.

 

In another bowl combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and walnuts.   Stir until thoroughly misex.  Pour all at once over batter.  Stir just enough to moisten.  Turn into greased pan.

 

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in pan.  Remove to rack to finish cooling.

 

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Jack-O Lantern Trail Walk

Jack-O Lantern Trail Walk

Another fun thing to do in October is the Jack O Lantern Trail Walk at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.  Located just South of Colorado Springs is the City of Fountain.  The Fountain Creek Nature Center includes a museum and acres of winding trails which lead through densly treed preserved land that parallels the creek.  Here is an exerpt from their web site:

 

See some Creepy Critters and take a walk on the Jack-O-Lantern Trail at the Fountain Creek Nature Center.  Trails will be lighted with pumpkins from the Pumpkin carving party held earlier in the day.  Come and see the creepy and creative designs on the trail walk.  There will also be a Creepy Critters slide show, meet a live Tarantula and receive a candy treat.  Wear your favorite costume to the event.  To create a pumpkin for the trail come to the Pumpkin Carving party that will be held on October 26 from 9 am to Noon. For more information call (719) 520-6745.

Date:  Saturday, October 26, 2013
Time:  5:30 – 7:30 pm
Location:  Fountain Creek Nature Center, 320 Peppergrass Lane
Cost:  $4.00 members,  $ 5 nonmembers

 

 

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Fun Halloween Activities

Fun Halloween Activities

As Halloween approaches, I thought it would be fun to focus on cool stuff to do during the month of October.  This last weekend, I took my 13 year old daughter to the Haunted Mines.   Located on the city's North end, is the historical mining museum.  It's open year-round and offers guests an eye opening tour of some existing mines.   Each year at Halloween they turn the mines and surrounding property into a frightening haunted house, known as the Haunted Mines.  Here is an excerpt from their web site about how the haunts work:

Who Are We?

The Haunted Mines is an all-volunteer charitable organization that raises money for the Western Museum of Mining and Industry (WMMI) and other local charities. We do this by producing a professional, thrilling Halloween event for our community’s enjoyment. We teach our volunteers valuable skills that they put to use at our events and carry with them into their adult lives.

We want to be the best Halloween haunted attraction in Colorado. We produce a thrilling and exciting event unlike any other, for adults of all ages and children (ages 13+). We use historical-based scenes and situations from the American West and America’s mining legacy as our backdrop, but with a new twist every year to keep you screaming!

 

It's a great activity for teens.   I highly recommend it, if yours are brave enough!

 

 

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