Category Archives: GrandView



There are a million references for how to COOK Thanksgiving dinner, but not as much can be found on how to be an excellent guest-slash-consumer.  Most people know to ask, “Is there anything I can do to help?” This is just the beginning.  For the love of peace and harmony, if they say “No, I’ve got it,” then leave them be.  If they want your help, they’ll ask for it again so don’t get too entrenched in what you are doing instead.

  1. As the meal is being prepared, please stay far, far away from the prep area, but close enough to materialize immediately when summoned for random tasks such as stirring, fetching, tossing carcasses and Stove Top boxes, and carrying irreplaceable delicate breakables to the table without dropping. Be sure to ask EXACTLY where they go.
  2. Do not under any circumstances throw anything away such as: butter wrappers, gently used paper towels, empty jelly jars, egg shells or banana peels. These deceptively crucial items WILL BE USED. Where and when are classified– on a Need To Know basis.
  3. If you get hungry, thirsty, rowdy, clumsy or bored at any time during the meal prep, enter the Meal Prep Zone with all your affairs in order and at your own peril. It is wise to have a trusted advisor or professional counselor on speed dial for follow up after the inevitable verbal assault.
  4. Once the meal is fully ready and on display, guests should materialize from thin air with clean hands and heart for Genuine Family Fellowship.
  5. Fill your plate and return at least once until all food is consumed. If any leftovers are present, lots will be cast along with sideways glances to determine who takes home the good stuff for Black Friday lunch.
  6. Children leaving “perfectly good food” on their plates shall receive a timely lecture on gratitude, world poverty, and may potentially be force fed, for which it is understood there will be a high level of amazement and wondrous awe for the trouble and expense the cook went to for the family. This also applies to grandchildren.
  7. Dinner commentary must at some point include the following:

~Specific “thank you” to the cook or preparer of each dish along with meaningful specific original complement.

~Moaning and other sounds of pleasure during consumption—but not exaggerated, sarcastic or creepy.

~Random comments about the taste (positive)

WARNING:  Do NOT under ANY circumstances follow a “thank you” with a barrage of compliments from around the table.  The timing of the gratitude is of the utmost importance.  Sincerity is of epic significance but must be appropriately spaced throughout the meal.  Use the following simple mathematical equation to quickly determine when to thank your Thanksgiving cook(s). 

Original Primary Thankful Response = Prayer + 2 minutes after 1st bite consumed

Subsequent Affirmations = Number of People at the Table / divided by ½ distance between each guest x :30 second intervals alternating +/- :12 sec to show spontaneity.

It is most polite to wait and let the newest guest offer their Grateful Comment first, then begin the pattern outlined above.  A helpful foot nudge under the table can assist those who struggle with math or  eat too fast.

The Kids Table should be encouraged to follow this modified equation:

Oldest and/or The One Who Ate The Most = Primary Feedback Presenter

Then gratitude expressions continue in no particular order and should end with the youngest mobile child who talks (for cuteness purposes).

8. Under no circumstances can a grandchild take only one kind of food offered (i.e. mac & cheese). This will render gratitude Null & Void and cause The Greatest Generation to question the child’s patriotism. Thanks offered from The Child Who Only Took One Food Item will render all remaining Expressions of Gratitude for the rest of the grandchildren as empty and not applicable and may result in subsequent meals with increased undesirable stewed vegetables and the unavoidable parental lecture on the drive home.

9.  There shall be no less than 93 minutes AFTER the last dish is cleaned, dried and put away before anyone can utter any of the following words: hungry, thirsty, dessert, breakfast, snack, plate, cup, ice, starving, cereal, Goldfish crackers, chips, salsa. It is strongly encouraged that you nap or vacate the premises during this time period.

Thanksgiving success is not an exact science, but these timely tips can be applied to gatherings of any size.    May we all be the kind of guests that we would welcome into our own homes—gracious, thoughtful, refined & sincere.

Intentional Pajamas


How sad am I.  I just went to Target at 6:45.  Wanna know what I got?


travel shampoo & conditioner

travel deoderant

travel toothbrushes

and some Intentional Pajamas.

NO Christmas bargains.  NO ripsticks or ipod accessories or RockBandWorldTourAndThenSome2009.  Just plain ol’ necessities for me.  I know.  Too weird.  Whatever.

It occured to me yesterday (about 23+ years late, probably) that there are some key times in a Grown Woman’s life that it is crucial to wear Intentional Pajamas.  One’s honeymoon would be a good example, but we’re not going there.

I’m talking about Thanksgiving morning, when you want to be comfy as long as possible, but you also have a pile of stuff to be doing (during the commercials of the parade), such as leafing through the bonus newspaper flyers and collected mail catalogs.   Or Christmas morning when you know you’ll be in photos with bed head that are looked at and laughed at for generations to come.  At least the PJs can be new, right?

Also Intentional Pajamas are good for visiting Ye Olde Extended Family.  Which we are doing this weekend beginning later today.  There will be 20 of us under one roof.  Some related, some not.  Some have been around for a while, others have not.  So off to Target I went for Intentional Pajamas.

I’m sure you know what I mean by IPJs but let me just explain, in case you have always grasped the concept and it is not a new thought for you at age 40.  “Pajamas” is a loose term, in my head, as well as the noggins of my offspring meaning “whatever clothes you fell asleep on the couch in.”  I freely admit that most if not all of my clothes are so comfortable that I have worn at least part of them to bed on countless occasions.  But this won’t do for Holiday Extended Family Lolling, which, I can only hope, will happen tomorrow, Saturday, November 29, 2008 at the Grand View.

So the BoyKid got a robe.  I got some thermal pants with cute snowflakes and skiiers on them and some fuzzy socks, since we’ll more than likely be sleeping on the floor.  I believe everyone else is covered.  The girls are pretty up on their sleepwear fashions.  The Big Boy can sleep in soccer shorts & a tee shirt.  That’s not a battle I care to fight.

But I gots me some IPJs.

…to grandmother’s house we go!



For years and years and years (even before I knew them, but all throughout my 20+ years with the family) my Parents In Law have talked about making a home on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC.  Well, somehow, someway, by the grace of God and their attention to detail, that dream has now become a reality.  Still serving in the ministry after 45 years, Grand and G-Daddy have made their very first permanent home, and it is a doozy!  I feel so privileged to be able to benefit from their years of planning and vision.  All of us are sharing in their well-earned and much deserved joy as they open their gorgeous home to us for the first of many fun family memories.  It’s like we could almost visibly see the hand of God moving as they were transitioning from south FL to western NC the very same weeks we were packing up our MI home for the VA coast.  It is an easy 6 hour drive to them from both Atlanta and Virginia Beach that all agree is worth every minute of “stoptouchingme!”

GDaddy & Grand on Bald Mountain, NC

GDaddy & Grand on Bald Mountain, NC

We had a wonderful time not only with the Grands, but also with our Atlanta Cuzzins.  (The Houston contingent was sorely missed)


Here’s what greets you when you enter the front door:

Two levels of Bee-EEE-AAAAA-UUUUUUUUtifulness meets the eye immediately everywhich direction you care to turn.  Check out the stacked stone fireplace:

Walk straight through to the kitchen, AKA:  Grand’s Domain of Yummy Goodness.  See the giant chocolate chip cookie bar?  Can you smell the fudge sauce?  Behold the fresh lemon pie! 

Q: How’s that pie like my hand?

(It’s got “ma rang” on it.)   I don’t quite fit in here, but they love me anyway.  See how gracious they are?

If you can pull yourself away from the kitchen sweets & smells, you can meander on out to the screened-in porch where it is a perfect 70something degrees and breezy.

And…oh….the….view!  Be still my heart:

Saturday evening when we got there it was a tad hazy, but GDaddy says that on clear days you can see 80 miles out.  The altitude here is 4000 feet. 

marching upward to Zion

marching upward to Zion

HELLOOOOoooooooo down there!  

HERE’S what it looked like at sunrise on Sunday am:

I mean, come ON.  That is one GOOOOOOD God! 

He makes everything glorious. 

He makes EVERYthing glorious.  He makes EVERYTHING GLORIOUS! 

(and YOU are His!  What does that make YOU?  I’m just sayin’…)

On with the tour.  The master suite is to the left of the kitchen, past the stairs going to the lower level.

  To the right of the bedroom is a sitting room for Grand:

  To the left of the bed is a massive bathroom with Water Closet, Walk Around Shower and a make up area.  Check out the unique coolness factor of these flower shaped rugs:

Yes, that’s my camera-loving son again (wondering why in the world I would take pictures without him in them).  He totally would have sat down and acted like he was putting on his grandmother’s make-up.


INSIDE the bathroom!  What a concept!

INSIDE the bathroom! What a concept!

How do you like it so far?  AWE.  SOME.  N’est ce pas?  But wait, there’s more….