Is there a Thanksgiving “Season”? Three ways to make the most out of November.

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We are busy.

I was corrected the other day when I exclaimed, “I can’t believe it is November already!”

The woman within earshot of my comment quickly jumped in and touted, “No, you can’t believe it is Christmas already…”

It is true.  The time between Halloween and Christmas goes quick.  We stop only for a brief moment to take a day off, stuff ourselves with Turkey and now, unfortunately, use the day to trample over our neighbor  to get the deal on the big screen TV.

Not for me.  Not the way our family rolls.

Why not take the time to prepare for Thanksgiving?

Just like for Advent/Christmas, I think the busy weeks heading up to Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reassess family and personal goals, list blessings, think about the needs of others and truly get ready to come together and “give thanks”.


Here are  a couple of ideas you can do at home.

1.  The Family Mission Statement

Our family did this some years ago, but it has been a life saver for us.  It is a way to give our family purpose and above all helps me explain to our children why we do the things we do…..”it is a part of our mission”.

Over dinner have each person answer these three simple questions:

 *When people describe our family what do you think they say?

      *If we were a famous family what would be most known for doing?

       *Say three words that describe our family

These questions will get the conversation going.  Write down the results and then try and come up with a catchy sentence that can serve as your overall mission statement.   Then, hang that baby up on the wall! family mission  statement

This statement encompassed a bunch of things for us….how we treat each other, how we treat others, hospitality, neatness, faith, fun and so on.  This took ten minutes to make and an old frame…..

2. List Blessings

Ok.  The most thinking that goes on in my house is well….

in the bathroom.

The picture doesn’t show the exact location of this, but a simple board and pen where family members can list what they are thankful for can help slow things down and remind us of the abundant gifts we enjoy in our daily lives.


It is also a way for other family members to read the list and feel cherished.

And in my house, it makes potty time a bit more cerebral…..

3. Of course, do a Thanksgiving Craft.

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For this cute place card I downloaded an image of a Turkey (or you could do the ol’ trace the kiddo’s hand turkey cut out), covered a clothespin with scrapbook paper and viola….a  template to write notes of thanks.

Now here is the secret…

DON’T WAIT UNTIL THANKSGIVING DAY TO DO THIS….! Have these at your family table now, so that on Thanksgiving Day you will all have a complete “Thanking Turkey” to adorn your table.

Wishing you a very mindful Thanksgiving Season….dcb


1 + 100 = a BIG thank you give away!


The High Note is celebrating one year and over 100 followers!

A big thank you to all of you for supporting this fun adventure….

And as a very small token of my gratitude I am giving away a package of some of the goodies the High Note has done this year!

Shredded Antique Sheet Music

Custom Note Cards


a Music Wrapped Candle

                                     winter13 116      summer12 214    spring12 423

Like this post and/or leave a comment here to enter!

Winner will be announced Monday 4/22!


“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Gilbert K. Chesterton

The Friday How-to: Prayer Boxes



So…it’s Friday!

As many of you know, I have three wonderful kiddos….ages 7, 9 and (almost) 11.  My eleven year old daughter is part of an amazing group of 5th grade girls.  What mother doesn’t worry about their young girls growing up?  I am often wrought with anxiety over whether or not my girls will make it through their tweens and teens relatively unscathed.

My anxiousness has become assuaged however, by this group of bright, insightful virtuous young women that surprisingly makes up the entire population of 5th grade girls at my daughter’s school.   This is a rarity today….indeed.

Under the inspiration and guidance of a friend of mine, these girls have started a group.  This group  entitled “Growing with Grace”, is  to ironically, help them to become even stronger and  more empowered as girls.    They talk about a wide range of issues including bullying, self-image/puberty, friendship, leadership and their faith.   Each of them have expressed a desire for a safe place to not only talk about their own stuff, but are using this group as a vehicle to learn how to lift each other up….exercising respect, denouncing exclusion and pronouncing grace-filled acceptance of one another.  

Their activity in the group last night (which I was honored to be a part of) was to create prayer boxes.  I wish this idea was my own, but I received the inspiration from a store bought item and from a craft Katherine at Pillows-a-la-mode did this summer upcycling old Altoid tins.  You can check her creation out here.

The concept was for the girls to have a place to not only write their own prayers down, but to write down the prayer needs of others.  

So…we all decorated the empty Altoid boxes with washi tape and flower/gem embellishments, put small sticky note pads/markers in them and all the girls had a unique way to quickly journal any intentions on their hearts for themselves or someone else.

My daughter is apparently praying for a better math grade…..I have to say I really do love this age!!


With all the news about those kids who are being touted as the demise of our current society….here is some good news about 24 girls who are thankfully…

growing with grace.

have a blessed weekend…..dcb

Craft Camp–Wrap up

wow!  what a week!  what a fun few days we had doing the first annual “Craft Camp”!

Just a few highlights…..

Here is some salvaged plywood painted with chalkboard paint that served as the Welcome sign and also the place where the day’s activities were posted (in my kitchen no less…)

Remember the place mats from last week’s how-2?  Happen to notice that it included a menu?  Here is a sample of breakfast one morning….a nice treat for the girls who love all things fancy….

We learned how to make…..



MUSIC COVERED INITALS (or an introduction to the world of Modge Podge)



I have to credit Pillows a-la mode for this cute idea.  Check out her cloth place mat bags here.

There were Craft Camp t-shirts to sign with fabric pens and foot/hand painted canvases to decorate with bright paint

and…lots and lots of giggles and imagination.

Already talk of Craft Camp 2013….

I will let the happy residue of the last few days sit with me a bit before thinking about that….

have a great week’s end.


The Friday How-2….Craft Camp place mat

Happy, Happy Friday everyone!

So, DIY number uno for the upcoming camp of crafting…..

Besides posting our craft and other activities on a big chalkboard in the kitchen, the girls and I decided that we would also make place mats that  would have this and other pertinent info…..namely, the all important menu.

the above is merely a print out of the menu/activities from my computer attached to a 12 x12 piece of scrapbook  paper. I inserted the paper into a clear scrapbook sleeve and did a quick stitch all the way around on my sewing machine.   You could also seal the open edge with double-sided tape….works just as well.

I took a hole punch to punch a hole through a piece of ribbon and the paper to insert the flower brad/ribbon.  I used this ribbon to tie on a dry erase marker.  The girls can then write on the place mat or have fun doodling during meal times.

so for you grown-ups not attending this year’s CC….here is a nice touch to your summer lunch table…

same concept….except i cut my scrapbook paper down to 8 1/2″ x 11″ , printed my image directly on to the paper and then ran it through my laminator.    I did a similar project a few months ago that also involved this technique.  you can also use old photo album/scrapbook sleeves with double-sided tape if you do not have access to lamination.

 Use a dry erase marker to write in your menu…keep and reuse!


have a great weekend!


Craft Camp

or “CC” for short.  a kid’s diy dream….a mother’s diy night terror bigger dream.  an idea my two daughter’s thought up in the spring because dear mother is so “crafty” . 

so beginning on sunday and going for two nights and three days….four girls…hot summer and hot glue…we will do craft camp.

of course i have to blog it….you may one day find yourself in the throws of one such “camp” yourself. 

oh and btw….i refused to don the bandana and whistle….in case you were wondering.

design by daughters ellie and cecilia (10 & 8)