Category Archives: Family

Memory Monday – A Thanksgiving Laugh

My parents are divorced so most holidays we’ll celebrate with them separately and not necessarily on the actual holiday itself. This memory happened several years ago while my Mom was visiting from out of state.

It was a combined Thanksgiving/Christmas visit so I had prepared a typical Thanksgiving dinner for us to enjoy: turkey, potatoes and gravy, stuffing, rolls… the works!

Turkey Dinner

It was a great meal and we enjoyed getting caught up.  This was back before we were all on Facebook so there was plenty to talk about and stories to tell.

My Mom had finished her plate and was contemplating getting seconds.  She surveyed the table and said, “Hmmm.  What does Grandma need?”

“A husband,” my oldest daughter said in a serious tone without missing a beat.  She was probably 5 or 6 at the time.

There was a moment of silence as everyone around the table took in the brief conversation that had just taken place. That was followed by laughter.  Lots of laughter.  The kind of laughter that brings tears to your eyes.

My daughter didn’t quite seem to understand why it was so funny but she laughed along too.  My wife said I should write it down and send it in to a parenting magazine for their “funny stories” page.

I never got around to doing that… but it’s OK.  At least I could share it with you here.

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Learning To Save Money

There are so many things that I like about this true story I’m about to share with you! I figure the best thing to do is just tell the story and add some commentary at the end.

Learning To Save Money

For the past few years or so my girls have gotten regular doses of Dave Ramsey and his teachings. My wife and are Financial Peace University graduates and both listen to his podcasts on a regular basis. My kids overhear more than they’d probably like.

We also follow his recommendations on teaching our kids a about money. That would include them getting paid commissions for the work they do each week instead of an allowance handout. That commission money is split into 3 envelopes: giving, saving,and spending.

It’s the saving and spending money that is featured in this story. One way you can do this is through energy comparison to see if you can get a better deal on your monthly bills. You see, for several years my youngest has wanted an iPad. With some of the amazing things that you can do on iPad’s nowadays, it’s no wonder why so many people want them. Did you know that you can print from your ipad now? That’s what she chose to save for. All her commissions and any money she got for birthdays or holidays went in the savings envelope. You absolutely must make sure your energy provider is giving you the best idea. The amount of money we were wasting before we realised this! click here to find out more if you want to save money on your energy bills.

She spent a little money here and there on Lego Minifigures but she kept focused on her goal of buying her own iPad. Amazon became a place for her to research what she wanted for both the iPad and a case for it.

Her research intensified the past few weeks as she realized she was getting close to having saved enough money to make the purchase; $500.

Finally, the time came and she was ready! Her plan was to buy it the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. She didn’t have school and my wife had the day off. Plus, she was worried the one she wanted might be harder to find the closer it got to Christmas.

She walked into the electronics area of Target and found a clerk. My wife stayed in the background and let our daughter discuss the transaction. She let him know she wanted to buy a 64 GB gold iPad 4. From my wife’s vantage point she could tell the Target employee was impressed with her knowing exactly what she wanted.

She explained that she had been researching them and intended to pay cash for it… her own money that she had saved. It’s at this point the Target employee said something unexpected.

“I can’t sell this to you today,” he said. “I mean I could but if you come back tomorrow at 6pm when the store opens Thanksgiving night you’ll be able to buy it for the same price immune system case study buffalo click enter causes and effects essay structure enter site computer science dissertation example rogerian argument essay example follow source site report essay pmr history essay writing service law school essay writing service what makes a person an american essay generico de viagra chile go essay about internet and library viagra nachlassende wirkung buy viagra in spain can i pay someone to write my paper source to write a novel of your own do my algebra homework for me go site source assignment help sri lanka source site and it will come with a $100 Target gift card. I’ll put your name on it and hold it behind the counter for you.”

She had waited so long another 24 hours wasn’t going to hurt especially since it meant getting the unexpected $100 gift card. She gave the associate her name and left thrilled, not deflated that she was still without her iPad.

The next night my daughter and I arrived at the Target at 5:50. There was a line across the parking lot. Several hundred people impatiently waiting for the store to open. We waited in the car for a few moments before joining them.

Black Friday line at Target

The Target security crew did a fantastic job getting everyone in the store safely to shop. By 6:10 we were inside standing in the iPad line.

Black Friday shopping at Target

My daughter was beyond excited but frustrated at the slow moving line. Thirty minutes later she was at the front of the line.

I stood back and let her make the purchase. This associate was also impressed with the confidence my daughter displayed in stating exactly what she wanted. “You’re a girl after my own heart,” she said.

Girl buying an iPad with cash

My daughter pulled her envelopes out and laid the cash on the counter. She got her $100 Target gift card, her receipt, and her bag containing her iPad. “Congrats on your purchase. Enjoy it,” The Target employee said as my daughter walked away with a huge smile on her face.

Just bought a new iPad

What a great buying experience for my daughter. I’m proud of her for having the commitment and determination to save. I’m sure this experience will stick with her.

I purposely left the Target location and the name of the associate out of this post. I appreciate his honesty about the gift card offer and his willingness to hold an iPad for my daughter and would hate to get him in trouble if he broke a store policy.

I plan on looking for him the next time I shop at that Target. I want him to know his interaction with my daughter was appreciated. Using her name and addressing her (and not her Mom) added to the buying experience and made an impact on my daughter.

What's something you saved up for and bought with cash when you were a kid? Click To Tweet
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My Family’s Favorite 7 Layer Salad

Growing up there was always a favorite salad of mine at family gatherings.  I liked it even though it had peas in it… must have been the bacon.

Now that I’m older it’s a salad I like to make every Thanksgiving for three reasons. It’s good. It’s easy to make ahead of time and it travels well.

I make it every year… but every year I consult 4 or 5 cookbooks trying to remember how to make it just the way my family likes it. This year I decided to get my oldest daughter to help me.

That way we could take notes and pictures… and she could make it sometime if needed.

I thought you might enjoy it too, plus, it will make it easier for me to make next Thanksgiving.  All I’ll need to do is search my own blog! I’m also going to include it in my e-cookbook.  Make sure you sign up for my mailing list to be one of the first to get it.

7 Layer Salad


1 pound bacon cooked, cooled, and crumbled

1 head lettuce washed and cut into bite sized pieces

16 oz bag of frozen peas (you might not use the entire bag)

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 cups mayonaise

2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like regular shredded and not the finer fancy shred)

6-8 hard cooked eggs


Mix the mayonnaise and the sugar in a bowl and set aside.

Dressing for 7 Layer Salad

Place the lettuce in the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan and press it down with a paper towel.  This helps to dry it off and get it compacted and level.

Lettuce layer of 7 Layer Salad

Sprinkle the chopped green onions on top of the lettuce.  Then top evenly with the bacon followed by a layer of frozen peas.  The smallest bag of peas we could find was 16 oz.  We probably only used about 10-12 oz though.

Pea Layer of 7 Layer Salad

Use an egg slicer on the hard cooked eggs and form a layer on top of the peas.

Egg layer of 7 Layer Salad

Now take the mayo/sugar dressing and “frost” it over the top of the eggs.

Adding dressing to 7 Layer Salad

Sprinkle the cheese overtop, cover, and refrigerate overnight to let the peas thaw and the flavors to mix.

Finished 7 Layer Salad

This is a crowd favorite and it’s easy to transport since we have a Pyrex Portable to carry it in and keep it cold.

7 Layer Salad Serving

This is best made the night before eating.  You can make the eggs and bacon a day or two early which helps with the final prep.

What salad do you remember being at every family gathering when you were a kid? Click To Tweet
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