Last week’s plans to make gifts were completely derailed by website issues and computer viruses, which took me many hours each day. I’ll be working on more gifts this week and next week to get them done.

I seem to have most everything fixed with the virus issue, at least, and I am back online, which is helpful!

The week of Thanksgiving requires that certain things get done each day, so this week, I’ll be listing my goals by day. I’ve already put my turkey in the refrigerator to defrost, but if you haven’t yet taken yours out of the freezer, now is the time to do so!

I’m hosting Thanksgiving at my house. We’re planning on some thorough cleaning on Wednesday. I am not cooking all of the food (my mom is bringing some) so my goals will reflect that.

I’ve signed up to be a host for a progressive dinner for a Relief Society activity (the women’s group at our church)  next week. Since this is our Christmas activity, I have decided to put out our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving this year (normally we wait until later in December). The tree probably won’t be decorated until December 1st, but I’ll have the children work on arranging the branches before then (we have an artifical tree).



1. Cut basil (and pull out the roots) in the white garden along the walkway

2. Make present for Ezrom

3. Photograph and post gift

4. Cut euyonomus hedges and put cuttings in solution to preserve

5. Photograph and list 5 things for sale on Facebok garage sale pages

6. Pull dried basil leavs off basil that I hung to dry and pack it in jars

7. Set paperwhite bulbs (from last year) in vases and arrange on entry table

8. Make a batch of pesto

9. Make a triple batch of laundry soap



1. Make pie crust dough for two pies and refrigerate it

2. Make present for Ezrom

3. Photograph and post gift

4. Pull out the rest of the basil in the front yard

5. Clean stove and run self-clean cycle on oven

6. Clean paperwork by desk

7. Photograph and list 5 things for sale on Facebook garage sale pages

8. Pit olives for Thanksgiving

9. Cut flowers from the garden for the table



1. Go to Joann’s sale for flannel and pellon

2. Make two pumpkin pies

3. Make Rosemary Olive Oil bread twice for 8 loaves

4. Make presents for Winter and Cyrus

5. Photograph and post gifts

6. Clean kitchen

7. Photograph and list 5 things for sale on Facebook garage sale pages



 1. Cook turkey

2. Make and cook rosemary olive oil potatoes

3. Cook green beans

4. Make present for Ezrom (not sure if I can pull this off but I will try!)

5. Photograph and post gift for Ezrom

6. Clean house



1. Make gifts for Wren and Liberty

2. Photograph and post gifts

3. Hang Christmas wreaths

4. Print Christmas printables

5. Photograph and list 5 things for sale on Facebook garage sale pages



1. Make gifts for Ivory and Elsa

2. Photograph and post gifts

3. Hang Christmas printables

4. Prepare Sunday School lesson (I’m subbing for one of my children’s classes)



1. Attend church

2. Plan December activities

2. Rest


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  1. have you thought of selling a few arrangements of your white flowers and branches that you have previously posted in blog pictures? if I lived close I would love to have a centerpiece for Christmas or thanksgiving! yours are beautiful!

  2. This is such a full and ambitious list! It is very inspirational to me and I find it motivating to help get my through my own full list this week! Thank you, Brandy!

  3. I would be so interested to hear about how you are going to preserve the cuttings of your hedge. I have boxwood, and I am very attracted to the preserved boxwood wreaths, but the prices are heart-stopping.

  4. Today my goal is to clean my 2 upstairs bedrooms. Wash all bedding – Sweep under beds – wipe down cobwebs – wipe down furniture Getting rid of a few things as I clean. I already have wiped down stairway railing. Throughly sweep upstairs and stairway. I am going to ask my son to purchase some fresh pine garland for the front porch in exchange for cleaning his room. It needed a mom’s touch since company is coming. 🙂 I have a small turkey to cook for Saturday. Brandi, when should I put it in the refrigerator?

  5. Are you keeping the children’s schoolwork load normal on top of all these goals? This is the first year we aren’t taking a break for Thanksgiving (except Thanksgiving Day) and I’m curious to see if I get more done by not having to say “Find something to do other than bounce around the house” thirty times each day. 🙂

  6. I was going to say the same thing! I was feeling overwhelmed with what I have to do this week, but seeing Brandy’s list always gets me motivated!

  7. It takes four days for an 8 pound chicken to thaw in my fridge…a lot depends on the temp of your refrigerator and how much food is in it!

  8. Because of the large amounts of snow received in this area, some of the schools are remaining closed from last Tuesday through Dec. 1st. There will be a lot to catch up on when they go back. My sister lives in one of the hardest hit areas, where they got about 7 feet of snow last week in 2-3 days. Now it’s all melting because it was in the 50’s yesterday and in the 60’s today. There is also a very windy front coming trough. It was strange to see people out in shorts today (where I live there was only a trace of snow and it melted.) –including the mailman! Since my sister is a nurse, the hospital sent a truck out to pick her up at the intersection nearest her house and the neighbors helped her husband to dig a path so she could walk to the intersection. She went to work and stayed about 48 hours and came back home. They are only doing emergency surgeries, and have cancelled over 150 more which will need to be caught up on when the weather crisis ends.
    Just sharing the news with you all. The last I knew the death toll was about 12 or 13. Most of us have a great deal extra to be thankful for this week. Our granddaughter visited us one evening because she couldn’t get to her job all week and needed to get out of the house. She stayed at her Mom’s and spent the whole next day with them. An unexpected benefit for us! My husband took advantage of the warmth today to put the Christmas lights around the front porch–we won’t light them until Thanksgiving, though. I wish gardening was on my agenda for Thanksgiving week, but not in this climate!
    My plans for the week include making a thrifty homemade dinner on Thursday (48 ¢ a lb turkey)–so far the only special requests have been for vegetable dishes. I will also start wrapping some of the gifts I have already obtained so there is less to do as Christmas approaches—I love the baking part and like to make sure I have time for that. I did make an unexpected visit to my doctor today and he ordered some tests, which I also stopped and had taken care of. Nothing serious, just some discomfort. It did make a dent in my plans for today, though, which have now been moved to tomorrow.
    I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving.

  9. We’ve been watching with fascination here in Canada about the crazy weather concerns in Buffalo. We are all very thankful that it has not hit us as hard, as we are all very aware it could have easily been us.

    I lived in Toronto a number of years ago when we had a huge storm that delivered several feet of snow. They were heavily criticized when the city requested help from the military when a second storm rolled in a day later. We did not have as much snow as Buffalo just received, nor were there threats of flooding from melting snow right afterwards. But it certainly could have gone very bad very quickly.

    I hope your family continues to stay safe and have minimal damage to their homes when this is finally over.

  10. Thanksgiving dinner will be at the big house next door (my grandmother’s house that my oldest girl lives in now.) I work M-T and Wed a.m. My youngest girl will go over and help her sister clean and set up. The house does not have a separate dining room but the kitchen is very large. The kitchen table can seat 20+ when fully expanded. It was built by my grandfather.

    I am bringing a jello salad, cole slaw, 5 pies, and the vegan versions of mashed potatoes and green bean casserole plus an eggless lentil loaf for the vegan and the vegetarians. Also whipping cream and a container of non dairy ice cream.

    I don’t get out of cleaning my house though as family visits around over the long weekend. Any one stops in any time…we stop in an visit others. On Friday we are hosting a luncheon for my brother and his family (his son Alek lives with us) and Alek and his girlfriend and her family. I know my nephew has talked to both families and he is making it official that he will begin courting Katie Anna. We will eat and then play board games. We will have vegetable wild rice soup that I will make Fri am and hot ham that I have cooking now and will slice and reheat Fri. I have a loaf of rye in the freezer and I will make overnight white rolls Thursday night to be baked in the am. Each of the families is bringing a dessert.

    I would like to put good weather on my list, but will have to take what we get. We are supposed to have 7″ of snow by morning. Most thankful it is not 7 feet!!

  11. I have been watching the crazy weather. I just thought the weather in Georgia was bad. Freeze warnings one day, tornado watches and needing to turn the ac on to get a while. Y’all stay safe.

  12. I am going to be making a gluten-free cheesecake. I also will make sweet potatoes, the turkey and ham, and I’m not sure what else. It looks like the rest is covered by the crew that is coming. (salads, more desserts, cranberries, etc.)

    Tomorrow, my mother is coming to help set up or do whatever I need her to do. So, that’s nice, and welcome.

    I have mini pumpkins that I grew in the garden. I’m hoping to get my husband to hollow them out a bit, and I will put flowers or candles in them for the center of the table. I usually buy a bunch of flowers at the store and make arrangements all over the house, but I’m not sure of my exact plan yet. Tomorrow and Wednesday, I only work a little bit–today is my killer day as usual, so I can work on these things tomorrow. We cancelled homeschool co-op for the day.

    It sounds like you have a good team getting ready, and have a bunch of cooking to do. Sounds like fun to me!!

  13. Kristina, this is the recipe I have used forever.

    5 C flour + 1 T white sugar + dash salt + 1/4 t baking powder….mix together in lg bowl.
    1 3/4 C Crisco…cut into flour mix with pastry cutter or 2 criss crossing knives
    1/2 water + 1 egg + 1 T vinegar….mix together, then pour over flour-shortening mix
    mix briefly with a fork , then divide into 4 or 5 balls.. I use a scale for uniformity

    I am guessing that you know how to make pie crusts since you asked so the directions are brief.
    I flatten the balls into discs and wrap in saran, then put in a ziploc. They freeze nicely. Make 4 if you
    have larger 10″ pie pans, or 5 if you have smaller. I add absolutely no extra flour when rolling…i
    roll between 2 sheets of wax paper. The crusts are very very flaky.

  14. We are cooking Thanksgiving Dinner here at my house. Hubby is smoking a turkey. I have to work that day 6am-2:30pm. so I plan on prepping much tomorrow so that All I have to do is throw things in the oven when I get home on Thursday! I told hubby that I want FRESH homemade mashed potatoes and not the stuff in the meat section at the supermarket from Bob Evans..NOT the same on Thanksgiving. Also would like to try and make a Pumpkin Pie 😮

    Your list is very ambitious but I am sure that all your little helpers will assist you:):)

  15. Wonderful list! It definitely helps me get motivated!

    I am off work this whole week (I take vacation every year this week), so I am using it to get ready. We host Thanksgiving at our house. On Monday I put our turkey in the fridge to start defrosting (.59 cents/lb at Kroger). I also did a few “extra” deep-cleaning type things I don’t normally do – washed throw pillow covers, took our drapes down & cleaned them, cleaned some vents & blinds, and changed the cat boxes, and worked a few hours at my 2nd job. Today (Tuesday) I’m going to do the rest of the regular house cleaning – vacuum, mop, dust, clean kitchen & bathrooms, etc. Tomorrow I have to go to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute items (fresh herbs, etc.) and then I will start making things ahead like the cheese ball appetizer. Thursday we’ll enjoy our meal together! Friday & Saturday I am working hours at my 2nd job since it will be our busy time and there’s potential for high earnings. I will try to put our Christmas decorations up probably Friday, we usually spend that day eating leftovers, watching holiday movies & decorating!

  16. I don’t usually make a list of goals, but since I’ve been quite forgetful lately, I’m writing them down:

    1. Take kids to free social event
    2. Air the house on Tuesday before the snowstorm
    3. Take coniferous cuttings from yard for holiday decorating before it snows
    4. Finish prep work and paint trim in youngest daughter’s bedroom
    5. Make banana crumb cake and applesauce (or crisp) to avoid food waste
    6. Make two pans of baked macaroni and cheese using odds and ends of cheese before the milk spoils, freeze one
    7. Invite/encourage kids to play outside while we shovel snow on Wednesday
    8. Play at least two board games with kids
    9. Watch one movie with kids
    10. Make crumpets with youngest daughter at her request
    11. Create free Roblox account for middle daughter
    12. Make brownies and onion dip for Thanksgiving, per request of my oldest son
    13. Organize and catalog gift stash and make list of the items I still need to procure
    14. Travel to another state for Thanksgiving & birthday celebrations that are delayed due to expected storm

  17. Happy to report back that the flooding after the 7 ft snowstorm was not as bad as expected–since the ground was not frozen before the storm, some of the melting snow was absorbed by the ground. Pumps were at the ready and while some of the creeks did reach flood stage, the problems were generally less severe than had been expected, so we’re almost back to “normal” around the area. Feeling lucky to have escaped the flooding that could have been much more damaging than the snow was.

  18. Becky, I’ve seen mini pumpkins hollowed with a tea light in them. Very cute on table. I wonder if they could be dried somehow and kept. They are expensive in the store here…1.00 apiece. We grow our own.

    My oldest has made a crock pot sweet potato dish the last few years that is just delicious. There is a pecan struesel topping on it and she said it involves lots of butter.

  19. I have gone back looking for a pesto recipe on your site and can’t find it. I know you make pesto. My husband was given a bottle of locally grown olive oil and has started on my raised garden bed. Would you mind sharing your recipe.

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