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DIY: The Thanksgiving Jar

Posted by Courtney Lynn/Supersize Family Kitchens on November 6, 2017 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

DIY: The Thanksgiving Jar + Free Printable

Several years ago, my sister Chelsea introduced a new holiday tradition: the Thanksgiving Jar. It’s a visible way of counting our blessings, and now it appears every November first. Basically it’s a jar with a pencil and strips of orange and yellow construction paper—but it’s what inside that’s important.

From November first until thanksgiving, everyone in the family writes down whatever they’re grateful for, signs their name, and puts them in the jar. The blessings can be serious or silly or by famous people or childhood imaginary friends. (Dolly Parton may or may not have thanked plastic surgeons last year. I may or may not have written that one.) Then at the big family Thanksgiving dinner, we each take turns pulling a paper out and reading it out loud. Around here, we believe that anything can be a blessing, even a belly laugh at a joke in the Thanksgiving jar—no fuddy-duds allowed!

Only one rule: you can’t read one that you wrote! So If I pull out one of my own, I have to put it back. Besides, it’s more fun to hear someone else read “Courtney is thankful for hunky TV cowboys."

In this post, I’ll walk you through how to make your own Thanksgiving Jar, and I’ve included a free printable of the label that I made for mine! Plus, I’ll tell some of my favorite blessings from previous years.

The Thanksgiving Jar

You’ll need:

A mason jar. Pint size will work, but a quart is better if you have room for it. We use a plastic jar because it’s safer around little ones.

Simple decorations. A ribbon around the top is good. I made a label for mine, and I made a printable with 4 different labels you can cut out and affix using double stick tape. Download it here. (Please use for your own personal use only.) Someone please notify me if the darned link doesn't work. 

Paper cut into slips. Orange and yellow are good fall colors, but whatever.

A pencil.

Directions are practically unnecessary, but here they are: Pretty up the jar with simple decorations. (In the picture above, I made a simple printable label and attached it with double stick tape. You can use sticker paper if you have it. The ribbon is a scrap of canvas drop cloth.) Place the jar, paper, and pencil in an easily accessible location (near the food is always a good choice) and encourage everyone to participate. Grandparents, moody teenagers, little ones, and even visitors should be told about the Thanksgiving Jar.

Speaking of little ones, they may not be able to write their own blessings, so always be available to write it for them or help them with their spelling.

This is what the printable looks like, but it's too small to print. Download the full-size one here.

We also never throw them away after Thanksgiving. Every piece of paper goes into a ziplock baggie with the date written on the bag. Maybe 20 years from now we’ll reread them again and laugh and cry and remember.

I’ll get you started by sharing a few of our past blessings:

Horses—Halle Jo

Reruns of 80’s tv shows--Courtney

Fried food—Halle Jo


McDonalds happy hour—Chelsea

Hallmark movies—Dwayne

Rubber gloves—Ben the garbage man

Cookies and cream candy bars—Jaxie

Coffee creamer—Courtney

Salt-free seasoning—Chelsea

Thanksgiving dinner—Halle Jo

Paper parasols and potpourri—Courtney (I did not write that btw. I believe it was Chelsea’s handwriting.)

Milk and Pepsi—Leo

Clearance racks—Chelsea


Hot tubs—Jeremy

Almost everything—Judson

Insulated tumblers—Chelsea

Thanksgiving—The Pilgrims (this was actually written by Halle Jo)


And my personal favorite from last year….

Life, love, and the pursuit of bearded men—Courtney

How To Remove Fake Blood From Your Kid's Skin

Posted by Courtney Lynn/Supersize Family Kitchens on October 31, 2017 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

How To Remove Fake Blood From Your Kid’s Skin


Halloween is over, and I know what you’re thinking: “How in the HECK do I get these fake bloodstains off of my kid?????”

Two words: Baby oil. I tested out fake blood and baby oil on my own arm so I could see the results firsthand.

First wash the stained skin with soap and water to remove any surface residue. Then douse a cotton ball with baby oil and start scrubbing. Not too hard, though—at first my arm was bright red so I thought it was still stained, but then I realized I’d been scrubbing like a mad woman. After a few minutes the redness was completely gone.

Depending on the brand of fake blood, how much was applied, and how long the stain has set, it may take a couple of tries to completely remove the red blotch. One application will at least noticeably lighten if it doesn’t remove it completely. 

In case you haven’t heard, you can join my e-mail list here. You'll get new recipes and fun DIY stuff straight to your inbox every week, plus I'll send you a free e-cookbook, "The Frugal Family's Guide to the Kitchen." Some of the recipes are from my published cookbook, The Supersize Family's Guide to the Kitchen, but many are exclusive, previously unpublished recipes.

Book Review: Know Who You Are by Tim Tebow

Posted by Courtney Lynn/Supersize Family Kitchens on August 14, 2017 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Book Review: Know Who You Are by Tim Tebow

Recently I was given the opportunity to review former NFL quarterback and current MLB outfielder Tim Tebow’s new book Know Who You Are, Live Like It Matters.  It’s a character-based weekly devotional aimed at homeschooled students and is designed to be part of a 36-week high-school curriculum.

This concept intrigued me first of all because I’m a fan of Tebow and his ministry, and also because I was homeschooled all the way through K-12. (Class of 2009!) And Tim comes from a large family--he’s youngest of five—so I knew I would fully understand the family dynamics that comes with being in a large family. I still have some siblings being homeschooled as well, and I thought when I was done with this I would pass it on to them.

In Know Who You Are, Tim writes each lesson around a particular Bible verse, and tells a short story from his life to bring that verse to life and show teenagers how to apply it to their own lives to improve their character and become more of who God wants them to be. Subjects involve getting along with siblings, being honest, being trustworthy, using your talents to glorify God, and being courageous. But through the entire book, there is one subtle theme: You can make a difference, even though you’re a teenager.

I really admired how Tim is able to talk to teenagers in a way that speaks to them with authority and wisdom, without treating them like children. He can speak their language and still be an authority figure.

The lessons are short, only having a couple of pages of the lesson and then a couple of journaling prompts to encourage them to apply the lesson to their life. It’s meant to be a weekly devotional, and I suggest doing that. The lessons are so short that it could be used as a daily devotional, but I don’t recommend that at all because each lesson is meant to be pondered and digested. I suggest doing the lesson on Monday morning and then focusing on that lesson and the accompanying verses all week long. Make it a point to talk about the lesson with your kids; study it more than once if you feel the need. Find ways to use the information, not just read it.

In the introduction, Tim wrote a note to homeschooling parents, thanking them for investing in the lives of their kids. I thought that was a great touch.

Mr Tebow also included a number of inspirational quotes from himself and other great leaders. My favorite is this one… “Jesus didn’t save you because you’re awesome. He saved you because He’s awesome.” --Tim Tebow

I loved the book. I’m so glad I got to review it, and I’m going to be passing it along to my school-age siblings. I know there is a lot of trashy stuff in the world today, but I’m glad that a few great young people are taking a stand for their faith. Tim Tebow is an awesome role model for kids to look up to. Sadie Robertson is another.

   For more information about Tim Tebow and his ministry, visit his official website. Tim Tebow is a MLB player, a two-time national college football champion, first round NFL draft pick, Heisman trophy winner, and author of the New York Times bestseller Shaken.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Blogging for Books. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinions and text are entirely my own. If I had disliked the book, I would have said so.