Gearing up for Thanksgiving

Thank goodness Thanksgiving comes before Christmas. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas, but there is something really beautiful about dedicating an entire day to give thanks for all our blessings and gifts we have before we start (technically) making our 'wish lists'. I am still enjoying all those pretty pumpkins and remaining mums. Its getting colder in Maryland and many of the leaves have fallen. While I was out for a run one day I came across some trees by the path which had large yellow leaves. The sunlight that filtered through the trees made these look like golden yellow drops. I picked up some leaves and ran home (great workout). Don't you think Nature is the best designer? Using leaves can be a great decorating material (aka-cheap thrills). I decided to press the leaves in large books for a couple of weeks.

Pressing leaves or flowers is a piece of cake.
1. Get a heavy, large book.
2. Use parchment paper between the pages and the leaves. This not only protects your book but also helps absorb some of the water that comes out while you are basically dehydrating your leaves.
3. Let them sit in the books for a couple of weeks until flat and dry.
The leaves can then be painted with some glue and glitter. I chose Martha Stewart glitter. This stuff is a great to have on hand for all those Christmas and Holiday crafts. 
Then, hang them up with string or ribbon. 
We decided it would be nice to start writing things we're grateful for on our slim chalkboard wall in our kitchen. The kids usually use this wall to draw on and practice writing their letters.
Writing out my blessings always helps me keep things in perspective. What does your family do to gear up for Thanksgiving?