Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving has passed and Black Friday is upon us.

Yesterday we headed "over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house" for a big turkey dinner.  I mean BIG.

Two turkeys, a ham, two types of potatoes, various vegetables, and a groaning table of desserts.  There was a big crowd this year - 28 for dinner and 32 for dessert.  I am feeling somewhat expanded after a day of feasting.

I love Thanksgiving - the food (of course) and gathering together with family and friends that we see far too infrequently.

Here's Grandma with her first grandchild, our oldest daughter Ashley.  Aren't they cute?

As our kids get older with boyfriends, fiancees, even husbands - it gets harder and harder to get everyone in one place at the same time.  This year we had a big crowd - the more the merrier!  Seems like just yesterday we were chasing these kids around the house, juggling nap times, diapers and bottles.  Here are most of the cousins, with a few friends and in-laws thrown in for good measure.

No matter how old they get, we have a few traditions that must be kept.  They girls insist that Grandma makes her creamed corn (more dessert than vegetable), the football games are playing constantly on the television in the family room, we play a few enthusiastic card games once our turkey coma has worn off and every year, with Natalie supervising, a gingerbread house is created.

The boys are hanging around because the girls told them they could eat all the candy once they were finished.  See that grin on Sam's face - he's just waiting for me to finish taking the darn picture!

I also love the purposeful time of reflecting on what we are grateful for.  It's so easy (for me, at least) to get caught up in the daily stresses of life, that I need the scheduled times where I stop, look around and remember how good I've really got it.

This year, I am thankful for so many things, these are just the highlights.

  • I am thankful that I am not in the malls fighting the Black Friday madness.  I will wait for saner minds to return to the shopping centers before I venture in to do my Christmas shopping.
  • I am thankful for Chris & Kristen and Erick & Mariesa.   They are our incredible youth pastors and youth leaders.   They lead the youth of our church with incredible patience and enthusiasm and have taken our two youngest to their very first youth convention this weekend.  

Here are our sweet girls, excited to get away for the weekend!

This is Erick, our junior high boys leader.  He rocks!

  • I am thankful for health and freedom from pain - I am mindful of this every day.
  • I am so grateful to you, dear reader, for allowing me to share my heart and responding with words of encouragement and support.  I love writing my little heartfelt posts.  They feed my spirit in a way I never imagined.
  • I am thankful for parents who support us in so many ways.  There is nothing my children could inherit that is greater than the godly heritage they are receiving from their four incredible grandparents.  It is a gift beyond measure.

I could go on all day, but will end with my most precious gifts ~Steve, my incredible husband of 29 years
~Sam, our handsome "manchild" who makes us proud and makes us laugh,


~Rachel, our beautiful miracle baby, now a beautiful and talented young lady,

~Ashley & Daniel, our cherished and lovely daughter and our teasing, big-hearted soon-to-be son-in-law.

What did I ever do to deserve such a precious family?  I thank God for you every day.

Thank you heavenly Father for all the gifts you give.  I accept them from your hands with a full and grateful heart!

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