November 23, 2007
This year I began the holiday by "sleeping in," which means I didn't get up until Kenna was ready to nurse at about 6:24 a.m. She's pretty consistent, and I am THANKFUL that she is consistently nursing again! We still have to be careful with distractions, but we have not had to do any bottles this week, praise the Lord.
I am also THANKFUL that Rhonda could be here to spend the week with us. The kids have tremendously enjoyed having her here, as have Ted and I. We were THANKFUL to have special family time together. We all enjoyed a leisurely morning, reading Bible stories, watching a bit of the parades on TV, playing games, etc. Ted and I headed out mid-morning for a 3 1/2 mile run together--probably the first time we've run together since we were stationed in Texas 9 years ago!! We got into roller blading in Idaho, and then once the kids started coming, it was obviously impossible for us to go out at the same time. I am THANKFUL for my wonderful husband! I enjoyed our time to run and talk together. I was able to share some of the things God has laid on my heart during my recent reading of Elizabeth George's fabulous book, A Woman After God's Own Heart.
After showers and a light snack (oh, the ham in the crock pot was smelling wonderful by this time!), we decided the squirrely kids needed to get out, so we walked to a nearby park that is approximately 3/4 of a mile away from home. Arden rode his scooter the whole way, Charis rode a too-small motorcycle, and Tobin pretty much ran the whole way wearing flip-flops. Rhonda pushed Kenna in the stroller, and Ted came later with the van so we wouldn't have to walk UPHILL to get back home.
We had a blast at the park! We were THANKFUL for the beautiful weather--a tad on the cool side, but the wind from the previous day was gone, and the exercise warmed us up anyway. The picture at the beginning of this post is quite possibly the best shot we've gotten of our whole family--thanks, Rhonda! For awhile the kids played freeze tag with both Ted and Rhonda while Kenna and I watched. But before too long, even little Kenna got in on the action by smiling in glee when she got to go down a slide. I know this picture of her in Arden's lap looks a bit alarming, but really, he wasn't choking her! I am so THANKFUL for each of my precious children--they truly are a blessing.
Amazingly, Charis and Tobin still had energy to spare when it was time to head home, so they walked with Rhonda back to the house while the rest of us drove. Kenna was way ready for her nap, and I needed to finish dinner preparations. I had baked the sweet potatoes and made the cheesy hashbrown casserole the day before, so all I had to do was put together the sweet potato casserole and the green bean casserole (which Rhonda and Ted actually did). Charis had helped me make the "pink fluff" jello salad that morning, so all that was left was making the out-of-this-world pineapple ham sauce.
Rhonda and Charis went outside to cut some roses for the table settings. Charis had made cute little place settings from her most recent Spider magazine and wrote little thank you notes to each person on the back. I knew she would enjoy helping to set the table, and she just exclaimed with delight over every little thing--the fall napkins, the candles, and the Pilgrim figures that I moved from the china hutch to the table for the special meal. After we prayed, we filled up the kids' plates, and then Ted read Psalm 95. Then we adults filled our plates, and we were THANKFUL for such an abundance of yummy food!
When our bellies were full, we finished plastering leaves and apples on the Blessing Tree. I know we could have filled many more--God's blessings truly overflow when you stop to think about it. No matter how bad things are, there is always something to be grateful for if we choose to look up. As you can see from the picture, we ended up having some "falling leaves" because there were too many to fit on the tree! That in itself must surely be a blessing!
We finished the day by watching the first two episodes of Season 1 of Little House on the Prairie, which Joel and Sarah, my brother-in-law and his wife, gave me for my birthday. It was so fun to watch them with the kids, who have read (or listened to) at least half of the books. I have fond memories of watching them with my family (another thing I am THANKFUL for!). And of course we had scrumptious dessert as well, pumpkin pie crunch cake!
To all my family and friends who are reading, please know that I am also THANKFUL for YOU! And to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I am forever THANKFUL for Your sacrifice to demonstrate Your love for me.