Friday, November 29, 2013


This year for the month of November in preparation for Thanksgiving, I created a "Thankful Tree." I took branches from our yard, and made pretty maple leaves to hang. Each night we would talk and write down something each of us was thankful for. I was really pleased with how well Owen took to the activity. He was so thoughtful and would often say things that both surprised and impressed me. The first night he said, "My parents," which of course just melted my heart right then and there. A different night he said this (over a period of time and interjections/acknowledgement by me):
"I have something I'm thankful for. My hands! What if I didn't have my hands and couldn't pick this up? (Picks up his fork.) I'm thankful for something else. My arms! What if I didn't have my arms? (while flapping them) And I'm thankful for my eyes! What if I didn't have my eyes. I would probably bump into things and walls. I'm thankful for something else. My house! What if I didn't have my house to play in and eat in and go to sleep in my bed? (I asked him what he would do if he didn't have his house.) I would go to the store and buy stuff to build a new house." I thought it was so insightful for him to recognize all of these blessing that we often take for granted. And for him to realize how different life would be without them.

Of course, just like a typical three-year-old, there were other nights I would ask him what he was thankful for and he would say, "I'm not thankful for anything." However, overall I was very happy with his responses. This is a list of different things we each said. Apparently we must have missed a few days here or there because there are only 24 for each of us. And I noticed that there were a couple of items that were repeated. Also, often the answers were indicative of our experiences from that day.

Miles: Oxygen, The beautiful Earth, Megan, Owen, My loving children, America, Food, Health, Health, Elsie, The law, Guns, Moments alone with Kendra, My family, Sleep, My education, Early bedtimes, Extended family, Church, Technology, Our warm house, Friends, Kendra, Kendra-Mommy

Kendra: A healthy body, Miles' job, The Gospel, Music, Miles, Art, My two beautiful children, Good neighbors, Modern medicine, Our home, Siblings, Safes, Kisses from my kids (& Daddy), Heat in the cold, Good friends, Chocolate, When my children giggle, Ice cream and hot chocolate, Singing in the choir, the Fall season, Financial stability, My degree, Miles, I get to be a SAHM

Owen: My parents, Bunnies and my bed, Screws in my bed, Daddy's office, My Dad, The carriage at the farm, Playing, My train, My hands, Daddy, My family, Big race cars, Screaming, Food, My pillow, My house, My Mommy, Backpacks, Luke & his mommy and Sylvie & Genevieve & their mommy, My eyes/eyesight, Flashlights, the Counter and the food I eat, Lions, My house

Elsie: Food, Bare feet, Bare feet, Cheerios, iPads, A hard head, Chocolate chips from Daddy, Dogs (Pete), Shoes, Dogs, Uncle Mitchell, Pans, Sign language, Owen, Mommy's milk, Floor vents, Books, Mommy and Daddy, Patient parents, Raspberries, Toilets, Baths, Rocks, Sippy cups

Here are some pictures of the Thankful Tree and a few other decorations I acquired this year.

I bought two felt acorn garlands and I am in love with them.

For the actual day of Thanksgiving, I hosted my first ever Thanksgiving dinner. Kerry, Matt, Hadley, Elena, Lance, Pat and Courtney Wickman all attended. It was a bit stressful, but I think it went well. I desperately wish I had more space for hosting large dinner parties. I also made my very first turkey. I got a brine recipe from a friend and I thought it was delicious! Lance said it was one of the best turkeys he had ever had. Not sure if he was just being polite or not, but honestly, it was good. Not to mention the amazing mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon and carmalized onions, fresh oranges and pomegranate seeds, Ruth's Chris style sweet potatoes, homemade buttery rolls, and stuffing. Mmm mmm mmm!!!

It was a wonderful dinner and Thanksgiving celebration. We are so happy to be close to some of our family and have the chance to be with them. We have much to be thankful for!