Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Big Leaf Finale

We dragged our leafy Gratitude Tree to Grandma's house on Thanksgiving day in order to add our remaining thoughts to its branches.  It was a lot of fun watching and listening to the kids sharing some of their favorite leaves with the grandmas.  They truly seemed to enjoy it as much as I did ... and, although it looked a bit like a leaf storm even to the very end, I think it will be a new tradition for us!

We ate plentifully Thanksgiving Day while enjoying a smaller version of our traditional family group (sure missed the BIL & SIL and those Tennesseeans), played the socks off each other in Catch Phrase and Scrabble (the kids' new favorite game - especially Meiners, who is by far the best 7 year-old Scrabble player I have ever seen!) and watched the ever-traditional fam fave Christmas Vacation.  Before heading home at the end of just a super relaxing, sweet family day, we snapped a Christmas photo of the kids and let them open Christmas PJs for the drive home.

Now the tree is up, the mantel decked out, the shopping list begun, and we're full-on in to the Christmas Spirit.  Hope you are enjoying your own version of a blessed Holiday season...

Much love,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leaves are piling up

Besides the 17 bags we raked from our neighbor's yard this weekend (!!! - that's a TON of leaves!!!), our Gratitude Tree is raining leaves as much as those outdoors!

I love how our kids can't get enough of saying thanks for the things in their lives.  We have leaves that say:

That would be Sashi, of course.  She also gave a nod to our trip to the mall as well as our numerous tea parties.  And this one she did all by herself (OK, Katelyn drew the seal):

 That would be "animals."  (Just like her sister.)  Then there's this one of Kate's:

A truer statement hath never been made.  What would she do without her TV I dare ask?


Hers also include such things as dolphins, Erin Bode (I'll explain more about that later this week), and her awesome friends.  We also got this one:

Tommy's are pretty straightforward, as well:

These are even better, though.  The number of exclamation marks exponentially relates to the intensity with which Tommy feels gratitude for these things (as explained by Tommy):

And Matthew:

I love that boy. 

He is also grateful for food, water, "friends, best friends, and BFFs," as well as sports and "everything."


Hubs and I got in on the action, mutually appreciating each other:

It's been a really good exercise for all of us.  I even need to make more leaves!  I'm thinking I may take this idea from Young House Love and put them all together so we can review them next year to see what is the same or different. 

I am so very grateful for this crazy, wonderful life God is giving me to live every day.  It isn't a hard road and it isn't an easy one, but it's mine.  And for it, I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

on changing my world

Emily at Chatting at the Sky took 31 days in October to tell us how to change the world.  I didn't really pay attention.  It isn't like I don't adore Emily ~ if you've been around here long enough, you know I refer to her quite often and consider her an inspiration and mentor.  And she wrote a real live book, so she pretty much knows what she's talking about.  I just didn't listen.

Then some things in my life sort of started falling apart.  Maybe they are always falling apart and some days I just notice more than others.  But last weekend, I read a quote somewhere along the path to and from Nashville that said, "Change your thoughts and you will change your world."

I've spent some time considering that statement and believe it to be true.  Absolutely, unequivocally true.

So this week, I took out my markers and my Cricut and I made our family a gratitude tree.  We're taking time every day to fill out leaves with words like "I love it when" and "I'm thankful for" because those kinds of words bring us back to center.  Our bible verse around the tree states, "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever."

I have to report that my world is changing for the better {our tree has numerous leaves on it already}.  That isn't to say that all things are hunky dory or that I'm sweeping any dirt under a rug.  I'm just saying my attitude has changed, my tone has changed, my outlook has changed.  And it's all because I'm choosing joy and gratitude.

How are you doing today?

Monday, November 7, 2011

fulfilling their dream

I don't know what little girl hasn't dreamed of being a flower girl.  I recently reconnected with my own flower girl - a grown woman now - and found it so endearing that she still has the photo I gave her of the two of us from my wedding day.

This past weekend, we took the fam to Nashville to celebrate the marriage of Hubby's cousin to the love of her life.  She asked for all four of the kids to participate - and we couldn't say no.  We just adore those Tennessee relatives!

It was a ton of work prepping all four kids, but I have to tell you - each one of them did such a great job and looked superb. I am a proud momma this week. 

Enjoy the kids dancing the night away, and I'll be back again soon!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2.0

Halloween festivities continued through the weekend as we enjoyed time at our church's Trunk or Treat and then Halloween Night itself!  Perfect weather, fabulous costumes, and tons of candy made for a great time!

Sunday was busy, busy, busy with a tiling project in the laundry room Hubs took on for the weekend, but we finished in time to carve some pretty spectacular pumpkins.  {Did you know there was a pumpkin shortage this year?  The kids told us all about it!}  T adamantly carved his own without help from start to finish this year.  He did such a great job, too!  I was so proud of his diligence and attention to detail!

Pooks' pumpkin was spectacular (a wicked witch flying over rooftops to go along with her Elphaba costume) - and so was Meiners' [he chose a Ninja in honor of his costume this year :) ].  Mom and Dad helped to varying degrees there.

Then there was my sweet Sashi's pumpkin.  I probably haven't shared her love affair with our animals much before, but let me go not a single word further in this blog without telling you that Sara's very, very, very best friends in the whole entire world are a cat named Benn and a dog named Obi.  Man does she love those two furries.  And they are terrific with her.  Benn is 16 years old and, truthfully, is on his deathbed.  But she drags him around and forces him onto her bed and into her tea parties and he puts up with it - even purring most of the time. 

The photo quality is poor as I truly thought the next morning the cat wouldn't be with us due to declining health.
<3  Nine lives is accurate with this one.  <3
As for the dog?  She can play ball with him for hours.  He lets her jump on him.  They take walks together.  Sure - I may be the one holding the leash, but there they are, out in front walking side by side.  I'm just the tagalong with a leash.  Sara tells the dog worldly secrets and wisdom about life the entire way around the block.  It's stinkin' adorable, that's what it is.  She sure loves these pets.  Who would be surprised then to see her hommage to Benn the Cat in pumpkin form on Halloween?

Super cute.

We were off to Trunk or Treat Sunday and a hurried meal and costumes being thrown back on Halloween night on Monday.  I was so looking forward to snapping amazing photos of the kids with spectacular sunset lighting but we just weren't quite finished eating dinner as the sun snuck below the trees.  Instead we settled for a porch light - and then off they went!

We live in a quiet neighborhood where the closest kids live about two blocks away.  Many of our neighbors are retired.  Every year Carol drops off big treat bags full of candy and dollar coins for each of our kids before she heads out to their daughter's house to enjoy Trick or Treating with their own grandkids.  Lil sends her grown daughter over with treat bags specially made for our kids - this year full of Hot Wheels, Halloween hairbows, snowglobes, and candy.  Up the street the kids receive entire candy bars for their jokes.  It's a pretty awesome place, and I know they have so much fun!  Each year they venture a little farther around the circle of houses that make up our subdivision and return with more candy than ever.

After such an exciting evening and all that sugar, what better way to end all the parties and parades and festivities than back at home by a fire Dad built because the wind wasn't blowing ;) .  And Mom toasted marshmallows for dessert!  ;)

Home sweet Halloween home!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...