Saturday, November 26, 2011

Giving Thanks!

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house with some of Steve's family as well as my parents. It was a small group of 9, but what a large feast we had! Honey ham, slowcooker cranberry turkey, stir fried green beans with mushrooms, cranberry/apple squash, stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes and pumpkin trifle for dessert.  

One of my favorite features of Thanksgiving is expressing individually what you want to give thanks for. Over the years, this has taken on many different forms, sometimes we give it verbally, sometimes we write it on leaves or record it in a photo album. No matter the way it is done, it is just very important to me that we are grateful.
 So for Thanksgiving this year, I created a gratitude jar.  I actually made it a week before Thanksgiving, after experiencing a particularly exasperating day of dealing with ungrateful kids. It seemed like every little chore I asked for help with was met with bad attitudes and grumbling.  And to top it off, there were many demanding "I wants" being given.  I had had it, so I went down to my craft room, made a tag and tied it on a jar and cut up several strips of paper.  I handed 5 slips of paper to each family member and asked everyone to fill them out with what they are grateful for.  Saying, "This family needs to get rid of the attitude and get some gratitude!"  Before adding to the jar, each person read out loud what they were grateful for.  In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, we each continued to fill out slips of paper on a daily basis.  When Thanksgiving arrived, we asked our guests to add their "gratitude's" to the jar.  Eventually, we dumped out all the slips of paper and read them all out loud.  It may be one of my favorite ways of expressing our thankfulness yet!  I am certainly going to keep the jar around to help combat ungrateful attitudes in the future.

Here is a smattering of what was in the jar:

"I am grateful for Abbigail Rose.  She is quick to help out, has a caring heart, has the ability to make others feel special and is great with children.  I love her!"
"I am thankful for my cousins because they are kind and fun to play with."
"I am thankful for my daughter Angelique and that she has an inquisitive mind and still enjoys to play."
"I am grateful for my sister.  She is fun to laugh with, fun to laugh at, fun to sing and dance with, and the only person who would watch Adventure Time for hours."
"I am grateful for our little dog, Bella, that she helps us to laugh and reminds us that there is always someone smaller that may need our help."
"I'm grateful for my dad because he is a good helper, a good listener and he loves me a lot."
"I'm grateful for my wife that she has helped me to learn about true love and helping me to strive to be a better person in every way."
"I'm thankful for a warm cozy house.  It makes me realize how lucky I am to have my own room."
"I'm grateful for Rod and Rose and the family experiences we have had together and the business partnership that has created opportunities for my family"
"I am grateful for Angelique Grace.  She is warm, kind hearted, full of energy and gives amazing foot massages.  I love her!"
"I am grateful for my parents.  They both support my decisions and help me be a better person."
"I am grateful for a family who supports me trying new things like being a fitness instructor, even tho it means I am not always at home for them."

Plus lots, lots more...

Being together is the greatest gift of all.  We played Mexican train and had so many laughs.

At one point we were teasing Angelique about talking too much during the game and she got up, went out into the garage and came back wearing the ultimate silencer.... duct tape!  Such a funny girl!

Looking forward to our next family gathering and pray that we can all maintain a grateful heart!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pajamas, projects and p = Joy X 3

I went to another very.much.needed therapy session in Sioux Falls with Heather & Lori, who are so very dear to my heart. This time it was an overnight trip filled with matching owl-tactic pj's, Christmas projects and laughing so hard we cried, nearly peed and triggered my asthma multiple times. These girls are the bomb! They lift me up, advise me, teach me, encourage me, accept me and kill me with laughter.

Sioux Falls is going to miss us!  Especially Joey, the TJMax man, because he FAILED at pedicures; the four gray-haired ladies who loved our matching pj's at breakfast; the hotel attendant who received false license information from Liar-Liar-Lori yet gave us the fabulous recommendation to go to Carnaval Brazilian Grill; the gal at the Runner's Block who did our foot scans and gave us each shoe recommendations and introduced us to The Stick; the poor woman in the room next to us who coughed up a storm; the hotel cleaner who had to vacuum a lot of sawdust from our wood crafting escapades; the CherryBerry attendant who watched us sample and sample the deliciousness....  so many people, so little time.

I have to give a huge shout out to my hubby who allowed me to take flight while he manned the house plus 5 children between the ages of 14-2. He knows how important therapy is for me!

I love that we are able to mix serious with hilarity.  Can't wait until we launch our new greeting card company under our logo of Joy X 3!!

Until we get together again in February, know that you are always in my heart.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Eleven on 11.11.11

I had fun capturing Kippy as an eleven year old on 11.11.11.  Can't beat the wonderful weather on this Veteran's day! The stars will align one more time when she is twelve on 12.12.12.