Monday, December 23, 2013

Family Traditions #22: Thanksgiving 2013

First, thank you to everyone who prayed for Silas. He got his 6 stitches taken out Saturday. We told him it was going to burn. He laid down, didn't cry once while the doctor was taking them out, sat up, gave the doctor a fist bump, said "Gracias", and then I took him to get more ice cream! All very positive! His chin is healing well with just enough bruising left for him to milk it real good whenever he wants something... he's a stinker!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! During the month of November we did our Thankful Wall. Each night as part of our night night routine we each wrote one thing we were thankful for on our chalkboard wall in the hallway. 
 Towards the end of the month, Eden was even catching on. We would ask her what she was thankful for and just like the boys she would say, "Ummm..." and then yell out something. Hers was usually "Mama and Dada". Very diplomatic of her! 
Our furlough threw off our garden this year. We have pumpkins growing, but not in time for Thanksgiving. I did see two imported pumpkins this year and bought one of them. 
I'm embarrassed about how much that pumpkin cost per pound, but worth ever penny to my family! 
We had enough to make 2 pies and then there is some puree in my freezer for Christmas.
We also enjoyed the seeds... another Thanksgiving tradition!
It started to get cooler in November. There were a couple of days that we even wore sweaters! 
My boys were not used to socks on slick concrete and there were a couple of wipeouts! My kids look so cute in winter clothes to me! I never get to see them in long sleeves or hoodies. 

Here is our "fall" cornhusk wreath. I love having rat free closets to store my holiday decorations in!
I hung our fall felt leaves next to our table. 
Silas asked me if they were upside down gingerbread men! 

This year we invited every missionary that we had contact info for that lives within 2 hours of here over for Thanksgiving Day. I wanted it to be kind of special, but with so many people coming we would have to use paper plates... which kind of makes it hard to make a pretty place setting. I wanted to make some table runners to dress it up a little. Jimmy told me I had a $8 budget... well that wasn't enough. I thought and thought and realized I had lots of loose woven white linen in my fabric stash (which doesn't help white plastic plates), but I also had some green fabric dye... yay! 
My fingers turned green in the process and I told the boys I had Hulk hands! They thought it was pretty cool, but then a little later Jonah said sadly, "When are Mama hands going to come back?" Glad he likes those better!

So here were our table settings. We got the palm leaves from our yard, but I did spend about $3 on flowers.
Our neighbor grows ayotes, which are the gourds on the table.
And here's the kids' table.
I was surprised about how excited my kids were about their boats. 
They were sweet and didn't eat any candy until our guests arrived!

This is our second Thanksgiving with our friends Jim and Bonnie and they have a tradition that I love. They choose verses for each person to read before the meal. I printed them inside our place cards. 
The verses chosen always seem to have a special significance. Mine was very encouraging to me. Here is all of us sharing our verse. 
I never know who God is going to bring into our lives. Friends come and go, it is part of being a missionary. I try not to be possessive or worry about how long I have with people (sometimes I'm good at that and sometimes I stink at it), but I'm really thankful for the sweet friendships that God has made available to us over the years in what seems like the middle of nowhere sometimes! 
All of us missionaries together make up a very diverse and interesting group. With such a variety, there is so much that can be learned from each other. People are from all over the United States and Canada, with all kinds of backgrounds, at all different stages of life, with so many different gifts, and involved in a broad range of ministries. It's a very dynamic collection of people, being around them helps me grow! 
Bonnie made a delicious turkey and ham. Paul and Jimmy grilled some chicken too. 
We had every side and dessert you could think of: mashed potatoes, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, broccoli salad, homemade bread and ponche... the list goes on

 I think there was a lot of sweet fellowship that day!
 There was definitely of LOT of great food!
 We are very blessed!
 And have so much to be thankful to God for!
We hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. 
My parents arrive Thursday. We had a wonderful Christmas service last night at our church. Jimmy is working on the institute roof. There is lots of Kiki and Papa time going on and my mom and I are sewing up a storm for Eden's Christmas. Just in case I don't post before then, Merry Christmas to all of you too!

It has been raining here non stop for what seems like weeks. We constantly battle mold and mildew, but when it's cold and wet this time of year it is even worse. I have been spraying everything we own with Lysol and Vinegar! Shoes and belts are probably the worst. I always have to wipe the mildew off before wearing them.  Here is the back of one of the boys' board games that we play with on a regular basis... at least this means our belongings get disinfected on a regular basis, it's really a positive! 

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