The day after

Thanksgiving was especially sweet yesterday for us. No big reason, just a nice morning at home with our little family then dinner at my parents with a total of 21 (I think) at the table. A random smattering of interesting people, my cousin Katie who is attending Baylor University in Texas, my parents’ friend from Nigeria, a family from Belarus and their new baby, in laws, an old friend of our family who always has a place at our table for holidays and just over a handful of kidlets too (most of which I take full responsibility for). We shared an incredible amount of good food and an array of 7, yes seven, dessert selections to choose from along with sharing our ‘thankful lists’ around the table as we ate.

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Two thankful cutie’s who look SO much like each other!

Today we headed out to the aquarium downtown then wrapped it up with some fish’n’chips on the Pier. Rainy, windy and cold but it was great fun anyway. Our kids are totally enamored with their super cool 19 year old second cousin, it is fairly darling to watch them clamor for her attention.

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My favorite aquarium creature-the sea otter

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Shivering in the windy cold on the Pier

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Before the aquarium adventure I discovered a new world, the fabric store. After having received my Christmas present early, a sewing machine-my first one, I headed to Joann Fabrics for their sale today to get some supplies for my new hobby. On the way there I had to stop by the mall, at 6:30 AM to get one small, quick purchase. Craziness. 50% of the people were teenagers and the other 50% seemed to be women in their 30’s or up who had showered, put make up on and dressed up nice-to shop-before the sun had even risen. They were hurried and rude and driven. I so do not fit in with that crowd. Not to mention people eating giant cheeseburgers from Kidd Valley. At 6:00 in the morning. Seriously?

After trekking to Joann’s (with Audrey in tow for all of this mind you) I discovered that I fit in much better there. Few people had dressed up for the occasion. Few had showered or put on makeup. Some were even still in pajama pants, how refreshing. Best of all, every time I had a question I didn’t even feel the need to ask a clerk, I just found ladies (usually 20 years or so older than me) who looked like crafting veterans. They would answer, chat with me, walk me to where I should go, picked out items for me…asked what I was making. It was slow, there were 30 people ahead of me to get fabric cut and as many to check out in the front, but surely time well spent. Now I have what I need to start making Christmas things and learning how to sew, how fun!

-Karissa

Even the kitchen sink

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“Mr Scrooge!” said Bob; “I’ll give you Mr Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast!”

“The Founder of the Feast indeed!” cried Mrs Cratchit, reddening. “I wish I had him here. I’d give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he’d have a good appetite for it.”

“My dear,” said Bob, “the children; Christmas Day.”

“It should be Christmas Day, I am sure,” said she, “on which one drinks the health of such an odious, stingy, hard, unfeeling man as Mr Scrooge. You know he is, Robert! Nobody knows it better than you do, poor fellow!”

“My dear,” was Bob’s mild answer, “Christmas Day.”

“I’ll drink his health for your sake and the Day’s,”said Mrs Cratchit, “not for his. Long life to him. A merry Christmas and a happy new year! He’ll be very merry and very happy, I have no doubt!”

This was the scene from A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens while Scrooge was looking upon the Cratchit family just after their meager Christmas dinner unseen with the Ghost of Christmas Present. What a picture of gratitude on the behalf of Bob Cratchit, even in the midst of not an ideal situation.

I find myself being filled with gratitude this morning as well. It has been a long week, a longer two months, and with Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I do not want to miss the opportunity to share the bountiful blessings in our life. God has promised His children that He will lavish upon them with His love. Our family feels this love in so many ways, even in the midst of difficulty.

  • Friends who bring meals, watch our kids, pray, and constantly ask “Is there anything we can do?”
  • A house that is warm, has enough beds for our family, and big enough to bless others with
  • A friend who wants to donate a day of labor
  • Family will do anything for us
  • Access to medical care to keep our little babies healthy
  • A church family who loves us
  • Divine connections made with people
  • A deeping passion for a new church
  • The beautiful fall weather we have been having and the eyes to enjoy it
  • A most beautiful wife who loves affectionately, cares exceptionally, and gives of herself sacrificially every day for her family without fail
  • A young girl who is now reading and about to lose two teeth who loves to care for people
  • A big boy with his gorgeous locks of tusseled hair and and an adventurous spirit
  • A little boy who is coming into his own with a courageous and rock steady heart
  • A little girl who is as cute as a button with a smile that could melt any heart
  • A fence that expands our yard for our children to play safely in
  • A dog who brings a smile to Audrey’s face every time she walks by
  • Coffee in the morning
  • A God who promises to provide regardless of the source
  • Answered prayers
  • Ballet slippers for Rylee
  • Encouraging books
  • Hugs from each of our kiddos
  • Even a kitchen sink with a working garbage disposal

I could go on with even more blessings. I desire to have an attitude of Bob Crachit, even when faced with such life difficulties to find it in my heart to bless all people, even those who have not always had our best interest in mind. It is amazing to me to experience the difference between walking with a grateful heart and walking without one.

As we get closer to cutting that turkey open and about to ingest pounds of food, what are you thankful for? I am always encouraged by hearing what other people are thankful for. I would love to be encouraged by your list, so let’s all participate – you faithful commenters, readers, and even lurkers…I would love to hear what you are all grateful for today.

-Chris