Monday, November 22, 2010

Darlin's get their gobble on

This week is often obscured by the impending black friday sales, football games and hysteria of getting everyone in the same place to share a meal. My goal each year is to spend the days before building up to the tradition of being grateful. thankful. together.
The darlins' had their chubby fingers in red paint today to make handprint turkeys which we've made since the first darlin' came along six "short" years ago. I like the sweetness of holiday tradition crafts I'll admit but I am hoping that these annual holidays are more than glue on paper for my children. I read that children get their esteem not from being praised, or playing a sport, or being in the "in" group of their peers but rather by being part of a culture at home. The more stable and fulfilling the home, the more centered the child. I believe the culture of the home is rooted in these holidays and their traditions. I think it helps children to see the extended arms of their family and know to whom they belong.
This is what I am thinking of while glue is smeared, paint is wiped and paper is crumpled in the sweet effort to make these turkey handprints. You don't have to tell me that I am a terminal idealist. ;-) We talk to the darlin's about being grateful and what it means to appreciate what they ALREADY have instead of what they can get at the end of next month, which by the way isn't their birthday anyway. We help them write their name and what they are most thankful for on the back. For the baby darlin' who can't tell me yet, I am contemplating "I am grateful for slobber". What do you think? She always looks happy with it streaming off her perfect pout of a mouth onto my pearl necklace. Yes, that's a whole separate blog, isn't it?
My oldest darlin' asks me what I am grateful for. He is always equitably applying my standard for him back to me. It keeps me honest and I appreciate the metric. I am grateful for so many things this year. Indeed, I am grateful for many things each day. Here are some that come to mind.
I am grateful for the love of my husband and children. I am grateful for my parents, to know who they are as people and to appreciate them for their experiences. I am grateful for the unfailing grace of my grandparents and their encouraging, generous, and gentle ways. I am grateful for my sister and her sweet humor, selflessness and easy-going manner. I am grateful for the memories of my deceased brother that I can always rely upon to bring a smile to my face. I am grateful for my in-laws and their example as a unified and faith-filled family. I am grateful for my church, how comfortable I feel when I am there despite the hysteria of taking young ones to mass. I am grateful to be able to homeschool my children to raise them to love learning and always seek out what peaks their interests. I am grateful for my friends, old and new, who comfort and inspire me. I am grateful for books which give me solace and fill my spirit. I am grateful for home, for what it means to have one, for how I enjoy taking care of my home and making it a place that is welcoming to family and friends. I am grateful for freedom and those around me who vote and serve to preserve it. Most of all, I am grateful for God, for his love, forgiveness, and direction. I am grateful for how he welcomes us back and gives us freedom to stray. I am grateful for the bonds he paved for us here in this world. I am grateful to be able to serve him in my small way.

Enjoy this interesting and different video on the first Thanksgiving:

May your table be surrounded by the laughter of family and friends, the nourishment of wholesome food, and the blessings of God. Happy Thanksgiving to your family from ours.

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