Thankfulness

We have much to be thankful for. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with little things in life but I am learning more and more to take those things to the One who loves me and leave them there. And then I am overwhelmed at the blessings that surround us, even in the midst of trials and struggles. Often, it is the small things that get our attention the most!

Tonight I am thankful for the lost package that the post office worked hard to find for me! It was mis-delivered into the wrong mailbox and no one was taking responsibility to help me pay for it or recover it but the people at the post office kept looking and found it today. An answer to prayer!

I am thankful for the turkey that was a gift to our family and filled our tummies tonight. I am also extremely thankful for the 3+ meals that I will get out of it. We do not take our food for granted since we have to work so hard to buy it and keep it in the house. Not easy with three ravenous little monsters in the house:)

I am so thankful for the anonymous gift we were given last week that will allow us to buy a small gift for each of our children this year for Christmas. Something, we otherwise may not have been able to do.

Last week, Ben’s car would not start on Thanksgiving morning and instead of stressing over it, we stopped and prayed and just tried to trust. I am so thankful for my mom, who has generously shared her AAA with us twice in the last month (hah!) and that it turned out to be only a $21 repair on a battery cable that needed to be replaced.

I am also thankful for our van that has been such a reliable vehicle for us in the past 4 years. I will choose to be thankful and trust God to provide for the many repairs we just found out it needs soon. He is good to us!

I am especially thankful for my beautiful family. For my dear husband, so faithful, trusting and hard-working. Who deserves the bear hugs he gets when he walks into our home each evening. For Samuel, who is going to be looking me in the eye probably within the year or so, and for his quick sense of humor. For the way his nose wrinkles when he laughs so hard and for his perseverance through these changes in our life.

For Zakkai, who is so eager to please and help others and for his bright blue eyes that always make me stop and stare when the light hits them. I am thankful for his wild imagination that often has us laughing or scratching our heads with its randomness!! And for Eliana with her feisty bossiness towards her brothers and her never-ending sweetness and love for her family. So thankful for her quick smile and even for the glasses that I once bemoaned, thinking it would change her perfectness. It did and now she’s even cuter than before!

It is a season to be thankful for all of the gifts in each of our lives. The little touches from our Savior that grace each of our lives, if only we take the time to look around for them.

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Traveling Fam

We made it safely to Ohio last night. Zakkai was an absolute angel the whole trip! He entertained Eliana, watched car and truck wheels, played, took a nap, ate a snack and only asked if we were close about 95 times!

Eliana did pretty well, too. There was a fair amount of screeching when she dropped toys or threw her special elephants and was fighting a nap but other than that…:)

It was a hard day for us as a family to be separated from each other. Samuel was in tears several times yesterday and ended up sleeping with Daddy last night. He hasn’t decided where he is sleeping tonight;) We are taking this one day at a time but hoping the time goes quickly so we can be back together again.

I went to the dr before our trip yesterday and learned that I am completely off my foot for another 10 days. Yuck. I get that everything needs to knit together inside but…just yuck. It’s really hard not to be able to pick up my baby and comfort her unless someone brings her to me or to care for myself, clean things, cook, etc. But today I decided that I need to find the blessings in this situation so I don’t get frustrated or discouraged!

So far:

*Eliana got over her fear of my mom and has finally bonded with her, which makes my heart happy.

*Ben is getting special time with just Samuel while they are “baching” over in Chicago.

*We are being shown lots of love by family!

*I have time to read lots of books:) And think. And pray.

And, so you can be as amused as we are, here are 2 videos of E. In the first one, she is making a methodical mess of my “library.” And in the 2nd, she is having quite a conversation as she has been doing lately. Cracks us up!

(See Above For Second Video)

A Christmas-y Day

Christmas is coming to the Thomas household. Well, the decoration part anyways:) Today, to the great delight of the boys, we got out our Christmas trees (1 big, 1 small) and lights and ornaments and decorated.

Not a one of us were dressed yet. That’s part of the fun of special days at home after all:) The boys worked very hard putting ornaments on while asking questions about where each one came from and remembering certain ones they’d made in school.

 Can you tell this boy was excited??

And not long after we finished, Missy woke up and came down to a winter wonderland! I love the look on her face! She immediately started telling us about the lights…

But she wasn’t too sure at first about touching that weird spiky green stuff…

But finally got enough courage to reach out a chubby, little, curious hand. Hopefully she’ll leave the ornaments on the tree!

And then late this afternoon, long after we enjoyed a delicious lunch of leftovers, we headed for a special lights parade in Naperville. We got stuck behind a crowd of people so Z got a special seat:) He wasn’t too sure at first…

But some nice people made a nice little spot for the boys to squeeze through finally and even were kind enough to help get a few candy treats that were being handed out for the boys.

 The parade ended with Santa and Mrs Claus and not long after there was a countdown….

And Santa flipped on all the pretty lights downtown! Zakkai was completely amazed that he could turn on all the lights at once:) And I’m sure if he could’ve gotten anywhere near that switch, the lights would’ve been going on and off, on and off!

It was a nice relaxing day full of sweet family time, Christmas music on the piano, and fun memories. I’m thankful for days like these!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I am sitting here, totally sated by turkey and all the trimmings (the ones that turned out anyways:) The hubster and I have been up since 6am preparing our Thanksgiving feast.

We started out with cranberry scones, eggs and fruit for breakfast which lasted B and I til our big dinner at 3pm. The boys snacked a little in between. It’s hard to ask the little people to wait hours and hours to eat!

I just knew something wasn’t going to turn out as I’d hoped, it always seems to happen that way. This time it was the stuffing. Lesson learned: do not stuff the turkey with stuffing (no matter how loosely) and definitely do not put stuffing around the turkey. Put it in a different pan!!!

Soggy stuffing just does not do the trick.

But all the rest turned out perfectly….or almost!

Turkey (with lots of leftovers!!!), mashed potatoes (my first perfectly turned out batch!), gravy, fresh green beans and homemade herbed dinner rolls. Mmm, mmm, mmm! And for dessert?

 Pumpkin Streusel Pie and Texas Crunch! Oh and definitely don’t forget the whipped cream:)

 Z enjoying his treat:)

Missy gobbled up turkey, mashed potatoes (with a little gravy!) and green beans. It was fun to eat with her at (or near) the table:)

 Samuel showing how happy he was to have such a full belly!

 My wonderful hubby who worked his tail off today, and me:)

We also made a Thanksgiving craft together: A Native American and 2 Pilgrims:) The boys had a blast!

We also got to skype with my family as they were still gathered together. I could just picture myself right with them and missed all the hugs, the laughter and the ornament making. We missed you all today!

We all chose at least one thing to thank Jesus for tonight:

Ben: That Eliana’s heart is healthy, for our wonderful family and food to fill our bellies.

Samuel: For breakfast, lunch and turkey dinner, for dessert and for his Pilgrim:)

Heidi: For my wonderful, loving husband, for my sweet precious boys and darling daughter and for our food.

Zakkai: For Christmas.

Let the festivities begin!

It felt like such a strange day today, almost like a Friday! The boys haven’t had school all week so we’ve just been hangin out, having fun being sick and all. B was finally done with teaching this afternoon, an event we all were anticipating. Hopefully good health will come to all of us over this long weekend!

This little Birdie is having so much fun with “new” toys that I’ve pulled out. (a.k.a. the boys’ oldies but goodies). Actually the boys are having fun with them, too, and we’ve had to set up rules because before we know it, they are playing with the baby toys and E is driving cars!

She does make a pretty mean car noise….

 The boys and I were feeling kind of sad today over not traveling so I kept us all busy cleaning, switching out toys (best trick a mommy can have!) and looking forward to daddy coming home.

Here are the boys in deep conference over something important:)

The boys have recently started collecting baseball cards ~ a hobby that may or may not have been instigated by Daddy:) They weren’t too sure at first but are really getting into it, especially now that they know Daddy collected as a boy.

Tonight B pulled out some of his carefully guarded collection to show the boys. It was the cutest thing I’ve seen! They all took it so seriously talking about how to take care of the cards and why, who the players were, what years the cards were from (to them 1989 in OLD!!). Ben is so excited to share this with his boys:)

And for the past hour and a half, B and I have been chopping, mixing and preparing what we could for our first Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. See, there is this old, old story called “The Little Red Ben” that we like to talk about around here. The Little Red Ben claims (jokingly) that he does not have to share in the Hen’s (a.k.a. Heidi) feast preparations but can merely enjoy the fruits of her labor instead.

Thankfully, he decided to reverse the story and help me instead, in great humor:) I think Ben, most of all, is looking forward to tomorrow. His sick body and weary mind crave rest and relaxation. He works hard and needs this little break. And as hard as it is for me to miss family and special traditions, I am glad to help create a happy Thanksgiving for him and for our family.

Pics tomorrow!

Tonight I am thankful for my mom, who is being so understanding about us not coming, even though she is so incredibly sad. She has such a compassionate, gentle heart and loves me unconditionally. I love you, Mom!

To be Thankful.

We got the official good news today that E’s heart is just fine!! Her murmur is small and functional and will cause no symptoms so she can run (someday) and play, eat and be active (which she is) as much as she wants with no problems. Yea!!!

So thankful.

Z has turned the corner and is finally improving ~ more yea! He was more himself today and his cough is nasty but much, much better, as in not sounding like he has bronchitis or croup.

So thankful.

Unfortunately, my dear family has shared this lovely illness with me. I just finished some hot tea to sooth my poor sore throat. I am hoping that somehow I will get a mutant germ that never fully develops and I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling grrreeeaat. Right.

Not thankful.

Made our second ever trip to Aldi today. I have been scared of Aldi’s ever since visiting there with my aunt back in the 90s. It didn’t have the greatest reputation for awhile but apparently Aldi’s is the bomb these days. It’s Ben’s new favorite store. He loves the whole quarter/cart thing…..And we love that things are waaaay cheaper there than Target. (Sorry, Target. You had 100% of my business until you started raising your prices like crazy. Good way to kick a person while they’re down.) Glad for a chance to save a little $!

Thankful.

About to spend our very first Thanksgiving in our own home. While we are very sad about missing family (and especially those we haven’t see in FAR too long!) and special traditions, we are really looking forward to relaxing together and making special memories. And hopefully making a nice turkey. And mashed potatoes that don’t resemble brick mortar. Not that I’ve ever done that or anything….

So thankful.

I’m thankful that I’ve found at least one thing to be thankful about every day this month, even on the toughest days. It’s a good habit to get into, forcing yourself to weed through all of the distractions, the stress, the nitty gritty in your life and in your day and find at least one thing, one blessing to be thankful for.

Chances are you’ll find a lot more than just one. And maybe you won’t notice or focus on the not-so-nice things quite as much.

Be Still My Heart.

 This little chickie had her echo with the cardiologist today. She did great! Well….except for the weighing and measuring and blood pressure part:)

It’s hard to ask a 13 month old to lay still with probes and gel all over and a strange man trying to take pictures of her little heart. For 45 minutes!

I did a lot of praying before the appointment because they told me if she wouldn’t cooperate, they’d have to send her downtown to be sedated.

 But God answered my prayers in more ways than one! First, the technician was wonderful and did such a great job with E. Secondly, she only fussed a little bit towards the end but he got all the pictures they needed!

But most of all, even without the official results yet, it looks like she’s going to be just fine. It looks like a small functional murmur, no big heart conditions or surgery. I hope to hear from the dr soon but we’re feeling pretty good about it!

Now if we could just get healthy around here~we have 4 down for the count now.

I am thankful for prayer and answers to them. Sometimes it doesn’t look at all like what you were asking for, sometimes it’s so much more than you were asking for. Sometimes it is yes, sometimes no and a lot of times the answer is wait. But I’m so glad God listens and cares, whether it is something small or something that seems impossible. I want to pray with thankfulness and a heart full of faith and hope.