As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023

This Thanksgiving, we had every one of our children and grandchildren around our table!  (A mama's heart is happy when all of her chicks are in the nest, right mamas?) One little boy woke up sick, the turkey wasn't ready at the appointed time, and we all missed Gampy, but the day was also full of gratitude and joyful hearts and music and tradition and family togetherness. We are blessed! 

The table was set for twenty-five this year. 

Most years, I have planned my tables weeks (or even months) in advance. But this year has been full of heartache, changes, struggle, and busyness. I purchased these downloadable place cards on Etsy a few days before Thanksgiving and I planned our place settings and table decor on Wednesday evening. Yikes! The "plus" side was that I had many helpers . . . formatting the place cards, setting up tables, laying out flatware, folding napkins, and assigning seats. 

On Thanksgiving morning, I had snuggle time with the three youngest grandgirls. 

As I said, everyone was here for Thanksgiving this year, so I made sure to get photos of each family. 

Kristin's family:
Gavin, Alaine, Ben, Owen, Maddie
Macie, Brian, Kristin, Judah

Ryan's family:
Eve, Peter, Ryan, Sarah, Nora
Joanna, Katrina, Paul

Kati's family:
Ellie, Andrew, Kati, Caleb

Ron and I with Rebekah

Gammy (my mom) with Joanna

While we waited for the turkey to finish roasting, we wrote blessings on our leaves for the Thankful Tree

We also had some beautiful music played by daughter Bekah on piano and granddaughter Eve on violin. 

Conversation overheard . . . 

Gammy: Awww, there's a photo op! You two look so cute there at the window! 
Ryan: We're vultures, not J. Crew. 


When the feast was ready, we gathered around the long table and sang a "hymn of grateful praise." 

You may remember that we have "servers" each year for our Thanksgiving meal. It eliminates a long buffet line or having all of the food on the table which is already pretty full. This year's 
servers were the lovely Maddie, Kristin, Eve, and Bekah. 

I love all of these faces!

You can't see all five pies in this photo. That is a lot of slices per capita! 

For the joy of human love, 
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For each gentle thought and mild.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise! 

a death, there are many "firsts" without that person. This was our first holiday without my dad. These months have been a blur, and I sometimes wonder if it has all totally sunk in to me. But I keep putting one foot in front of the other because there is so just much to do, and I know that my mom is feeling that same thing. 

And yet, even with all of the changes and the grief, it is good to pause and be grateful for all of God's gifts and to praise Him for all that He has done! 

           Bless the Lord, O my soul;
                And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
                Bless the LORD, O my soul, 
                And forget not all His benefits:
                Who forgives all your iniquities, 
                Who heals all your diseases,
                Who redeems your life from destruction, 
                Who crowns you with lovingkindess and tender mercies, 
                Who satisfies your mouth with good things, 
                So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalm 103:1-5 

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