I hesitate to post a chipper post about our Thanksgiving, full of happy family pictures... I know that for some, Thanksgiving this year was especially difficult. Maybe this was your first holiday without a loved one. Maybe you couldn't be with family. Or maybe you are heading into this season of holidays with a heart heavy with stress and fear.
Whatever the case, please know that I prayed for you. Some of you even by name.
And even though we did have a wonderful holiday, and a wonderful time with family, pictures do not always tell the entire story. We've weathered some storms this year, and some of us are heading into the holidays with some stress and uncertainties.
But, the story these pictures DO TELL is a family filled with love--the love of a Heavenly Father.
Circumstances and changes and health are never certain. But the love and peace of God is what sustains us, and fills our hearts with love for each other, and our bellies with giggles.
Our bellies were also filled with...
Oh, can I get an AMEN?? Hallelujah and pass the gravy! Oh, how I miss that pea salad! My sis brought this new recipe to our table this year, and I could DRINK it, it was so yummy. And speaking of sisters, my little sis made those beautiful fluffy mashed potatoes. And that turkey and gravy? My mom used her magical powers, and even a weird-acting oven to make that juicy bird and velvety gravy.
Okay, I need to stop talking about food. Either that, or I'm going to need a dish of ice cream to console myself.
I wonder how many families this weekend yelled and nagged and fussed to get their kids to smile just right for a Christmas picture? Oh, did I say yelled? What I meant to say was "pleasantly asked in a rather loud voice."
All right. We didn't really yell. But, maybe one of us did IN HER HEART.
Notice that little guy on the top row? Yep, he's STILL up to it. He makes me laugh--a LOT.
Before we move on, may I ask you a question? Have you EVER seen CUTER kids?
What? Your own kids? Whatever.
The ladies did what ladies do...on Black Friday... We shopped, and had a girly lunch at a tea room. Perfection!
Can we talk about this cute fella for a minute? I am not sure I've ever met an 8-year-old who has a heart like his for the underprivileged. For his last birthday, all he wanted--were gifts for shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. He said he didn't need any more toys, but there were lots of boys and girls around the world who did. He sure goes to the right church...his home church packed 30,000 shoe boxes for OCC.
Yes, you heard right--30 THOUSAND. Can you imagine? That's a whole lot of smiling children opening presents in far away countries very soon...
Now, let's talk about this cute fella! There were quite a few tears as we went around the table Sunday, telling specific reasons we are proud of our Drew, who turns 18 this week. Drew was the very first baby in our family, and he sure holds a tender place in our hearts. We reminisced about how we all used to sit around the living room, just watching baby Drew toddle around, being all-around adorable. Today, we sat around a (very handsome!) man, using words like, "Kind, integrity, leader, compassionate, smart, talented, fair, spends time with the little kids and adults alike..."
Okay, I'll stop. I guess you can tell we love this boy! I even gave him a big, juicy smoochie as he left today--my special birthday gift to him.
Know who else I adore? My big brudder. He's pretty great. But, please don't tell him. I have a naggy-little-sister role to fulfill. Isn't his wife purdy? We sure had the BEST time giggling all weekend long.
Here's my baby sister. I sho' love her too!! She knows I do! Doesn't she look sass-a-frass in that polka dot sweater and red shirt? Dang, she's cute. Too bad I don't look half as cute in my matching sweater. (Mean.) That cute guy is my ornery brother-in-law. But, please don't tell him I called him cute. Lawdy, I'd never hear the end of it!!
And the worst part of every great holiday weekend...
Lining up to say goodbyes...
What were you thankful for this holiday weekend?